About the exhibition
A stunning array of pearls dating from the early Roman empire to the present day is on show at the V&A, demonstrating the long association of pearls with wealth, royalty and glamour.
Rare natural specimens of pearl are display, as well as portraits and photographs. Among the exhibition’s highlights is a pearl necklace once worn by Mary, Queen of Scots, a group of magnificent tiaras worn by European royalty and a pair of pearl drop earrings owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
Pearls is on display at the V&A, London, from 21 September 2013 to 19 January 2014. For more information, and to buy tickets, visit the V&A website.
Earrings, gold with natural seed pearls and diamonds, France, 1795–1810 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Grand Jete, gold with diamonds and two cultured baroque pearls, London 1999 © Geoffrey Rowlandson
Cross pendant, gold with rubies and natural pearls, Germany 1500–25 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Necklace, natural pearls from the Gulf with platinum and diamond clasps, 1930s by Cartier © Photo: Sotheby's
Necklace, natural pearls set in coloured gold, probably England c1850 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Gold hair ornament, set with natural pearls, emeralds and sapphires, Roman, 3rd Century AD © The Trustees of the British Museum
Brooch, natural brown pearls set in platinum and diamonds, France, 1900 © Albion Art
A rare selection of natural pearls from the Qatar Museums Authority Collection © Photo: Creutz
Frozen, silver nylon, freshwater pearls, 2011 © Photo: Petra Jaschke
Edited By Royal Wang