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The history of jewellery
Saturday, 7 May 2016 11:39:00 AM Australia/Sydney
By Lou Ella D'Amore
When I was asked to write this blog, the first thing I thought of was my late grandmother. She had some astonishing jewellery which I will one day inherit. My mother and I have already established that.
I am going to start with some show-and-tell and share this piece with you. It a solid 18 carat gold chain that she had made for her engagement in the roaring 20’s. Back then we wore necklaces long. A few decades later she had it cut down and now her daughters both share in this family history.
My Grandmother's Engagement necklace
Jewellery is much more than sentimental made from shells, stone, bones precious metal and stone having survived from prehistoric times. It is likely; then it was worn to protect from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.
Over time, metalworking techniques became more sophisticated and decoration more intricate. I love nothing more than hitting the flea markets every time I go to New York and look for that hidden gem. I always find the best vintage jewellery at those markets
In researching this, I discovered that gold, even though it was rare and a highly valued material, was buried with the dead so as to accompany its owner into the afterlife. Most of the archaeological jewellery comes from tombs
Let's head over to Ireland sometime before 1783; a collar was found in a bog in Shannongrove, Co. Limerick. We do not know what it was used for, probably a ceremonial collar. It appeared to have rested on the chest and was held in place by a chain.
This jewellery dated from 1200–1500 and reflected an intensely hierarchical and status-conscious society. Royalty and the nobility wore gold, silver and precious gems. Lower ranks of society wore base metals; such as copper or pewter. It was at this stage that spiritual jewellery was born. With the belief of metal, that protect. Pearls symbolised purity, and the red gems may have symbolised sacrificial blood shed by Christ.
This era is the age of passion for splendour. Enamels, often covering both sides of the jewel, As cutting techniques advanced so increased the glitter of stones. The jewellery designs of this era reflect the new-found interest with mythological figures. Imagine what having an online jewellery store would have been like back them. I need a time machine! It was at this stage of history. Particular types of stone were thought to protect against specific ailments or threats, ranging from a toothache to the evil eye.
Changes in fashion had introduced new styles of jewellery by the mid-17th century. Dark fabrics required elaborate gold jewellery, the new softer pastel shades that had not been around before now meant gemstones and pearl jewellery. Expanding global trade resulted in more gems available t design jewellery that was new and exciting.
The most impressive jewels of this era were often large bodice or breast ornaments, which had to be stitched to dress fabrics. The central bow necklace is a magnificent example of a mid-17th-century jewel and something we still wear today.
As techniques continued to improve, we now see the development of the brilliant-cut with its multiple facets. Diamonds sparkled as never before becoming dominate in jewellery design. Thank you 18th-century jewellery. The jewellery designers of the time mounted diamonds in silver to enhance the stone's white colour.
The 19th century was a period of huge industrial and social change. Jewellery trends, on the other hand, attempted to revive ancient techniques and naturalistic jewellery, decorated with clearly recognisable flowers and fruit was popular for much of this period. By the 1850s, the delicate early designs had given way to more extravagant and intricate compositions of flowers and foliage which emerged in this era. Flowers used in this period as an expression of love and friendship. The other emerging trend of this era was men started to wear jewellery too as a fashionable accessory.
Jewellery designers now focused on hand-crafting individual jewels. This process, they believed, would improve the soul of the workman as well as the end design
The Art Nouveau style 1895–1910) caused a dramatic shift in jewellery design, reaching its peak around 1900 when it gained interest at the Paris International Exhibition. Gone was the floral motifs and replaced with undercurrents of eroticism and death.
Since the 1960s, the boundaries of jewellery have been continually redefined, each decade since and the even seasons we see new techniques and styles. Jewellery Designers have challenged and experimented with techniques and are now often educated at art schools and immersed in radical ideas producing new styles and changing the way we wear and the look of all jewels.
Having done all this research I now can see the influence of jewellery deign in my grandmother's necklace. The era of her necklace designed produced many floral pieces and her pendant is very much that era.
Buying something that is vintage, with it comes to jewellery, can be expensive, here is our pick of three pieces you can incorporate into your jewellery box to get in touch with your past.
The Angela Marble Necklace $25.00 has an deco vibe and sits long which is true to it's jewellery era.
The Kristy Bow Earring ($25.00) is made from 925 Sterling Silver and this stud is modern yet we learnt the orginal design dates back hundresed of years.
The Zen ring and necklace is another piece we sell her at My Jewellery Shop Online that offers a moden twist on a old original design. Prices start at $80.00
Don’t’ underestimate the power of jewellery in no matter when it was designed. It’s time to make a splash with fashion let’s go shopping the My Jewellery Shop Online way. Pick the right vintage jewellery piece with us.