Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston…Jewels, Gems, and Treasures - Ancient to Modern

Ka-Ka-Ching for Ba-Ba Bling at the Museum
My sister--you know the one with that Queen doll--is in Boston this week with her husband.  He is a retired Army colonel who works in the Pentagon and is in Boston this week taking a senior management course at the JFK School of Government at Harvard. She is tagging along as extra baggage but took on a special assignment on behalf of gemsaboutjewels.  She stopped by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to check out “Jewels, Gems and Treasures – Ancient to Modern” which started July 19, 2011 and runs until November 25, 2012.  The 11,000  piece jewelry collection features pieces that span ancient Egyptian times to the 21st century in America.  It seems as though museums all over the country are starting to catch on to this new and interesting equation:

Jewelry + Gems + Story = Big $$$$ to museums featuring same old thing.

As I discussed in my earlier blog post, “Why Do People Wear Jewelry?” we learned that jewelry gets most people (especially women) really, really excited. It may boost our egos to think how great we’re going to look in it, or maybe it's the chance to wear something expensive and flaunt it in front of our friends. Or perhaps it's just the investment value. Over all these years, noted jewelry icons like Wilma Flintstone, Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor have steered the course, and they can’t be wrong.

The first piece we’ll look at is an important ancient Egyptian broadcollar that was uncovered during a museum expedition in 1913. This was during a time when long-dead, undisturbed little Egyptian people were being dug up all over the place from their cat pee smell tombs because Egyptomania was the rage.  Actually taken from the mummified body of Ptah-Shepses Impy, an official of King Pepy II, the collar was made from gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli and hundreds of small blue glazed steatite (soapstone) beads. The collar was important because some of the original beadwork survived, and it was studied by conservators who were able to reconstruct the collar in the same manner as the ancients. Because of this, it served as a model for the reconstruction of other broadcollars.

Wesekh Broadcollar - Egyptian
2246–2152 B.C.
6 7/8" x 6 7/8" x 1"


LCK said...

(What's a Queen Doll?) LCK

scott davidson said...

Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer,