Location: Visitor Center Theater
Part of: Lectures and Talks
Intricate gold boxes, often manufactured for snuff, “are a delectable and tangible microcosm of the art and society from which they come,” as Dame Rosalind Savill wrote. In the 18th century, taking snuff was a fashionable habit, reflected in portraits, interiors, and quotations from plays and archives from that time.
Explore the leading patrons and retailers who promoted this highly skilled craftsmanship with Tessa Murdoch, deputy keeper of sculpture, metalwork, ceramics and glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum and co-editor (with Heike Zech) of Going for Gold: Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes.
Boxes were highly decorated, often set with portrait miniatures, precious stones, lacquer, micro-mosaics, hardstones and enamel. Examine images of gold boxes from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the V&A, and hear evidence that gold boxes were designed and manufactured in major European cities including Berlin, Florence, Geneva, Hanau, London, Paris and St Petersburg. Drawing on exciting new research by international experts, the subject continues to be of great interest whilst the best gold boxes still command high prices at auction.
6-7 pm Lecture in the Visitor Center Theater
7 pm Book Signing of Going for Gold: Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes
About the Speaker
Tessa Murdoch is the Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the V&A. She curated the Sacred Silver and Stained Glass Galleries (2005) and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries (2009) as well as the recent exhibition Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars (2013). Previously, she was Senior Assistant Keeper of the Tudor and Stuart Department at the Museum of London where she organised the exhibitions Treasures and Trinkets: Jewellery in London from Pre-history to 1914, London Silver 1680-1780 and The Quiet Conquest: The Huguenots 1685-1985. Tessa's most recent publications are Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars (V&A, 2013), with Olga Dmitrieva of the Moscow Kremlin Museum and Going for Gold: Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes (Sussex Academic Press, 2014), with Heike Zech of the V&A.