Watches & Jewellery | Need To Now

Time-limited luxuries

A curious exhibition that combines taxidermy, jewellery – and humour

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Time-limited luxuries

May 06 2011
Vicki Reeve

Ghoulishly beautiful, compellingly weird and wonderful, the cabinet of curiosities is enjoying a resurgence. So Diamonds & Dead Things, a selling exhibition with a similar philosophy at the excellent interiors store Mint in London’s Chelsea, is bang on trend.

As its title implies, the show – which opens on May 7 – combines pieces of jewellery with taxidermy – and plenty of humour. The artist-jewellers involved are rising-star RCA graduates Kelly McCallum and Märta Mattsson, and their works include animals, birds and insects (all of which have met natural deaths) with, yes, diamonds, but also sapphires and gold, and vintage wallpaper and malachite. The resulting pieces are peculiarly charming, from McCallum’s “Reverend Archibald Mcgregor” stoat with golden moustache (second picture) to Mattsson’s “White Beetles” bug earrings, split in half and stuffed with twinkling cubic zirconia (first picture).

It’s clearly not for everyone, but anyone who loves Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors in Bethnal Green, the Booth Museum in Brighton and their ilk will be entirely in their element.