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ONE aspect of the present subject, “jewelry in pictures” more attractive perhaps than any other, is that which concerns the representation of personal ornaments in pictures. Scarcely as yet have pictures been fully appreciated from the point of view of their utility to antiquaries or the light they throw upon matters of historical inquiry.

The important part which from the fifteenth century onward they have played in connection with the subject of jewelry is sufficiently attested by the number of times they have already been referred to during the course of the present inquiry. The truth, reality, and accuracy of the artists’ work has eminently contributed to the value of these pictures.

A sympathetic way of seeing things and reproducing them and a fine feeling for naturalistic detail is characteristic of all the work of the painters of early times, when a strength of realism made its wholesome influence universally felt. Such works, while they display the grandeur and magnificence of former ages and point out the fashions and customs of our ancestors, show in detail not only the bright splendor of patterned draperies in many materials, but also the shimmer of goldsmith’s work in the form of a variety of actual ornaments, now for the most part entirely lost.

In this way they set before us details unnoticed by chroniclers, and convey clearer ideas than can be attained by reading the most elaborate descriptive inventories. The special capability of the early painters for representing articles of jewelry need merely be alluded to again, seeing the close connection, already shown, that always existed between them and the goldsmiths, in whose workshops most of them passed their apprenticeship.

Every jeweled ornament figured in their works is, in fact, designed with the full knowledge of a goldsmith versed in his craft. The artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are notorious for the extreme and elaborate minuteness of their painting of jewels. In the portraits of the time careful accuracy in depicting ornaments was the duty, and evidently the delight, of’ the painter. In every early picture the various details of costume and jewelry are rendered with scrupulous care and refinement. Though placed in the most prominent and decorative positions, jewelry was never, in the best works, allowed to intrude or to occupy an exaggerated place in the composition.

For however minutely defined these accessories may be, they are so fused into the general design that they are only apparent if one takes the trouble to look for them. In addition to recognized masterpieces, there exists a vast number of pictures obviously not by the first masters, which, though of only moderate quality, do not actually offend by their inferiority. These equally well serve to illustrate details of jewelry and dress.

In a picture of the first order such details, of importance in themselves, sink into insignificance beside the splendid qualities of a work of art: in less important pictures the ornamental accessories are all in all. It would be of great value to students if all public collections that possess costumes and ornaments could bring together-as has been done with remarkable success in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg-series of portraits specially chosen to illustrate these details, such portraits, like the actual articles of dress and jewelry, being, of course, old ones, not modern copies.

We may state, in general, that jewels figured in portraits are to be relied upon as being the actual objects possessed by the persons represented. All the early painters displayed, as has been said, a special love for jewel forms. They not only took their beautiful models as they found them, but being themselves mostly masters of the jeweler’s craft, they devoted much attention to the adornment and the arrangement of the jewels of their models. It may be urged that painters are apt to indulge their fancy by decorating their sitters with jewels they do not possess, introduced to improve the color or arrangement of the picture, or introduced in accordance with orders, like those of the good Mrs. Primrose, who expressly desired the painter of her portrait to put in as many jewels as he could for the money, and “not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomacher and hair.

It is unlikely, on the contrary, that any of the early painters departed from their usual methods of truth, reality, and accuracy; or, considering the elaborate detail with which they depicted jewelry, that they ever specially invented it for the portrait in which it occurs. It is much more probable that they worked from what they saw: for masters of painting have in all ages worked from models in preference to carrying out their own designs.

It is to be observed that the presence or absence of gilding on jewelry often serves to distinguish between German and Flemish paintings. Holbein almost always employed gold upon golden objects, but in the works of other artists, so rich in elaborate detail, paint alone suffices to produce the effect. The artists of those days possessed a marvelous facility for imitating the brilliance of gold by color alone.

In examining the jewelry of sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits numbers of what appear to be black stones are frequently to be seen. These were evidently intended to represent diamonds. From early times, when the custom existed of improving, as it was considered, the color of all stones by the use of foils, diamonds—the old stones of Golconda and Brazil, different in color and quality from the diamonds of to-day—were usually backed with a black varnish composed of lamp-black and oil of mastic. This coloring of the diamond, which is alluded to by Cellini, would account for the intense and clear blacks and whites used by the artists of the time in depicting that precious stone.

In the work of some of the finest painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so masterly is the handling, that in the contemplation of broad effects one may fail to notice how much detail the artists were able to combine with such breadth. In fact the detail they displayed is hardly less precise than that of the earlier painters. Mr. Davies has some interesting remarks to make on the different modes of depicting jewelry adopted by first-class painters—by the one who paints it in detail and the other who treats it with freedom.

The first paints you, touch by touch, his chains, his bracelets, his tiara, link by link, and gem by gem, with precision so great that if you called in a fairly capable goldsmith, of little or no intelligence, he would use them as a pattern and produce you an exact facsimile. The second obtains his result by summarized knowledge, letting his line lose itself and find itself again, a flash on a link, a sparkle on a gem suggesting all to the eye with a completeness which is fully as complete as the literal word for word translation of the other man.

Call in a really intelligent goldsmith to this work and he would find it quite as easy as, or even easier than, the other to understand and reproduce from, but it would not do to make a tracing from, nor give as a pattern to one of his unintelligent apprentices. Very attractive and valuable guides to the jewelry of the early period are the early Flemish-Burgundian paintings and those of the Italian masters of the fifteenth century. The most fertile of sixteenth-century pictures for the present purpose are the Germans

in contemporary pictures.

In the second half of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth, the painters of the Low Countries especially excelled in the delineation of jewel forms. By these and by numerous followers of Holbein, many pictures were painted, and exist in England at the present day. The technique of the great Dutch and Flemish painters of the seventeenth century were not incompatible. The majority of pictures of the early part of the eighteenth century offer but slight indication of the jewelry of the time. had a set of postures (and ornaments too) which they applied to all persons indiscriminately.

