Jewelry Through The Ages

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>If I weren’t The Antiques Diva… I might be called The Jewelry Diva.  I have a bit of an obsession for fabulous jewels and shoes.  The dressing room in my Berlin apartment is literally decorated with jewelry (and bags and shoes) artfully displayed so I can enjoy my pieces even when I’m not wearing them!  They are art!  Antique jewelry in particular is interesting because it tells the story of fashion throughout history. Today I’m sharing a guest blog from James Brockbank who put together a lovely history of jewelry for Laurelle Antique Jewellery.

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Jewellery Through The Ages: 1714 – 1935

The emergence of fine jewellery spans the Georgian through to Art Deco periods, encompassing also the Victorian and Edwardian eras between the years of 1714 and 1935. It was during this time that jewellery began to become not only more affordable for the masses but also increased in popularity significantly and that certain trends began to appear, many of which are still popular to this day.

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We recently had the pleasure of having a fantastic infographic put together by Laurelle Antique Jewellery, titled ‘Jewellery Through The Ages: 1714 – 1935’ shared with us and, as such, we invited them to give a little summary on each of the periods covering these years alongside the infographic:

  1. Georgian Period (1714 – 1830)During the Georgian period, the years of political upheaval during the reign of four George’s between 1714 and 1830, all pieces of jewellery were still handmade by highly skilled jewellers with stones set either with enclosed backs or on foil being defining characteristics of the era. Diamonds became the most desirable stone during this time with emeralds, sapphires and rubies later becoming popular and widely used.
  2. Victorian Period (1837 – 1900)The Victorian Period marked the reign of Queen Victoria and throughout, saw what is regarded as three main eras as far as fashion and jewellery are concerned. The first of these, the Romantic Period (1837 – 1861) closely mirrored the affection seen by the world between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert whilst the Grand Period which followed (1861 – 1880) marked a period of sadness and mourning which followed Albert’s death, paving the way for decades of popularity of Jet black mourning jewellery. The Aesthetic Period (1880 – 1900) saw jewellery become smaller and simpler and marked the real transition between Victorian and Edwardian trends.
  3. Edwardian Period (1901 – 1914)Following the trends of the Victorian Period came the Edwardian Era, one which brought with it a renewed love of diamonds. Filigree rings, engraved signet rings and birthstone rings are standout pieces from Edwardian times as were pieces inspired by Rococo, creating what became known as the garland style. It was during the Edwardian period that both Cartier and Faberge came to fame, two brands who are still going strong to this day.
  4. Art Deco Period (1920 – 1935)Perhaps the most unique of the four periods covered here is the Art Deco period which covered the years between 1920 and 1835 and marked a time where many, after the First World War, had money for luxuries for the first time. During this era, jewellery was the product of a machine and, as such, Art Deco pieces became known for their symmetry and geometry. Popular standout pieces from the era include diamond bracelets, ruby brooches and sapphire earrings.

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It’s clear that many of the trends identified throughout these four periods still stand strong today, and it’s easy to see why such pieces are still popular. With the rise in interest in the ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’ trends in recent years, both independent dealers and auction houses are seeing an increased demand for pieces spanning all four periods and this looks set to continue as the beauty of antique jewellery continues to be realised.

The Antiques Diva®

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • I must say I do agree! All of these things are art-worthy and should be enjoyed. Thanks for giving us insight on those 4 periods of time and what they looked like jewelry wise!