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Henry VIII. The original cup, a gift to Queen Jane Seymour, was melted down in 1629. Coming right up to date, the exhibition includes the world's fi rst 'pure' (990 carat) gold claret jug created by the renowned goldsmith Martyn Pugh in 2008: the result of the latest research in gold alloy and laser-welding technology. Some objects have many stories to tell. One special example is the elegant gold bread-basket commissioned by the Silver Trust, for use at 10 Downing Street, in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002. Based on a form that became popular in the 18th century, it is thoroughly modern in its manufacture, employing the latest laser-cutting technology to create the cross and fl eur-de-lis decoration taken from St Edward's crown. The kilo of fi ne gold from which it was made was a gift of Anglo America PLC - the global mining company with headquarters in London. The cost of its manufacture was the gift of Roy Tiley, a silver collector, whose wife, a NADFAS member, oversaw the donation. The London goldsmith Grant Mcdonald brought past and present together to create this handsome piece, and completed it just in time for its use at the Jubilee dinner given by the Prime Minister for Her Majesty the Queen.The rarity, colour and weight of gold (it is heavier than lead), combined with its other extraordinary properties, make it special, magical, and central to human culture. It is the most ductile of all metals: one troy ounce (about 31g) can be drawn into a wire more than 62 miles long. By wrapping silk, linen or wool threads with gold it can be woven into cloth of gold, and couched to create the fi nest embroidery for which England was famed, 'Opus Anglicanum'. Gold is one of the most malleable of all metals, a troy ounce can be beaten into a sheet spanning 300 square feet. Gold leaf transforms base metals, wood, ceramics, glass, leather and even food from the commonplace to the exceptional. As a result, the use of gold marks the apex of achievement and status, and represents both spiritual and secular power. One of the highlights of the exhibition, a small gold ampulla (container for holy anointing oil), symbolises the union of sacred and secular. It was used at the Scottish coronation of Charles I at Holyrood House in Edinburgh in 1633. From the very public use of gold at coronations, to more private and personal representatives of monarchy, like the ? Below: A cross made from Kildonan gold, 1869Left: Mid-14th century 'M' brooch, from New College, OxfordImages: © National Museums of Scotland/The Warden and Scholars of New College Oxford/Private NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 23 GOLDSMITHS' COMPANY

small 'touch-piece' used to cure the King's Evil (scrofula), the association of gold with power is one of the exhibition's central themes.Underpinning the show are three interconnected strands that tie the diverse exhibits to the central story of Britain and gold: the extraordinary continuity in craftsmanship from fi rst surviving examples to recent workmanship; the global connections created around gold, and the many forgotten individuals that connect the exhibits with important places and events in British history.Few realise that, although gold is rare, it is found across the globe, including Great Britain. Attempts to exploit our native sources of gold have drawn prospectors from ancient Rome, via Elizabethan adventurers, to current commercial projects in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. While most people have heard about the Californian Gold Rush which began in 1848, few know about the Scottish Gold Rush of 1869 in Kildonan. In 1868, Robert Gilchrist, a local man who had worked in the Australian goldfi elds, was given permission by the Duke of Sutherland to prospect for gold in the River Helmsdale and its tributaries. Word reached the newspapers, and by spring 1869 some 600 prospectors had found their way to Strath Kildonan, triggering a gold rush in this remote part of the Scottish Highlands. Objects made from Kildonan gold are exceptionally rare, but the Goldsmiths' Company have brought together a cluster of these pieces for the fi rst time.Early discoveriesGold has pride of place as being the fi rst metal to be discovered (around 5000 BC). By the end of the third millennium, gold working had become well established in Ireland and Britain, and from the Early Bronze Age (2500-2000 BC) there is clear evidence not only of the use of gold beyond regional localities, but also of the transmission of craft skills across northern Europe. The glittering secrets of prehistoric barrows and hoards are revealed in the exhibition, showing the increasing sophistication of gold working techniques, culminating in the Iron Age torcs of East Anglia and the delicate use of precious stones by medieval jewellers. Treasures from Snettisham in Norfolk and Middleham in Yorkshire join forces with more obscure discoveries to reveal the history of gold working. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern pieces reveal how the skills, like those of sheet working and embossing used in the creation of the early Bronze Age lunulae, are the same as those used by goldsmiths today. The elegant simplicity of these ? o ,Images: © Chatsworth Estate/Private CollectionLeft: The gold claret jug created by Martyn Pugh in 2008Above: A gold ewer and basin, part of the Devonshire Collection 24 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012'S COMPANY