13 April 2022

When did jewels first become museum pieces?

Seeing jewelry in museums seems natural enough, but that wasn’t the case for the longest time! Until the end of the 19th century, such institutions were dedicated to painting, sculpture or even goldsmithing. No museums, galleries or even showcases were  specifically dedicated to jewelry. The Victoria & Albert Museum (London) was the first to buy a jewel in 1851, during the world fair in London known as the Great Exhibition. Meanwhile, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris received its first jewel in 1878: a necklace donated by the jeweler Émile-Désiré Philippe. Jewelry was at last seen as heritage – better late than never!

 

Related article:

Coming soon: 5 new ways to discover jewelry in museums

  • the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris received its first jewel in 1878: a necklace created and donated by the jeweler Émile-Désiré Philippe

  • the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris received its first jewel in 1878: a necklace created and donated by the jeweler Émile-Désiré Philippe

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