Jewelry

Departmental administrator Debbie Kuo, jewelry designer, talks about her favorite pieces of jewelry from the Met's collection.

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  • "Jewelry" by Debbie Kuo
    1280852
  • Portrait of a Woman  |  1597  |  Nicholas Hilliard (British)  |  Vellum  |  Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.2)
    7131024
  • Osage Warrior  |  1805–7  |  Charles Balthazar J. F. Saint-Mémin (American)  |  Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper  |  The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954 (54.82)
    9071024
  • Pair of armbands  |  ca. 200 b.c.; Hellenistic  |  Greek  |  Gold  |  Rogers Fund, 1956 (56.11.5–.6)
    10391024
  • Ganymede Jewelry  |  330–300 b.c.; Hellenistic  |  Greek  |  Gold, rock crystal, emerald  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.8–.17)
    12791024
  • Head of Krishna  |  ca. 1800  |  Attributed to Sahib Ram  |  India (Rajasthan, Jaipur)  |  Cartoon for a mural depicting the Rasalila (Circle dance of Krishna and the gopis)  |  Ink and watercolors on paper  |  Rogers Fund, 1918 (18.85.2)
    7011024
  • Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown  |  3rd–2nd century b.c.  |  Greek  |  Gold with stone and glass  |  Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    7771024
  • Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown  |  3rd–2nd century b.c.  |  Greek  |  Gold with stone and glass  |  Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    6711024
  • Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown  |  3rd–2nd century b.c.  |  Greek  |  Gold with stone and glass  |  Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    6481024
  • Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown  |  3rd–2nd century b.c.  |  Greek  |  Gold with stone and glass  |  Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    7771024
  • Ganymede Jewelry  |  Hellenistic, 330–300 b.c.  |  Greek  |  Gold, rock crystal, emerald  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.8–.17)
    12801016
  • Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement  |  ca. 1440–44  |  Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine)  |  Tempera on wood  |  Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)
    6751024
  • Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement  |  ca. 1440–44  |  Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine)  |  Tempera on wood  |  Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)
    1110795
  • Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)  |  Northern Qi dynasty (550–77), ca. 550–60  |  Shanxi Province, China  |  Sandstone with pigments  |  The Sackler Fund, 1965 (65.29.4)
    5541024
  • Pair of Jeweled Bracelets  |  500–700  |  Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople  |  Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)
    1280826
  • Ear Ornament or Pendant (Mamuli)  |  19th century  |  Kanatangu district, eastern Sumba Island, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia  |  Gold  |  Gift of Anita E. Spertus and Robert J. Holmgren, in honor of Douglas Newton, 1990 (1990.335.4)
    1280700
  • Pendant Fragment (Marremarre Lagelag or Buni)  |  19th–early 20th century  |  Marshallese people, Arno Island, Marshall Islands  |  Tridacna shell  |  Gift of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, 1983 (1983.545.19)
    1280865
  • Openwork hairnet with medallion  |  200–150 b.c.; Hellenistic  |  Greek, Ptolemaic  |  Gold  |  Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1987 (1987.220)
    10751024
  • Dress ornament  |  ca. 1923  |  Georges Fouquet (French)  |  Jade, onyx, diamonds, enamel, platinum  |  Gift of Eva and Michael Chow, 2001 (2001.723)
    7091024
  • Pair of Earflare Frontals  |  3rd–6th century  |  Guatemala; Maya  |  Jadeite  |  Gift of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1989 (1989.314.15a, b)
    12801020
  • Pendant in the form of a knotted dragon  |  Eastern Zhou dynasty, 3rd century  |  China  |  Jade (nephrite)  |  Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation Inc., 1985 (1985.214.99)
    8751024
  • Debbie Kuo
    1280852
  • My name is Debbie Kuo and I am the administrator of the Greek and Roman department. I am completely passionate about jewelry.

  • It runs through every culture. It's not only something that is worn to

  • beautify, but it's also worn symbolically.

  • And I actually learned how to make jewelry. Whenever I go around the galleries,

  • I'm always looking at how pieces are made, and what materials are used,

  • whether it be actual jewelry pieces or jewelry that is found in paintings or sculpture.

  • I love making earrings more than I do anything else. I just think that they're little jewels, little works of art. This pair of Greek earrings epitomize every technique in jewelry you can think of.

  • There is inlaid stones. There are glass beads

  • fused together and cut. There is filigree. There's wire wrapping. It's so interesting how many different materials and how

  • many different colors are in this. It works so well and the design is so harmonious.

  • Perhaps, antiquity's first chandelier earring? The scene of Zeus, who took on the form of an eagle. And to think that the designer had to think, 'what are we going to use to make these earrings move?' Because obviously, the eagles are in flight.

