26 November 2022
Must-see jewelry events in 2023
‘Dans l’intimité de Vever – Bijoux et Objets d’art depuis 1821’
From July 1 to July 7, 2023 – Vever, Paris
‘Hair and Hairs’
From April 5 to September 17, 2023 – Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris
In its heritage gallery, Van Cleef & Arpels presents an exhibition dedicated to jewelry’s astonishing capacity for transformation, featuring some thirty pieces: a sautoir that divides into four bracelets and a clip, a necklace with a zip that becomes a bracelet, and the head of a comb that becomes a clip, and many more. And there’s no better illustration of this than the minaudiere, the jeweler’s signature piece: inside, compartments designed to hold lipstick, powder and puff, lighter, comb, and so on, open, extend and unfold.
Until June 27, 2023 – The Van Cleef & Arpels boutique, Paris
‘A New Art. Metamorphoses of Jewelry, 1880 – 1914’
June 2, 2023 to June 30, 2023 – The School of Jewelry Arts, Paris
‘5000 years of pearls’
Pearls are presented unassembled, in necklaces or rosaries, and also adorn jewelry boxes. The oldest ones date back to prehistoric times. Most of them, placed with a deceased person in a tomb, were excavated in the Netherlands but also in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Scandinavia. They make it possible to trace the trade routes and the importance of production centers such as Amsterdam from 1600 onwards. Also on display are manuscripts, a 4,000-year-old statue of a Mesopotamian prince and works by the artist Floor Kaspers, made with thousands of micropearls.
Until May 2023 – Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
‘Egyptomania: Fashion’s conflicted obsession’
This exhibition on a classic theme that’s topical more than ever is not exclusively devoted to jewelry. But it’s the perfect opportunity to admire some very beautiful pieces, such as the brooch formed by a Cartier scarab.
April 1st, 2023 to January 28, 2024 – Cleveland Museum of Art
‘Kingfisher headdresses from China’
More than 20 headdresses, jewels or hairpins made of kingfisher feathers, testify to the beauty of these feathers cut and meticulously glued to the structure. The blue is so dense and luminous that it looks like lacquer or enamel. Admire without restraint because the objects (the oldest dates from the end of the 16th century) that have survived are rare indeed. Associated with agate, jadeite, amber or coral, they adopt popular symbolic motifs: bat, dragon, phoenix, etc.
Until May 21, 2023 – Art Institute of Chicago
‘Jewels and amulets, beauty in ancient Egypt’
This exhibition is produced by the Turin Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which boasts one of the most important Egyptological collections in the world. Scarabs, lotus flowers, an eye of Horus, strings of terracotta beads, ivory rings and seals with the name of the pharaoh: the majority of the pieces come from Deir el-Medina, a village in the north of Egypt, where many craftsmen worked in the royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and Queens.
Until May 7 – Museo del Gioiello, Vincenza
‘On the road to Samarkand – The wonders of silk and gold’
Some 300 paintings, carpets, suzanis, ikats, skullcaps… from the 19th and early 20th centuries, typical of Uzbek craftsmanship. Jewelry is also featured here but the most breathtaking aspect is the use of gold in the textiles, the costumes of this period being of incredible magnificence. One of the most spectacular pieces is the chapan, the coronation cloak of the last Emir (circa 1865-70), made of velvet entirely embroidered with gold, as is the pair of men’s boots. This art of embroidery reached its apogee in the creations of the craftsmen who worked in the Emir’s private workshop. And don’t miss the magnificent wooden saddles painted with gold, or the astonishing silver horse harnesses set with turquoise. This is the first time these pieces have been seen outside Uzbekistan.
Until June 4, 2023 – Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris
‘Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan’
This vast collection of Nubian objects belonging to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is the largest in the United States. It provides an opportunity to learn about the remarkable and little-known history of Nubia, a region located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan, which for nearly 3,000 years was home to a strong cultural, religious and artistic tradition. Rich in resources such as gold and ivory, it traded with regions as far away as Greece, Rome and Central Africa. The high-quality jewelry, gold wrought and assembled with rock crystal, the colored beads of turquoise, carnelian and earthenware and the enamel work all illustrate the splendor of this Nubian society.
Until April 3, 2023 – Getty Villa, Los Angeles
‘Gold and treasure, 3,000 years of Chinese ornaments’
It’s the second stop for this School of Jewelry Arts exhibition, following on from Hong Kong last spring. Encapsulating more than three thousand years of goldsmithing work in China, from the Himalayas to Central Asia via Mongolia, the selection includes bracelets depicting flowers and birds, delightful lantern-shaped earrings and hairpins with dragon decorations. In this selection the École des Arts Joailliers explores the properties of gold and the associated know-how: hammering, chasing, granulation, filigree, gilding, etc. Not forgetting the ideas the metal symbolizes: happiness, longevity and prosperity. Never before has this theme been so treated in such detail, enriched – as always in exhibitions by the École – with a catalogue, courses and lectures.
December 1st, 2023 to April 14, 2023 – The School of Jewelry Arts,Paris
‘Ramses and the gold of the Pharaohs’
When it comes to exhibitions, some subjects are always surefire winners, and that definitely includes Egypt! After Tutankhamun in 2019, here comes Ramses II (1580-1085 BC), the famous builder of Pharaonic Egypt. There are 181 incredibly well-preserved works on display. Of particular interest are the finely crafted jewels, which were not found in his tomb but belong to the treasures unearthed in Tanis, a city located only a few miles from the pharaoh’s capital. The most spectacular piece is a necklace measuring 30 cm in diameter and weighing over 8 kg. It is made up of seven rows of gold rings and chains ending in bells and features a slightly trapezoidal gold plate. On the latter, one can see, finely chiseled, the cartouches of the pharaoh, the god Amun and the goddess Mut, enriched with multicolored inlays of carnelian, lapis lazuli and feldspar. These jewels testify to the fabulous wealth and extravagance of the pharaohs, but also to the virtuosity of the Egyptian artists.
April 7, 2023 – September 6, 2023 – Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris