Some 100 objets d’art from one of the most complete twentieth-century private collections is on show at DIVA, the museum for diamonds, jewellery and silver in Antwerp. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to enter Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert’s world replete with dazzling objets d’art. The Gilberts spent over forty years amassing their collection of nearly 1000 items of fine silverware, gold (snuff)boxes, enamels and mosaics made in Europe between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. The touring exhibition is the fulfilment of the Gilberts’ dearest wish: to share the collection with the public. The exhibition runs until August 15th.
Masterpieces in Miniature is an ode to Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert’s impressive legacy and a chance for the public to admire these treasures from close to. DIVA, the museum for diamonds, jewellery and silver, is the first venue to host this touring exhibition.
Visitors to the exhibition are plunged into the world of the Gilberts and their dazzling collection. They will make the acquaintance of Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert and come to understand their collecting habits, travel with them as they go in search of exceptional craftsmanship and beauty and encounter historical figures such as the tsarina Catharine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Victoria. The showpieces include a snuffbox belonging to Frederick the Great of Prussia, made of chrysoprase, a rare gemstone mined in Silesia and set with hardstones and diamonds. The diamonds were coloured by placing them over pale-pink, green and lemon-coloured metal foils.
The exhibition is curated by Alice Minter, curator of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection and Jessica Eddie, assistant curator of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection.
V&A Publishing has produced a new catalogue featuring highlights from the Gilbert Collection. The book comprises an introduction, followed by an overview of a hundred magnificent works of art from the Gilbert Collection: silver and gold treasures, micromosaics, golden snuffboxes and enamel miniatures. The final chapters reveal aspects of the fascinating ongoing research into this world-renowned collection. Museum conservators and scientists reflect on the craftsmanship and techniques and on the efforts to uncover the provenance of desirable and decorative objects such as these, some of which conceal a troubling history.
Author: Alice Minter, with contributions by Jacques Schuhmacher and Joanna Whalley.
Specifications: 220 x 155 mm (portrait), Paperback (with cover flaps), 112 p., ca. 110 illustrations, English.