Associate Lecturer: Contextualising Jewellery Practice


After studying medieval and modern history at Cambridge and a Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, Rachel Church spent two years as an assistant language teacher in a Japanese high school. Returning to Britain, she joined the Victoria and Albert Museum as a Curator working in turn in the Textiles and Dress and Metalwork, Documentation, Silver and Jewellery departments.

As a Curator in the Metalwork, Silver and Jewellery department she worked on major gallery redisplays like the British Galleries, European Silver, the Gilbert Galleries and the Sacred Silver and Stained Glass Galleries. She was a member of the core team which carried out the complete redisplay of the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery, housing over 3,000 jewels from the historic to the contemporary.

She writes and lectures regularly about jewellery, to local Arts societies, the Goldsmiths Centre and Company and for V&A courses.

  • BA (Hons) Jewellery Design & Production
  • London, Euston
  • Jewellery history and design
  • BA History
  • MA Museum Studies
  • Society of Jewellery Historians (membership secretary)
  • Museums Association
  • Association of Dress Historians
  • British Portraits Network
  • Arts Society accredited lecturer

Books, book chapters and catalogue entries

  • Rachel Church, Rings, V&A 2011, second edition Thames and Hudson/ V&A 2017 and 2024
  • Rachel Church, Brooches and Badges, Thames and Hudson/ V&A 2019
  • Rachel Church, Gold Boxes in The Gilbert Collection at the V&A, ed. Timothy Schroeder, London, V&A, 2009, pp. 49-63
  • Fernando II de Aragón, El rey que imaginó España y la abrió a Europa: catálogo exposición, Centro del Libro de Aragón (2015), two catalogue entries
  • The ‘Golden Age of the English Court from Henry VIII to Charles I, ed. Olga Dmitrieva, Kremlin Museums, Moscow 2012, cats 65,66,67,68,73,76,91,92
  • Gothic: Art for England 1400 -1547, eds. Richard Marks and Paul Williamson, V&A, 2003, cat. 187
  • William Beckford 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent, ed. Derek E Ostergard, Bard Graduate Centre/ Yale 2002, cat. 102


Web publications


Short articles and book reviews

  • Review of The Art of the Ring: highlights of the Griffin Collection, Diana Scarisbrick, in Jewellery History Today, Autumn 2024 (forthcoming)
  • Exhibition review of Memories are made of this, Sarah Myerscough Gallery, Jewellery History Today issue 50, Spring 2024
  • Would you wear a pistol on your pinkie finger? The Times, 22 April 2024
  • What to do with your old wedding ring, The Times, 11 March 2024
  • ‘Piratical robbery’: saving the Herefordshire hoard, The Goldsmiths Review, 2022-23
  • Review of Dandy Style: 250 years of British menswear, Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert, Manchester Art Gallery 2021 in Journal of Dress History, Spring 2022 (forthcoming)
  • The union of Katherine and Dudley: identifying an English wedding ring from 1706, Jewellery History Today, Autumn 2021, pp. 8-9
  • What’s in a name? Butterfield, Fountayne, Robinson and Boynton – using mourning rings to look at 18th-century naming practices, Jewellery History Today, Winter 2021, pp 3-5
  • Review: Rings of the 20th and 21st centuries: The Alice and Louis Koch Collection,  Jewellery History Today, Winter 2020, p. 9
  • Review: Storia della fibbia tra moda e gioiello/ History of the buckle between fashion and jewellery, Jewellery History Today, Autumn 2019, p. 9
  • Collection selection: A sapphire and its secrets, V&A magazine, Summer 2016, p. 100
  • Review: Take this Ring: Medieval and Renaissance Rings from the Griffin Collection, Sandra Hindman, Jewellery Studies Today, Spring 2016, p. 10
  • Edmund Waterton and the V&A jewellery collection, Jewellery History Today, Winter 2016, issue 25, pp.5-6
  • The Reunion of the Totnes Rings, Jewellery History Today, Autumn 2012, issue 15, pp. 3-5
  • The Totnes rings, American Society of Jewelry Historians Newsletter, Vol. 26, No.3, Winter 2012, pp. 10-11
  • Why shave? A new acquisition of a pair of mid-19th century razors at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Antique Metalware Society Journal, Vol. 19, June 2011, pp. 46-49


Peer reviewed articles

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