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Treasures from the Garden of Eden: Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry Opens
Pair of Earrings with Dangling Bells, Parthian, 3rd to 2nd century B.C.E. Gold, H: 6.5 cm. Private Collection.

NEW YORK, NY.- The National Jewelry Institute (NJI), the world’s first institute devoted to jewelry and precious objects, announced that Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization is on view at The Forbes Galleries, located at 62 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY through December 31, 2008.

Cited by experts as the most unique and profound show of its kind, the exhibition brings together 135 jewelry objects and accessories from the far reaches of history and the birthplace of civilization. Culled from the world’s greatest museums, the collection includes breathtaking pieces from the Louvre in Paris, Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum.

As Christopher Forbes, Vice Chairman, Forbes, Inc. stated, “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry offers a window into ancient life and society. This is the sixth in a series of exhibitions organized by the National Jewelry Institute for which The FORBES Galleries have been privileged to provide a setting. It is also the most ambitious exhibition undertaken to date. Bringing almost 150 pieces for a show is a daunting task under any circumstances, but when the works in question include priceless treasures thousands of years old coming from museums and private collections around the world, the effort involved is Herculean.”

Some of the gems and jewels showcased are more than 7,000 years old and derive from the Ancient Near East, including Mesopotamia, the region that is believed by many historians to be the location of the Garden of Eden, revered by the world’s major religions.

“Jewelry is much more than simply personal adornment,” said Price. “Like all true art, it can be a remarkable expression of a culture and way of life. This collection offers a glimpse of an ancient civilization—one that lies at the very foundation of the modern Western world.”

Following its run at The Forbes Galleries, the exhibition will travel to the Field Museum in Chicago where it will be on display from February 13, 2009 through July 5, 2009.

The corporate partners for Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry are: Christian Dior Couture and AXA Art Insurance Corporation. NJI has also produced a book titled Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization, published by Running Press (ISBN 978-0-7624-3386-5). The jeweled artifacts in this full-color presentation illuminate ancient culture and customs, providing a better understanding about the formation of society. The book includes all of the pieces on display at The Forbes Galleries exhibition. The book is currently available for pre-order on

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