TREA­SURE TROVE

Plaza Watch International - - News -

Lovers of vin­tage watches and rare, an­ti­quated time­pieces would do well to find them­selves in Cam­bridge, Eng­land, some­time be­tween March 24 and Septem­ber 6, 2015, as there is a muchan­tic­i­pated ex­hi­bi­tion com­ing to the Fitzwilliam Mu­seum. Trea­sured Pos­ses­sions from the Re­nais­sance to the En­light­en­ment will be a ma­jor show at show­cas­ing hand-crafted ob­jects and pre­cious fam­ily heir­looms from the ‘dawn of the dis­pos­able age’.

The ex­hi­bi­tion has been co-cu­rated by Dr Vic­to­ria Avery of the Fitzwilliam Mu­seum, and Dr Melissa Calaresu, Dr Mary Laven and Pro­fes­sor Ulinka Rublack from the His­tory Fac­ulty of the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge. Dr Laven com­mented, “Today, we spend half our lives shop­ping, and many of our ac­qui­si­tions end up on the scrap-heap or boxed away in a garage or at­tic. Be­fore in­dus­trial mass pro­duc­tion, pur­chas­ing took much more skill and ef­fort, and was of­ten the re­sult of com­plex ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween maker and shop­per. The most sig­nif­i­cant things in life were not bought and sold off the shelf, but were hand­crafted in homes and work­shops, cus­tomised for their own­ers. Ac­qui­si­tion was an art.”

Amidst myr­iad other fas­ci­nat­ing ob­jects, a num­ber of pocket-watches will be dis­played, in­clud­ing a dis­tinc­tive sil­ver pocket-watch shaped like a skull. There will be much more than horo­log­i­cal trea­sures to ad­mire, and the show prom­ises to be a vis­ual ad­ven­ture through the dec­o­ra­tive arts. Dr Laven added, “Today we live in a world of dis­pos­able ob­jects, and yearn for things that are hand-crafted, or­ganic and unique. Now a show of ‘trea­sured pos­ses­sions’ from the 15th to the 18th cen­turies reveals how we first fell in love with shop­ping, and takes us back to an age when our be­long­ings were made by hand and passed down through the gen­er­a­tions.”

The Fitzwilliam Mu­seum will cel­e­brate its 200th an­niver­sary in 2016, and over 80 per cent of the ob­jects in the ex­hi­bi­tion are taken from its re­serves, mean­ing visi­tors will be able to see some of the Fitzwilliam’s least-known trea­sures for the first time.

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