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Gold: Power and Allure

Gold: Power and Allure


Few realise that gold can be found in Great Britain, and that attempts to exploit native sources have drawn prospectors from ancient Rome to Elizabethan adventurers and current commercial projects in Ireland Scotland and Wales. In Gold: Power and Allure, eleven essays by distinguished specialists tell of the rich and previously untold story of Britain and its relationship with gold, demonstrating the country's unique golden heritage. Essays include: 'The Gold of Antiquity' by Kevin Leahy from the Portable Antiquities Scheme; 'London – the World's Gold Market' by Timothy Green; and 'Gold, golden, gilded: precious metal on the dining table' by Philippa Glanville. 


The editor and one of the authors of the book, historian Dr Helen Clifford, explains that "the challenge has been to draw together the many strands that make a single precious metal so special and central to human society. With the focus on Britain it has been possible to assemble a story that goes far back into geological time and forward to the most cutting edge goldworking, where this country excels. It reveals a story of the continuity of man's fascination with gold, from the Bronze Age to modern city finance, via a breathtaking range of more than four thousand years of work. In essence it is a story of global connections and one where the familiar is transmuted into the iconic, via the power of gold."


Easily mistaken for a bar of solid gold, this generously illustrated book features objects from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Louvre, Paris; British Museum, London; and Victoria and Albert Museum, amongst others. The book accompanies the most comprehensive and ambitious exhibition ever at staged at Goldsmiths' Hall, London (1 June – 28 July 2012), which showcases more than 400 extraordinary gold objects, from the raw to the refined, ranging in date from as early as 2500 BC to the present day, and borrowed from institutions such as the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Museum of Scotland and National Museum of Wales.

  • Edited by Helen Clifford

    168 pages, hardback with slipcase

    242 x 168 mm, 100 colour illus.
    ISBN: 978 0 907814 86 3

  • In the press

    "...and I can only recommend this book as a book you will hardly be bored with and pave the way for further studies. Gold is indeed a treasure worth studying. I recommend the entire book, each and every chapter!" Erik O. Paulsen, Mynt & Seddel, August 2012


    "This is unlike any exhibition you have ever seen before or are ever likely to see again." Richard Dorment, The Daily Telegraph, 6 June 2012

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