Here at AntiquesAvenue, I lovethe different jewellery eras from the Georgian era through to the 1970s – covering around 200 years. During this time lots of changes took place in fashions, the materials available and the techniques used to make the jewellery.
We can roughly divide the 200 years into several time periods where the antique jewellery pieces have specific unique characteristics all to themselves. This allows us to look at a piece and place it at that time. Very useful when trying to date our antique and vintage jewellery. This blog is a quick overview of the eras and I will consider each in more detail over the coming days.
Please remember that fashions change at a far slower rate in the past than they do now. There was no television and no internet.ransportation was much slower than it is today. A fashion could start in London and not reach remote areas until many years later. This means that the dates are only rough estimates and you will see examples which should fit into one time being actually made in another.
Georgian to 1714 – 1837
( including William IV). We see very little jewellery from the earlier part of the Georgian era. But there are some nice pieces from the early 1800s about. Mostly handmade pieces of good quality. They are often made of gold or gold filled. Alternatively, we find cut steel and seed pearl pieces from this time but they are quite delicate and maybe more for collectors than for wearing.
Early Victorian 1837 to circa the 1860s.
Highly influenced by the tastes of the Queen and her prince. Includes Snakes and garters as Albert gave Victoria gems with these motifs. With the industrial revolution, we now find machine-made pieces. I personally like Victorian Gothic which was designed by the likes of Pugin, this high church style found its way into some wonderful gem set crosses and brooches.
Late Victorian circa 1860s to 1901
strictly. Once Albert died in 1861 a huge trend for showy mourning jewellery followed the Queens bereavement. New materials and techniques allowed a wider range of pieces to be available.
Jewellery, however, began to change in the last few years of the 1800s with the aesthetic movement and the characteristics of the Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods started to come into fashion.
Edwardian through to 1920s
including Art Nouveau. Much lighter, less heavy than jewels from the 1800s. Including lighter coloured stones. Most jewellery which surviving from this time will be made of silver and gold as the costume pieces have not worn well.
Art Deco Strictly 1920s and 1930s
however not much happened in the 40’s due to the war so a less angular form of 20s deco and the homely floral style of the 30s continued . Some lovely jewellery pieces made from the then new plastics including Bakelite and Lucite have survived well.
1950s to 1970s .
Fun time after the austerity of the war years. The space age and modernist styling. Fashions started to change faster and people had more money to spend on luxuries such as jewellery. Big designer names started to make costume jewellery at prices that were more affordable and are still very wearable today.
AntiquesAvenue lovingly selects jewellery from throughout these jewellery eras. We have a great selection of at least 1500 pieces available.