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DateLecture
30 January 2020From Downton to Gatsby: Jewellery and Fashion from 1890-1929
19 December 2019Is Christmas in Good Taste?
28 November 2019The Two Gustav's: Mahler and Klimt
31 October 2019AGM and talk "A Walk from St John's Wood to Paddington Green" followed by cheese and wine.
26 September 2019Food and Art though the Ages
25 July 2019Phrases and Sayings: The Etymology of the City of London.
27 June 2019The Treasures of Livery Company Halls
30 May 2019Norman Wilkinson: a dazzling artistic career.
25 April 2019Giles: his life, times and cartoons.
28 March 20191930's Glamour and Grime
28 February 2019The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree and traditional Arts in Kosovo
31 January 2019The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Religious Architecture of the World.
13 December 2018Christmas at Covent Garden
29 November 2018The Borgias. The most famous family in history?
25 October 2018AGM followed by a full Arts Socety lecture and then cheese and wine. Lecture title: A Journey through the Imperial Wardrobe
27 September 2018Paintng the Modern Garden
26 July 2018A Load of Old Balls
28 June 2018The Language of Clothes
31 May 2018Basingstoke and it's contribution to world culture.
26 April 2018The Genius of Antonio Stradivari
29 March 2018The vanishing Maidservant: an Enfiield tale told through contemporary prints.
22 February 2018Undressing Antiques
25 January 2018Hidden Canvases: street art and the city
11 December 2017That pretty German toy: Musings on the Christmas tree.
30 November 2017Beyond Borders: fortified and painted Churches in Romania
26 October 2017AGM, this will be followed by a shorter lecture on Holland Park and it's Neighbourhood
28 September 2017Mauve to Mumbai
24 August 2017No meeting - but there is a coach trip
27 July 2017The Power of Jewellery
29 June 2017Underground Cathedrals: the development of the London tube system.
25 May 2017Lapis Lazuli and the pursuit of the celestial stone
27 April 2017Silver and Social Custom
30 March 2017The Role of the Royal Mistress in History
23 February 2017Kicking and screaming: a brief story of post war British Art
26 January 2017Mars and Muses
15 December 2016The Ox and the Ass: The silent watchers at the crib
24 November 2016Three Great Families and their Gardens
27 October 2016AGM plus shorter lecture -- Baker Street and Silver Street, then and now.
29 September 2016The greatest collectors of all time: behind the scenes at the Art Fund
25 August 2016no meeting - but there is a coach trip - see under Visits
28 July 2016Designing the Dining Room- from the middle ages to the present day.
30 June 2016Glittering Prizes: the Mosaics of Ravenna
26 May 2016The Drama behind the Taj
28 April 2016Faber and Faber- 90 years of excellence in cover design
31 March 2016The Art and Beauty of Old Maps of the World
25 February 2016Bottoms Up!
28 January 2016Medieval London: "Flower of all Cities"
17 December 2015Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion
26 November 2015Lawrence of Arabia
29 October 2015AGM plus shorter lecture - The Women I have married
24 September 2015Ruskin and the Pre Raphaelites
30 July 2015Pomp and Circumstance
25 June 2015From Egg to Bacon
28 May 2015From Flea Pit to Picture Palace
30 April 2015Staffordshire Figures
26 March 2015The History of English Architecture in 10 Great Buildings
26 February 2015The Sign of the Falcon
29 January 2015The Ashmolean Museum and its classic collections
18 December 2014The Victorian Christmas
27 November 2014The Dollar Princesses
30 October 2014AGM: Plus shorter lecture - History of Local Railways
25 September 2014Going, Going, Gone – Behind the Scenes at an International Auction House
31 July 201420th Century Design Classics
26 June 2014London and its Livery Companies
29 May 2014Rodin and His Sources
24 April 2014The Gilded Stage
27 March 2014Follies of Europe
27 February 2014The Grand Tour; Perils and Pleasures
30 January 2014Getting to Grips with Abstract Art

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From Downton to Gatsby: Jewellery and Fashion from 1890-1929 Andrew Prince Thursday 30 January 2020

From Downton to Gatsby jewellery and fashion from 1890-1929

For the series Downton Abbey, Andrew was commissioned to produce many jewels for the main characters, and this inspired him to create a talk based on Downton and the changing styles of the time portrayed.

