Also on in London this month is the Cheapside Hoard exhibition, which displays the history and mystery of the world’s finest collection of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery.
The collection, which includes nearly 500 pieces of jewellery, from rings and necklaces to jewelled scent bottles and a unique Colombian emerald watch, is on display in full for the first time since it was discovered buried under a cellar floor in the City of London in 1912.
It is believed that demolition workers broke through the wooden floor of a building in Cheapside, the main thoroughfare in the City of London, and struck gold. The workmen had stumbled on the stock of a 17th-century goldsmith.
Undeterred by who owned it, they scooped up as much as they could carry and went across the river to the bric-a-brac shop of George Fabian Lawrence, who contacted the aristocratic trustees of the embryonic London Museum, who agreed to buy the lot.
Believed to be buried between 1640 and 1666, the collection displays remarkable craftsmanship and pieces that demonstrate an aesthetic that is subtle rather than flashy.
Hazel Forsyth, the curator, spent years studying letters, stock lists and rent books as well as the objects themselves. Her patient scholarship has unearthed plenty of dubious behaviour, much of it chronicled in her excellent book, “London’s Lost Jewels”.
The exhibition is on until April 2014. For more information see the Museum of London website.