Thursday, September 26, 2013

Antiquities Ornamentation at The Louvre

We decorate our bodies with ornamentation for many reasons. For the beauty of the object, to enhance our image, or to show our wealth (in some cultures).


Louvre Museum exhibit, Small Antiquities, by DG Hudson 


Designs change as tastes change, but some basic styles appear timeless: necklaces, rings, cuffs, brooches, clasps, hair ornaments. Many of these designs could be worn today. The objects above and below show personal adornments of nobility or royalty.

The quality of workmanship is remarkable considering the tools of the era. Lapis Lazuli, Carnelian, Turquoise, Garnet, Hematite, Amethyst and other semi-precious stones appeared in designs frequently. Emeralds came into use for jewelry during the time when the Romans were in Egypt. Color and motif were important, according to beliefs. Scarabs signified rebirth, and amulets of collected gemstones were worn to protect against various evils: disease, bad luck, demons. . .



Ancient jewellry, Louvre Museum, by DG Hudson

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Antiquities buttons or closures or decorative elements on clothing? Finding such small artifacts from bygone times confirms our history on this Earth. The darker emblems feature male profiles and classical faces. This collection at the Louvre, shown below, definitely has a masculine cast. (Attempted lightening the dark areas, but Blogger refused to load that image.)



Louvre Museum, Small Artifacts, Paris, by DG Hudson


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A classic style collar necklace shown in the photo below features turquoise with green veins, a desired appeal because of the symbolism of green (life and fertility). This is reminiscent of the necklace style worn in many depictions of Cleopatra.



Louvre Museum antiquities display,by DG Hudson


The bracelet in front of the neckpiece is made of beads that had to be crafted, not machine made. Turquoise was a favorite, its bright colour accented by silver or gold. Copper was also used in small amounts.

This post joins others of my 'personal tour' bites of the Louvre Museum. They are meant to give you a taste of what is hidden behind those stone walls of the former palace. Exhibitions do change but some are permanent. Always check at the online site for updates.

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Have you see any exhibits of Egyptian jewelry or adornments? (via a traveling exhibit or?) Do you look at the small artifacts in a museum, the little things under glass?
Do you know how Cleopatra died? Please respond in the comments. I'm listening. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Louvre  Wiki on the Louvre Museum

http://www.louvre.fr/en/homepage  The Louvre website

http://crystal-cure.com/article-egypt-gemstones.html Egyptian semi-precious and gemstone history

http://www.gemselect.com/other-info/ancient-egyptian-gemstone-jewelry.php More Egyptian jewelry and significance of stones and color.

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39 comments:

  1. I've seen different displays at several museums. Since their resources were limited, think of how long it took not just to make some of those items but to color them as well.

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    1. Time moved at a different speed in those days. No rush, rush, rush. Unless the kings or queens wanted something, that is.

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  2. One of my biggest dreams is to visit the Louvre. Even better? To visit it alone. At night.

    Beautiful pieces. I've never been to a large museum, but I'd study everything!

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    1. That's what museums are for - studying what came before. On the other hand, it could get a little creepy in the Louvre at night, have you seen that program 'Museum mysteries'?

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    2. Hey D.G., I've seen it on the channel list, but I've never watched it. Now, of course, I'm going to find it and start DVR-ing it! And I think a campout in the Louvre would be awesome!

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  3. What a super idea for a series of posts, D.G. For some reason, the amulets are standing out in my imagination. Notable that, in the face of chaos and uncertainty, we'll cherish a piece of jewelry to ward off the unwanted. That's the human spirit feeling like it has to retain some sort of agency. An interesting choice.

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    1. Glad you like it, Suze! More to come. I wanted lots of memories of the place that has kept such a fantastic history of art..

      Man (humans) always likes to think he's in control, otherwise, we're just marionettes.

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  4. I do always look at the jewelry exhibits. My daughter and I went to a King Tut exhibition in Philadelphia a few years ago. It was so terrific.

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    1. I've not seen that exhibition, lucky you. I've seen an Egyptian exhibit here in the mid eighties, but not King Tut's.

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  5. Very nice! I haven't been to Paris in far too long. Not sure when I'll get to go next, either.

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  6. But you're so close, Sean. I'll just show my photos for those who can't get there. It's a peek at the beauty that is at the Louvre.

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  7. HI, D. G.

    Yes, I seen Egyptian jewelry in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC... The Art Institute, here in Chicago, and the Louvre as well. I find the Egyptian exhibits fascinating..

