Museum of Georgia: Jewellery Collection – gold

On Tblisi’s grandest boulevard, Rustavlis Gamziri, stands the Museum of Georgia. And in the basement of the Museum of Georgia, you’ll find the Archaeological Treasury, a breathtaking array of jewellery made from gold and precious stones, that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Here are a few of my personal favourites from the Treasury.

From the 2nd century BC, this stunning necklace of gold beads with an agate centrepiece.


Read more…

Museum of Georgia: Jewellery Collection – jet and cloisonné

Jet bracelet with ruby inlay

Astonishing to think that this solid jet bracelet dates back to somewhere between the 1st – 4th centuries AD. Georgians were creating cloisonné even then. However, at that time, cloisonné meant covering the entire surface of a gold item with flatly cut coloured gemstones. In this case, the stone is ruby.




Tbilisi: Museum of Fine Arts, Treasury

The exquisite 12th century cross of Queen Tamara: front and back views

Back in the 6th century BC, when Anglo-Saxons were working in iron and bronze, Georgians were making the most extraordinary jewellery in gold. If you’re in Tbilisi you must, must, must see the superlative results of their labours.

Read more…

Why Belfast?

“Why Belfast?”

When I announced my travel plans, that was the universal response. After all, I’m from the generation that remembers from childhood the grim announcements on the radio; the litany of bloody place names, the growing lists of victims.

Truth be told, I wanted to go to Belfast because I was curious. And because a whole 19 years after the last bomb attack in Northern Ireland, I figured it might just be alright.

But more than I was curious about Belfast, the main purpose of my visit was to see the Giant’s Causeway. Its been on my bucket list for years and years and years. And finally I had the chance to make my dreams come true. Read more…

Belfast: contemporary jewellery

Is it a shop? Is it a gallery?

Steensons’ own design: “Daybreak”. Silver, black and rhodium plate with 18ct gold detail.

Its a shop – Steensons – widely recognised as Belfast’s leading contemporary jewellery retailer. Located at Bedford House, Bedford Street, it may look like an art gallery with its carefully placed glass cases. But this is a friendly, relaxing shop with browsers absolutely welcome.

Read more…