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National Jewelry Exhibit Focuses on Ancient Jewels

The National Jewelry Institute has gone back in time to display necklace from first millenium B.C. Mesopotamia to an armlet from Iran dated to 1030.

Gold “Peacock” earrings on display at the Forbes Galleries
The National Jewelry Institute has gone back in time.

The six-year-old, nonprofit organization that aims to celebrate, research and preserve fine jewelry around the world, has opened an exhibit called “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization.”

The show, sponsored by Christian Dior Couture and AXA Art Insurance Corp., will be on display at the Forbes Galleries in New York until Dec. 31. It features 135 jewelry objects and accessories, from a carnelian, agate and Egyptian blue necklace from first millennium B.C. Mesopotamia to an armlet from Iran 1030.

There are plentiful granulated gold necklaces, filigree hoop earrings and signet rings. One of the common motifs is the pomegranate, a symbol of fertility.

“This exhibition chronicles the crosscurrents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, capturing how those faiths and precious objects have evolved together over the millennia,” said Judith Price, founder and president of NJI. “Jewelry is much more than simply personal adornment. Like all true art, it can be a remarkable expression of a culture and way of life.”

Price also penned a book, published by Running Press, sharing the same name as the show.

After the Forbes Galleries, the show will travel to the Field Museum in Chicago, where it will be on display from Feb 13 to July 5.
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