Seeing the reliance that may be placed on the jewelry figured in the portraits of earlier times, it is not unnatural to expect such detail to be of considerable service in art criticism. In the identification of a portrait much may rest on the identification of its jewels. A portrait with the jewels actually owned by the subject, if not ‘ the rose’ (for it may be a copy of a lost original) has certainly been ‘ near the rose.’ ” But critics seldom think of examining the numerous extant royal and noble inventories and other documents such as wills containing lists of jewels, and of comparing the jewels described in them with those displayed in portraits.

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JEWELLERY of the nineteenth century presents a very variegated picture both as regards material and technique, as well as in the display of every conceivable style. It is not so much a particular character of its own that has marked the jewelry of each epoch of the century, as a peculiar form of reproduction or rather reconstruction of older styles of art, based for the most part on false traditions. The whole period was an eclectic one, and the majority of its productions—the result of nothing less than aimless hesitation and fruitless endeavor to revive the forms of the past—display at least doubtful taste. Throughout the greater part of the time France led the fashion, and every one of the political changes she underwent left its mark on her artistic productions. After the desolate epoch of the Revolution, under which the whole standard of jewelry was measurably lowered, a revival of something approaching luxury was experienced under the Directory.

This was succeeded about the year 1800, owing to the stimulating dominance of the First Consul, by circumstances of real luxury. The period dating from Napoleon’s accession to the Imperial Dignity four years later, till about 1814, was one of considerable importance in the history of jewelry.

The severe and academic influence of the leading-and most popular artist of the day, the painter David, and of his pupils, with their extravagant taste for the antique, was universally felt. Yet while the antique celebrated its triumph in all directions, the Empire failed to shake itself entirely free from eighteenth-century styles. As far indeed as jewelry was concerned, the classical revival cannot be said to have been altogether unhappy; for its ornaments are not without a certain charm.

Like all else, they breathed the spirit of the past, and are not less formal and rigid than the other art productions of the period. It was under the short-lived reign of the associated kings, termed the Directory, that the taste for the antique first became thoroughly dominant.

Jewelry of all kinds assumed classical forms. The few individuals who were fortunate enough to procure them wore ancient Greek and Roman jewels; the rest had to be content with facsimiles of objects discovered at Pompeii, or simple copies adapted from representations on early vase paintings, sculptures, or engraved gems.

So exaggerated became the enthusiasm for the antique that, following the lead of Madame Tallien and Madame Recamier, the fashionable s of the period adopted in its entirety, without regard for

differences of climate, what they deemed to be classical costume, and appeared on public promenades in Paris with un-stockinged feet in sandals that allowed them to exhibit jewels upon their toes. The affected classicism of the Republic and First Empire stimulated the use of engraved gems. Far from cameos and the less decorative intaglios being considered out of place with fine precious stones, they often occupied positions of honor, surrounded and mounted occasionally with important diamonds. In the majority of cases, however, they were used alone and were made up into special ornaments by themselves.


Antiques were worn when procurable, but the greater number of gems were of modern manufacture, carefully studied both as regards technique and style from ancient examples.Somewhat later, small mosaics, on which were figured classical subjects or buildings of ancient Rome, were also employed. These, together with cameos, generally on shell, were produced in quantities, particularly in Italy, where cameo cutters and mosaic workers still carry on a somewhat languishing trade in ornaments of this nature, Venice, Florence, and Rome sharing in the industry of mosaic jewelry ; Rome, Naples, and the whole of Southern Italy in that of cameos. The production of both kinds of objects is now in a sterilized condition. They have entirely lost their earlier qualities, for the reason that they find but little favor and have ceased to be worn by the upper classes. Except during the height of the First Empire the fashion for engraved gems never took a very thorough hold. Ladies have seldom a taste for archaeology.

If a few, in accordance with the current idea, affected a sober and refined style of ornament, the majority soon wearied of the burden of cameos in the necklace and bracelet, and preferred sparkling stones to the delicate cutting of the gem. The general and instinctive preference for brilliant jewels did more than anything to kill the attempted employment of antique forms and designs.

As regards to technique, the metal-work of the early nineteenth century generally displayed considerable poverty of material. The gold, if not pinch beck imitation, was usually thin, light, and of low quality, with simple designs in the form of clusters of grapes. Borders of leaves and flowers in the antique style were stamped and chased sometimes in open-work, with small rose-shaped ornaments applied. Granulated, beaded, and purled work was much employed, and the surface of the

metal was often matted.

Artistic effect in chased work was produced by the use of ornamental inlays, or rather overlays, of colored gold. Actual jewel-work and settings, as a rule, displayed good quality of workmanship. The general tendency lay in the direction of the colored stones popular in ancient times—the topaz, peridot, aquamarine, and amethyst; together with precious stones, such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, and with pearls. The latter were generally reserved only for the most sumptuous ornaments, but were occasionally used in conjunction with jewels of less value. The stones most commonly used were carnelians, moss-agates, turquoises, garnets, pink and yellow topazes, as well as coral, mingled together.

Wedgwood ware and its imitations, popular in the latter years of the eighteenth century, continued for some time to meet with favor, while paste jewelry was also worn to some extent. On every species of jewelry the taste for the antique was clearly visible. Ornaments for the head took the form of frontlets and diadems, hair-combs, hair-pins, triple chains, and strings of pearls. Earrings were in general use, together with necklaces, brooches, bracelets, rings, and girdles. The chief head-ornaments were wide metal combs, fixed in the hair in such a manner as to be visible from the front. The general form of the Empire comb, with its upright rows of pearls or coral, is well known, since a number of examples exist. At the same time frontlets were worn on the upper part of the forehead and over the hair. These, enriched with pearls, cameos, or precious stones, took the form of broad bands or coronets.

Another ornament, which did not, however, come into fashion till about 1820, was a band round the head, with a jewel in the middle of the forehead. It was generally a fine gold chain, but might be made of velvet ribbon or silken cord, or strings of beads. The origin of its title has been given in connection with Italian jewelry of the fifteenth century.

