A Hoard of Beads from the Hermitage (and Jewelry too!)

Since I design and make jewelry, I am always on the lookout for inspiration, and there is nothing better than getting to see ancient pieces up close. Here are a few I saw at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Collections include items from the Culture of the Peoples of South Siberia exhibit and Ancient Relics of the Art and Culture of Eurasia

Some Things I Saw at the Pushkin Museum

Pushkin Museum Moscow 59

Our friend and Moscow native Dmitri told us that he passed many an afternoon at the Pushkin Museum when he was a student.    So, we had to make a visit.  In fact, we made two.   The Pushkin’s collections are housed in several buildings.  The first ones we saw were located in the main building and included ancient Greece, the Black Sea region, the Near East, Roman Egypt and Troy.  I never get tired of looking at ancient beads and metalwork although  those items comprise only a small portion of what we saw:


 Little Greek Cupids.

Beads (glass, pottery, rock crystal, carnelian, chalcedony and jet) from what we know today as Greece, Turkey and the Near East.  Dates vary from 1st century BCE  to 7th century CE.




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Phanagoria, includes beads of  lapis.

  We jumped at the chance to see the exhibit  on Ancient Troy and Schliemann’s excavations.  Schliemann has always fascinated me because he came from humble origins, had a successful business career and used his money to excavate the site where he determined the Trojan War had taken place.  Before he found archaeological evident that Troy had actually existed,  most people considered Troy “a matter of myth and not reality.”

When Schliemann found the treasure pictured below, he dressed his wife up in the jewelry and took her picture.  I did not take the pictures below because my cell phone battery had decided to overheat and die.  If you click on the pictures, however, you will be taken to a link with information on the photographers.

Golden diadem with pendants

Tesoro di priamo, spialla d'oro, cat. 239

Tesoro di priamo, grande diadema con pendenti, oro, cat. 10, 01

Golden sauceboat with two handles

Tesoro di priamo, bracciale lamellare con decorazione a spirale, dal tesoro F, oro, cat. 123

Tesoro di priamo, orecchino con pendenti, oro, cat. 155

Ritual Hammer-Axes

These are ceremonial  hammers. They are oversized, maybe about a foot long and are very impressive in person.

We returned to the Pushkin to see the 19th and 20th Century European Art collections.  If I had only seen the Matisses, I would have been happy.  An incredible collection you must see if you ever make it to Moscow.  Thanks Dmitri!

The Light Fantastic: St. Petersburg While the Sun Sets

I’ve never quite seen anything like it. Rather than describe it, here are some pictures take from our hotel.



  I added some pictures of St Petersburg and Moscow to my Flickr site.