Eben Lenz: if I’m remembering right, this is not enamel work but
actual hessonite garnet inlay and the lapidary/metalwork are
stupefyingly good! The quality of this particular series of jewelry
pieces bowled me over. I wasn’t expecting anything so refined from
the culture remembered, among other things, for giving us so many
useful four-letter English words…
There are eye-popping examples of jewelry and metalwork throughout
the entire museum, as there are at…
#2, the Victoria and Albert Museum is reckoned to have one of
the finest collections of jewellery housed in one building.
Be sure to allow plenty of time for the V & A. The jewelry alone
will take half a day for a close look. The displays are funky: very
little organization, with a priceless Napoleonic emerald necklace
displayed next to something silly and unrelated. If you love gems,
don’t miss the Hope collection of colored stones. Wow! There is
much, much! dated reference material here for designers.
And when your feet start aching treat yourself to a coffee in the
Gamble Room and take a close look at the walls: they are entirely
hand-made ceramic tiles (as is much of the other museum
decoration), but the Gamble Room is special.
As I was walking down a corridor (I can’t remember which one) a
sculptural piece set with a 2-inch-square Australian black opal
caught my eye. It was displayed with no concern for preserving the
opal, and at a guess I’d say the stone was in the $20,000 U.S.or
more per carat range in the current market. I’m guessing it was
from the early days of mining at Lightning Ridge, Australia
(Victoria helped popularize this wonderful stone).
And don’t forget the Royal Jewels at the Tower. Incredible.
Unfortunately, I have never been to Scotland. (Ah, but
there's stilltime, you see .....!). So, I dare not make nary a
comment about Albion to ye..... Best'o'Luck to Ye, Eben Lenz
Eben and Marilyn, there’s another kind of “gem” in Scotland. In
Edinburgh, as you begin your walk down the Royal Mile from
Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, you may notice a small
establishment on the right-hand side of the street called “The
Scotch Whisky Store” or some similar name. My crew stocked up on a
tremendous number of mini-bottles of various brands of single-malt.
We taste-tested a few as nightcaps each evening and kept careful
notes for last-minute purchases at the duty-free store at
Heathrow. England and Scotland has many more “gems” to offer as
well, especially the people.
Have a great time!