    As for Cleo's death. I believe she was killed by an Asp bite. or several...

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    1. I"d love to see both those galleries, Michael! And as for Cleo, you're right, the snake did it.

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  8. I love the gorgeous buttons with the faces and profiles on them. Such beautiful workmanship. Here, we have a LOT of shops with antique-looking jewelry, since all the jewelry makers are trying to capitalize on the pharaonnic connection. Thanks for all the great pics from the Louvre - I'm sure I'd never get to see them if you didn't post them. :-)

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    1. Glad you enjoy them Lexa. I've always liked for the colors and style of Egyptian jewelry. Turquoise and Lapis both appeal to me.

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  9. I love jewelry exhibits. They tell so much about the person who wore them. Thanks for sharing your pics. I love that necklace.

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    1. My pleasure to share my love of the Louvre and its fantastic exhibits.

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  10. When I visited the Lourve I never even made it to the jewelry section. So much to see! But I do love jewelry and always will--this kind tho. Unique pieces with a story behind it. One of my fave things about traveling is bringing home exotic jewelry. :)

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    1. I missed a couple of sections at the Louvre, too, PK. There is so much to see. We were there for several hours. Good Luck with your book!

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  11. Can you imagine how much of that is now a lost art?

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    1. Interesting point - having to create for royalty isn't the same as creating for retail. Many crafters lost out to machines.

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  12. I didn't make it to that section of the Louvre...

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    1. There's a couple of Louvre wings I didn't get to either, but I made a point of seeing the main ones like Mona Lisa, and sculptures.

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  13. I've seen some jewelry from Sumer, which I found interesting. Seems we've liked wearing pretties for a very long time.

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    1. Yes, nice pretties, man must have his wealth and how better to display it?

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  14. Jewelry exhibits always fascinate me. I like ancient Chinese jewelry, too.

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    1. Me, too, as you can tell. Adornments tell a lot about an era. I could have spent a week at the Louvre.

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  15. I envy my supervisor for his trip to Paris, especially his touring The Louvre. I could spend days roaming the different exhibits. Thanks to you I got to see at least a bit of one great exhibition. Thanks! :-)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this, Roland, and there will be more, as I have many Louvre photos. I dreamed of visiting the Louvre when I was in art school. The reality did NOT disappoint. I love that museum.

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  16. The museum in Denver has some Egyptian artifacts. I've always loved Egyptian history and culture, and learning about them. I'd love to go to the Louvre someday.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. If you can, Shannon, I hope you do. It's a museum worth the trip. It's interesting that Denver has some Egyptian artifacts as well. (I love the southwest artifacts, too)

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  17. Hi DG - gosh your pictures are way better than mine - yet perhaps the Louvre has them better displayed, than the crammed Petrie Museum, which is specifically for Egyptian artefacts. But they look wonderful ...

    I haven't been the Louvre for years - and obviously need to go again .. though I'm sure we have similar exhibitions within our larger galleries here in London ... I tend to go to the smaller exhibitions ...

    It always amazes me how far 'stones' travelled - getting lapis lazuli from Afghanistan to Egypt is one long journey ...

    If it wasn't for our forebears ... we'd be dull 21st century humans! Great - I'm looking forward to more of these reflections .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I suspect the Louvre has more experience in displaying artifacts than the smaller galleries (and more resources). Glad you like the photos, I had better luck with these ones.

      I would dearly love to visit that Petrie Museum. I could spend hours in almost any museum that relates to history or art. Your are so right, Hilary. We have our exploring forebears to thank; they faced the unknown to get the trade routes.
      More to come of Louvre treasures.

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  18. I'm a jewelry collector and maker. I would so love to have seen this exhibit! Most people don't like to go to museums with me because I like to read every scrap of information posted and look at EVERYTHING.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    1. In Paris, and at the Louvre, everything WAS interesting. A museum needs time to be appreciated.

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  19. I love jewelry - both to wear today, as well as looking at examples across histories and cultures. My family once stayed at the Luxor in Las Vegas, and I got a dress and necklace I still have in my costume collection.

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    1. I'd love to see you in that, Julie, how about a pix? My daughter dressed as Cleopatra one year, compliments of my costume making.

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  20. I'm fascinated by Egyptian history, their jewelry and artifacts. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Glad you liked the photos. Future posts will show other exhibits, so drop by again.

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