T he primary reason for investing in antique jewelry, as opposed to other works of art, is the simple fact that it can still be put to its original purpose, that being to complement beauty and fashion. Some collectors enjoy antique jewelry for its historic or academic value, but most also appreciate jewels from a bygone era that still serves to flatter modern styles and at the same time add that inimitable touch of antique charm. T hough casual buyers of estate and antique jewelry still tend to associate most old pieces of jewelry with the Victorian era, there are definite characteristics that serve to identify those that are, in fact, verifiably Victorian, or dating from the 64 year reign of Queen Victoria of England V ictoria Alexandrina assumed the British throne at the very crest of the wave known as Romantic Revivalism, a movement marked by the most complex and fastest changing jewelry fashions the world has ever seen. Still a teenager when she was crowned, Victoria was the very paradigm of marital bliss upon her marriage to Prince Albert. Their love for each other was celebrated throughout the British empire and to such a degree that whatever Victoria adopted as fancy, her loyal legions turned into fashion. J ust as Victoria’s tastes influenced the aristocracy of the day, so did that aristocracy dictate the fashions of the masses, with disastrous results for the jewelry trade in the latter years of her reign. Following the death of Prince Albert in , the wearing of jewelry during the day fell rapidly out of fashion. The effect of Victoria’s growing moral severity and pompous conservatism nearly bankrupted some of the finest jewelers of the time.
Grand Period 1860-1885
The popularity of Georgian jewelry has resulted in the market being flooded with fakes and the best way to avoid being sold a fake is to educate yourself. This post addresses how to identify genuine Georgian jewelry and is wonderfully written by Lisa of Lisa Kramer Vintage , a trusted expert on antique jewelry and in the business since the late 90s. She is also contributing another post tomorrow, which will be about what to look for in fakes and repros.
When evaluating a piece of jewelry you need to look at many characteristics of a piece. Think of yourself as a detective and design, materials, and construction are your clues.
Is what you have Victorian mourning jewelry, or perhaps earlier memento mori? These types of jewelry date to different periods as well.
The Victorian period began on the 20th of June , when Princess Victoria became Queen at the age of She reigned as Queen of Great Britain for 64 years and seven months, until her death on the 22nd of January The latter part of the Victorian era coincides with the Belle Epoque era meaning beautiful era of mainland Europe and the Gilded Age of the United States. This was a period of prolonged peace and prosperity in the UK, with the standard of living increasing greatly.
Which lead to an increase in demand for luxury goods, such as jewellery which were now being mass-produced as part of the industrial revolution. She not only wore it but designed it and gave it as gifts throughout the British Empire. Although the Victorian Jewellery period spanned 64 years, it is divided into three sections, early, mid and late Victorian. Reflected the great romance between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. With floral motifs of roses, pansies, daisies and forget-me-nots.
This theme of nature and love was very popular during the early Victorian period. Jewellery which contained a secret compartment, normally brooches or rings. Where also very popular and had a token of a loved one placed inside. Although the ultimate token of love in the Victorian period was acrostic jewels. Acrostic jewels would spell out a hidden message, using the first letter of each gemstone.
Books of Antique & Estate Jewelry
Most of our jewelry at Filigree Jewelers is from an era long ago. Our collection spans seven time periods, each distinct in style and construction with history and romance as the driving factors. Learn more about each era below. We call many pieces in our collection antique; technically to be an antique it needs to be made over years ago.
Victorian and Edwardian rings currently fall into the antique category. At Filigree Jewelers we do our best to ensure that each antique ring is ready for daily wear.
However, some elements endured and saw transformations, some of which can help date a piece. For example, hair jewelry was worn in the Romantic Period, but.
This lava stone cameo depicts Cupid in a Neo-Classical design set in a silver mounting. She ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom in and died in Those sixty-four years witnessed enormous changes in industry, society, fashion, and, of course, jewelry. For example, it started with horse-drawn carriages and candlelight and ended with automobiles and electricity. However, some elements endured and saw transformations, some of which can help date a piece.
For example, hair jewelry was worn in the Romantic Period, but its popularity reached its zenith during the Grand Period. On the other hand, a large, imposing brooch showcasing a dark gemstone, framed with braided hair, would most likely fall into the Grand Period.
Mourning in the Victorian Period: Installment 1 of the Identifly Series
Wearing jewelry in remembrance of our beloved dead is a tradition that originated in the 16 th century, but the fashion for mourning jewelry reached its height during the reign of Queen Victoria. Victorian mourning jewelry, particularly those pieces dating to the earlier part of this era, are of special interest to lovers of antique jewelry due to its uniquely personal nature; few other styles of jewelry allow such an intimate glimpse into the past.
It is idiosyncratic elements such as these that make Victorian mourning jewelry so rewarding to collect, study and enjoy. Before the rise of our modern entertainment and fashion industries, fashion was dictated by the nobility and members of court.
Named for Queen Victoria of England, jewelry from the era is as exquisite as it is varied, reflecting Victoria’s changing tastes.
Vintage jewelry is jewelry that is at least 30 years old, while antique jewelry must be older than a century. This means that there are many different types of vintage and antique jewelry based on fashion trends, manufacturing styles, popular materials, and jewelry stamps. One of the most telling ways to identify your jewelry is by its style, which can correspond to a specific time period or area.
This cute little snake ring has a pair of ruby eyes and a diamond head. This beautiful filigree bow piece embodies the Edwardian aesthetic. This brass ring shows typical Art Nouveau detailing; note the nude woman and the flowing, organic lines. This white gold art deco ring is set with diamonds. In addition to these historical styles, there are also some regionally-specific types of jewelry:.
