Jewels play an important symbolic role. At the courts of Europe, where dynasties were closely interrelated for centuries, they were signs of status, wealth and power. The strict rules for wearing them are evidence of sophisticated codes, in Portugal and in Sweden, in the United Kingdom and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Brilliant Europe evokes more than 800 years of the history of jewelry in Europe. The 230 selected jewels and works of art are outstanding both in their exceptional quality and in their relevance to the social and cultural history of Europe. Many of them belonged to people who made a significant contribution to European history or to the development of European thought.
Diana Scarisbrick, Christophe Vachaudez, Jan Walgrave