“Gold: Power and Allure” is the most comprehensive and ambitious exhibition ever staged at Goldsmiths’ Hall (1 June - 28 July 2012). It powerfully tells the rich and previously untold story of Britain and its relationship with gold, demonstrating the country’s unique golden heritage.
Sponsored by the World Gold Council, this major project showcases more than 400 gold items ranging in date from as early as 2500 BC to the present day. It includes rare and exquisite works of art, combining sophisticated artistry and skill, together with pieces of exceptional historic significance. Others are esoteric, curious and amusing. All the exhibits, displayed over three floors at Goldsmiths’ Hall, have been loaned from distinguished institutions and private collections and many have rarely been seen in public before.
This is the first time such an extraordinary group of objects has been brought together. It tells a story of passion and power, fortunes lost and gained, and the special place this metal plays not only in our national, but also our personal histories.
The World Gold Council will also unveil two new extraordinary commissions which take gold jewellery into the realm of gold couture at the Exhibition Leading British goldsmiths Wright & Teague and Polly Gasston were commissioned by the World Gold Council to capture gold’s powerfully alluring qualities, and express them in two new pieces of gold couture. The visually arresting works they have designed are an apotheosis of the finest craftsmanship and gold the most precious of metals.
The new piece by Wright & Teague is intended to continue the narrative of the Lunula and to make an historical connection with the history of goldsmithing in Britain. Fashioned from fine sheets of 18ct gold, the piece consists of seven collars representing the Pleiades, the seven sisters of the constellation of Taurus; this astronomy was known to Bronze Age people.
Consisting of a series of ivy leaves carefully interwoven with golden buttercups, the Wreath by Polly Gasston, creates an exquisite and delicate tiara. The handcrafted piece includes botanical motifs, as charming as they are sophisticated. The buttercups have been replicated in minute detail; even the stamens of the tiny flowers can be seen and each ivy leaf - complete with individual veins - is painstakingly moulded by hand from actual leaves.
Unlike other precious metals, the unique malleability and purity of gold makes it the perfect medium for producing works of both beauty and creativity. Through its work with highly skilled designers and goldsmiths as well as the commissioning of new projects, the World Gold Council is committed to upholding the tradition of goldsmithing.