Whether mythical or mystical, emphasizing a person’s status or worn merely for ornamental purposes: jewellery has a long tradition in all of the world’s cultures. Since the beginning of mankind, people have adorned themselves with jewellery, whether in the form of necklaces, rings, pendants, belts or headgear, whose shapes are as multifaceted as the materials used. The collection of Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum comprises exhibits from five millennia – from the ancient world up to the present day.
As legend has it, Heracles – a son of Zeus, the father of the Greek gods, and therefore himself a demigod – already performed great feats as a little child. While still in his cradle, he is supposed to have killed the two serpents sent to him by Zeus’ wife Hera, who was jealous of Alcmene, Heracles’ mother. This heroic deed accomplished by the infant Heracles also found its artistic expression in jewellery, in the shape of what is called a Heracles knot, which was believed to have magical powers and is formed in this bracelet from the Hellenistic period by two elegantly intertwined serpents.
Fritz Falk: Jewellery 1840-1940. Highlights Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim. Stuttgart 2004
Fritz Falk: Serpentina. Snake Jewellery from around the world. Stuttgart 2011
Fritz Falk, Cornelie Holzach: Modern Jewellery 1960-1998. Catalogue of the Modern Collection in the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim. Stuttgart 1999
Cornelie Holzach: Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim. Museum Guide. Pforzheim 2015