Jewellery and Fashion are often seen as two entirely separate and distinct fields of design, but this is very far from the case.

In his talk Andrew guides you through the extraordinary periods and events between 1890 and 1929, where the great fashion houses collaborated with the finest of jewellers to produce works of art of outstanding quality and glittering opulence. Along with this he discusses the clients and patrons who commissioned the jewels and how they were worn with the sumptuous gowns. To accompany his study day, he brings with him many of the pieces used in Downton, so the audience can see what was worn, close up.

DETAILS

Andrew Prince has had a passion for the jewellery since he was a small child. In fact his enthusiasm can be traced back to the time when, at the age of three, he swallowed his one of his mother’s pearl earrings having found her jewel box hidden from him in a cupboard. The very first piece of jewellery he created was a ring made of copper wire pulled from the back of a television. He presented it to his grandmother (it turned her finger green and gave her a rash). He then created a necklace for his mother using beads taken off her wedding dress (she was not at all happy).

In 1980, when he was nine, Andrew's mother took him to the Princely Magnificence exhibition at the V&A, exhibiting Renaissance jewels dating from 1500 to 1630. It proved a revelation. Dazzled by the splendour and opulence of the jewels on show, Andrew decided then and there that creating jewellery was what he wanted to devote his life to. His passion for jewellery grew when, in 1984 on his first ever visit to Bond Street, Andrew viewed an exhibition by Castellani and Giulianoe at Wartski & Co’s. While there, he was allowed to handle beautiful 18th century gold boxes and magnificent imperial Russian pieces by Fabergé. In 1987, just before leaving school, he took time off to visit Geneva to view the astonishing Sotheby’s auction of the Duchess of Windsor's jewellery collection. Here, for the first time, he held pieces created by some of the world's greatest jewellers, fashioned from only the finest of stones and set in designs of outstanding quality. For the young Andrew, it was a life-changing experience.

In August of that year, two weeks after his 16th birthday, Andrew started work in London’s Bond Street, working for The Antiques Roadshow expert Ian Harris. Under his guidance, Andrew developed an appreciation for jewels that were valued for their quality of design and craftsmanship, rather than for how much the stones in the piece were worth. He then joined the renowned contemporary jeweller Elizabeth Gage and worked with her on the design and production side. Through her and her private collection, Andrew was able to see and handle rare and extraordinary stones with names such as Sphene, Andalusite, Spinel and Dioptase, many of which are far rarer than diamonds. Elizabeth Gage was to have an enormous influence on Andrew's sense of what was possible within the realm of jewellery design.

Andrew's taste for fine 'costume jewellery' can be traced back to an antique market, where he came across a late Victorian brooch set with what he initially thought were emeralds and diamonds. They were, in fact, crystal and green glass set in silver and gold. He realised that beautiful jewellery didn't require expensive stones, and that it was the elegance of the design and the quality of the workmanship that truly mattered. Private commissions then started to trickle in. The trickle turned into a flood, as celebrities such as Michael Jackson (a large crystal and pearl shoulder jewel) and Shirley Bassey (necklaces) were seen wearing Andrew's creations.

In 2002, the V&A commissioned a collection of jewels to accompany the resplendent Tiaras, Past and Present exhibition which became one of their most popular exhibits. The exposure gained by the show then led to Andrew's jewellery appearing in film.

In 2005, he was asked to make tiaras and jewellery for Mrs Henderson Presents starring Judy Dench. In 2009, pieces were commissioned for The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt and Miranda Richardson. In 2012, he was chosen by the creators of Downton Abbey to supply a large collection of jewellery for the third series. The characters played by Maggie Smith, Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery were all adorned with elegant tiaras, combs, earrings and necklaces designed and created by Andrew Prince.