Thursday 14 September 2023

Pagan Eye: A Spiral of Gems at the V&A in London

The beautiful spiral of gems in the photo is in the Jewellery Hall at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London's South Kensington. They're the Townshend Gems, which were bequithed to the V and A in 1869. Jewellers have used gems since antiquity, and this display shows many of the stones often used, all set in gold rings. As well as being a beautiful visual display with information about what each stone is, the spiral itself seems quite magical. In fact, the entire hall contains numerous items worn or created to have a magical purpose.

The museum's collection of jewellery is among the largest in the world and the hall itself has more than 3,000 items which tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day. Many of rings, necklaces, brooches, charms and other items of adornment also had more mystical significance too, often for protection. I'm going to be blogging more in future about amulets, talismans and charms at the V and A, but to start with enjoy looking at this lovely spiral of crystals set in rings.

On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.

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