What was the Georgian era?
The Georgian era was between 1714 and 1830 in England, during the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain: George I, George II, George III, and George IV. This was the time of the American and French Revolutions, but it was also the era of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and Jane Austen.
Because the Georgian era was so long, styles of jewelry varied greatly. However, there were several common themes and styles that remained from beginning to end.
What styles of jewelry were popular during the Georgian era?
Jewelry from the Georgian era was elaborate and regal, and was worn almost exclusively by the wealthy. Often, jewelry was made in sets of several matching pieces, including a necklace, earrings, brooch, comb, bracelets, pins, and tiara. These were passed down through several generations of a single family and worn by the ranking female member. A large set of five to ten pieces was known as a parure. A smaller set of three to five pieces was called a demi-parure.
Large and colorful gemstones were common in jewelry designed during the Georgian era, including rubies, emeralds, topaz, and amethyst. Diamonds were also popular, particularly for large pieces of jewelry. Most jewelry was made of gold, though silver plate dipped in gold was also common. Many pieces had designs inspired by nature, including flowers, vines, and birds.
Due to their age, genuine Georgian-era pieces are rare outside of museums. Many were lost or damaged, or taken apart by jewelers for their gems or metals. As a result, Georgian jewelry is very valuable and can be auctioned off at high prices
How did jewelry change in the Victorian era?
The Victorian era refers to the reign of Queen Victoria of England, which lasted from 1837 to 1901. Significant legal and social reforms were enacted during this period, closing the gap between the aristocracy and the middle class.
In the late 1800s, gold and gemstone deposits were discovered throughout Africa and the Americas. When mines were opened in these locations, gold and precious gems became much less expensive. As a result, fine jewelry, which was previous owned only by the rich, became accessible to the middle and lower classes.
The Victorian era is divided into the Romantic Period, from 1837-1861, the Grand Period, from 1861 to 1880, and the Late Victorian, or Aesthetic, Period, from 1880 to 1901. These different periods reflected changes in the life of the queen and the influence that those changes had on the art and style of the era.
What jewelry styles were popular during the Victorian Romantic Period?
The Romantic Period began when Queen Victoria inherited the throne of England at the young age of 21 in 1837. Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 and the joy of the young royal couple was seen in jewelry styles in the form of romantic symbols such as hearts, flowers, bows, and birds. These pieces were often highly decorated with enamel and brightly colored gemstones.
Jeweled serpents were also a popular motif. At the time of their marriage, Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a ring in the form of a serpent eating its own tail, a symbol of eternal love. Another common style was “acrostic” jewelry, which featured rows of different gemstones so that their first letters spelled out words, such as “dear” (diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby).
One of the most famous styles of jewelry from the Victorian Romantic Period is the cameo. These silhouettes were made from carved shell or coral and were worn as necklaces, lockets, bracelets or earrings. Cameos were often a gift exchanged by lovers or family members who had to be far apart.
What jewelry styles were popular during the Victorian Grand Period?
After Prince Albert’s death in 1861, Queen Victoria stayed in mourning for decades, and her style was reflected in the art and jewelry of the Grand Period. Jewelry became more somber overall, with pieces made of black gemstones such as jet, onyx, or black pearls. Amethyst, white pearls, and black enamel were also popular, since they were all considered to be mourning colors.
“What is “Revivalism”?
Revivalism was an aesthetic movement in the Grand Period that saw renewed interest in classical and Renaissance designs. Jewelry from this movement featured many Greek and Roman motifs, such as peacocks, doves, and geometric patterns. Jewelers also began to revive the mosaic technique for making jewelry with images on it.
What jewelry styles were popular during the Late Victorian Period?
The Late Victorian, or Aesthetic Period, occurred after Queen Victoria emerged from mourning and featured a return to more whimsical art. Motifs such as stars, hearts, and dragons became common, as well as pieces modeled on Egyptian hieroglyphics. Designs became smaller and simpler
During this time, more gold mines were discovered on the American west coast and in Alaska, and several more diamond mines were opened by British companies in South Africa. The influx of new gold and diamonds lowered the cost of fine jewelry even further.
Diamond jewelry became especially popular in 1897, when it was made to celebrate the queen’s 60th anniversary as monarch. There were also inexpensive pieces of jewelry made to commemorate the Jubilee for the lower classes, which were cast in silver and stamped with the letter “V” for Victoria.
What is Arts and Crafts style jewelry?
The Arts and Crafts movement occurred from 1880 to 1820, primarily in the United States and Great Britain. It was a response to the decadence of the Victorian era and to the social changes that resulted from industrialization. The movement focused on the value of craftsmanship, fair working conditions, and a handmade aesthetic.
Though the Arts and Crafts movement is more famous for its influence on household goods such as furniture, lamps, and pottery, it was seen in jewelry styles as well.
