Showcasing little-known treasures from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s outstanding permanent collection, this exhibition celebrates exquisitely designed and often hand-crafted jewellery and metalwork, dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Objects on display encompass a wide range of styles, including intricate historicist and Neo-Gothic designs from the mid-nineteenth century, represented by jewellery by some of the of the finest jewellers of the time – Castellani, Giuliano, Robert Phillips and John Brogden – as well as a spectacular decanter by William Burges. The naturalistic Arts & Crafts movement is represented by C.R. Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, Henry Wilson and Phoebe Traquair, amongst others, while the structural modernity of silver from the 1920s and 1930s is represented by leaders of the field, Omar Ramsden and H. G. Murphy.
Highlights include unique jewellery designed by the artist Charles Ricketts for the couple Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper, known collectively as the author Michael Field, which holds a special place in the history of queer art in Britain.
A book of the same name, written by exhibition curator Helen Ritchie, and published by Philip Wilson, will be available from late July.
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