From the earliest times, the southern shores of the Baltic Sea have been associated with the gathering, trading and working of amber - a natural substance which has been long valued by man.
Featuring some of the finest items from the Polish national collection, this new exhibition, Amber: Treasures from Poland offers a unique chance to see some fascinating and beautiful artefacts which represent both natural history and northern European craftsmanship. This is the first time that these items have been exhibited in the UK.
Most are from the famous Malbork Castle collection in Poland which has an important national collection of Baltic amber artefacts. Also included is the famous Gierłowska lizard from the Gdańsk Amber Museum, as well as a collection of insects trapped in amber and some historical amber artefacts from the Hunterian collection.
Amber is found in many varieties of colours and forms and amber from the Baltic region of Europe is one of the most abundant in the world. It is used around the world for medical or spiritual wellbeing, for adornment or decoration, and for scientific reasons.
This exhibition introduces amber from prehistory to natural history; it looks at how people related to amber from the Stone Age onwards and at the incredible techniques and skill of the amber craftsmen who created some of the finest examples of amber art ever seen.
The launch of a new book Amber: Tears of the Gods (Dunedin Academic Press) will coincide with the opening of the exhibition. It has been written by Dr Neil DL Clark, Curator of Palaeontology at the Hunterian.
Amber: Treasures from Poland is at the Hunterian Art Gallery
, University of Glasgow, from 5 February until 17 April 2010.