Jewellery History

Gold religious jewellery

Antique jewellery History

Brief early antique jewellery history

Jewellery is a universal form of decoration in human societies. Evidence of jewellery made from shells, stone, and bones survives from prehistoric times and it is most likely that it was worn as a protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.

In antiquity, the discovery of metalwork was an essential stage in the development of the art of jewellery. Over time, these techniques became more sophisticated and allowed for more intricate decorations. Legends also tell us that gold is the precious metal that was buried with the dead to accompany its owner into the afterlife. Much of the archaeological jewellery comes from tombs and hoards. People have followed a ritual ceremony for the disposal of jewellery because, as proof, the gold collars from Celtic Ireland, which have been found folded in half, which strengthens the proposition.

Medieval jewellery history

The jewellery worn in medieval Europe reflected a profoundly hierarchical and status-conscious society. Royalty and the nobility predominantly wore gold, silver, and precious gems. Lower ranks of society wore non-precious base metals, such as copper or pewter. Colour, provided by precious gems and enamel, was also crucial for its protective power and was highly valued. Many jewels have cryptic or magical inscriptions, believed to protect the wearer, or act as a talisman. Gems were usually polished rather than cut until the late 14th century. Size and shiny colour determined their value. Goldsmiths coloured their designs on jewellery through enamels; ground glasses fired at high temperature onto a metal surface. A wide range of techniques were used to create effects that are still in use today.

Antique jewellery history during this Era. Renaissance jewels communicated the ages passion for splendour. Enamels became more elaborate and colourful. Furthermore, the advances in cutting techniques increased the glitter of stones. Many spectacular pieces are worn as a display of political strength; additionally. The increased importance of religion in everyday life has also cast an impact on antique jewellery. The designs take inspiration from the newly found interest in the classical world, with mythological figures and scenes becoming popular. The art of gem engraving was also revived. Different types of stones were thought to protect against specific ailments or threats, ranging from body pain to the evil eye. They could also boost or banish such characteristics as bravery or melancholy.

Jewellery fashion 17th century

By the mid-17th century, changes in fashion led to new, different styles of jewellery. Even the color code of dresses decided which type of jewellery one should wear, like dark fabrics required gold jewellery, but the softer pastel shades demanded pearls or vibrant gemstones. The increasing global trade made gems even more available. The development of new cutting techniques increased the sparkle of gemstones in candlelight. The most impressive jewellery pieces often have large bodice or breast ornaments. These heavy ornaments were used to be stitched to the fabric. The new enthusiasm for the harmony of nature shows in jewellery through the use of swirling foliate decoration, bow motifs, and botanical ornaments.