Past Is Present: Revival Jewellery



Bocca Baciata (Lips That Have Been Kissed), 1859, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Oil on panel
Gift of James LawrencePhoto: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Past Is Present: Revival Jewellery


Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston



The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) is currently showing Past Is Present: Revival Jewelry, a new exhibition filled with treasures guaranteed to make the heart flutter. The show features pieces from the museums vast collection, as well as important loans, notably from Cartier. It is, in my humble opinion, a must-see for the Renaissance- and bauble-loving Gucci designer Alessandro Michele.

Wondering what revival jewellery is, exactly? The simple answer is that its inspired by, and makes direct reference to, the often ancient and much-idealised past. 


Besides the craftsmanship of these pieces, whats most compelling about their design is how, the press materials read, it highlights the tension between progress and the desire to engage with the past, in both traditional and unexpected ways. Emily Stoehrer, the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan curator of jewellery, affirmed that ideological similarities can be drawn between the mid-19th century, when this style of jewellery was at the height of its popularity, and today. The exhibition focuses on four types—archaeological, Classical, Egyptian, and Renaissance.

Nationalism, for example, was a hot topic as, the curator explains, many European countries were establishing their modern borders. In Italy, as the country fought for unification, the jeweller Castellani was referencing the splendour of ancient Rome, placing his work within a historical context, and a civic one, too, reminding us, says Stoehrer, that artists have a voice.

So besides being a jaw-dropping and glittering display of finely crafted jewels, Past Is Present: Revival Jewellery also serves as a reminder, in its curators words, that the wearing of jewellery, because its so public, can be political, as well. (Original copy via VOGUE.COM)




Ernesto Pierret, Etruscan Revival Bracelet, Italian, c. 1860



Scarab brooch, 1924, by Cartier
Gold, platinum, faience, diamonds, emeralds, smoky quartz and enamel
Vincent Wulveryck, Cartier CollectionPhoto: © Cartier / Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Necklace with Coins of Heracles, 1980s, by Bulgari
18kt gold and ancient coins
William Francis Warden Fund and Morris and Louise Rosenthal FundPhoto: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston






Take a look at Harlequin Market's Curated Collection of Vintage Revival Costume Jewellery. 





Inspired by this incredible exhibition, we have put together a catalogue of our Vintage Revival Costume Jewellery for your viewing pleasure. Please feel free to contact us by phone +61(2) 9328 5430 or email info@harlequinmarket.com to discuss any of the following pieces in detail or to request more images.






Signed 'Hanna Bernhard' Egyptian Revival Scarab Brooch



Rare French Vintage Egyptian Design Galalith/Brass Necklace c. 1920




RARE - Vintage Signed 'Polcini' Egyptian Motif Necklace - Originally owned by Ann Miller




Extremely Rare Antique Art Nouveau Mother of Pearl/Brass Necklace circa 1910




Vintage re-worked Galalith and Bead Egyptian Revival Necklace




French Deco Scarab Design Pendant Necklace c. 1930


French 1940's Deco Galalith Necklace - Red



Vintage circa 1930's Galalith/Brass Necklace




French Deco Necklace - Carved design of horse and carriage - 1940's


Vintage Circa 1930's Czechoslovakian Crystal and Glass Pendant Necklace



Vintage circa 1930's Galalith Necklace




Vintage Gregory Bolton Egyptian Revival Triple Drop Earrings c. 1980




Rare Vintage Signed ACCESSOCRAFT N.Y.C Etruscan Revival Bib Neckpiece c. 1950