What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
"Sefiroth" Brooch
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 16 cm, W: 13.5 cm, D: 6.5 cm
Not on Display
Web Description: 
Since the 1970s, the Amsterdam-based designer Ruudt Peters has challenged traditional definitions of adornment by pushing the boundaries of context, wearability, materials, and presentation in his pioneering and conceptual jewelry. As a respected artist and professor at prestigious European schools, including the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, and the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design, Stockholm, Peters has had a profound influence on the development of contemporary jewelry. His work is an important addition to the Museum’s growing collection in this area. The structure of Peters’s brooch, consisting of 11 silver spheres connected by silver bars, is based on the Kabbalah’s tree of life, which illustrates the Sefirot, the channel of divine energy or life force. The spheres are themselves the Sefirot, each representing a named aspect of God. Shaddai is one of the aspects—or emanations— of God, meaning “Almighty.” The glass elements of this brooch suggest alchemical glass forms, such as retorts. Other brooches in the “Sefiroth” series incorporate diverse materials, including stones, iron ore, and polyester, making references to sexuality, the human body, and, as in Shaddai, laboratories. Both alchemy and the Kabbalah study the structure of the world, using symbol systems to investigate the nature of existence and of the soul. About the “Sefiroth” series, Peters explained, “The names all come from Kabbalah. . . . But I use names and descriptions quite associatively, in an open-minded way, not dogmatic at all. It is more like a vehicle, something I use to express my ideas and emotions about life” (see below Besten 2008). Unsigned. Unpublished. The “Sefiroth” series, which is ongoing, is published in Liesbeth den Besten, “Ruudt Peters: Jewelry Is My Laboratory,” Metalsmith, v. 28, no. 1, 2008, pp. 38–45; and Jorunn Veiteberg, Sefiroth: Ruudt Peters, Nijmegen, the Netherlands: Galerie Marzee, 2006. See also
Ornamentum, Source
Primary Description: 
Brooch, "Sefiroth Shaddai". Colorless borosilicate glass, silver; blown and flameworked glass, assembled. (a) Brooch consisting of one central vertical silver bar with five silver balls; three horizontal silver bars, each with a silver ball at each end are fixed perpendicular to vertical bar. Three blown and flameworked glass elements are wound around silver bars. Each glass element has one end formed into an conical opening, and one end formed with either one or two bulbous appendages and one single applied conical form. Brooch has four pin posts, each with a loose circular back (b-e).
The Sefiroth Series
Galerie Spektrum
Hudson Gallery
Massachusetts College of Art
Title Unknown (Galerie Marzee)
Galerie Marzee
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 35) (2014) illustrated, p. 123, top; BIB# AI98393
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2013 (2014) illustrated, p. 64 (#43);
Sefiroth: Ruudt Peters (2006) illustrated, 83; BIB# 138046