Antique jewelry through the ages: Part two...

By: Carly Hill - Staff Writer • Jul 20, 2012 • 0 Comments

On Tuesday, we took a glimpse at how jewelry has evolved through the centuries and left off in the year 1815 with empire jewelry.  If you missed part one, click here to get caught up.  Once you’ve read that, take a look at the characteristics of antique jewelry in every century.


Georgian Jewelry

Jewelry made between 1740 and 1830 (during the reigns of King George I, II, III, and IV) is referred to as Georgian Jewelry.  This type of jewelry is rare because most of it was melted and made into more contemporary jewelry later on, since precious metals and stones were scarce and expensive.  Floral and scroll motifs were popular at the time and diamonds were set in silver.


Romanticism Jewelry

18th century western jewelry was romantic.  People were fascinated by medieval and renaissance art.  Because of the industrial age, the middle class grew, and could afford jewelry, which was now made with cheaper materials.   Costume jewelry was popular.  Goldsmiths continued to craft treasures that could only be afforded by the wealthy.  Mourning jewelry appeared at this time – originating in England, when Queen Victoria wore jet jewelry after Prince Albert’s death.  In 1837, Tiffany and Co. was founded and really put the U.S. on the map in regards to jewelry.


Neo-Egyptian Jewelry

Between 1798 and 1810, jewelry featured ancient Egyptian language and shapes.  Since then, there have been two revivals of the style – the first revival taking place around 1867 and then second revival around 1922.


Victorian Jewelry

Originally, Victorian jewelry was known as jewelry made in the U.K. during Queen Victoria’s reign, but nowadays, Victorian jewelry is described as any European jewelry made during the 19th century.

Anything beyond Victorian jewelry, or less than 100 years old, is considered vintage, since antiques must be 100 years old, or older.  But, just for your own knowledge, after Victorian, came eclecticism, Edwardian jewelry, art nouveau, art deco, interbellum, retro, and fifties. 

The piece pictured above is an antique Victorian portrait broach pendant, circa 1897 from Antique Resources, available right here.


Stop by later this week to learn more about antique jewelry.  Happy Latiquing!