  • I read that this beautiful portrait could perhaps be a marriage scene. She is dripping with jewelry. There's

  • gold thread that's woven into her dress, and there are pearls that are studded over her wrist, spelling out 'loyalty' in Italian, which I find fascinating and appropriate for a marriage portrait.

  • Buddhas are typically unadorned but Bodhisattvas are beings who have reached enlightenment but haven't gone to heaven yet because they want to teach. And they are completely draped in jewelry and it's almost as if they want to tie in the things of this world and I find that really interesting.

  • I'm most drawn to Byzantine jewelry. It's really the ultimate in luxury. I look at these bracelets and I'm completely overwhelmed by the size of the pearls, and the sapphire in the central panel is enormous. I mean, I would imagine it's like the Byzantine bling of the present day.

  • The Indonesian people thought that gold was the symbol of the sun, and that gold was only meant to be worn by men, but how fascinating that they have these ear ornaments that symbolize female genitalia.

  • One of my favorite jewelry pieces is such a basic, simple form, but yet I feel like it really tells a story. These people lived on an island. You don't have the luxury of accessing precious metals or gemstones, so what the Marshallese people did was, they went to the ocean, and they found a giant clam shell and that's what this is made from.

  • Obviously, gold is very prized but you also have

  • jade that is not an expensive material, but it

  • is precious. My grandmother actually left me a jade bangle and

  • whenever I miss her, I put it on. And I automatically feel connected with her, and I will give that to my daughters who didn't necessarily know my grandmother, but in telling them about her, I feel they do know her.

