We are often asked about the various styles and movements of the decorative arts. To assist you in understanding the 'jargon' related to antique periods, we have categorised them into four basic periods, although there are more:
1. Georgian Period (1714 – 1830) during the Georgian period, the years of political upheaval during the reign of four Georges between 1714 and 1830, all pieces of jewellery were still handmade by highly skilled jewellers with stones set either with enclosed backs or on foil. Diamonds became the most desirable stone during this time, made to shimmer in candle light.
2. Victorian Period (1837 – 1901) the Victorian Period marked the reign of Queen Victoria and throughout, saw what is regarded as three main eras as far as fashion and jewellery are concerned. The first of these, the Romantic Period (1837 – 1861) closely mirrored the affection seen by the world between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert whilst the Grand Period which followed (1861 – 1880) marked a period of sadness and mourning which followed Albert’s death, paving the way for decades of popularity of Jet black mourning jewellery. The Aesthetic Period (1870 – 1900) saw the influence of Japan on all aspects of the decorative arts and marked the real transition between Victorian and Edwardian trends.
3. Edwardian Period (1901 – 1914) following the trends of the Victorian Period came the Edwardian Era, one which brought with it a renewed love of diamonds. Finely made jewellery in platinum and diamonds with coloured stones and natural pearls were the order of the day. It was during the Edwardian period that both Cartier and Faberge came to fame, two names synonymous with elegance and style to this day.
4. Art Deco Period (1920 – 1935) perhaps the most unique of the four periods covered here is the Art Deco period which covered the years between 1920 and 1935 and marked a time where many, after the First World War, had money for luxuries for the first time. During this era, jewellery was more and more the product of a machine and, as such, Art Deco pieces became known for their symmetry and geometry. Popular standout pieces from the era include expensive and beautifully made diamond line bracelets, ruby brooches and sapphire earrings.
Prepare to be educated! Indulge yourself with some art history, come and visit us at Greene & Greene Antiques, Woollahra.
Georgian neo-classical morning ring, dated 1792, hand painted on ivory
Victorian 5 stone diamond ring in 18ct yellow gold, 2ct diamonds in total, c1870
Peridot and natural seed pearl pendant, Edwardian c1900
Art deco diamonds, platinum and cultured pearls, c1920