Last week, we defined vintage, a task that took an entire post! This week, we’ll get a little more specific about the distinct eras of vintage and antique jewelry. It would be so much easier if we talked about jewelry from the thirties, forties, etc., but no, instead we talk about eras: Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Retro. Just to make it more complicated (But don’t worry! Experts at pawn shows in Northern Virginia can explain it all!)
Here’s a quick overview up to the beginning of the twentieth century, which we’ll cover next week:
Late Georgian Jewelry (c. 1760-1837)
Rare but lovely Georgian jewelry is usually small, light, and classic with nature-inspired designs, portraits, and some gemstones.
Early Victorian, Romantic Jewelry (c. 1837-1850)
Flora and fauna designs are still in use, but gold filigree has become a staple. Lockets also became popular at this time.
Mid-Victorian, Grand Jewelry (c. 1860-1880)
Pieces symbolizing the death of Queen Victoria’s husband are called mourning jewelry, and are austere and somber with dark stones like onyx and garnets. At the same time, bolder designs and Japanese themes made entrances.
Late Victorian, Aesthetic Jewelry (c. 1885-1900)
Jewelry became more feminine with lighter gemstone colors. Stars, crescents, and lace were popular design elements, and hatpins were a fashionable accessory.
After this, we’re moving into the more vintage eras. Until next week, enjoy shopping for jewelry in the DC area!