Tuesday, September 09, 2008

“Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver” Exhibit Opens
(September 8, '08, 6:47 Edahn Golan) (IDEX online)

Small, delicately designed gold jewelry items dating as far back as 2,500 BCE document fashion, class and even manufacturing capabilities in an exhibit about to open at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in Ramat Gan, Israel.

More than 100 gold jewelry items found in archeological digs in Israel are on display at the exhibition, the latest from the Ottoman period (1517-1917). Animals, goddesses and geometric shapes dominate the designs, used to signify power, wealth, status as well as beliefs. The items, on loan from the Hecht and Rockefeller museums, are mostly minute and could be a reflection of the scarcity of gold.

UPDATE: And more from Diamond Intelligence Briefs (Tacy):

8 September 2008

The Harry Oppenheimer Israel Diamond Museum, located within the Israeli Diamond Industry complex, has opened the ‘Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver’ exhibition of rare and ancient jewelry excavated in archeological sites throughout Israel.

The exhibition, which takes its name from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 25, verse 11: "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver", features gold jewelry that has never before been seen, much of which dates from Biblical times and even earlier. In the days of the Bible, golden balls used in intricate jewelry designs were known as ‘apples’. Though the exhibit does not focus solely on diamonds, it makes a clear statement about the vital nature of the interaction between the diamond industry and the jewelry industry, throughout the world.

The jewels, some of which are set with precious stones, enable a rare glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the ancient Israelites, and attest to the Land of Israel's unique position as a cultural and commercial crossroad of the ancient world. All of the items have been lent to the Diamond Museum courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The exhibition also reveals a great deal about the creation of ancient jewelry – the methods, the craftsmen, the influences of other ancient civilizations and the role jewelry played in the religion and culture of the times. Over 100 pieces from the huge collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hecht Museum were individually chosen by curator Yehuda Kassif to shed light on this subject.