New Items at Vintage Jewelry Online.com
This month’s diverse collection depicts some more of the best designed pieces from the turn of the Century as well as some runway costume items produced by some of my favorite designers as well as some unsigned pieces, including another French pin. You’ll find a beautiful silver Renaissance Revival sapphire and pearl pin, a wonderfully stylish enamel and rhinestone pin, an outstanding modern 18k E.B. HORN pearl, sapphire and diamond bracelet, a late Victorian silver snake bracelet and an outstanding example of a modern chunky toggle bracelet that is sure to please. I’ve also added more Miriam Haskell necklaces, a bracelet and a pair of earrings. The Jewelry Tips section continues exploring the commonly defined jewelry eras with Part 3, covering the mid-late Victorian period from 1860- 1901
To see the newest jewelry listed in a group, click here
Here are this months featured items. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
The new featured highlights are found on the home page and include:
- an Arts & Crafts Sterling Hammered Bracelet #AS-00118
- an Elegant Deco Enamel & Rhinestone Pin #AO-00027
- a Massive Runway Toggle Bracelet #CU-00136
- a French Cherry Red Molded Glass & Pearl Heart Shape Pin #CS-00187
- an Outrageous Red & Green Crystal Couture Siman Tu Earrings #CS-00366
- an E.B. Horne 18k Pearl, Diamond, Sapphire Bracelet #FG-00208
- a Victorian Silver Snake Bracelet #VE-00216
- a Lovely Austrian-Hungarian Revival Sapphire Pendant #VE-00367
Jewelry Eras and the History Behind Them Part 3
The past few months I provided an overview of the most commonly referenced jewelry eras beginning with the Georgian period. This month we’ll follow the timeline and cover the mid to late Victorian period, 1860- 1901.
The majority of the reference information comes from Warman’s Jewelry, 3rd Edition by Christie Romero and the 6th Edition Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry by Jeanenne Bell both of which I highly recommend. (See Vintage Jewelry Unleashed Vol.3 – March 2006)
Commonly Defined Reference Periods
1760 – 1830 Georgian
1840 – 1860 Early Victorian
1861 – 1879 Mid Victorian
1880 – 1902 Late Victorian
1890 – 1920 Edwardian & Art Nouveau
1920 – 1935 Art Deco
1940 – 1965 Post War & Retro Modern
1860 – 1901 Victorian
Historical Perspective: 1860-1901
Two dramatic events took place; one in Europe and one in the US that forever changed the way women dressed, lived their lives and felt about themselves. In Europe Prince Albert died and Queen Victoria went into deep mourning. Although people in mourning wore black extensively, black became fashionable and worn by all. In the US, Civil War broke out and the role of women changed forever. Women now worked in offices, in manufacturing companies and in the South, the fields, growing and harvesting crops. In 1870 the Women’s Property Act was passed and women could now own property. Women had come of age and interest in education grew. Vassar started in 1865.
The Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia was a landmark extravaganza celebrating America’s 100th birthday. Even England, France, Germany, Spain and Japan built buildings to represent their countries and their culture. Tiffany had the most prominent display of jewelry that included watches, silver, jewelry and stationery. Tiffany became world renown as America’s most prestigious company. They won awards and medals at international shows in France and the US and became known for their designs, craftsmanship and their international resources.
Expositions continued to play a role internationally. In 1893, to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Discovery of America, Chicago played host to the World’s Columbia Exposition. A few of the highlights included the Electricity building, which showcased the variety of ways this “wonderful new light” could be used. Jewelry was again displayed and Tiffany, Gorham and the Venetian Glass Company had their own pavilions. There were 29 displays of jewelry from New England manufacturing companies.
Archaeological expeditions had a tremendous influence on jewelry of this period. In 1872 the British Museum purchased some ancient jewelry from the Castillani Collection. And in France people could view the Cavalier Company Collection. The US could view the treasures found in the Temple of Kurium, from Cyprus. This type of jewelry was called Revivalist jewelry. Egyptian Revivalist jewelry was inspired by the findings of Queen Ah-Hotep. Etruscan jewelry reached its zenith at this point as well. This is personified in the works of Castellani. Giulianos inspired another type of Revival jewelry, called Renaissance using enamels with jewels.
The Jewelry: 1860 – 1901 Motifs
Jewelry of this era, if you were not in mourning was very colorful. However, if you were in mourning, Black jewelry was the request style. Between the 1860’s -1870’s the jewelry was heavy and massive. Big was better and colors were rich and bold. Dye was first produced in this era and the first color made was purple. It created such a stir the “Mauve Age” was born and bright colors were the height of fashion. By 1880 Victorian culture and society began to change. Queen Victoria was no longer the trend-sitter she used to be but her daughter-in-law, Princess Alexandra picked up where the Queen left off. Lines were simpler and everything was lighter and it became known as the Aesthetic period. Lace replaced fringe, collars were tall and tight and the tailored look became fashionable.
