•Beautiful photos from the National Museums Scotland's esteemed amber collection, plus loans from the V&A in London.
•A new book reveals why man has revered the amber gemstone for eons - its place within both the arts and sciences.
A treasured decorative artifact, amber has also been revered for its perceived magical powers, crafted into charms and amulets to heal or ward off evil. It is a fossilized sticky resin that oozed from ancient pine trees, embedded with insects and plant life that came to inhabit the material. Some photos include minute details, right down to the facets of eyes of insects or minute hairs of plants that could be as old as a million years. This most sublime gift of nature has been utilized in so many ways - from Stone Age peoples down to today's jewelers.
The publication accompanies a stunning exhibit that combined loaned gemstones from the esteemed amber collection of the Victoria and Albert in London with highlights from the equally remarkable pieces at the National Museum of Scotland. A small book, but a gem.
Andrew Ross is a Curator in the Department of Natural Science, National Museums Scotland.