Collecting Victorian Jewellery
Victorian jewellery is a diverse and fascinating subject with many different styles to explore. The period lasted for most of the 19th century from 1837 until 1901 and designs were adapted and reinvented to suit new fashions throughout the age.
Jewellery designs of the early Victorian period were naturalistic in style with decorative motifs becoming less formal and more representational than those of the previous decades. Highly ornate and intricate leaves, flowers and scrolls in coloured gold were set with semiprecious stones and new techniques such as cannetille and repoussé forming highly decorative pieces.
Moving into the middle of the 19th century, designers were influenced by revivalism, with the return of elaborate scrolling Napoleonic designs and Neo-Renaissance Holbeinesque jewels. Classical styles became a very important element in design, the interest in ancient Greece and Rome fuelled by new archaeological discoveries. Classical revivalism became incredibly popular with designs influenced by ancient Greek and Etruscan works and the rediscovery of ancient goldsmithing techniques such as filigree and granulation.
Towards the end of the Victorian era jewellery became smaller, delicate and unostentatious in design, with a general rebellion against any excess in decoration. Jewellery became more practical and wearable, in the form of lighter and smaller individual pieces depicting stars, crescents, insects, hearts, flowers and novelty motifs. At the end of the 19th century artistic jewels began to take centre stage as Art Nouveau design flourished in the form of sensual and opulent designs with a naturalistic style alluding to life and movement.
Victorian jewels are highly personal and sentimental works of art with individual styles to suit every taste and with excellent quality pieces available at any budget.