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Wearable Art: Our Favorite Holiday Jewelry

Festive and fun, these inspired creations are designed to be treasured

These delightful holiday gifts are designed to be treasured for years to come, inspired by works from throughout The Met collection. Read below for the stories behind some of our favorites and click here to shop our full selection of holiday jewelry

For the nature lover

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An integral part of American holiday traditions from Thanksgiving to Christmas, cranberries were grown in medieval Britain under various names, including marsh-wort, fen-wort, and moss-berry. The name “cranberry” is traced back to German immigrants to America, who called them “kranberry,” alluding to the plant’s beak-like stamens. Looking back to records from Medieval Europe, the berry was typically used to create sauces to pair with various poultry dishes, which carried into the New World. Native Americans also used the berry for various medicines, dyes, and food.

Our elegant Cranberry Necklace and Earrings set celebrates the verdant gardens at The Met Cloisters, the branch of The Met devoted to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages. Places of beauty and contemplation, The Met Cloisters gardens illuminate the important role that plants played in medieval art and life.

For the designer

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The Wiener Werkstätte (“Viennese Workshop” in English) were founded by designers Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser in 1903, amid the vitality of turn-of-the-century Vienna. A designers’ cooperative based on the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, it was dedicated to the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (“total artwork” in English), in which all aspects of a final design are created consciously as a part of the whole. The group produced a wide range of well-designed, often handmade products for a sophisticated audience, ranging from ceramics to silver, furniture, clothing, and works of visual art.

Our Christmas Angel Holiday pin was adapted from an original 1910 color lithograph by the Austrian artist Fritz Zeymer (1886-1940), a member of the Wiener Werkstätte. Zeymer’s childlike scene in The Met collection shows an angel carrying a Christmas tree high above a snowy village. It displays the influence of folk art and the rejection of traditional Viennese art that were a hallmark of the group’s work.

For the fashionista

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Our evergreen and ever-stylish  Christmas Shoe Holiday Pin recalls a pair of evening shoes in The Costume Institute collection. The original shoes belonged to the Baroness Pauline de Rothschild, who was named to the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame list in 1969.

The nearly surreal shoes are completely covered with green silk leaves sewn to a low-heeled pump; the pointed toes are decorated with festive berry sprigs. They were made in France by a famed couturier in about 1966 and donated to The Met in 1983. Our exclusive adornment celebrates the Christmas season along with the French haute couture, all in one delightful pin.

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