Experience the beauty and allure of pearls which across centuries and cultures have long been associated with wealth, royalty and glamour. This autumn the V&A and the Qatar Museums Authority explore the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire through to present day.
Pearls are a worldwide phenomenon going back millennia. Fascination for these jewels of the sea transcends time and borders. Natural pearls have always been objects of desire due to their rarity and beauty. Myths and legends surrounded them, chiefly to explain the mystery of their formation. Goldsmiths, jewellers and painters exploited their symbolic associations, which ranged from seductiveness to purity, from harbingers of good luck in marriage to messengers of mourning.
Today the range of aesthetics in pearl jewellery is boundless and the variety of pearls quite remarkable. Whether natural, cultured or imitation, pearls continue to be fashionable and are being worn by increasing numbers of women. Pearls are a symbol of femininity and timeless jewels befitting at any event or occasion.
An interesting course,as a related event to the main exhibition, is the ‘‘How to wear Pearls” one, at Fri 6 December 2013 10:30 where Jewellery Historian Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and Jewellery Designer Jane Sarginson in a discussion about pearls, their famous wearers, and how fashions in pearl jewelry have changed over the centuries.
The focus will be on jewellery design today, what suits the individual wearer, their personality and complexion, and what to consider when choosing pearls for yourself.