SEARCH

History of pearls

AFP
print   ·   T  T  
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Pearls have long been one of nature's riches, cherished by kings, queens and movie stars, but a new exhibition in London opening on Saturday suggests their origins are far less glamorous.

The show at London's Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum debunks the myths that pearls develop from sand inside a shelled mollusc, revealing instead that they are formed around the larvae of a tapeworm excreted by another animal.

Marilyn Monroe's necklace and more than 200 other pieces of jewellery and works of art on show at the V&A do reveal the ancient and near universal love of the beads, which continues today.

"We are telling the history of pearls through history," Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, a jewellery historian and co-curator of the show, told AFP.

"In Roman times, pearls were mainly a sign of luxury and power, authority and rank.

Pearls have long been surrounded in mythology, representing sadness, sorrow but also happiness, she explained.AFP


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in IN SCHOOL

Tamin hits double ton as Bangladesh draw Pakistan Test

Tamin hits double ton as Bangladesh draw Test

Tamim Iqbal (above) smashed Bangladesh's highest Test score of 206... »