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A Brief History of Jewellery

30 November 2015 15:40

Artistic periods

Jewellery represents 150 years of subtle artistic transitions from one period to another. Each period from 1850 onwards reflects the rapid changes in society as the changes in communication, transportation and manufacture led to the ability to produce material and make it available to ordinary people rather than to the high society as in the pre 1950s.

The artistic periods that are best represented by jewellery are:

  1. Georgina 1800-1850
  2. Victorian 1850-1901
  3. Edwardian 1901-1910
  4. Art Deco 1910-1930
  5. Art Moderne 1930-1945
  6. Modern 1930-1945

From 1970 onwards there is little of real merit worthy of mention save for the famous and historic jewellery makers – Van Cleef et Arpels, Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari and so on – most of which originated in Paris and Rome.

We shouldn’t overlook the Belle Epoque period, created by the French in the last half of the nineteenth century. Perhaps above all others much of the craftsmanship of the Belle Epoque period is a sheer joy to behold for its delicacy of make, design and overall quality.