The exhibition’s 1,000 pieces of jewellery are divided into different sections. In some cases they are on display because we know about the people who wore them, in others because they represent a period, a historical epoch, a fashion, a function or a material.
The largest section with the most items of jewellery is on Fashion, status and identity. This displays many necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, earrings, rings and matching sets. The section In joy and sorrow displays rings as symbols of fidelity, mourning and memorial jewellery and bridal crowns.
Jewellery and hair contains jewellery made of, containing and for the hair, while Magic and symbolism shows jewellery which has had a magical significance, considered to bring the wearer luck or offer protection from illness, accidents or the forces of evil. The section Hold tight displays clasps, buckles, cufflinks, tie clips, buttons, breastpins, hat pins, lacing rings, scarf holders and belt chains, etc., all with a practical function for keeping a costume or hairstyle in place.
The section Highlights shows possibly the most exciting objects in the museum’s jewellery collection. These include the jewellery that Gustav Banér gave as a parting gift shortly before he was decapitated in the Linköping Bloodbath of 1600, the rings that Gustav III handed out as PR material after his coup in 1772 and the ring bearing the first known portrait of the famous Årsta Lady. The exhibition also features a timeline on the history of style.