Cameos and moss-agates entered largely into the composition of necklaces as well as the various colored stones mentioned above. Cameos often assumed considerable proportions. They were occasionally set with precious stones, and were linked together with fine chains. Bracelets were much worn, three on each arm: one on the upper part of the arm, a second just above the elbow, and a third upon the wrist. They were usually composed of a number of small chains, or even a band of velvet; while the clasp was formed by a cameo, or else an amethyst, peridot, or topaz set in stamped and pierced gold.

Girdles for the most part were fashioned in the same manner as bracelets, with a large cameo on the clasp. The pictures in the gallery at Versailles afford perhaps the best idea of ornaments in the Empire style ; since jewelry is more clearly represented on French portraits than on any others of the time. Among the most striking of such portraits are those of Marie Pauline, Princess Borghese, by Lefevre, of Caroline Buonaparte, Queen of Naples, by Madame Vigce-Lebrun, and of Madame Mere, by Gerard. The first has a high comb and bandeau, earrings, and girdle, all decorated with cameos, the second of pearls and cameos, and the third a head-ornament mounted with a single large cameo. The coronation of Napoleon in 1804 furnished the painter David with the subject of a picture unrivaled in its time which is exhibited in the Louvre. This grandiose production, besides being a truly epic rendering of a great historical event, serves as a valuable document in the history of jewelry, in that it represents jewelry of the most magnificent kind carried by Josephine, the princesses, and the ladies of honor.

The Empress is shown wearing comb and diadem of precious stones, brilliant earrings, and a bracelet on the wrist formed of two rows of jewels united with a cameo. Her suite have, besides, necklaces and girdles mounted in several cases with cameos. Josephine herself possessed a perfect passion for engraved gems, and she actually induced Napoleon to have a number of antique cameos and intaglios removed from the gem collection in the Royal Library and made up into a complete collection of jewelry for her own use.

A German specialty of the expiring Empire was the cast-iron jewelry, brought into favor largely on account of the prevailing scarcity of gold and silver. A foundry for its production was first set up in 1804 at Berlin, where articles of great fineness were cast in sand molds. In the year 1813, the time of the rising against the Napoleonic usurpation, more than eleven thousand pieces of iron jewelry were turned out, and among them five thousand crosses of the new order of the Iron Cross. In that year appeared the well-known iron rings. During the War of Liberation, when every man joined the Prussian regiments to fight against the French, the patriotic ladies who remained behind laid at the Altar of the Fatherland their valuable jewels, which were melted down for the benefit of the national war-chest.

For the articles thus surrendered they received in exchange from the Government iron finger rings. In addition to crosses and rings, other jewels, such as diadems, necklaces, brooches, and bracelets, were executed in cast iron, open-worked and in relief. Complete collections comprising a comb, necklace, earrings, and bracelets are not infrequently met with, and the name of the manufacturer is sometimes found stamped on them. Most of the work is in the antique taste, and is occasionally adorned with classical heads in the manner of Wedgwood and Tassie. Considering the material and method of production, the fineness and lace-like delicacy of this iron jewelry is little less than marvelous.

Another kind of nineteenth-century ornament, particularly popular in the first half of the century, was hair jewelry. It was favored possibly in some cases less by inclination than by that necessity which had originally led the way for the use of iron and other less valuable materials. Finger rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watch-chains were plaited of the hair of the departed, brooches and medallions mounted with it, and even ornamental landscapes constructed of strands of human hair. Hair was worn as a gift of affection from the living, but it was chiefly employed for mourning or memorial jewelry.

It will be referred to again when mourning jewelry is dealt with. We enter about the year 1830 into the Romantic period—the days of the heroines of Balzac, the days when Byron and Ossian were a la mode, the days of a fancy chivalry and medieval sentimentality SirWalter Scott, and above all of the Gothic revival. Gothic motives, rampant in architecture, make their appearance also on book bindings, furniture, and other things, and influence jewelry to a certain degree.

Among the leaders of the movement so far as it affected jewelry were the goldsmiths Froment Meurice, and Robin, whose productions, executed in accordance with the Romantic taste, assumed the form of armored knights, on foot, or fully equipped on horseback, lords and ladies in medieval costume, and jewels which took the shape of compositions of a similar “elegant” nature. At this period cameos were still worn, but seldom of strictly classical character. Sentimental hair jewelry likewise continued, as did the iron jewelry.

The latter, however, no longer displayed classical forms, but debased Gothic designs. Chains of various kinds were in considerable favor. They were usually looped up at intervals with circular or oblong plaques of thin and colored gold set amid small turquoises and garnets. With the development of machinery appeared thin gold-work, ornamented with stamped and pressed designs. Work of this kind, characteristic of its first decades, extended far into the nineteenth century.

As far as men’s jewelry is concerned there is little or nothing to chronicle. Strangely enough, the masculine delight in splendid jewels that had existed up to the end of the eighteenth century, came all at once to an end, along with that older world on the ruins of which Napoleon rose. Almost all that remained to them was the bunch of seals, often of considerable size, that hung by a silken cord from the fob.

It is true that occasionally beaus and macaronis actually wore earrings. But these were not employed solely as ornaments, but largely as the result of a fanciful idea, still prevalent in certain quarters, of the value of such objects against diseases of the eye. Fashion next, about the middle of the century, harked back to rococo, and imitated the style of Louis XV. It was rococo of a kind, but lay as far from the eighteenth century as did Romantic Gothic from the Gothic of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Design for the most part was deplorably bad, defects in this direction being passed off under a glitter of stones. Instead of the close setting which had so long satisfied the Jewell, open setting for precious stones became universal. Countless old and valuable ornaments perished. The diamonds and other precious stones were picked out of them and transferred to newer settings, and the beautiful old metal-work was ruthlessly melted down.

