The jewellery in The Fortune-Teller c.1630s

European jewellery of the Renaissance was colourful, opulent and intricate. It was also widely popular, as the portraiture of this time shows the often extraordinary amount a wealthy man or woman might wear. Many great artists of the Renaissance started their careers in goldsmiths workshops — resulting in a familiarity of styles and techniques in…

The jewellery of Selvaggia Sassetti (born 1470)

The coral of Selvaggia Sassetti’s necklace would not have travelled far from its once plentiful source in the Mediterranean sea. Precious red coral grows in a characteristic branching plant like form from the rocky sea bed, preferring the darkness of deeper water or underwater caves — for hundreds of years its main trade centre has…

Gold and pearl bracelet: A glimpse of Queensland’s history

This charming gold and pearl bracelet is a lovely example of work by the local firm Flavelle, Roberts & Sankey, and represents the jeweller’s skill as well as providing a glimpse of Queensland’s history. The gold bracelet is the most significant piece of Queensland jewellery to come to the Gallery’s notice. The delicacy and refinement…

Goldfield brooches: Uniquely Australian

These intriguing group of brooches, made by unknown jewellers, that were produced in the Australian goldfields, circa 1880–1915 are a peculiarly Australian innovation. These elegant pieces, which are made from gold, gold nuggets, quartz and garnet, employ mining motifs such as picks, shovels, buckets and prospector’s pan. Following significant discoveries of gold in Australia in…

The unique aesthetics of the Victorian era

Now that the Queensland Art Gallery has reopened, view the unique aesthetics of the Victorian era in our International Art Collection, explored through painting, works on paper, the decorative arts, and by examining the developments of Victorian England through the innovative and unconventional photography of Julia Margaret Cameron and the experimental ceramics of Doulton Pottery.…

Marks on Hunt and Roskell’s ‘Presentation vase’

This magnificent Presentation vase 1864 is the most important example of Victorian silver in the Gallery’s Collection. Its elaborate decoration is unlike anything produced in the Australian colonies, though the beautifully cast and chased kangaroos and an emu (as well as a camel) around the base suggest that it was commissioned with an Australian connection…