By Lee J. Green
Birmingham will get to experience a rare gem as the first major exhibition of lover’s eye jewelry opens Feb. 7 at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The Museum debuts “The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection,” which will be displayed through June 10. Exquisite in craftsmanship, unique in detail and few in number, lover’s eye miniatures are small-scale portraits of individual eyes set into various forms of jewelry from the late 18th and early 19th century England.
Featuring 96 pieces, this collection is considered the largest of its kind, with only 1,000 lover’s eye miniatures thought to be in existence worldwide.
The exhibit comes from the collection of Birmingham’s Nan and David Skier, involved members of the local Jewish community. It was organized by Dr. Graham Boettcher, the William C. Hulsey Curator of American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
These customized tokens depicting one another’s eyes became part of a trend that began with Britain’s Prince of Wales, who became King George IV. Clandestine lovers exchanged these, as such a feature might only be recognized by persons of the most intimate familiarity.
The Skiers began their lover’s eye miniature collection with a ring purchased at a 1993 antiques show. Over the past several years, they built the largest collection in the world.
“These rarities are at once works of art, precious jewels and fragments of history. How poignant it is that each eye represents an actual person and an actual story of love or bereavement,” said Nan Skier.
The collection includes lockets, rings, watch keys, toothpick cases, brooches, pendants and jewelry boxes.
The museum will also present a related event featuring a day of jewelry appraisal featuring Gloria Lieberman, vice president of Skinner Auctions of Boston. Trinket or Treasure will be Feb. 25.
Lieberman founded Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Department in 1980 and is considered one of the world’s renowned experts on antique jewelry.
That day appraisals will be held between 10 a.m. and noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. Lieberman will deliver a public lecture at noon. There will be fees for items appraised. But “The Look of Love” exhibition is free and open to the public during normal museum hours.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
"Look of Love" at Birmingham Museum
SJLMAGTuesday, January 24, 2012
In Category :
About The Author Southern Jewish Life Magazine Southern Jewish Life is the news magazine serving the Jewish communities of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and northwest Florida. We are a unique magazine for a unique community. It has always been our goal to provide a large-community quality publication to all communities of the South. To that end, our commitment includes mailing to every Jewish household in the region, without a subscription fee. We love what we do, and who we do it for. Documenting this community, a community we are members of and active within, is our passion. Join us also on Facebook and Twitter
NOLA Community Obit List
Click here to sign up for the New Orleans Jewish Community Obituary Email List
(Photos from The Middle Feast Facebook page) Mobile will be able to have an Israeli-style Middle Feast this weekend, and then watch it on ...
Do not adjust your set -- Auburn fullback Jay Prosch is indeed sporting a Hebrew tattoo on his arm. Prosch, who is playing in the BCS na...
By Katie Connell Special to Southern Jewish Life Editor’s note: Katie Connell made aliyah from New Orleans one year ago and settled in...
This Shabbat, the joint Reform summer services in New Orleans shift to Touro Synagogue, which will officially welcome Cantor David Mintz. ...
Congregation Etz Chayim in Bentonville closed this "starter" building last month and meets at an area church while planning for it...