6000 Years of Jewels: Fine Metalwork and Jewelry from Antiquity

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Lifestyles of Ancient Aristocrats from Western Civilizations Come Alive at Jewelry Exhibit in Geneva, April 20 - June 3; Phoenix Ancient Art's Exhibition Showcases Craftsmanship from Antiquity That Surpasses Modern Techniques

Phoenix Ancient Art, one of the world's leading dealers in rare and exquisite antiquities from Western civilizations, today announced that its latest exhibit, "6000 Years of Jewels: Fine Metalwork and Jewelry from Antiquity" was unveiled at its Geneva gallery on April 20, 2005, and will remain on view until June 3.

Featuring 150 breathtaking pieces dating from approximately the 4th millennium B.C. to the 13th century A.D, and starting in value from CHF 2700 (US$2,200), the exhibition offers a fascinating look at superb metalworks and jewelry in ancient times.

Originating from cultures throughout Western civilization--including Spain, Germany, Central Europe, the Balkans, Greece and Rome, Anatolia, the Levant and Mesopotamia -- the pieces showcase various artistic styles and impeccable craftsmanship.

"All of the remarkably preserved pieces feature such innovative techniques as granulation, chasing, gilding and relief work that are virtually impossible for today's jewelers to recreate, even with modern technology.

These objects are all individual testimonies to the extraordinary levels of craftsmanship achieved by ancient cultures, and their technical ability to produce artistically exquisite and unique works of art," said Ali Aboutaam, president of Phoenix Ancient Art.

The collection presents an intriguing display of how the various civilizations used metallurgic techniques.

One striking theme is the reverence for gold and silver, which have fascinated and appealed to mankind for millennia.

The show also focuses on pieces accented with precious stones from antiquity, including safire, carnelian, agate, sardonyx, and emerald.

Natural pearls are also found, particularly in Byzantine jewelry.

The exhibit displays a variety of wearable items--including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets--such as a gold torque necklace originating from Western Europe in the 2nd millennium B.C. made from a hammered bar of gold.

The necklace's simple, linear design makes it appear very contemporary.

Vessels are also prominently featured, including a 5th - 4th century B.C.

Greek rhyton with fluted body and scenes in chasing technique, and a Hellenistic Greek gold cup with scenes of fishermen in relief work, from the 2nd - 1st century B.C.

There are also figures of gods, including a gilt silver statuette of the Egyptian god Khnum, dating from the beginning of the first millennium B.C.

that is especially notable since Egyptian silver is extremely rare; and a Classical Greek gold ring with a spectacularly fine engraved figure of a beardless Hercules.

Located at 6 rue Verdaine, 1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland, the gallery will be open Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m.- 6.30 p.m.

Appointments for Saturday can be made by calling (011) 41 22 318 8010, or Phoenix Ancient Art, 47 East 66th St., New York, at (212) 288-7518; http://www.phoenixancientart.com.

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Hicham Aboutaam
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