Arts and Crafts jewelry was designed with simple lines and a lack of ornamentation. The elaborate mosaics and fanciful designs of the Victorian era were abandoned in favor of single gems in plain settings, or no gems at all. Metalwork was incredibly popular, and twists of gold and silver pieces were often seen in bracelets and rings of the period.
What was the Edwardian era?
The Edwardian era occurred during the reign of King Edward VII of England, from 1901 to 1910. It is sometimes extended to include the time beyond Edward’s death, leading up to the start of World War I in 1914. It corresponds to the French Belle Epoque era and was a time of renewed dominance of the upper classes.
What styles of jewelry were popular during the Edwardian era?
Jewelry and other forms of art from this time were elaborate and decorative, unlike the styles of the Arts and Crafts movement. Though the 20th century had begun, the Victorian influence was still strong, and this was reflected in the era’s classic, feminine patterns, including jewelry with hearts, flowers, and lacy filigree.
Most Edwardian jewelry was designed to highlight the beauty of a single key element, such as a large gemstone or pearl. The “white-on-white” look was popular for its sophisticated style, so many pieces were made with diamonds or pearls set in platinum or white gold.
Edwardian jewelry was also influenced by Rococo style, and in particular a “garland” look became popular. This could take the form of an actual garland, in which a bracelet, ring, or necklace was made in the shape of bows and leaves. Another popular garland piece was a choker-like necklace made of many draped strings of gemstones.
Styles of jewelry in the Edwardian era were heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, with which it overlapped.
What is Art Nouveau jewelry?
The Art Nouveau movement began at the end of the Victorian era, in 1890, and lasted through the Edwardian era until 1910. It was heavily influenced by both nature and Japanese art.
Art Nouveau jewelry is characterized by elegant, sweeping lines, designed to evoke the movement of water or clouds. Leaves, flowers, birds, and dragonflies were popular motifs, as well as abstract depictions of the female form.
Many Art Nouveau pieces featured elaborate enamel work, though the colors were often softer and more muted than those found in Victorian jewelry. This muted palette was also reflected in the choice of gemstones. Popular gemstones in Art Nouveau jewelry include opals, citrine, moonstone, and amber, rather than the brighter colors of sapphires, rubies, or emeralds.
Art Nouveau styles focused on the overall design of a piece of jewelry, rather than just the gemstones that it was set with. As a result, elaborate metalwork became popular, from twisted wire to lacy filigree. During this time, jewelers came to be seen as artists, rather than craftsmen, because of these intricate designs.
What is Art Deco jewelry?
Just before the 1920s, Art Nouveau styles gave way to Art Deco. The Art Deco movement lasted from about 1915 to 1935 and was influenced by the styles and taste of the Jazz Age.
During this time, women were rebelling against the social restraints leftover from the Victorian era, and this was reflected in their choice of jewelry. Art Deco jewelry was characterized by sharp lines and geometric shapes, unlike the delicate, feminine styles of the Victorian era.
Art Deco jewelry was influenced by trends in fine art, such as the Cubist and Futurist movements. It was also part of the Egyptian Revival movement, and many Art Deco pieces imitated the lines and shapes of Egyptian artwork.
Large, eye catching jewelry was in style, and sets of earrings, necklaces, and rings were often made to match. Diamond engagement rings were popular during the Art Deco movement, but brighter gemstones were also common. Jewelry was set with emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, or simply made of elaborate metalwork with no gemstones at all.
Industrialization heavily influenced the Art Deco movement, with machines being widely used to cut gemstones for the first time. Machine cutting led to the advent of the round brilliant-cut diamond, which became instantly popular for engagement rings. New casting techniques were also used for metalwork, allowing settings for rings and earrings to become more elaborate than ever.
What is Retro Modern jewelry?
Retro Modern jewelry was made from the mid-1930s through the 1940s. The name of the style is somewhat contradictory, as it suggests looking both backwards and forward at the same time. Jewelers at the time were were influenced by the sentimental, natural designs of the Victorian era – the “retro” part – but updated these designs to be bolder and more elaborate — the “modern” part. Retro Modern jewelry is sometimes also known as “costume jewelry” or “cocktail jewelry.”
Retro Modern jewelry was influenced by the cultural changes and restrictions of World War II. Because Europe was at war, American designers could not look to French fashion houses for influence, and so it was primarily an American style of jewelry.
Due to wartime shortages, traditional jewelry materials were scarce, so most Retro Modern pieces were made with rhinestones, crystals, and plastic. Gemstones were rare, and many necklaces or bracelets were made of decorative lucite, wood, woven mesh, or ornamental fabric tassels.
During World War II, women worked in traditionally male positions, while men were away at war. To counteract these masculine roles, and the more masculine clothing that came with them, jewelry became highly feminized once again. Pieces often featured delicate, natural symbols, such as stars, bouquets, birds, hearts, and bows. More modern designs, such as fireworks, were also popular.