A collection of 16th and 17th century jewels discovered 100 years ago buried beneath London’s Cheapside has gone on display at the Museum of London.
The 500 piece ‘Cheapside Hoard’ was discovered by a group of workmen in a jeweller’s cellar where it was buried sometime between 1640 and 1666.
Until now the collection, which contains almost 500 items, has never been displayed in its entirety.
The museum is displaying the collection of rings, necklaces, cameos and jewelled scent bottles alongside rarely seen portraits, multimedia installations and historical objects from its collection, offering an “unprecedented” picture of the fashions and culture in Tudor and early Stuart London.
The exhibition is being sponsored by Fabergé, Gemfields and Coutts and is supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
Explaining the horde’s origins, exhibition curator Hazel Forsyth said: “The 16th and 17th century jewellery trade was clandestine by its very nature and skulduggery was rife. Jewellers couldn’t shout about what they were up to or the precious gemstones that they were dealing with. That in itself would make them walking targets for theft, corruption, or worse.“
The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels, Museum of London, 11 October 2013 – 27 April 2014.
Tickets and information: www.museumoflondon.org.uk/cheapside