Jewelry from the Georgian Period has recently witnessed a resurgence in
popularity. Named for the English kings George I-IV, the Georgian
period spans most of the 18th and part of the 19th century, from about
The Georgian years produced many styles including the so-called
"Louis Styles" after the French kings Louis XIV, XV, XVI. Ranging from
the Baroque-Regence to the Rococo, from the Neo-Classical to the
Empire, styles were alternately symmetrically ornate and heavy, fluid
and asymmetrical, formal and ornamental.
Motifs included tassels, crescents, arrows, laurel leaves, eagles,
lyres, intaglios. Types of jewelry worn included French pendant
earrings with hanging elements-- girandoles & pendeloques as well
as aigrettes (hair ornaments). Bracelets worn in pairs were popular as
were chatelaines, cameos, mirco-mosaics and pietra-dura pieces.
Jewelry from this era was hand-fabricated and known for its excellent
workmanship. Illumination had improved. Advances in candle-making,
which created longer burning and brighter candles made it possible for
increased evening entertainment for the rich. Diamonds therefore
enjoyed a new-found popularity as diamonds shone at their optimum in
Diamonds were rose-cuts, old mine and table cuts; flat cuts were used for colored stones.
Paste jewelry was particularly popular and both diamonds and pastes
were generally foil-backed and set in closed-back settings. Settings
were usually 18k or higher; diamonds were set in silver to show off the
whiteness of the stones.
By the end of the 18th century and into the 19th, romanticism was
waxing, with a focus on affection and nostalgia. Love tokens abounded
and mourning jewelry was popular. Regard rings set with symbolic gems
were also the fashion, all of this sentiment setting the stage for the
eclecticism of the almost half century reign of Queen Victoria, who
wittingly or unwittingly created an entire jewelry industry out of her
mourning for her consort Albert.
For other examples of Georgian pieces, please visit our antique and estate jewelry gallery http://www.rwwise.com/products/gallery|1.