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2012/123/1 Necklace, 'The Anamorphosis of Rhea', sterling silver / porcelain / paint / coral / poly-putty, designed and made by Nicole Polentas, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2010. Click to enlarge.

'The Anamorphosis of Rhea' necklace by Nicole Polentas

Nicole Polentas is a jeweller who lives in Melbourne but has strong connection with Greece and in particular the island of Crete from which her family migrated to Australia in the 1970s. Her Greek heritage, Greek cultural traditions and the 'sense of place' resonate strongly in her works - mostly large brooches and necklaces. Much of Polentas' jewellery is conceptual in meaning and while mostly abstract in design, she likes to incorporate symbolic motifs and images. Made in 2010, 'The …


Object No.


Object Statement

Necklace, 'The Anamorphosis of Rhea', sterling silver / porcelain / paint / coral / poly-putty, designed and made by Nicole Polentas, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2010

Physical Description

A large sculptural necklace consisting of a six-link articulated chain, a central circular openwork pendant construction, and a smaller openwork geometric element, which replaces the lowest link on the left, made of light blue painted wire with white speckles. The remaining components of the necklace, with the exception of the head, are spray-coated in white paint.

Each of the six links in the chain is constructed from a thin band of sterling silver, twisted to make open cylindrical spirals. Connected by circular loops, the silver spirals are applied with continuous, indecipherable lines of 'curving' text created from fine wire and fused onto the outer surface the metal.

The central pendant construction is made from several components assembled together to form an openwork structure in high relief surmounted with a classical female head in white porcelain representing Rhea; the head is turned and protrudes to the right. To the left of the head at the neck level are three sections of white natural coral.The head and the coral are held in place by white poly-putty, which has been formed to emulate the surface texture of the coral. Just below the head and pieces of coral is an assemblage of open hand-formed motifs from which a conical spiral emerges on the left . An elongated, free-formed 'knot' of silver ribbon joins the pendant section on each side with the chain.


No marks



360 mm


285 mm


55 mm



Designed and made in Melbourne by Nicole Polentas in 2010.



This necklace was acquired from the exhibition 'Psychomanteum' at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, 2012.

Nicole Polentas was born in Melbourne in 1984. Her family migrated from Greece in the 1970s. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2006 and Masters of Fine Arts in 2008 from RMIT University, where she is currently a PHD candidate. She has exhibited in jewellery exhibitions both nationally and internationally including Germany, The Netherlands, USA and Singapore. She has been awarded with an Australian Postgraduate Award (2009 - 2012), The Contemporary Wearables '09 Biennial Jewellery Award (second prize) (2009), and the Diana Morgan Gold and Silversmithing 1st Prize (2008). In 2008 her work was represented in the prestigious Talente 2008, Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich, Germany, which showcases the work of the best international young and emerging designer/makers. Also significant was her inclusion in the invitational travelling exhibition and accompanying publication, 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor: 100 Women 100 Brooches 100 Stories', Artisan, Brisbane, 2011.

Polentas' works have been included in a number of publications such as '500 Plastic Jewelry Designs', Lark Books USA, 2009 and '500 Silver Jewelry Designs', Lark Books USA, 2011.


Credit Line

Purchased with funds from the Yasuko Myer Bequest, 2012

Acquisition Date

21 October 2012

Cite this Object


'The Anamorphosis of Rhea' necklace by Nicole Polentas 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 February 2023, <>


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