Necklace thumbnail 1
Necklace thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Necklace

1995-1999 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Beads in jewellery go far back in time, long before the craft of metalworking. The very early beads often had symbolic or amuletic value, and in some instances they were used as currency. The desire for beads as personal adornment is universal to all cultures and continues through to this day in a contemporary approach.

Axel Russmeyer has a vast collection of antique and contemporary beads and pearls from which he selects his compositions of ‘beaded beads’. Only one type of bead is used for each sphere but variety comes with the selection of spheres to be threaded together. In this necklace subtle textures and shades of grey are explored. Evoking heirlooms, he has sometimes created boxes with Renaissance portraits to present his pieces.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wood core, antique and contemporary beads of glass and metal and freshwater pearls, strung and knotted on silk ribbon
Brief Description
Necklace, 35 beaded spheres threaded on a long grey silk ribbon, by Axel Russmeyer, Germany, Hamburg 1995-1999
Physical Description
A sequence of 35 beaded spheres threaded on a long grey silk ribbon which is knotted between each sphere and is finished at each end with a silver disc on which is an enamelled runner. The spheres, each covered with a single type and shade of bead, are in different tones of grey. They are arranged according to size, with the largest at one end and the smallest at the other.
Dimensions
  • Largest sphere diameter: 4.08cm
  • Smallest sphere diameter: 1.08cm
Marks and Inscriptions
(the enamelled running man is one of Russmeyer's logos)
Credit line
Given by the artist
Object history
According to the maker there is a sister necklace to this one, made a few years earlier. It is not identical but has the same dimensions and number of beads. Currently in a private collection in the USA.
Summary
Beads in jewellery go far back in time, long before the craft of metalworking. The very early beads often had symbolic or amuletic value, and in some instances they were used as currency. The desire for beads as personal adornment is universal to all cultures and continues through to this day in a contemporary approach.



Axel Russmeyer has a vast collection of antique and contemporary beads and pearls from which he selects his compositions of ‘beaded beads’. Only one type of bead is used for each sphere but variety comes with the selection of spheres to be threaded together. In this necklace subtle textures and shades of grey are explored. Evoking heirlooms, he has sometimes created boxes with Renaissance portraits to present his pieces.
Bibliographic Reference
New Directions in Jewellery, London 2005
Collection
Accession Number
M.29-2006

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record createdJanuary 31, 2008
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