Jewelry through the centuries from Republic of Macedonia
The exhibition titled ” Jewelry through the centuries from Republic of Macedonia ” was conceived as an illustration of the evolutionary development of the jewelry that was made and worn over the centuries, and was discovered in archaeological excavations conducted for the last seventy years on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
Undoubtedly, the jewelry was present throughout the past centuries in nearly every period of human life carrying in itself the characteristics of the period when it was created, following at the same time the technological developments and fashion trends, but also expressing the power and the status of the person wearing it.
The artifacts presented are evidence of cultural continuity and identity, artistic trends and innovative spirit of the people who existed on this territory since the prehistoric period, from about 7000 BC to the end of the 20th century AD or rather almost 9,000 years of continuity.
The exhibition reflects the creativity and inventiveness of the old masters, as well as the wealth, fashion trends and beliefs of each historical period. The exhibition begins with the ancient times when people first discovered the secret of using bronze – an alloy that will totally change the former lifestyle. The then rulling elite will start wearing bronze jewelry, which marks the contemporary needs, fashion trends and Totemic (animal) beliefs of the period.
However, the achievements of the ancient period set gold as the most desirable material in the human world, a status that persisted until today. The wealth of the glorious Macedonian kingdom of Alexander the Great and his successors, allowed the masters to reach incredible technique of gold jewelry production. Often combined with precious stones, the gold jewelry displays in its finest details decorations of doves, lions, sphinxes, gods or Negroid performances. The exhibition shows the special status of certain persons who used their fortune posthumous, covering themselves partially in gold “forever”.
The early medieval period marks a time of conflict and division, but above all of Christianization, which this exhibition portraits through pieces such as bronze crosses – reliquary with Christian iconography that provides protective power for the believers.
On the other hand, the late Middle Ages shows new brilliance in making jewelry with filigree and granulation of silver. The wonderful performance of filigree technique exudes extraordinary beauty and represents the ultimate expression of the creativity of the Macedonian traditional jewelry.
In addition to the jewelery presented, the exhibition also includes several ceramic toilet accessories that were used to store antique precious essential oils, perfumes and makeup, as well as some jewelry boxes.
The concept of the exhibition is supplemented with adequately selected anthropomorphic terracotta figurines that originally present decorative ornaments of jewelry with chronological feature so in that way, they become sculptural records of fashion trends of a particular historical period in our country.