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Edita reports | Museum Of The Jewellery Quarter

Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum BirminghamEdita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 11Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 5Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 6
Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 4Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 7Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 8Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 1
Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 3Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 2Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 9Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 10Edita in Jewellery Quarter Museum Birmingham 12

A point in your life comes that you come to terms that not everyone is keen on museums. My mother once said that she didn’t like them much, and not many of my friends imagine looking at old stuff as a particularly enticing way of spending their free time either.

I do, goddamn it. I love a great exhibition or seeing artefacts. Keeping the past in check allows you to appreciate the present and form educated decisions about the future.

I will give you an example of an educated decision: I simply NEED one of those gold bamboo bangles after visiting the Jewellery Quarter Museum in Birmingham. Let me elaborate.

The weird and the wonderful in the pictures above may not look particularly glamorous or fashionable. But the items produced in this creative chaos is what led Birmingham to become the jewellery capital of Europe. And it still is until this day – if you ever decide to pay B’rum a visit, you will find that the Jewellery Quarter is just like Oxford Circus, only instead of every Zara or H&M, you will see fine jewellery shop upon fine jewellery shop.

Going back to the museum, you will be surprised to find that when this was an open workshop, it was kept elaborately clean, and mysophobia had nothing to do with it. In fact, the owners obsessively cleaned the floors as well as each of employee’s shoes and hands for them not to accidentally walk out covered in gold, quite literally. Similarly, pulled up trousers were not allowed nor was touching your hair excessively, in case you were trying to get away with gold dust in your hair. Talk about making most of the situation.

The company whose ghost we were exploring was originally named Smith and Pepper and they were the ones who pioneered the bamboo bangle – a bracelet that looks like a bamboo – you can see it in one of the images. After Smith and Pepper closed its doors, it was transformed into a museum with every book, every tool, every stamp placed where it was originally left one Friday at 5pm in 1981. The next Monday morning no one came back to continue producing gold jewellery and the doors stayed shut ever since. It was an end of an era.

If you are ever in Birmingham, this is a great place to visit. The museum guide will allow you to envision how it all worked and even show you a few jeweller’s secret tricks of the trade – I caught a picture of him doing so, so no, he is not smoking anything dodgy. It’s actually a sophisticated technique that you will want to see for yourself.

75-79 Vyse Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B18 6HA

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45 Responses

  1. Aaaand Birmingham is on the list of places I want to go to. It must be very interesting to see how jewelry is made! I recently bought handmade earrings, and I find it so intruiging how that is made. Must be a wonderful process 🙂

  2. oh this is such a beautiful place to visit. I wish I could have the chance to go there. It is a place full og magic.

  3. What an interesting post. Wow all the way up to 1981 that is impressive, looks like a bit like on old moveable type press workroom. And speaking of Birmingham, have you every watched “Peaky Blinders” I am watching it on Netflix and I love it.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  4. Wow this is place for me. LOve the photos. I love museums, and I am so happy that Prague has some awesome Museums…my Favorite one is Salvador Dali…I was there probably ten times. Have a great day. Mel
    New post up

  5. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loves a good ole’ museum visit! I love to know facts and details, although the topic really needs to be something that strongly appeals to me. Thankfully, jewellery is an interest of mine too and so this museum must have been fantastic to explore – the photography is great, by the way! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice 


  6. Well then consider me a co-conspirator! I love artifacts, and I ADORE jewelry!
    I would have loved to have visited there!

    I do see a glorious photo of the gold bangle, it is so beautiful!
    The jewelry district is only a 20 minute walk from me, and I can see probably millions of stunning pieces for sale there…. so i go rarely…so tempting!

    Lovely post! So enjoyed it.
    love your writing, too.
    xx, Elle

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