The Georgian Jewelry Period 1714 ~ 1830 Costume jewelry in this period was also favoured with gemstones such as garnets that were foiled to represent rubies and were often used in pendants. These less expensive designs were as skilfully crafted as more expensive pieces. Substitutes for precious metals were also used. A metal known as pinch beck, which was discovered by an English watchmaker, was gilded to represent gold and became the accepted metal for jewelry artisans. The more affordable designs of antique pendants became very popular and opened the jewelry market to the masses. In 1760 the marcasite was used extensively in jewelry. This beautiful black stone was included in striking evening wear pendants and mourning jewelry.

The Victorian Jewelry Period 1837 ~ 1901 Queen Victoria became the Queen of England in 1837. The influence of French artisans was still prevalent and the preference of jewelry owners was for romantic designs. It was at this time that jewelry began to be mass produced using manufacturing methods. Antique pendants that we love today, were not always made by the hands of craftsmen. The blueprint for the piece would have originally been designed by them, but the actual making of the piece could have been mass produced. The ladies of the day were less than happy about this 'progress' and boycotted the manufacturing techniques that were used. It also meant that the less well off could afford to purchase pieces that had only been available to the wealthy. In turn, the mass production of jewelry, pushed up the prices of pendants and other pieces of jewelry that were actually made by a craftsman's hands.

The Art Nouveau Jewelry Period 1890 ~ 1915 As it's name suggests the Art Nouveau Period began in Paris, France. The most popular designs of this fashion depicted anything romantic. Dragon flies, butterflies and pastel artistic shapes were in the forefront. Pendants were made using pink and pale blue enamel and married with pearls and rose coloured stone. This style of jewelry was feminine, romantic and ethereal and is still extremely sought after today. Pendants designed in this period were often crafted with designs of flowers and birds and the Art Nouveau fashion permeated the Western world.
The designer at the forefront of this stunning and popular jewelry design was Rene Lalique who also became well known as a designer of glass. 

The Edwardian Jewelry Period 1901 ~ 1914 This period began when Edward succeeded to the throne after the death of his mother, Victoria. He and his wife Alexandra were leaders of fashion and their elegance was revered and much copied. The term 'Belle Epoque' , meaning 'beautiful era' was first coined in reference to the couple and their style was the beginning of completely new jewelry preferences. Pendants really came into their own at this time. The fashion was for up swept hair, led by Alexandra, revealing women's necks. High collars were worn in the daytime and evening dresses were designed with low cut necklines, so providing the perfect showcase for superbly designed pendants.  At the forefront of popular pendant fashion was the 'Negligee Pendant'. This was designed with a gold chain, finishing at the front with two unequal lengths of chain with gems suspended from each length. Alexandra was known for her love of amethysts and it was often included in jewelry designed during this era. These violet stones were often combined with white pearls and green peridots, the symbol of the then increasingly strong suffragette movement. The v, w, and g, the initial letters of the stones stood for 'give women the vote' and women often wore pendants that used these beautiful stones in it's design.

Antique Jewelry and Pendants

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Today, we are very fortunate that some of these stunning pendants from the past have survived for us to admire and purchase. We can source them at various sales and auctions or simply admire them in specialised antique pendant collections. However we prefer to see them, the antique pendant is a beautiful echo of the past. 

antique pendants


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