Motifs that were popular include, serpent jewelry as the serpent symbolizes eternity and wisdom. Anchors, hearts and crosses symbolizing hope, love and faith were prevalent. Beetles and insects, popular in Revivalist jewelry were fashionable as were Etruscan motifs. Buckles, fringes and tassels were seen in significant amounts as well as acorns, rams heads and anything with an archaeological motif. From 1880-1901 crescents and stars were popular, as were birds and flowers. Other popular motifs were the moon and the owl, the man and the moon and good luck signs including horseshoes. Mogul jewelry and gold-trimmed tiger’s claws became fashionable attire, especially after Queen Victoria was announced as the Empress of India due to England’s expansion.
The Jewelry: 1860 – 1901 Styles
1861-1880 was entitled the Grand Period and for good reason. The international expositions, the acquisition of India, the growing reputation of Tiffany, encourage those with money to wear jewelry in great quantities. After the Civil War, when prosperity was growing men showered their women with jewels. Even the working-class women were showing off with “faux” jewelry. Brooches were large, bracelets were widened and worn in pairs, and large lockets and draping necklaces were in style as the necklines were lowered so there was room to display them prominently.
Men continued to adorn themselves with watch chains, fobs, cufflinks, stickpins, studs, and rings. The styles of jewelry that are attributed to this period are also well known and quite coveted.
As the Aesthetic period came into being, the jewelry got lighter to match the style of clothing. The jewelry was lighter in color, lighter in weight and more delicate and fragile in appearance. Pins, earrings and necklaces were still worn, but were much smaller in size. The festoon necklace and fringe necklace became popular as it linked jewels and chains in a draping, elegant style. The dog collar necklace, made to go with the high collared dresses and blouses, were prominent as well. Dainty and elegant lavalieres with precious and semi-precious gems were extremely popular. Bracelets were bangles, often hollow and tubular, often with enameling. The curb bracelet came into vogue, both in silver and gold and was often worn with a padlock heart. Chatelaines made a come back and held all the necessities for day or evening wear. Sporting jewelry also became popular due to women’s increased participation in a variety of sports. Jewelry with birds, and animal motifs were seen frequently and intaglio crystals were very popular with men and women.
The Jewelry: 1860-1901 Materials & Stones
Among the most popular materials were jet, used primarily for mourning jewelry, diamonds, opals, garnets, coral, tortoise shell and mosaics. Later, we saw celluloid, silver with mixed metals and enamel, and more colored gemstones, including turquoise and seed pearls. Seed pearls were often mixed with jewels to create a more feminine appearance. Enameling was used considerably, sometimes as an accent in bracelets, lockets or pins and sometimes in fine jewelry as the predominant component mixed with precious gems.
Cameos were growing in popularity and are considered one of the classics of all jewelry. During this period intaglios became popular as well. Where cameos are built up, the intaglio is recessed and carved into the stone. Mosaics grew in popularity as well. There are two types of mosaics, mico mosaics or pietra dura. Mirco mosaics are small pieces of glass designed and placed to depict a picture. Pietra dura are thin carved slices of stones, such as agate, chalcedony, jasper and lapis that are cut into shapes to form a picture.
Jewelry and Fashion Trends
Necklaces are still riding high on everyone’s hit parade list and it doesn’t matter if the necklace is gold, sterling, brass, bakelite, plastic or a base metal. Wear them long and let them swing. Here are some of our favorites including some hot polka dot ones:
Here are some of our favorites:
- Peach Color Polka Dot Celluloid Necklace #CB-00015
- Celluloid, Ceramic & Glass French Necklace #CB-00039
- Miriam Haskell Ornate Chain Necklace #CS-00367
- Miriam Haskell Pink & Green Lariat #CS-00320
- Gold & Ivory 35″ Long Exqusite Necklace #FG-00125
- Elaborate Black Jet Sautior 66″ Long #VE-00058
Faux Jewelry has made the headlines again, so what could be better than to have your pick of some of the best dazzling faux and vintage jewels available. Here are some of ours:
- Classy Faux Moonstone, Diamonds & Enamel Fur Clip #CS-00026
- Elegant KJL Faux Emerald Cabochons & Diamond Earrings #CS-00057
- Exceptional Kenneth J Lane Faux Diamond Studded Bracelet #CS-00336
- McClelland Barclay Faux Sapphire Deco Necklace #CS-00145
- Faux Emerald & Diamond Pave Set in Faux Platinum Pin #CU-00006
- Over the top Faux Amethyst Cabochon Bohemian Bracelet #VE-00057