The past is full of wonderful treasures waiting for you to find. Back then, only people of high status and great wealth could afford exquisite jewellery pieces, which were often handmade and styled in the wearer’s own preference – making each piece truly unique – and using the highest quality material, allowing these pieces to survive hundreds of years. It’s no wonder there remains to be avid collectors of these pieces, as they remain to be timeless testaments of the grandiose display of one’s wealth and power at that time and to some, even great love. Who doesn’t want to have even just one of these pieces sitting in a collection, and what time period is best to start your search than the Victorian era?
The Victorian era is one of the most popular of periods for jewellery enthusiasts around the world, which was during the years of 1837 – 1901, when Queen Victoria died. This period of 47 years can be further broken down to three separate periods – the early, middle and late Victorian eras, each fascinating collectors for so many years, to the point that its influence still can be found in some styles and trends to this day. What is it about this era that keeps making people look back to it and even try to replicate it?
There’s no denying the great influence of Queen Victoria in the world of jewellery back then, and her long rule which produced three periods all started when she ascended to the throne. In this article, we focus on the early Victorian period, which ran from Victoria’s coronation in 1837, when she was not yet 18 years old and her uncle, King William IV died, until the death of the love of her life, Prince Alfred, in 1861.
The Early Victorian Period
When Queen Victoria met Albert, it was love at first sight, so to speak, and it was something very rare in the mysterious world of royal arranged marriages, which makes the Victorian period even more memorable. The couple married in 1840 and Prince Albert was actually Victoria’s German cousin and the relationship was indeed a passionate one, with Victoria bearing nine children over a 16-year period. If you want to get a glimpse of the best and well-preserved pieces coming from this period, there’s a reputable antique jewellery store online that can easily be located with a Google search and you can view the entire catalogue. Should you find what you’re looking for, a secure online payment sees the jewellery packaged and despatched to your home address. Soon, you’ll have a piece coming from one of the most important times in history.
Early Victorian Jewellery
Every piece of the jewellery of that time really did reflect the romance that Victoria shared with her Albert. It was common to find especially among royalty animal and floral designs adorned with prongs and clasps, which was among the hottest trends in this certain period. It was also during this time that the Industrial Revolution kicked in, bringing with it a level of automation and for the first time, the creation of these masterpieces weren’t solely left to the hands of handcrafters. It became a lot easier to craft and spread the popularity of the styles as machines were used in the making of fine jewellery.
Fine Metal Artwork
A lot of jewellery creation techniques had sprung in the early romantic period of the Victorian era. The period saw jewellery makers use great skill in adorning metalwork on fine jewellery, while Repousse was one metalworking technique that was very popular. The technique involved delicate hammering with a small tool to decorate the metal, which was a highly skilled art. Perhaps the aid of machines at that time had given jewellery makers the luxury of time as well as the freedom to express their creativity.
Popular Shapes & Motifs
The various shapes and designs you should know about in this period include the following:
- Eyes, hearts and hands
- Anchors and crosses
- Arrows and clovers
- Knots, buckles, leaves and vines
This was the time that enamelling first emerged, while the snake was also found in early Victorian romantic jewellery, largely due to the fact that the dashing Prince Albert had presented the lovely Victoria with a very special engagement ring that resembled a snake with a large emerald as the head. The snake or serpent had been popular in representing undying love, and Queen Victoria’s acceptance of the ring from Prince Albert started a romance that people in that era would dream of. Theirs was among the most popular great love stories of all time.
Popular Gemstones Used In Early Victorian Jewellery
The popular gemstones included the following:
- Agate, Amber & Amethyst
Diamonds were just beginning to be seen more in jewellery, while jewellery makers used rich colours in their creations.
If you are planning to pop the question in 2021 and you know that your partner loves this romantic period, search for a reputable online antique dealer and browse their jewellery catalogue. Of course, you will need to acquire her ring size and there are several ways to do that; you could ask one of her friends to find out, or measure her ring finger with a piece of string, which is best carried out when she is sleeping.
From getting the size of her ring to the best way to propose, the internet is a rich source of ideas and if you know how and where to look, you’d definitely not run out of ideas and you’d be able to pleasantly surprise the woman of your dreams. Soon you’ll both be planning the wedding and you’d have to pick the best couple of rings to wear for the rest of your lives. If you both find that the love you both hold for each other resembles the passionate love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the antique jewellery store is still the best place to head over to for this type of things. Still with the aid of the internet, you can do a bit of research on the styles of the wedding bands the Victoria era produced.