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Neckpiece - Hinged Loop Neckpiece

Hinged Loop Neckpiece

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1975 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Watkins, David (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Acrylic and gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 37, shelf C, box 3

David Watkins began his career as a sculptor and jazz pianist. In the sixties he made his first attempts in jewellery and in the seventies he pioneered the use of computers as a design tool. Music and sculpture feed into his work, which is all about form, rhythm and colour, recently developing into abstract symbols and metaphors. Watkins' oeuvre developed from early miniature sculptures into large-scale wearable objects intended to interact with the body. The concept of art for the body is deeply embedded in his work. Watkins remains firmly committed to modernity.

Watkins explores a wide range of materials, from paper and gold to industrial materials such as steel, aluminium and titanium. He stretches them to their aesthetic and technical limits. For him machine technologies bestow beauty, thus traditional craft and modern technologies can coexist without loss to one another.

The 'Hinged Loop neckpiece' was shown in the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1975, in the exhibition titled 'Jewellery in Europe'. It belongs to a period of his work which is best described as 'monochrome minimalism' and which expresses his modernist style and commitment to contemporary materials. Watkins drops colour, reduces ornament, forms become tighter and more focused. The neckpiece becomes wearable art and when worn also a statement on the body.

In the making of these monochrome neckpieces the technical process takes priority. The acrylic rods are laboriously machined and reduced to create a diameter of 10mm, and then hand crafted. The gold elements are worked on the lathe and given a surface treatment to match the effect of the acrylic. These surfaces are finely abraded, not polished, the black acrylic is oiled to give a rich feel. Watkins creates a stunning effect of preciousness.

Physical description

Neckpiece by David Watkins, acrylic and gold, England 1975.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1975 (made)


Watkins, David (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Acrylic and gold


Height: 27 cm

Descriptive line

'Hinged Loop Neckpiece' by David Watkins, acrylic and gold, Britain, 1975.


Acrylic; Gold


Images Online; Jewellery; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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