A brief history of bling

Pacific Encounter Gallery closure

Pacific Encounters Gallery at the National Maritime Museum will be closed to visitors until 11am on Friday 25 October.

Your sword lacking its swagger? Your telescope need more twinkle? Get some ideas from history’s greatest show-offs. After all who needs a diamond chain when you’re pouring tea from a silver kettle?

Follow the trail

James, Duke of York, 1633-1701

Wearing gold armour and jewelled sandals with lion-mask tops, James, Duke of York is depicted in the ostentatious tradition of the swagger portrait.