In the course of centuries jewels have been made for various target groups and occasions. That diversity is reflected in the Rijksmuseum’s collection of jewels comprising around 1000 pieces. The collection provides an overview of jewellery from Byzantium to the present. Naturally, the guiding principle in the collection is the history of jewels in the Netherlands, placed in perspective by European highlights.
In some periods artists and designers revealed/evidenced a particular interest in jewels and produced distinctive creations. Accordingly, the Renaissance, 19th-century historicism (in which historical styles were revived) and the different art movements of the 20th century constitute art-historical mainstays/strengths in the collection.
Equally interesting are the more modest pieces of jewellery, of which the Rijksmuseum owns unique examples/specimens. Items produced in the Netherlands include a 17th-century diamond broche/borstjuweel with a portrait of Queen Mary – later mounted on a gold snuff box – and a seemingly simple Art Deco pendant of gold and amber made in the 1920s by the Van den Eersten en Hofmeier firm.