I recently took a visit to the British Museum and was drawn to the following two exhibits both of which make beautiful use of the material gold.

Gold is a fascinating metal which has been prized for centuries for its rarity and beauty. It is a colour which I personally love and when crafted tastefully can look amazing.

These Italian earrings from 3rd/4th century BC for example look so delicate and pretty. The wings appear as light as the feathers they depict and the contours in the dress fabric create lovely shine and colour. The malleable quality of the gold has allowed the jeweller to illustrate the form of Nike with great detail considering their small size.


Similarly here with this Byzantine body chain from Egypt 600 AD an astonishing delicateness is achieved. The gold almost resembles lace and yet in its shape and form still appears strong and masculine. I think what draws me most to gold is how it stands out form it’s surroundings. It’s soft sheen elevates whatever item it is used for and it evokes a sense of luxury and occasion.


In my own practise I’d love to use these qualities to improve my work. Imitation gold leaf is a great material and can be used at affordable prices with convincing results. Things like business cards or invitations would benefit from the use of gold and I’d love to have a go a reproducing the delicateness found in both the above items!


Wikipedia (2016) Asyut Treasure. Available at: http://wikivisually.com/wiki/Asyut_Treasure (Accessed: 3/1/2017).

British Museum (2016) ear-ring. Available at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=463044&partId=1&searchText=nike+earrings&page=1 (Accessed: 3/1/2017).

gold (2016) Available at: http://s.marketwatch.com/public/resources/MWimages/MW-DG878_gold_ZG_20150304013058.jpg (Accessed: 3/1/2017).


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