Many fine jewels during the course of the nineteenth century have likewise been spoiled and reduced in value by their owners attempting to adapt them to a prevailing fashion. Vast is the number of family treasures that have undergone the fate of mounting. It is to be hoped that the new-born

interest in the beautiful work of earlier craftsmen may help to save what is left from the same sort of destruction that the ancient churches of our land have undergone as the result of ill-judged ” restoration.”


Long prior to the developments that have taken place in recent years, attention had been attracted to the artistic qualities of gold and an impetus given to the manipulation of the simple material. It was early in the “sixties” that notice was first drawn to the gold jewelry then being executed in Rome, and the discoveries that had been effected in the working of the wrought metal by the firm of Castellani. The head of this famous family was the goldsmith Fortunate Pio Castellani, one of the best-known jewelers and dealers of his day.

In 1814, at an early age, he started a business in Rome, which he developed about 1826 on the lines of the antique work. The process of production of the old granulated gold jewelry of the ancient Etruscans—that in which the surface is covered with minute grains of gold set with absolute regularity—had long been a puzzle and problem to jewelers.

Castellani was deeply interested in the lost art, and searched Italy through to find some survival of it. At last in St. Angelo in Vado, a village of the Apennines, in the corner of the Umbrian Marches, he found a caste of local goldsmiths who had preserved it in what seemed to be an unbroken tradition. He transported some of them to Rome, and together with his sons Alessandro and Augusto succeeded in imitating the tiny golden grains of the Etruscans and soldering them on to the surface of jewels. The work he accomplished in this direction has become famous all the world over.

In 1851 Fortunate retired, and on his death in 1865 his property was divided—Augusto retaining the business, Alessandro setting himself up as a collector and dealer. Augusto, born 1829, carried on the traditions of his father’s atelier, and was afterwards promoted to the Directorship of the Capitoline Museum. Alessandro, the elder brother, was perhaps one of the most striking personalities of his age. Born in 1824, he first assisted his father; but his political opinions, which led him to take an active part in the revolutionary movement in Rome in 1848,and implicated him in the conspiracy of 1852, resulted in his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo, but successfully feigning madness, he was liberated and sent out of the Pontifical States.

He then proceeded to travel about exploiting the productions of the Casa Castellani. Gradually he devoted himself to archaeological pursuits. His knowledge of these matters was profound, and he became the finest expert of his day. He was continually collecting, and dealt largely, his chief customers being the museums of Europe and America. The finest of the antique jewelry in the British Museum was purchased from him in 1872-1873. A few years before, in 1867, his unrivaled series of peasant ornaments, gathered together from all parts of Italy, was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which also made large purchases at the sale that took place after his death in 1883. The art of filigree and granulation practiced by Castellani was carried to still greater perfection by another Italian, Carlo Giuliano, who was largely indebted to the discoveries of his compatriot.

Examples of his work, with that of Castellani, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Since his death, his business house in London has been continued by his sons. Another Italian who has surpassed both Castellani and Giuliano in the reproduction of the antique is Melillo of Naples. His jewelry, though “copied closely from ancient models, has a certain modern cachet” and is in fact “a translation of the most refined ancient art into modern language.” An eminent English jeweler, whose name is worthy of record, was Robert Phillips of London, who died in 1881. He also came under the influence of Castellani.

At the same time he was responsible for the production of some of the most original work executed in England during the Victorian era. A forerunner in France of the modern movement in artistic jewelry, and one entitled to a high place in the history of the art, was the goldsmith Lucien Falize (b. 1838), who was a partner with M. Bapst, crown jeweler of the Second Empire. He succeeded Bapst as official goldsmith to the French Government, and died in 1897. Another great French jeweler was Eugene Fontenay, author of the important history of jewelry, who died in 1885.

Side by side with the improvement in taste which during the last few years has prompted people to preserve old jewelry, and a genuine love for its peculiar and indefinable attractions which has induced them to collect it, the present age has witnessed a truly remarkable revival in the artistic production of articles of personal ornament.

The general awakening that has taken place in the industrial arts has nowhere made its influence more strongly felt than in respect to jewelry. Owing to the example set by the highest artistic spirits, which has affected even the ordinary productions of commerce, there has arisen a new school of jewelry, the residue of which, when the chaff of eccentricity on the one hand and coarse workmanship on the other is winnowed from it, consists in works which combine the charm and sense of appropriateness requisite to objects of personal adornment with qualities that mark them as individual works of art.

The ornaments of the past reveal an elemental truth of art which it may be to the ultimate advantage of the decorative artificer of modern times to study and to imitate. They show, particularly in their most refined periods, that the simplest materials and the simplest modes of decoration can be associated with beauty of form and purity of design, and that the value of a personal ornament does not consist solely in the commercial cost of the materials, but rather in the artistic quality of its treatment. In the revival of the arts in the latter part of the nineteenth century the artistic styles of the past began to be carefully studied, and for the first time were brought together and exhibited as models. They have undoubtedly exercised a profound influence both on design and technique.

It is well at the same time to remember, that personal ornaments, as indeed all productions of former times, which are thus shown in museums, must not be reckoned with from one standpoint only. The intention of their public display is to afford material for instruction, investigation, and inspiration, for the craftsman, the student, and the ” man in the street.” Their function in this respect is not only to produce artists and craftsmen, or even connoisseurs, but to inspire the lay public with a love of beauty, and to induce a divine discontent with the ugliness with which it is surrounded. Though it is very well to use and reproduce the forms and motives of the past, an indefinite persistence in that attitude is liable to be construed as a confession of aesthetic sterility. But while empty revivals and false adaptations are to be rejected, the reckless race after originality, resulting in the eccentricity which is so rife in modern art, should especially be avoided. It is the desire for originality instead of a modest devotion to fine workmanship, “a love for the outrageous and the bizarre, and a lack of proportion, both in form and in choice of material,” that has ruined much of the jewelry produced under the this period of time Art movement.

