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Salamander brooch


buttons, gems carved into the shapes of parrots and squirrels and ancient cameos. Highlights include an emerald and diamond Salamander brooch, a


into private hands as it could so


easily have been. Since that time in Stony Jack’s


The emerald watch


Wandsworth shop, The Cheapside Hoard has never been together in one place. Until now. The Museum of London has assembled the entire Hoard and created a spectacular exhibition that not only displays every object from the Hoard but also tells its fascinating story. The enduring mystery of


The Cheapside Hoard is who owned this valuable cache? Why and when did the owner hide it? And, even more mysteriously, why did they fail to return and reclaim it? The exhibition explores these questions and whilst definitive answers remain elusive the curators are able to show that jewellery historians are beginning to tease out some of the elements of these mysteries. A short film playing on a loop in the exhibition tells a possible and persuasive story to explain the Hoard mystery. And most excitingly, recent detective work on a previously overlooked intaglio gem has unlocked a vital clue in dating the Hoard. The exceptional importance of the


Enamelled and jewelled scent bottle


Hoard to jewellery historians and researchers stems from the fact that very little 16th and 17th century jewellery has survived because it was melted down, broken or remodelled when it became dated and unfashionable. To have this large collection of jewellery untouched for centuries is quite unparalleled. It makes The Cheapside Hoard a treasure of not only national but international significance. The Cheapside Hoard is


a truly dazzling sight when seen all together here in this exhibition. Along with the dozens upon dozens of rings and earrings, there are enamelled gold chains, jewelled


8


sardonyx cameo of Cleopatra from the third century BC and an agate cameo of Queen Elizabeth I. But the undoubted star of the show is an extraordinary gem-cased watch. This tiny enamelled watch is set in an enormous Colombian emerald with another emerald as its hinged lid. It is an object of unimaginable luxury and great beauty. Kudos must go to the


curators, led by Hazel Forsyth, not only for the stunning way in which they have displayed the Hoard itself but also for sourcing


the many contemporary Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits and costumes that are arranged around the exhibition and demonstrate how this jewellery would have been worn. It brings the cold metal and hard gems


to life in a way that is both


evocative and haunting. Another unexpectedly powerful


evocation of the past can be found in the show, albeit this time appealing to a different sensory organ. The Museum of London has commissioned the renowned perfumer Roja Dove to create a perfume inspired by an exquisite enamelled and jewelled perfume bottle from the Hoard and designed to recall the perfumes used in 17th century London. There is a tiny door in the wall of the exhibition which you can open and smell this perfume for yourself


whilst admiring the original perfume bottle displayed nearby.


This is


a wonderful exhibition and it may be a once-in-a-


lifetime opportunity to see


this great national treasure in its entirety, so don’t miss it. And if you were wondering what


happened to the navvies who made that stunning discovery 100 years ago in a Cheapside cellar. Well, Stony Jack’s negotiations with the men are shrouded in mystery but we know monies changed hands and we can surmise that they were satisfied. According to later reports many of the workmen ‘disappeared, and were not seen again for months!’


Exhibition open until 27th April The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels Museum of London, London Wall EC2 www.museumoflondon.co.uk/cheapside Open Daily 10am - 6pm Last admission to the exhibition 4.30pm Closed 24-26 December Late opening until 9pm on 10th January, 14th March and 11th April, Admission: Adult £10 Concessions and Child 12+ £8 Free fast-track entry for Friends of the Museum


The fantastic exhibition catalogue, written by the senior curator Hazel Forsyth, expatiates on many of the stories told in the exhibition. It makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of this area of the City of London. As well as looking at the entire cache in great detail, it sets the Hoard in the context of life in the Cheapside area at the time and explores the history of the goldsmiths’ trade in the 17th century City.


Exhibition Event Roja Dove: Shimmering Scents Tue 17 Dec, 7-9.30pm


What do you get when you combine Tonka bean, coumarin and labdanum? Or clary sage, vetiver and oakmoss? British Master Perfumer and GREAT Britain Campaign Creative Ambassador Roja Dove has created a limited edition scent inspired by The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels. Find out about the creation of the new scent and British perfumes in this exclusive workshop led by Roja Dove himself. Discover how the exquisite raw materials combine to create sumptuous fragrances, and hear stories of their journey to London.


Museum of London Book in advance £50


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