This Black Hills ring shows off the signature multicolored gold look, with grape leaves. While manufacturing methods drastically vary, certain components and details are very telltale when it comes to dating the jewelry. For instance, hand engraving is indicative of a piece dating at least to the s, especially if it is on a signet ring.
Victorian Jewelry 1837 – 1901
No single period has seen such a diverse group of jewelry attributed to it than the Victorian era. The jewelry is named after Queen Victoria , whose reign lasted from to , making her the second longest-ruling monarch. She was surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II in
Browse our collection of antique jewellery from the Victorian period ().
Late s to s It is always fun when a ring is inscribed with a date, taking the guess work out of circa dating. Although jewelry is sometimes seen with a much later inscription than when it was actually made, that is not the norm. Rings from the early s that are not dated may also have features to help identify them. Stones in that period were often set in a close-backed mounting, and sometimes foiled as well. Stones in the rings could also be set in a silver head with a karat gold band and rose cut diamonds, all typical of this time period.
Hair and memorial rings were worn by both men and women. The crystal is a faceted octagon with a tiny layer of hair under the bottom and a dash of rose pink coloring. The diamond is set in a pinched silver collet rim and the scale design wraps around the entire ring. The diamond is 3. The color is a foil backed light brown and it has a tiny broken edge visible only under magnification. Circa , the the two larger diamonds are set in pinched collet rims.
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Is It Memento Mori or Mourning Jewelry?
Jewellery is a universal form of adornment. Jewellery made from shells, stone and bones survives from prehistoric times. It is likely that from an early date it was worn as a protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.
By: Sugar et Cie, Categories: Antique Jewelry, Rings, Victorian Jewelry, Vintage Jewelry. Tags: antique jewellery, Antique Jewelry, British Hallmarks, dating.
One of the best ways to avoid reproductions and fakes is to know and understand how originals are made. Reproductions are rarely made the same as originals due to changes in materials, labor costs and modern production techniques. When looking at brooches, you can get a good idea of the age of the piece by studying the catches, hinges and pins Fig. For the purposes of our discussion we are going to use the words “brooch” to mean the decorative, ornamental piece.
The word “pin” will refer to the pointed piece of metal that pierces the clothing. The “hinge” is the assembly that allows the pin to pivot. The “catch” is the piece or mechanism that holds the fastener at the pointed end opposite the hinge. Pins, hinges, catches and other non-decorative pieces such as jump rings, latches, etc. Tube hinges were also used during other eras but not to the extent they were used during last half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century.
Tube hinges are formed by three cylinders, or tubes, of hollow metal Figs. Two tubes are attached to the decorative piece; one tube is attached to the pin. The tube on the pin is jointed to the two tubes on the decorative piece with a rod that passes through all three tubes. Note that the tube on the fastener is a separate piece soldered to the end of the pin Fig.
5 Easy Clues for Dating Antique or Vintage Jewelry
Tags: antique jewellery , Antique Jewelry , British Hallmarks , dating hallmarked jewelry , English 18th c. Did you recently purchase your first piece of English antique jewelry? Would you like to know what the marks stamped on your jewelry mean? While most of this post is for those new to the English hallmarking system, there is at least one piece of information that I guarantee you will be news to a number of collectors and perhaps even a few dealers, read on to find out.
A hallmark identifies the type of precious metal and the fineness or purity of that metal.
Feb 29, – Earrings, pair of (part of a set) Date: midth century Culture: Italian (Naples, probably) Medium: Gold, shell (Cassia rufa) Dimensions: Other (of.
M id-Victorian women were competing with men for jobs as clerks, teachers, factory inspectors and they were fighting to win the right to vote. Suddenly they had their own money, and a change in the laws c. A passion for ancient history fueled by archaeological discoveries and written accounts of the exploits of ancient civilizations made this period ripe for revivals of ancient jewelry styles.
The jewelry business flourished throughout Europe. He embraced the Renaissance aesthetic and adapted its designs to suit the Victorian woman. The Renaissance and Egyptian revivals were joined by a classical revival of Greek and Etruscan styles. Using his granulation skills and other ancient jewelry techniques, he went on to produce many amazing replicas of the jewels discovered in the excavations of these ancient Greek civilizations.
Greek and Roman coins were also featured, set prominently in these archaeological jewels. The Mexican campaign resulted in a fad for bejeweled hummingbirds set as brooches and hair ornaments. But it was the opening of trade with Japan that had the most lasting impact on jewelry design. It began with a technique for setting small bits of decorative Japanese metalwork in jewelry.
A shift from gem driven design to one that required the gems to adapt to metalwork designs developed. This technique was first introduced in England in the seventeenth century by the Huguenots.
Considering the day and age, probably a diamond engagement ring or gold wedding band. But while these specific traditions are less than a hundred years old, people have been expressing their love through jewelry for, well, probably forever. Fede rings, depicting clasped hands, are one of the oldest forms of jewelry, dating back to Roman times; Europeans revived the style in the twelfth century, and their period of greatest prevalence lasted through the eighteenth which is when ours is from!
The name comes from the Italian phrase mani in fede, meaning hands clasped in faith, and they were held to represent love, friendship, or betrothal. These rings and broaches, set with colorful gemstones or, like ours, with diamonds, were particularly popular during the Georgian era, and often traded by friends and lovers. Think of them as the jewelry equivalent of a bouquet of flowers!
Awkward, nation, dating victorian jewelry clasps hinges looking murder in the first class time in my life i’m waiting for the details. Into remotest antiquity and year.
Jewelry from the Victorian era is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. This stunning pendant is no exception. Crafted in a lovely mix of yellow and rose gold, this handmade piece has developed a rainbow patina that is absolutely breathtaking. The floral design is beautifully crafted in three-dimensions and accented with three ivory pearls. This Victorian pendant is a true work of art, perfect for an equally special lady.
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