Nordiska museet bejewels our Tumblr

The images on Tumblr in November are a selection from the permanent exhibition “Jewellery” that opened at the Nordiska museet in 2012. On show are 1,000 pieces of jewellery dating from the sixteenth century to the present day. In various ways they reflect Sweden’s history, giving glimpses of the people who wore these pieces and the time in which they lived.

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The Årsta Lady’s ring - Märta Helena Reenstierna, born 1753 and known as the Årsta Lady. The ring was a nameday present from her husband on 13 November 1796. The picture is the only portrait of the Årsta Lady who is known to have kept a diary about her life on an estate outside Stockholm between 1793 and 1839.Photo by Mats Landin, Nordiska museet used under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.

The jewellery are from different periods and historical epochs, spanning different ideals of style and fashion, items of desire and of status but also with an important practical function. They were skilfully made by hand or mass-produced in a wide range of materials that were popular and available at various periods.

There are a couple of highlights both on Tumblr and in the exhibition that include some of the most exciting objects in the museum’s jewellery collection. For example the Banér necklace from 1581, given by nobleman Gustaf Banér to his daughter hours before he was executed in the Linköping Bloodbath (see video below), the pendant commemorating Gustav II Adolf after his death at the battle of Lützen in 1632 and a ring bearing what is so far the only known portrait of “the Lady of Årsta” famous for her late eighteenth and early nineteenthcentury diaries.

More items, approximately 10,000 pieces of jewellery in the museum’s collections, can be viewed in the museum’s online database and will also be available through the portal of Europeana Fashion.

Nordiska museet in Stockholm is Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history, which opened 1873. On show at the museum are exhibitions on homes and housing, clothes, fashion, and traditional manners and customs. The museum aims to collect, preserve and display objects and images of life and labour in Sweden from 1520 until today.

The collections include over 1.5 million objects – from a tiny pin to a whole fire engine. Some of the most exciting objects are pieces of jewellery. Related to fashion and permanently on show at the Nordiska museet is the exhibition Power of Fashion treating fashion from three centuries that opened in 2010. A complement is the Textile Gallery, a study room about textiles and the techniques involved making them.

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