New Items at Vintage Jewelry Online.com
This month’s eclectic collection depicts more highly desirable items from the pre-turn of the Century, the Edwardian period, Deco era as well as some more Miriam Haskell. If you enjoy coral, I have three wonderful pieces, including a gold coral festoon necklace, a double strand bracelet and a pair of earrings. For natural materials you’ll want to see the tortoiseshell and silver bracelet and lorgnette. And don’t forget to look at the 18k ruby Deco ring. And speaking of Miriam Haskell, there’s a hard to find double strand pearl bracelet and a glass flower pin by Frank Hess. The Jewelry Tips section continues exploring the commonly defined jewelry eras with Part 4A, covering the years from 1890- 1920.
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:
- a Majestic 18k White Gold Ruby Deco Ring #AG-00034
- a Lovely 14k White Gold Large Cameo with a Diamond #AG-00035
- a Hard to Find Miriam Haskell Double Strand Bracelet #CS-00361
- a Classic Juliana 3″ Flower Pin #CS-00349
- a Showy Faux Pearl and Rhinestone Cocktail Ring from Majorca #CS-00393
- a Beautiful 10K gold Festoon Edwardian Coral Necklace #VE-00281
- a Dramatic 1860 Victorian Coral Drop Pin #VE-00347
- an 1860 authentic Tortoiseshell Lorgnette #VE-00390
Jewelry Eras and the History Behind Them Part 4A
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 years, 1890- 1920 Part 4A. There were five prevalent types of jewelry styles during this time period: Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Revivalist (which we now call Beau-arts and Neo- Renaissance), Edwardian, and of course Victorian. Although people typically begin this conversation with Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts, this month’s newsletter will cover only Edwardian, leaving the others for next month. However, many of these styles overlapped and it is not uncommon to see two “styles” combined in one piece. This is why you may see similar items called two different names.
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
1890 – 1920 Beau-Arts and Edwardian
Historical Perspective: 1890-1920
At the turn of the century, America became the leading industrial nation in the world and the people of the country were divided into classes. New York society was born and they had more diamonds and wealth than Europe Royalty. Yet there were slums all around the great city. In 1898 the US declared war on Spain and it was a time of political unrest.
As women became more involved in business so grew their demands for rights. This occurred in England and in the US leading up to women getting the vote in 1920. They also had a secret style of jewelry involving stones…green, white and violet that translated into ” Give Women the Vote”. While it was a time of political unrest it was also a time for modernization.
While we started the century with bicycles, shortly thereafter the automobile was invented. Initially, only the rich could afford cars but by 1917 cars could readily be purchased by middle America. And in 1903 the airplane was invented and changed the course of transportation and how people’s time was spent traveling forever. The world suddenly got smaller. We also changed the way we communicated. The “wireless” and the telephone were invented and again the world became smaller.
As a result of these inventions, people began spending “leisure” time. Whether it be going for a ride in a brand new roadster or talking on the phone, there was a sense of frivolity in the air and the “Gay Nineties” was born. And once Thomas Edison invented the “peepshow” it wasn’t long before theaters crossed the country and vaudeville was a thing of the past and people were watching full fledge movies with glittering stars and jewels galore. They were also seeing them in high style fashion magazines like Vogue and McCall’s.
But in England, it was a sad time as Queen Victoria died in 1901. Edward became King and although he had a good grasp of international politics he had a hard time over-coming his reputation as a womanizer and a pleasure seeker. He and his wife, Queen Alexander, both influenced fashion and style and created an air of glitter and glitz. Although it was a time of social reform England, like America, also saw sharp divides between its classes. The rich were very rich and the poor and the working class were filled with unrest. By the time Edward’s short reign was over, England was no longer a world power. And then along with the US, England entered into War in 1914.
In 1900 the Paris Exposition Universelle, showcased the height of Art Nouveau. Some of our most renowned artists of the time were producing their finest jewels during this period. The list is impressive and includes Rene LaLique, the House of Cartier, who was the official jewelers to Kind Edward and Queen Victoria, the House of Faberge’ and Comfort Tiffany who showcased his jewels for the first time at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904.
The Jewelry: 1890 – 1920 Motifs
One of the most predominate motifs was the garland that used, bows, swags, and tassels. Other popular motifs were hearts, anchors, clovers, crescents, wishbones, flowers, butterflies and birds. Sports jewelry was popular as well and you will see, riding crops, stirrups, horses and horseshoes.
The Jewelry: 1890 – 1920 Styles
The King and Queen of England set the style and it was filled with luxury activities and luxurious items including jewelry. The style was elegance and delicacy that still respected tradition. The wealthy could afford this jewelry with all its fine detail and subtly. Filigree jewelry with its lacy patterns and open work complimented the lace and embroidered fashions. The Garland style was conceived by Cartier, and picked up by many including Boucheron, Chaumet, Fouquet and Gautrait. We see this design throughout the delicate Edwardian pieces. This design combined flower and foliate swags, bows, tassels and lace. Jewelry that depicts these attributes includes, dog collars, fringe and festoon necklaces, brooches, corsage ornamentation, tiaras, lavalieres, pendants and earrings.