  • 35.89.2
    Portrait of a Woman, 1597, Nicholas Hilliard (British), Vellum Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.2)
  • 54.82
    Osage Warrior, 1805–7, Charles Balthazar J. F. Saint-Mémin (American), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954 (54.82)
  • 56.11.5-.6
    Pair of armbands, ca. 200 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Gold Rogers Fund, 1956 (56.11.5–.6)
  • 37.11.8-.17_av4
    Ganymede Jewelry, 330–300 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Gold, rock crystal, emerald Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.8–.17)
  • 18.85.2
    Head of Krishna, ca. 1800, Attributed to Sahib Ram, India (Rajasthan, Jaipur), Cartoon for a mural depicting the Rasalila (Circle dance of Krishna and the gopis), Ink and watercolors on paper Rogers Fund, 1918 (18.85.2)
  • 1995.539.11a,b
    Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown, 3rd–2nd century b.c., Greek, Gold with stone and glass Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
  • 89.15.19
    Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, ca. 1440–44, Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine), Tempera on wood Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)
  • 65.29.4
    Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), Northern Qi dynasty (550–77), ca. 550–60, Shanxi Province, China, Sandstone with pigments The Sackler Fund, 1965 (65.29.4)
  • 17.190.1670-1671
    Pair of Jeweled Bracelets, 500–700, Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople, Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)
  • 1990.335.4
    Ear Ornament or Pendant (Mamuli), 19th century, Kanatangu district, eastern Sumba Island, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, Gold Gift of Anita E. Spertus and Robert J. Holmgren, in honor of Douglas Newton, 1990 (1990.335.4)
  • 1983.545.19
    Pendant Fragment (Marremarre Lagelag or Buni), 19th–early 20th century, Marshallese people, Arno Island, Marshall Islands, Tridacna shell Gift of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, 1983 (1983.545.19)
  • 1987.220
    Openwork hairnet with medallion, 200–150 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Ptolemaic, Gold Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1987 (1987.220)
  • 2001.723a,b
    Dress ornament, ca. 1923, Georges Fouquet (French), Jade, onyx, diamonds, enamel, platinum Gift of Eva and Michael Chow, 2001 (2001.723)
  • 1989.314.15a,b
    Pair of Earflare Frontals, 3rd–6th century, Guatemala; Maya, Jadeite Gift of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1989 (1989.314.15a, b)
  • 1985.214.99
    Pendant in the form of a knotted dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty, 3rd century, China, Jade (nephrite) Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation Inc., 1985 (1985.214.99)
  • Portrait of a Woman, 1597, Nicholas Hilliard (British), Vellum Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.2)
    Osage Warrior, 1805–7, Charles Balthazar J. F. Saint-Mémin (American), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954 (54.82)
    Pair of armbands, ca. 200 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Gold Rogers Fund, 1956 (56.11.5–.6)
    Ganymede Jewelry, 330–300 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Gold, rock crystal, emerald Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.8–.17)
    Head of Krishna, ca. 1800, Attributed to Sahib Ram, India (Rajasthan, Jaipur), Cartoon for a mural depicting the Rasalila (Circle dance of Krishna and the gopis), Ink and watercolors on paper Rogers Fund, 1918 (18.85.2)
    Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown, 3rd–2nd century b.c., Greek, Gold with stone and glass Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, ca. 1440–44, Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine), Tempera on wood Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)
    Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), Northern Qi dynasty (550–77), ca. 550–60, Shanxi Province, China, Sandstone with pigments The Sackler Fund, 1965 (65.29.4)
    Pair of Jeweled Bracelets, 500–700, Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople, Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)
    Ear Ornament or Pendant (Mamuli), 19th century, Kanatangu district, eastern Sumba Island, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, Gold Gift of Anita E. Spertus and Robert J. Holmgren, in honor of Douglas Newton, 1990 (1990.335.4)
    Pendant Fragment (Marremarre Lagelag or Buni), 19th–early 20th century, Marshallese people, Arno Island, Marshall Islands, Tridacna shell Gift of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, 1983 (1983.545.19)
    Openwork hairnet with medallion, 200–150 b.c.; Hellenistic, Greek, Ptolemaic, Gold Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1987 (1987.220)
    Dress ornament, ca. 1923, Georges Fouquet (French), Jade, onyx, diamonds, enamel, platinum Gift of Eva and Michael Chow, 2001 (2001.723)
    Pair of Earflare Frontals, 3rd–6th century, Guatemala; Maya, Jadeite Gift of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1989 (1989.314.15a, b)
    Pendant in the form of a knotted dragon, Eastern Zhou dynasty, 3rd century, China, Jade (nephrite) Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation Inc., 1985 (1985.214.99)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Portrait of a Woman
    1597
    Nicholas Hilliard (British)
    Vellum
    Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.2)
    Not on view
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Osage Warrior
    1805–7
    Charles Balthazar J. F. Saint-Mémin (American)
    Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper
    The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954 (54.82)
    Not on view
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    Pair of armbands
    ca. 200 b.c.; Hellenistic
    Greek
    Gold
    Rogers Fund, 1956 (56.11.5–.6)
    On view: Gallery 163
    Greek and Roman ArtFirst Floor and Mezzanine
    Ganymede Jewelry
    330–300 b.c.; Hellenistic
    Greek
    Gold, rock crystal, emerald
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.8–.17)
    On view: Gallery 158
    Greek and Roman ArtFirst Floor and Mezzanine
    Head of Krishna
    ca. 1800
    Attributed to Sahib Ram
    India (Rajasthan, Jaipur)
    Cartoon for a mural depicting the Rasalila (Circle dance of Krishna and the gopis) Ink and watercolors on paper
    Rogers Fund, 1918 (18.85.2)
    On view: Gallery 464
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Hoop earrings with Egyptianizing crown
    3rd–2nd century b.c.
    Greek
    Gold with stone and glass
    Gift of Christos G. Bastis in honor of Philippe de Montebello, 1995 (1995.539.11a, b)
    On view: Gallery 158
    Greek and Roman ArtFirst Floor and Mezzanine
    Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement
    ca. 1440–44
    Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine)
    Tempera on wood
    Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.19)
    On view: Gallery 604
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)
    Northern Qi dynasty (550–77), ca. 550–60
    Shanxi Province, China
    Sandstone with pigments
    The Sackler Fund, 1965 (65.29.4)
    On view: Gallery 206
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Pair of Jeweled Bracelets
    500–700
    Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople
    Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670, 1671)
    On view: Gallery 302
    Medieval Art and The CloistersFirst Floor
    Ear Ornament or Pendant (Mamuli)
    19th century
    Kanatangu district, eastern Sumba Island, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
    Gold
    Gift of Anita E. Spertus and Robert J. Holmgren, in honor of Douglas Newton, 1990 (1990.335.4)
    On view: Gallery 355
    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasFirst Floor
    Pendant Fragment (Marremarre Lagelag or Buni)
    19th–early 20th century
    Marshallese people, Arno Island, Marshall Islands
    Tridacna shell
    Gift of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, 1983 (1983.545.19)
    Not on view
    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasFirst Floor
    Openwork hairnet with medallion
    200–150 b.c.; Hellenistic
    Greek, Ptolemaic
    Gold
    Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1987 (1987.220)
    On view: Gallery 163
    Greek and Roman ArtFirst Floor and Mezzanine
    Dress ornament
    ca. 1923
    Georges Fouquet (French)
    Jade, onyx, diamonds, enamel, platinum
    Gift of Eva and Michael Chow, 2001 (2001.723)
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Pair of Earflare Frontals
    3rd–6th century
    Guatemala; Maya
    Jadeite
    Gift of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1989 (1989.314.15a, b)
    On view: Gallery 358
    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasFirst Floor
    Pendant in the form of a knotted dragon
    Eastern Zhou dynasty, 3rd century
    China
    Jade (nephrite)
    Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation Inc., 1985 (1985.214.99)
    On view: Gallery 171
    Asian ArtSecond Floor

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