Two extraordinary pieces of gold couture are commissioned by the World Gold Council

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Throughout history, gold, the most precious and chronicled of metals, has universally fascinated and awed. In recognition of this timeless appeal, the World Gold Council is sponsoring a new exhibition at Goldsmith’s Hall in London. Entitled “Gold: Power and Allure”, the exhibition, which opens on June 1, will debut two new specially commissioned pieces by leading British goldsmiths Wright & Teague and Polly Gasston. The World Gold Council invited the designers to create pieces inspired by the overarching themes of the exhibition. The results are two visually arresting pieces of gold couture that highlight the marriage of superb gold craftsmanship and inspired design.

The unique malleability of gold makes it the perfect medium for creating works of exceptional creativity and beauty. As guardians of the tradition of fine goldsmithing, the World Gold Council is committed to ensure that pure gold is placed in the hands of the greatest artist-makers working today to allow them to fulfil their creative vision. Led by David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery and Marketing, the World Gold Council is perfectly positioned to act as the patron and curator of this artisan skill.

“In commissioning Wright & Teague and Polly Gasston we have seen two vastly different works of art come to life. The graphic, linear, architectural contour of Pleiades by Wright & Teague provides a dramatic contrast to Polly Gasston’s Wreath, which is romantic, organic, and highly naturalistic. At a moment when gold is so elevated in value, we are very proud to have made possible these two extraordinary pieces of gold couture.” said David Lamb.

Pleiades by Wright & Teague - The Power of Gold

The exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall will feature 400 gold artefacts, including the earliest known piece of jewellery found in the British Isles, a Lunula from the Bronze Age dating back to 2,500 BC.

The new piece by Wright & Teague is intended to continue the narrative of the Lunula and to make an historical connection with the history of goldsmithing in Britain. It consists of seven collars representing the Pleiades, the seven sisters of the constellation of Taurus; this astronomy was known to Bronze Age people.

Fashioned from fine sheets of 18ct gold, the collars are designed to be worn individually or together, their striking silhouette taking reference from an Elizabethan ruff – and of course from the Lunula. The collars themselves are based on the idea of a leaf wrapped around the body, reflective of ancient man’s desire to decorate and celebrate with available materials.

As well as being engraved with significant symbols which represent qualities such as power, purity and peace, each collar is engraved with poetry from William Wordsworth, the archetypal Romantic British poet. To view the complete inscription, “…with an eye made quiet by the power / Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, / We see into the life of things”, it is necessary to rotate the piece.

Although Wright & Teague used traditional goldsmithing techniques the final piece is decidedly contemporary in both approach and impact.

Sheila Teague commented, “We are incredibly honoured to have been commissioned by the World Gold Council to contribute this piece. We wanted to continue the narrative of the neck pieces worn in the times when wearing jewellery represented status, something that as a society we are still concerned with now. It is a very powerful piece of gold couture, graphic and strong but with plenty of movement.”

Wreath by Polly Gasston - The Allure of Gold

The only thing more romantic than a gift of gold, perhaps, is the quintessential English bride on her wedding day and Polly Gasston’s enchanting work pays tribute to the traditional, verdant English country garden whilst capturing the romantic spirit of a bride on the way to her summer wedding. Consisting of a series of ivy leaves carefully interwoven with golden buttercups, her Wreath creates an exquisite and delicate tiara – the sort that any bride would be delighted to wear surrounded by flowers, nature and beauty.

The handcrafted piece includes delightful botanical motifs, as charming as they are sophisticated. The buttercups have been replicated in minute detail; even the stamens of the tiny flowers can be seen. Each ivy leaf - complete with individual veins - is painstakingly moulded by hand from actual leaves, picked and pressed by Gasston herself.
Shaped entirely from 22ct gold, the beautiful, sculptured piece has deep warmth and an intense lustre that simply exudes preciousness. The wreath also forges a golden thread of an historic connection to the spirit of the Olympic laurel and is a fitting tribute for 2012, the summer of the Olympic bride.

For further information please contact:
Melissa McVeigh
World Gold Council
T +44 20 7826 4754
E melissa.mcveigh@gold.org

Marvia M. Roach
MSL London
T +44 20 7878 3180
E marvia.roach@mslgroup.com