If color and form produced by a study of harmony and a limited appeal to nature could be united to elaboration and minuteness of finish, with symmetrical arrangements freed from purely mechanical detail of ornament; if more insight could be obtained into the spirit which produced those splendid fragments that have survived from the past, there would be a gradual return to a style of work wherein the inherent preciousness of material might be accompanied by a fuller appreciation of its artistic possibilities, and a way opened to the restoration of the art of the goldsmith to the honorable place it once held.

Apart from matters of design the new movement has resulted in great changes in the artistic aspect of jewelry. In distinction to the tendency hitherto prevalent which bids the metal mounting of jewelry to be rendered almost invisible, the working of gold and silver has once again become a matter of some moment. A second change, due to the study of old models, has been the revival of enameling—an art which offers many an opportunity for the exercise of the craftsman’s taste and skill, and has once again resumed its proper position as handmaid to the goldsmith. A third change has been the wider choice and employment of stones. Till recent years only those stones that are reckoned as fine—the diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire—have been allowed a place in jewelry.

Though their commercial value can never be set aside, precious stones are now valued, as they were in Renaissance times, for the sake of their decorative properties. The taste for color effects in jewelry has resulted in the adoption of certain gems not very precious, yet sufficiently rare, while the artistic value of broken color in gems is beginning to be appreciated in purely commercial productions. There is now a welcome tendency to use such stones as the aquamarine, peridot, zircon, topaz, tourmaline and others of beautiful color and high decorative value. For a precious stone, as has been truly said, ” is not beautiful because it is large, or costly, or extraordinary, but because of its color, or its position in some decorative scheme.”

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THE jewelry that came into fashion towards the close of the seventeenth century and flourished during the greater part of the eighteenth follows the style known as “rococo.” Rococo ornament with its assemblage of rich fantastic scrolls and crimped conventional shell work wrought into irregular and indescribable forms, though overcharged and inorganic, yet possesses certain beauty and artistic master pieces. Like most objects in this style, rococo jewelry has a real decorative charm. But the title of baroque or rococo is really less adapted to jewelry than to other art productions of the time, for jewelry itself never indulged in the same extravagant use of this form of ornament. Except for slight changes in design, eighteenth-century jewelry, as far as its general form is concerned, does not at first display any marked variation from that of the previous century.

A charming but somewhat superficial sentimentality expressed by means of pastoral subjects results in ornaments on which tokens of friendship are represented in all manner of forms. The naturalistic tendency in ornament is still strong, but is less striking than it was before, since feather, ribbon, and other conventional designs make their appearance, mingled with flowers and leaves. These rococo jewels, on account of the setting and arrangement of the precious stones which entirely govern their composition, are in their way master pieces both technically and artistically.

Unlike the earlier jewels, one cannot help regarding them rather more as accessories to costume than as independent works of art. The general character of the jewelry of the period with which we are now dealing may best be judged by a notable series of original designs in color for such objects executed by the Santini family of Florence, and now preserved in the Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This remarkable collection comprises upwards of 382 separate designs, which are mostly constructed in a manner best calculated to show off the brilliant character and size of the stones and pearls, on which their effect mainly depends. A large proportion of the drawings take the form of what at this period constituted a set of jewels, composed of three items of similar design—a bow-shaped breast ornament hung with a cross, and a pair of earrings en suite.

In place of the breast ornament is sometimes a V-shaped corsage in imitation of hooks and eyes or braid work, set with various precious stones. The whole work shows that in the eighteenth century the stone cutter and stone setter had practically supplanted the artist in precious metals. In the metal-work of the settings—in most cases a matter of minor consideration—gold is employed for colored stones and silver for diamonds. The general tendency is towards the rococo, but this type of ornament is here by no means strongly marked. In other directions, however, it is more apparent, and already in the seventeenth century we meet with traces of it in engraved designs for jewelry. The best work of this kind is that of Friedrich Jacob Morisson, a jeweler who worked at Vienna from about 1693 to 1697.

He was one of the most popular jewelers of the day, and his plates, which are rich in motives for ornaments in precious stones and fine metal-work, found a wide circulation. They comprise aigrettes, earrings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, rings, and seals. Other Germans who have left designs in the same style are F. H. Bemmel (1700) of Nuremberg, D. Baumann (1695), Johann Heel (1637-1709), and J. F. Leopold (1700)—all of Augsburg.

French designers led European taste in jewelry as in furniture, and published a number of important designs. The most remarkable are those of the master-goldsmith Jean Bourguet of Paris, whose models for earrings, pendants, and clasps, dated 1712 and 1723, are set with large faceted stones, and have their backs chased or enameled with flower designs. His designs for enamel-work published as models for jewelers’ apprentices, contains among other patterns a series of twelve rings set with large faceted stones ; beside each ring is a design for the enamel decoration of its shoulder: ”

Of Italian designs for jewelry set with precious stones in the rococo style we may note those of G. B. Grondoni of Genoa, who worked at Brussels about 1715, Carlo Ciampoli (1710), and D. M. Albini, whose designs were published in 1744. The publication in London of several series of designs proves that England was not far behind the Continent in the production of high-class personal ornaments.

Among the most important pattern-books for jewelry, are those of Simon Gribelin, who was born in Paris in 1662, and worked chiefly in London, where he died in 1733. His work includes A book of Ornaments and A Book of Ornaments useful to Jewelers, etc., 1697. These were republished in 1704.

The patterns are chiefly for seals, and for breast ornaments and clasps set with rose-cut stones in rococo settings. About the same time similar pattern-books were published. One book contains designs for buckles” seals, watch-keys, a chatelaine with a watch and another with pendants and bow-shaped breast ornaments hung with drop pearls.

An isolated phenomenon in the midst of the universal love for precious stones that then dominated the productions of the jewelers, some jewelers carried the traditions of the sixteenth century far into the eighteenth.

All the processes of the craftsmen, of whose technique possessed a fine knowledge worked with wonderful care and exactitude—though the productions naturally betray in design the period of their execution. Some jewelers exercised considerable influence on their contemporaries, more especially with regard to the revival of the art of enameling in the second half of the century, when jewelry made a notable advance in the time of Louis XVI.

