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The Gold Badge

Can there be anything more reliable than gold? Gold has been, for a long time, the pledge of all currencies. Gold is a synonym for eternal values; it highlights its bearer. When this was given to me it was accompanied by the remark: “It’s a gold medal.” And this is exactly how this simple brooch functions, indeed not more than a bit of sheet metal and gold leaf.

But this gives meaning to it. This is what signals an almost religious concentration, something noble. A natural authority and significance comes through its proportions: the perfect round, the monochrome, the quiet gleam of the metal, the colour of the gold.

Just some sheet metal and gold leaf. But, instinctively and without any timidity in terms of value or banality, the goldsmith Mette Saabye created a picture of the ever lasting. This is done with a secure formal instinct and goes far beyond the idea of currency as it refers far more to the symbolic value than to its financial meaning. A “heart of gold”, “to be loyal as gold”, to find “the golden mean”, for a long time before it became an instrument of payment, gold had its meaning as ritual value.

The brooch is worth almost nothing (in fact its price is about 30 €). Which is, in terms of avant-garde jewellery, almost ridiculous. But its value is not really to be measured and the brooch has, without doubt, considerable impact by avoiding any impression of being kitsch or fake. To me, this is a clear case of evaluation by artistic creativity and a transfer, even an increased valuation of mere material into something valuable which can be experienced and noticed easily. The reason for this is artistic ability. Additionally, it is about democratisation in that everybody can afford it and decorate her/himself with this valuable, very extraordinary piece of jewellery. Furthermore the brooch fits very well with all kinds of people or clothes. Perfect.

 

By Gabi Dewald

Materials: 24kt gold leaf, white metal & plastic
2008
Photographer Dorte Krogh



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