The future is sparkling in London

Date Posted: 29/05/2013

Pendant conservation - Museum of London

Pictured: I was able to see many jewels at the Museum of London, including this pendant conservation. (Photo credit: Museum of London).

Rachel Bailey went to an exclusive preview of two new major London exhibitions, and came away with high expectations for groups visiting when both displays are open to the public later this year. 

The Museum of London  and The British Museum have teamed up to offer a combination of exciting exhibitions, both of which will open in October with the hope of a joint ticket for the chance to enjoy both exhibits in one day.

Treasures from long ago

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels is the new exhibition launched by the Museum of London, and is running from 11th October until 27th April, with group tickets available to purchase now.

Displayed in its entirety for the first time in over 100 years, groups will be able to marvel over a priceless cache of nearly 500 late 16th and early 17th century jewels and gemstones. The collection of treasures was discovered in 1912, buried in a cellar on Cheapside in the city of London.

The museum sheds a new light on Elizabethan and Jacobean London regarding craftsmanship and consumption. It will also explore the mysteries that remain with the collection: who owned the hoard, when and why was it hidden, and why was it never reclaimed? Study the secrets of the Cheapside Hoard, and perhaps come to some conclusions of your own as to who these mystery jewels belonged to.

Visitors can enjoy a directed route through a series of three sections, building up to the collections of items displayed according to category (for example, rings, chains, pendants). The items that I was fortunate enough to see during the preview were amazing; amongst them was a hat ornament in the shape of a salamander set in gold with cabochon emeralds from Colombia and table-cut diamonds, which was very impressive.

Anthropomorphic Pectoral - British Museum

Pictured: Anthropomorphic pectoral, Colombia, Tairona, AD 900–1600, part of the Beyond El Dorado collection. (Photo credit: Museo del Oro – Banco de la República, Colombia).

Group rates for ten or more people stand at 20 per cent off full-priced adult admission making group tickets £8 per adult including a £1 donation or £7.20 per adult without the £1 donation.

Parties of 20 or more people can also book an expert talk along with their exhibition entry for the combined price of £17.20. For the talk only it’s £10 per person for groups of 20 or more, or a £200 flat fee for groups of less than 20.

Gold from the Americas

The British Museum will showcase a collection of pre-Hispanic gold; Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia will run from 17th October until 23rd March.

Organised with Museo Del Oro, Bogotá, the exhibition will hold over 250 items from the Americas, displaying objects varying from a solid gold helmet (which I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of) to animal-shaped pendants and charms.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn of the rich and diverse cultures of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, as well as see first-hand a range of items made from gold and other precious materials, providing insight into the values, myths and legends of civilisation at the time.

Tickets will cost £10 per person, with discounted group rates at £8 each. Group travel organisers go free, and group lecture packs are available.

You will be able to book private tours of the exhibition, and there will be audio guides and full catalogues listing the exhibited items and their details available to visitors.

Groups can pre-book tickets to Beyond El Dorado exclusively via Group Line from 7th June, until the official launch and sale of general tickets on 4th July.

Cheapside Hoard Exhibition - Salamander Hat Ornament

Pictured: The salamander hat ornament from the Cheapside Hoard exhibition. (Photo credit: Museum of London).

Further group booking information

The British Museum and the Museum of London are looking to introduce a combined price for groups booking visits to both the Beyond El Dorado and Cheapside Hoard exhibitions, which will be confirmed in June via both museum websites.

All groups (both schools and non-educational) need to book visits to either museum in advance.

British Museum:
020-7323 8849

Group Line:
020-7420 9700

Museum of London:
020-7001 9844

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