Exhibition tells tale of Britain’s golden treasure


Goldsmiths Hall announces ‘Gold: Britain’s Glorious Riches’ exhibition

The Goldsmiths Hall has announced that it will be holding a major exhibition to tell the story of Britain’s gold in the summer of 2012.

The exhibition will look at Britain’s relationship with gold, starting with the metal itself, its intrinsic properties and ‘its associated magic, mystery and potency’. Other themes will include the sources of gold in Britain and the burials and hoards of gold antiquities which have been discovered.

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One of the earliest pieces in the exhibition is a gold lunula, a distinctive type of Bronze Age necklace shaped like a crescent moon, dating from 2300-2000 BC, which was found in Cornwall.

The exhibition will also detail Britain’s role as a major trading nation, when gold was used as an international currency and gold coins from all over the world found their way into the country, via complex trading networks and movements of people.

Exhibiton curator Dr Helen Clifford said: “As a trading nation, a centre of inventions and an ambitious empire, gold has long been vital to this country’s existence. Not just as an exploitable ore but as a symbol of power, a medium of exchange and an inspiration for masterpieces of craftsmanship.”

The exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall will be showcasing a number of rare gold objects from private and public collections around the country. Gold boxes, military batons, medals, chains of office and chivalry, and numerous golden artefacts, will provide visual evidence of the metal’s many uses.

As the exhibition takes place in the year that London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games, there will also be a number of golden trophies and medals in connection with sporting prowess and achievements.

The event will be hosted at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, from June 1 to July 28, 10am to 5pm. Admission will be free.

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