A change in style was first experienced on the arrival in power of Madame de Pompadour, who led the way in that coquettish return to simple conditions of life which showed itself in the pastorals of the Louis Quinze epoch. It resulted in a preference for simple gold ; this metal, colored by alloys such as platinum and silver being at most only set off by enamel painting.

This later rococo period, as far as its technique is concerned, is one which has never been equaled either before or since. An event of importance in the history of jewelry, as of art generally, was the discovery in 1755 of the city of Pompeii, succeeding that in 1713 of Hercu-laneum, buried for centuries beneath the ashes of Vesuvius.

The journeys of artists to Italy and to Naples, and the interest aroused thereby in ancient art, a weariness with the mannerism of rococo ornament, and the whim of fashion, gradually transformed jewelry like other decorative arts, and resulted in the classicism of the style of Louis XVI.

Antique forms as they then were known showed themselves in a very charming manner in well-balanced jewels, where different colored gold took the form of classical motives in the midst of ribbons, garlands, and the pastoral subjects dear to the previous epoch.

Enamel returned into fashion, and accomplished its chief triumph with painting in fine transparent tones over gold. In conjunction with the art of gem setting and cutting, and metal chasing, this species of enamel produced effects which were all the more surprising, seeing that it was often confined to the smallest of spaces.

Other French designers of jewelry at this time were: Maria, a jeweler of Paris, who issued about 1765 an important series of plates, thirty-five in number, of pendants, brooches, clasps, chatelaines, aigrettes, seals, rings, and buckles.

A Swiss jeweler by birth was originally a gold chaser—” the first in the kingdom,” so Sir Joshua Reynolds described him; but when that mode of decorating jewelry was put aside in favor of enamels, he turned his attention to enamel compositions of emblematically figures in vogue for the costly watch-cases of the day, for chatelaines, necklaces, bracelets, and other personal ornaments. He succeeded so well in this class of work that the Queen patronized him, and he executed a considerable number of

commissions for the King.

The excess of ornamentation and the desire for jewelry formed of precious stones had, since the

seventeenth century, favored the use of imitations. Rock crystal or quartz had long been employed to imitate diamonds. But at this time even people of great wealth wore imitation jewels, such as certainly would not be worn by persons in a corresponding position nowadays. These made no profession of being real stones.

Competitors were not slow in making their appearance, and one Charon also gave his name for a considerable time to the false diamonds that issued from his workshop. So large and flourishing did the industry in imitations become that in 1767 a corporation was established in Paris. Imitation pearls were likewise very largely worn ; even ladies of high position did not disdain to wear them.

Pearls have been so well imitated, that most of those of fine Orient have found their way back from Europe to Asia, and are so rare in France that nowadays one scarcely sees any good specimens.” Productions such as these were -rendered ‘necessary to satisfy the luxury which from the nobility had extended over the whole middle classes, and also on account of the strained condition of French finance.

As Controllers of Finance, endeavored to cut down expenses, and issued in 1759 an invitation to the wealthy to bring in their jewels to be converted into cash for the benefit of the Treasury. This had become very much the fashion in France.

In Switzerland, too, since it was forbidden to wear diamonds, ladies, he tells us, wore no other ornaments than marcasite, and spent a good deal of care and money in the setting of it. The mineral known as marcasite, a word which was spelled in many ways, is a crystallized form of iron pyrites cut in facets like rose diamonds, and highly polished. It was used for a number of ornaments.

Steel, likewise cut in facets, was similarly employed. Steel jewelry appears to have been invented in England, and from Birmingham, the center of its manufacture, found its way all over Europe, reaching France by way of Holland.

Steel jewelry, which was in high favor in the latter half of the eighteenth, continued to be worn until the second V quarter of the nineteenth century, when it finally went out of fashion. Even after that, cut steel was still made at Birmingham.

One of the most prominent, continued for many years to supply the Court of Spain with buttons and buckles ornamented with steel. Steel was largely employed as mounts for the cameos of Wedgwood, and there was considerable demand for rings, brooches and buttons. Mountings for these were also made in silver or Sheffield plate.

Another characteristic of the changed condition of the times was the use in jewelry, together with false pearls, and marcasite, of various substitutes for gold. The best-known of these substitutes was “pinch- J beck,” so called after its inventor, Christopher Pinchbeck (d. 1732), a clock and watch maker, of Fleet Street. This pinch beck gold was an alloy of copper and zinc. When fused together the metals assumed the color of fine gold, and preserved for a time a bright and UN-oxidised surface, though in some cases objects thus fashioned received a washing of gold. Pinchbeck was much used for cheaper jewelry of all kinds.

The larger articles made of this metal were chatelaines, snuff-boxes, while watch-cases, miniature-frames, buckles, clasps, and so forth, are to be found for the most part ornamented in relief and carefully chased. These several articles to which pinch beck was suited, went in those days by the name of “toys.” The term “Toy man” was employed by Pinchbeck himself, but the title had, of course, no reference to what are now known as toys.

In France and Germany a metal composition like gold, in imitation of pinch beck, called “gold shine,” was produced, first in about 1729, and subsequently improved by Leblanc, of Paris. But the name of the English inventor of the metal was well known in France.

The head-ornament—the aigrette—was still an important jewel in the eighteenth century. Generally a kind of delicately formed bouquet of precious stones in very light setting, it continued long in fashion, together with strings of pearls among the hair. For a while the aigrette was set aside for bows, small birds, etc., made of precious stones mounted upon vibrating spiral wires which were then attached to the hair-pin. These went under the name of “wasps” or “butterflies.” In the days of Marie Antoinette they were supplemented by hair-pins and aigrettes set entirely with diamonds, which about 1770 had almost entirely colored stones.

Many designs for these head-ornaments were published. Some jewelers wanted do away with the mixture of colored stones with diamonds and in spite of the general preference for the diamond, taste had not yet learned to do without color effect in jewelry. Earrings, as has been noticed in reference to the Santini designs, were in particular favor at this period.

