A Cock, scratching the ground for something to eat, turned up a Jewel that had by chance beendropped there. “Ho!” said he, “a fine thing you are, no doubt, and, had your owner found you, great would his joy have been. But for me, give me a single grain of corn before all the jewels in the world.”
Precious things are without value to those who cannot prize them.
The Cock and the Jewel. Aesop’s Fables, translated by V.S. Vernon Jones (1912)
Put your valuables on display! Talk at the Festival of Thrift, September 2014. Lingfield Point, Darlington
The approach to the stated value of objects that surround us is developed through a fine and complex learning process. It is, in fact, one of our most exquisite cultural exercises, a refined training on what we share as a community and how we display and activate our group identity. There are endless events where this bestows of significance take place for us as a society, some quite elaborate and some quite simple.
On the occasion of the opening of the new permanent space for mima International Jewellery Collection (October 2014), and the opportunity to access the range of objects that integrate this public collection, it is relevant to place the question on how we deal with the construction of worth. I would like to put forward the idea that dealing with valuable objects is the greatest chance to find yourself asking for what it really matters. And how this is a beautiful mix between what we accept as a members of a community and what we dare to do as individuals.