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"Pearls" at the Victoria & Albert Museum

I recently visited a "Pearls" exhibition here in my hometown of London, England. As a child I was never a fan. I would watch my mother drape herself in her long pure white pearls. Of all her pieces this was my least favourite. As my mother, an incredibly bright, beautiful woman and so wonderfully astute clarified when one day I proclaimed "I don't like pearls mummy!" and her response was "Don't you worry darling, you will"... and there you have it folks. Genius, pure genius. "Pearls of wisdom" some might say. She was spot on. Now here we are several years later (ahem!) and I love them. I am mesmerised by them. Regardless of their shape, colour, lustre. Pearls, whether you like them or not are a statement. These orbs are a (natural) force to be reckoned with. They are regal things that require respect, love and attention.

So getting on with "Pearls" at the Victoria & Albert Museum. This was one of the most spectacular exhibitions I have ever seen, Jewellery related or otherwise. It is an education and a half. Ideal for those who have a passing interest or those who have an obsession(plenty of huge pearl wearing fanatics). It was filled with facts from how a pearl is formed, the pearl fisheries to the historical angle of which kings gave their queens/ mistresses priceless pearls. Spanning from the Middle Ages to present day. You also have the more recent and more obscure pieces to gaze at. Some of the workmanship was quite truly mind boggling when it came to the more petit piece to the showstoppers.

Of course no pearl exhibition would be worthwhile or indeed complete in any way, shape or form if Mikimoto did not feature in this sublime event. Miki throughout the decades has mastered the pearl. From old to new and is an inspiration to us mere mortals.


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