Monday, November 5, 2007

I Heart the Met

The time change is messing with my sleep!
I'm really into the Metropolitan Museum of Art shop. Who isn't, right? My favorite part, of course, is the jewelry. The website has roughly, oh, a million pieces (duplicates of famed historical jewelry, or pieces inspired by history) listed along with their background. Here are a couple of my favorites with some of the most intriguing origins... especially that last one:

"The writing instructor Giovanni Antonio Tagliente (Italian [Venetian], ca. 1465–1527) was a pioneer in the production of instructional booklets. His Opera nuova che insegna a le donne a cuscire (“A new work that teaches women to sew”), published in 1530 and now in the Museum's Drawings and Prints collection, contained designs for needlework and was the earliest Italian example of what would become a very popular genre in Venice. The design of the Museum's bracelet is based on a lacelike design from Opera nuova."
Venetian Lace Bracelet, $40

"The design of the Museum’s earrings is based on the jewelry worn by one of the younger female figures in the triptych Christ Blessing, Surrounded by a Donor and His Family, painted around 1575–80 probably by Ludger tom Ring the Younger (German, 1522–84), who belonged to a family of painters in Munster that moved to Brunswick after embracing Protestantism.

In the painting, Christ sits at a table surrounded by a devout family of a father, mother, two sons, and two daughters. The family has not been identified but they are painted in close proximity to Christ, indicating that they were Protestants, since Catholics would not have allowed themselves to be depicted as having such a familiar relationship with Christ. As piously devout as the mother and her two daughters may appear in this family portrait, they are nonetheless quite fashionably attired; each wears a large gold chain, multiple rings, and a number of other buckles and ornaments."

Amethyst Renaissance Earrings, $100

"In 1939 in Suffolk, England, archaeologists uncovered the Sutton Hoo ship burial, which had remained undiscovered since the 7th century A.D. The burial chamber, erected in the middle of the ship, contained the extraordinarily rich belongings of a king, most of which are considered the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship ever discovered. The design on this ring is based on the border of a jeweled purse lid found during the excavation. Produced in cooperation with The British Museum, London."
Sutton Hoo Agate Ring, $135

"Although the Etruscan civilization left no written history, jewelry and artifacts unearthed in archaeological excavations reveal a technical brilliance in goldwork unrivaled among the ancients. Our Etruscan Princess Necklace is based on a gold Etruscan bead from the 7th–6th century B.C., now in the Museum's collection."
Etruscan Princess Necklace, $85

Note: If you have some time to kill, it might be worth reading up on this stuff.
"The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. Several hypotheses exist, some of which are listed below. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Debate over origins began even as the Etruscans lived out the floruit of their civilization and was revived in the 17th century AD. Whether ancient or modern theorists proceed mainly by looking for pattern matches between cultures; that is, given sets of cultural elements, {a, b, ...} of cultures {A, B, ...}, theorists look for groups of common elements and then hypothesize a connection between the corresponding cultures. The elements might be from any cultural aspects at all from speech sounds to pot marks.
No complete but many partial matches have been found."


atelier said...

I love the Venetian necklace. It seems so full of history, and so different to the rest of necklaces I've seen until now.

Vintage Bunny said...

I love those earrings
At my thrift store I found ties from the Metropolitan mueseum of art for .99 cents.After buying them for hubby he wants me to buy some more from their website.

WendyB said...

I've met the woman who is responsible for a lot of the merchandise at the Met, including both fine and costume jewelry. She was very nice and gave me a couple of contacts after my partner died

In Yr Fshn said...

Atelier: I think you are talking about the bracelet? But I love it to. I love patterns.

VB: You are such an awesome thrift shopper! I am quite jealous. I think they go on sale after X-mas...

Wendy: That's a job?? One person has that job??? Did she seem like she was looking to retire soon?
Also, I am glad that you persevered after your partner's death... the world is a better place with your jewelry :)

Sarah B. said...

I like that gold paperclip necklace.

I saw the Sutton Hoo stuff at the British Museum. I kind of wanted them to put it all back where they found it. Is that weird?

In Yr Fshn said...

It's not that weird, but you are talking to a girl who used every single brithday wish to ask for all the jewelry that anybody has ever lost, specifically in the ocean. As a kid, I dreamt of being able to lift the ocean up and poke around for long lost jewels. So, I guess if you are weird, then I'm weird too (on the opposite end of the spectrum).

WendyB said...

Yep, that's a job! She's a tough old broad too!

riz said...

I too like the Venetian necklace - and i really didn't know that about the MET store...gotta check it out. I can't believe they sell stucc for .99!