Vanity, Profanity & Worship: Jewellery from the Maltese Islands

From: 31/03/2013 To: 26/05/2013


Jewellery can be a statement of many things, be it of a personal, social or financial nature. It can be rudimentary or extravagantly elaborate, but both these extremes and everything in between serve the purpose of conveying a message.

Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti's latest exhibition, Vanity, Profanity and Worship - Jewellery from the Maltese Islands takes us on a splendid journey that weaves through the history of jewellery from prehistory to contemporary times. Set in the sumptuous surroundings of the Casino Maltese in Valletta, this exhibition will feature some of the most remarkable pieces of jewellery found on our Islands. 

With this exhibition Patrimonju thematically highlights various types of jewellery: amulets to ward off evil, the devotional and secular pieces of the 17th and 18th centuries, the local filigree work, the 19th century introduction of new materials and styles, and lastly the modern and contemporary pieces that bring us to our times. These exhibits, the majority of which hail from Maltese collections, ultimately reflect the taste of a nation.


Gold ring with an emerald crystal and diamond, c.1960, England, Andrew Grima Silver filigree reliquary cross with relic of the True Cross, Late 18th century, Italy (?) Cross of Bishop Alpheran de Bussan (obverse), Late 17th/Early 18th century, Spain or Portugal Silver-gilt filigree bracelet, 19th century, Malta Brooch with retractable fan, Mid- to late 19th century, England or France (?) Gold filigree and coral brooch, 1866, Italy (coral), Malta, Francesco Meli
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