The sautoir and the negligee’ pendant are Edwardian as well. A sautoir is a long necklace that has a tassel or pendant at the end. The negligee’ pendant has two pendant drops dangling from unequal lengths of chain. (See items #VE-00058 and #VE-00283 for examples.)
Bracelets of many styles were in vogue. Thin bracelets and bangles with hand engraving and repousse or taille d’epergne enameling were plentiful and popular. The flexible and link bracelets with intricate filigree or cut out piercing were also very popular and coveted today as well. Many have authentic gemstones in them as well as enameling or paste.
The sash pin came of age during the Edwardian era. They are large and ornate and often contain jewels, either faux or real. Collar pins were tiny pins, usually sold in pairs and were used in the front and back of the clothing. Bar pins were in vogue and often made very inexpensively for the mass market and sold in catalogs. Scarf pins and stickpins were prevalent as well. Another popular item was the reversed carved, and painted rock crystal intaglio pin often depicting animals or sporting motifs.
Also popular were watch pins and watch chatelettes, which, typically had a fleur de lise design.
From1910-1920 there was a Transitional period where styles transformed from pure Edwardian to Art Deco. As we moved into the 1920’s, the jewelry became more geometric but the filigree and open work and many of the same materials were used.
The country that is most well known for their artistic combinations of this transitional period is Czechoslovakia. Prior to WWI, jewelry from this area was called Bohemia. After WWI in 1819, it was called Czechoslovakia. This jewelry was a unique combination of curvature and rectangular lines. They produced some of the best-designed jewelry in glass and brass often with gilt washes. This jewelry is extremely ornamental and easy to recognize. They used the same styles as mentioned above only with different materials.
The Jewelry: 1890-1920 Materials & Stones
For the most part, the Edwardian period was a rich man’s arena. This period produced its jewelry with diamonds, pearls and platinum in intricately designed works of art. The color scheme was mostly black and white and emphasized the metal and jewels that corresponded to that color scheme. This scheme complimented the feminine fashions that were made of lace and lightweight materials.
An interesting note mentioned in Warman’s Jewelry, 3rd edition, is ” the emphasis on diamonds coincided with improvements in diamond -cutting technology which gave rise to new cuts such as the marquise or navette, the emerald cut and the baguette. The term “calibre’ cut” was used to refer to any stone cut to a special setting. The briolette cut, a three-dimensional teardrop shape was often used for stones meant to be suspended”.
Other stones that were commonly used include amethysts, peridots, blue sapphires, green garnets, alexandrites, rubies, opals and turquoise. Garnets were used extensively in Czechoslovakian jewelry.
For those not so wealthy, imitation jewelry was made in colorless paste rhinestones, glass and silver made in the same or similar styles as fine jewelry. Theater people and others who couldn’t afford the “real” item wore crystalline diamonds. These crystals were often set in rock crystal and had frames of gold, sterling or gold-filled mountings.
Enameling was extensively used during this period, most frequently found in Art Nouveau jewelry. (See Vintage Jewelry Unleashed, #6 June 2006 for the subject of enameling and the different types.)
Jewelry and Fashion Trends
Crystals, crystals and more crystals as well as monochromatics seem to be the hot items for the holiday season, so peek through some of our finery and see what makes your heart beat just a little faster:
Here are some of our favorites:
- Hand Made Crystal Rondelle Elegant Necklace #CS-00067
- Retro Modern Eisenberg Crystal Fur Clip #CS-00020
- Runway Crystal Rondelle Necklace, Bracelet & Earrings Set #CU-00009
- Juliana Crystal Draping Necklace #CS-00082
- Elaborate Black Jet Sautior 66″ Long #VE-00058
- Bold Ornate Sterling Crystal Dinner Ring #FS-00052
And if you don’t like the monochromatic look, go for rich jewel tone colors. Here are some of ours:
- Czech Open Back Blue Crystal Necklace #AO-00076
- Miriam Haskell Green & Pink Glass Lariat #CS-00320
- Emerald Green Art Glass & Crystal Vendome Earrings #CS-00323
- Vivid Czech Multi-Color Crystal Necklace #VE-00040
- Couture Siman Tu Red & Green Crystal Earrings #CS-00366
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 crystal ones:
- Gorgeous Crystal 3-Dimensional Corocraft Necklace #CS-00096
- Celluloid, Ceramic & Glass French Necklace #CB-00039
- Miriam Haskell Ornate Chain Necklace #CS-00367
- 14K Treasured Edwardian Gold Bead Necklace#VE-00072
- Exquisite Pearl & Coral Edwardian Negligee’ Pendant #VE-00283