Monthly Archives: April 2021

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ENAMEL.

We were particularly pleased to welcome back one of our favourite Guest Speakers, Anne Howarth, an independent Scholar and Lecturer, whose background spans 2 decades within the V&A, British Museum and many more prestigious Collections of Art
We settled down to our first Zoom Meeting in the comfort of our own homes to hear the lecture on Medieval and Renaissance Enamel, which has its roots in an ancient technique of melting powdered glass onto metal, usually gold or silver, and developed over the centuries to modern times.
We had the opportunity to view examples of decorated Celtic relics from the earliest times. The Holy Thorn Reliquary, housed in the British Museum is an amazing example of Byzantine Art in the 1390’s; made of gold, enamel, encrusted with pearls, rubies, sapphires. Other methods and techniques were developed over time and by the 1500’s Nicholas Hilliard, (National Portrait Gallery) was painting finely decorated miniature enamels embellished with pearls and diamonds. Decorated watches, lockets and snuff boxes were to follow, leading eventually to modern designers of the day.
The lecture was a very clear example of the benefits of Zoom, where members were able to examine close up the craftsmanship the beauty of some of the objects. There were too many illustrations to mention here but I am sure many of us will be visiting the extensive V&A collection to see these objects for ourselves. I hope those Members who were not able to take part this time will join us on Zoom for our next Lecture in May.