Classic and Symbolic

Classic and Symbolic

Rings and Earrings from the Antiquity to the Middle Ages
From the collection of Museum of Applied Art

06 November 2018 - 31 January 2019

Classic and Symbolic
Rings and Earrings from the Antiquity to the Middle Ages
from the collection of Museum of Applied Art

6 November 2018 – 31 January 2019
Guided tours every Friday at 18:00

Ceremonial Opening: DAY OF THE MUSEUM, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 19:00

Author of the Exhibition and the Catalogue: Mila Gajić, senior curator

Conservation: Milan Andrić

Graphic Design: Dušan Tkačenko

Exhibition Architect: Miroslava Petrović Balubdžić

Exhibition Music: Vasil Hadžimanov

The representative study exhibition of the Museum of Applied Art Classic and Symbolic – Rings and Earrings from the Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the result of a broader exploration of connections and interpretations of ancient heritage in Serbian medieval jewellery. Seeking to present to the local audience an exhibition on the history of jewellery for the first time in several decades, we have focused our research on those materials from the Museum’s collection that belong to the defined period and thematic framework. The most popular and most common forms of jewellery are presented at the exhibition – rings and earrings, from the Museum’s Collection of Metal and Jewellery (95 objects), as well as precious items from the holdings of the Historical Museum of Serbia (10 objects).

The purpose of the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue study is to highlight the origins and the development of classic forms of rings and earrings, the multi-layered world of their symbols and roles, the similarity of themes and new interpretations of antique motifs and ideas in Serbian medieval jewellery. Accordingly, we have perceived the objects from different historical periods as a unified phenomenon, within which it is possible to clearly identify the original horizons of old Serbian goldsmithery.

Jewellery lovers now have a unique opportunity to see in one place famous and unknown masterpieces, such as the golden ring that belongs to the Cretan-Mycenaean culture and dates from ca. 1400 BC, two-thousand-year-old Roman intaglios, a Byzantine seal ring dating from the sixth to seventh century, 14th – 15th century rings worn by knights and archers, silver medieval rings from Novo Brdo with embedded antique intaglios, Classical Greek lunulate earrings from the fourth century BC, as well as Roman, early Slavic and medieval earrings.

The items presented to the public at this exhibition illustrate a specific segment of the local cultural heritage that serves as the evidence of the centuries-long tradition of making and wearing jewellery in this part of the world, the interweaving of various artistic influences and their authentic fusion under the Serbian medieval state, when the classic organically lived in contemporary outputs, and the symbolic was a way of thinking and living.

Selection of jewellery

Intaglio with an image of the goddess Victory

2nd–3rd century
green chalcedony
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 4751

Roman wedding ring

3rd century
gold, carnelian
Historical Museum of Serbia, Inv. No. 47/A

Earrings

Rome, 2nd–3rd century
gold, glass paste
Historical Museum of Serbia, Inv. No. 67/A

Earrings

13th century
silver
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 155

The Knight’s Ring

15th century
silver, niello
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 4398

Thumb ring

15th century
silver, niello
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 4438

Earrings

17th century
silver, gilding
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 8189

Ring

Late 14th-early 15th century
Gold
Museum of Applied Art, Inv. No. 4949

Photographs from the Opening Ceremony

Author of the photographs: Veselin Milunović

Digital Library - publications from collection Metal and Jewellery

On the occasion of the Museum Day and the exhibition Classical and Symbolic – the rings and earrings from antiquity to the middle ages from the Museum of Applied Art collection, it is our pleasure to announce the new collection Metal and Jewellery in our Digital Library as well. The collection comprises eight publications which were released by the Museum of Applied Art from 1969 to 2005.

Digital library of the Museum of Applied Art