The majority were composed of large faceted stones or of pearls, formed grandiose fashion—that is to say, of a large circular stone above, with three pear-shaped pendants below. A pair of earrings of this form, said to have belonged to Madame du Barry, are in possession of Lady Monckton. They are set each with four sapphire pastes of very fine quality ; the three drop-pendants being separated from the upper stone by open spray-work of silver set with white pastes.

Similarly elaborate pendent earrings in seven sections composed of brilliants are seen in an original portrait of Queen Charlotte by Thomas Frye (c. 1760). Drop-shaped pendants, mostly diamonds, were then very highly esteemed. Marie Antoinette had a pair of diamond earrings with stones of this form hanging from a perpendicular line of large brilliants.

For necklaces the engravings of these same designers supply many patterns. Like the designs of the fifteenth century, they are often in the form of a band about an inch in width, composed of precious stones— rubies, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds—in open-work, or attached to velvet. They are generally constructed so as to reach only half-way round the neck, the back part being a band of black velvet. Portraits of the time frequently exhibit ropes of pearls, and finally rows of large diamonds, like the renowned collier of Marie Antoinette composed by the Court jewelers. Numerous circumstances connected with it, too lengthy to relate here, gave to the affair of the diamond necklace a world-wide celebrity, making it one of the chief events of the century. Though historically one of the world’s most famous pieces of jewelry, the necklace itself, described in quaint but vivid language by Carlyle in his Miscellanies, calls for no special comment, being on the whole of comparatively small artistic importance. Its value was a great sum for those days—lay in the size and quality of the brilliants of which it was composed. A favorite point of adornment in female attire was still the breast, where, in the first part of the century, jeweled ornaments in the form of bows and rosettes, hung with pendants and set with table-cut stones or rose diamonds, continued to be worn. Generally they hung with pear-shaped pendants.

About 1770 a large bunch of flowers, or a bouquet-shaped ornament formed of precious stones, was worn in the breast. For the latter the jeweler Lempereur enjoyed a great reputation. Upon the stiff bodice, which came into fashion at the end of the seventeenth century, scope was afforded for a goodly use of ornament, and soon we find the corsage literally covered with jewels, in a manner similar to that in which the ladies of the Renaissance almost completely covered the upper part of their dresses with pendent chain-ornaments. At the time, however, of which we now speak the ornaments are single pieces mounted upon the dress and arranged symmetrically in the form of a jeweled “stomacher” or devant de corsage. The Santini drawings contain many examples of this kind of open framework composed of precious stones.

At this period also, when luxury reached its climax, even the tucked-up upper skirt had the whole of its exaggerated dimensions sprinkled with pieces of jewelry, so that of this time again it may be said that the ladies of the Court displayed the whole of their wealth, and often enough of their credit too, upon a single dress. Fashion endeavored to fill a corresponding part in gentleman’s attire by adorning coat and waistcoat with buttons of artistic workmanship. To match the beautiful embroidered garments of the time, buttons were sewn with bugles, steel beads, or spangles ; and many have survived which may be reckoned as real articles of jewelry. Every material and mode of decoration was applied to them.

Occasionally we find buttons set with diamonds and other precious stones, but more often paste, or with odd natural stones such as agates, carnelians, marcasite, blood-stones, lapis-lazuli, or buttons of tortoise-shell, or of compositions such as Wedgwood ware, in frames of cut steel. Translucent blue glass or enamel, mounted or set with pearls, diamonds or pastes, and chased and colored gold, were all fashionable. On the whole, cut steel was the most popular. A Birmingham craftsman by name of Heeley, who worked for Wedgwood about 1780, is recorded as being especially skillful at this class of work; while in France a certain Dauffe had almost a monopoly in the production of steel objects. Certainly some of the open-work steel buttons of the time— English as well as French—are jewels of a very high order. Bracelets were mostly formed of bands of velvet with oval clasps.

The clasp was decorated in a variety of ways, and was very frequently fitted with a painted or enameled miniature. The practice of wearing miniatures in this way seems to have been a common one, judging by the numerous advertisements inserted in the London Public Advertiser about the middle of the century by ” ingenious artists,” willing on ” reasonable terms to paint elegant portraits in miniature for bracelets, rings, etc. Cameos were sometimes employed as bracelet clasps, but not to the same extent as they were subsequently under the Empire.

An admirable example of French jewel work of the time, is formed of a circlet of emeralds arranged in the manner of a laurel wreath, and tied at intervals by cords of rose diamonds terminating above and below in knots. Among other decorations for bracelets, mention may be made of the celebrated enamels produced at Batter-sea between 1750 and 1775, very many of which, oval in shape, were set in gold frames so as to be easily mounted in bracelets. The finger ring in the eighteenth century was a particularly favorite jewel. That considerable attention was paid at the time to the design and decoration of the ring, may be judged from Bourguet’s designs, which contain patterns for enamel-work intended for its enrichment.

The beauty of the sentiments displayed on the rings of the time is nowhere more charmingly expressed than on an English wedding-ring at South Kensington, which is formed of two hand’s in white enamel, holding between the thumbs and first fingers a rose diamond in the shape of a heart set in silver and surmounted with a jeweled coronet. Other rings of similar style have the bezel formed of two precious stones in the form of hearts united by a knot. Rings which served simply as souvenirs of affection were very popular. In addition to the plain gold ring engraved with a posy or motto, were rings containing a like sentiment read by means of the first letters of the stones with which they are set.

The most typical ring of the period is perhaps the marquise ring, which dates from the second half of the century. The bezel, which is oblong, and either oval or octagonal, is often of such size that it covers the whole joint of the finger. It is formed of a plaque of transparent blue glass on matted gold, surrounded with diamonds, and set either with a single diamond, or with several arranged at regular intervals, sometimes in the form of a bouquet. Often instead of diamonds are pastes and even marcasite. Of other varieties of rings of the time it is necessary only to mention those set with Wedgwood cameos, or .with, stones such as moss-agates, and a form of agate somewhat similar, but of lighter color, called the mocha stone.

Mourning and memorial rings, of which this period was so prolific, will be spoken of subsequently. An ornament that showed a peculiarly wide development throughout the eighteenth century was the shoe-buckle. Various kinds of buckles are recorded in the Caution to the Public. They include the following: buckles for ladies’ breasts, stock-buckles, shoe-buckles, knee-buckles, girdle-buckles. Of these the most important was the buckle worn on the shoes of every one —man, woman, and child—attached to the strap passing over the instep. It assumed all sorts of forms and was made and enriched with every conceivable material.

It is interesting to observe that in spite of the immense number produced, hardly any two pairs of buckles are precisely alike— which contains upwards of four hundred specimens. Towards the last years of the century buckles began to be supplanted by shoe-strings. During this period of transition many attempts were made to foster their use.

On tickets to public entertainments at the time one occasionally finds a notice that ” Gentlemen cannot be admitted with shoe-strings.” The latter, however, won the day, and about the year 1800 shoe-buckles disappeared from use. The chatelaine was perhaps the most characteristic of all eighteenth-century ornaments. It was exceedingly popular, and formed, it may be observed, a very favorite object of the time for a wedding present. It usually consisted of a shield with a stout hook, suspended from which were several chains united by another plate or shield which carried the watch. Besides this were two or more chains for holding the watch-key or seals.

Extraordinary skill was exercised in the elaboration of chatelaines. The plaques, hinged or united by chains, withstood the incursion of the precious stone that dominated all other forms of jewelry, and afforded peculiar opportunities for the display of the art of the goldsmith in chased and repouss6 metal-work enriched with exquisite enamels. The jeweler’s whole artistic skill was thus exhibited, not only upon the shields, but upon the solid links of the chains.

The chief of the latter was of course the watch. Its dial-plate was enriched with enamel, and chased and colored gold : even the hands when made of gold showed a high degree of skilled workmanship within a very small space. The principal ornamental part was, however, the outer case; and it may be maintained that there was not any species of work connected with the goldsmith’s art that was not displayed in its finest form upon watch-cases, more especially in the time of Louis XVI.

Beside the watch was hung the watch-key and seals, and all sorts of ornamental nick-knacks, and such-like bought!

While women carried elaborate chatelaines, men hung from the watch in the fob-pocket bunches of seals which dangled beneath their embroidered waistcoats. Thus in Monsieur a la Mode, published about 1753, we read of— A repeater by Graham, which the hours reveals ; Almost overbalanced with nick-knacks and seals.

It was the seal above all which experienced particular artistic development. Ever since the sixteenth century the seal had been worn in addition to the signet ring. Though hung perhaps like a pomander from a chain at the neck or from the girdle, the seal seems to have been but rarely displayed on the person until the general introduction in the early seventeenth century of the watch, to which for more than a couple of centuries it was a regular accompaniment.

The majority of seventeenth-century seals are of silver with the arms engraved in the metal; others of steel are on swivels and have three faces; others, again, of gold set with stones engraved with heraldic devices, have finely worked shanks, occasionally enriched with delicate enamel-work. The gold seals of the eighteenth century, which are among the best examples extant of rococo jewelry, are of open-work in the form of scroll and shell patterns, of admirable design and workmanship. It is out of the question to attempt a description of the numerous attractive forms these pendent seals assumed, or the peculiar interest they possess from an heraldic point of view. About the year 1772 fashionable men carried a watch in each fob-pocket, from which hung bunches of seals and chains.

From the custom set in England of introducing masculine fashions into dress, ladies likewise wore two watches, one on each side, together with rattling seals, and other appendages. In addition to the real watch with beautifully enameled back which adorned the left side, they wore on the right what was called a false watch. These false watches were, however, often little less costly than the genuine article, being made of gold and silver, with jeweled and enameled backs. The front had either an imitation dial-plate, some fanciful device, or a pin-cushion.

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Why Do We Wear Jewelry?

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THE term Jewelry is used generally in a very wide sense, and it has been necessary to impose certain limitations upon its meaning for the purpose of the present work. Jewelry may be defined as comprising various objects adapted to personal ornament, precious in themselves or rendered precious by their workmanship.

The jewel worn as a personal ornament may be merely decorative, such as the aigrette or the pendant, or it may be useful as well as ornamental, such as the brooch or the girdle. Gems and precious stones are not jewels, in the present sense, until the jeweler’s skill has wrought and set them. This definition will be found to correspond with the term niiimteria adopted by Italian writers on the goldsmith’s art for objects in precious materials employed for the adornment of the person, as distinct from grosseria —those fashioned for household use or ornament.

JEWELLERY hitherto generally overlooked or neglected, which may be derived from the engraved designs and working drawings of jewelers, from personal inventories, and from pictures by the old masters. Perhaps too generous a share of attention has been bestowed on English work; but this may be
pardoned when it is remembered that the previous literature of jewelry has been almost entirely from the pens of French and German writers.

THE love of ornament prompted by vanity is inherent in the human race. A most primitive instinct of human beings is to make their persons more beautiful, more imposing, or more striking by ornamentation. This inclination is as old as dress itself, nay, perhaps, dates even further back.

For there are tribes to whom climate and civilization have not yet suggested the necessity of clothing the body, but who nevertheless possess ornaments of some degree of development. From the rudest of beginnings up to the last refinements of art, jeweled ornaments have ever the same purpose in view—to give prominence to individual parts of the body by means of glittering, beautiful objects which involuntarily draw the eye of the spectator in the desired direction.

Jewelry is not only worn with the purpose of attracting attention and setting off the beauty of the person, but satisfies the desire, not less deep-rooted in humanity, of establishing a distinctive mark of rank and dignity. In fact the wearing of certain kinds of ornaments has at times been fixed by legislation.

Among savages, and races not far removed from barbarism, it may be observed that the love of ornament is chiefly characteristic of men. As civilization advances it is displayed more and more by women alone.

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