Etruscan Jewelry

Etruscan Jewelry
(700 BC-300 BC)

Extremely Rare Ancient Etruscan Jewelry Gold Granulated Earring

Extremely Rare Ancient Etruscan Jewelry Gold Granulated Earring

Articles of jewelry (usually of gold) made with great skill and artistry in Etruria (now western Tuscany). The Etruscans were a non Italic people whose culture, based on Greek culture, influenced the Romans from the 7th century BC until the 5th century BC, when they were invaded by the Gauls and again in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC until they were overcome by the Romans.

The jewelry is of two periods: (1) the Early Etruscan Period, from the 7th century BC to the 5th, when the Etruscans excelled in developing their own characteristic styles and methods of workmanship, producing many pieces of technical perfection and great variety; and (2) the Late Etruscan Period, 4th-3rd centuries BC, when the work was of a coarser quality. During the Early Etruscan Period they developed the art of granulated gold, using finely grained gold by a process only recently rediscovered, and making such articles as fibulae (some ornamented with animal figures in the round), bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. They also made articles in filigree having openwork patterns without a backing, and often used colored beads from Phoenicia, inlay and enameling.

In the Late Etruscan Period the decoration became meagre, mainly embossed work on convex surfaces rather than the earlier granulated and filigree work; the pieces included bracelets (some made as wide bands) and now finger rings, bullae, and burial wreaths. The many finger rings were often made with a scarab or a long, oval bezel engraved or set with a gemstone. Most of the pieces known today have been found in Etruscan tombs and cemeteries.

After c. 250 BC Etruscan jewelry continued to be made but was purely in Hellenistic style. In the 19th century the styles of ancient Etruscan jewelry were reproduced by Fortunato Pio Castellani.

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Estate style

Estate jewelry (also called vintage jewelry) is a term used for previously owned jewelry and for pieces of jewelry made in earlier (style-)periods and not necessarily pre-worn. It is not a dequalifying designation as many pieces of estate jewelry typically feature fine workmanship and high quality stones, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces. To be called “antique”, a piece must be more than 100 years old. Estate jewelry includes many decades or eras. Each era has many different designs. These eras include Georgian, Early Victorian, Mid-Victorian, Late Victorian, Arts and Crafts era, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro.

The word “jewelry” (American spelling) or “jewellery” (British spelling) is a derivation of the word “jewel”, which was anglicised from the Old French “jouel” some 800 years ago, in around the 13th century. The word “jouel” itself comes from the Latin word “jocale”, meaning “plaything”. Jewelry can be made out of almost every known material with the purpose to adorn nearly every part of the body.

The word “estate” comes from the Anglo-French “astat” or Old French “estat” which come from the Latin “status” meaning: “state or condition”. The oldest sense (circa 1200) is “rank, standing, condition” while the sense “property” is from circa 1400 and changed over the ages from “worldly prosperity” as specific application to “landed property” (usually of large extent). Its first known record in American English dates back to 1623. The meaning “collective assets of a dead person or debtor” is from around 1830. Nowadays with the prefix “estate” we mean all of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, art collections, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, investments, and life insurance.

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Empire style

Empire Style

Empire Style

The revolution initiated a return to the classics and the Greek Cameo. This was probably stimulated by Napoleon himself who had on his foreign travels collected an impressive collection of these. Another trend inspired by the Napoleon wars was the creation of a certain type of jewel. The so-called ‘Fer de Berlin’ or ‘Berlin iron’.

Through the Greeks the Roman influence came to be felt as a matter of course. This manifested itself in jewellery in the form of mosaics. Mosaics can be divided into two distinct groups. The Pietra Dura and the Glass mosaics. Pietra Dura is a technique whereby flakes or chips of colored marble are pressed into a combination in hot wax. The Glass Mosaic was made by pressing pieces of glass, sometimes prejoined to form a picture, into the wax. These are fairly easy to date accurately. The fashion for these items started around 1830 and lasted up to around 1880. The earlier ones were for the most part made of monochrome (single colour) glass toward the 1880 however we find instances of glass being used in multi-layers. The artisan would no longer need to set pieces of glass together to create a pillar rather he could buy a complete pillar, shadow and all, and place it in his picture.To make life even easier, even a river, for instance, no longer needed to be made of more pieces of glass, for the artist could buy.

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Edwardian style

Articles of jewelry popularly worn in England during the reign of Edward VII, 1901-10. They included articles lavishly decorated with gemstones, especially diamonds in very fine spindly settings, such as necklaces, collars, tiaras, and pendent earrings.

Elegant designs with the fineness of line and lacey aspects are distinctive in Edwardian pieces reacting gracefully against the very geometrical forms of Art Deco that was strongly influenced by Cubism. However, because both Edwardian and Art Deco styles were contemporaries of each other, we sometimes notice pieces that carry both influences.

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Baroque style

A style in art and decoration that developed shortly before 1600 and remained current in Europe until the emergence of the Rococo style c.1730. It was started in Italy, and spread to Germany, Austria, the Low Countries, and Spain and Portugal, with only a somewhat severely classical version being popular in France under Louis XIV. The style was a development of the Renaissance style and is characterized by lively, curved, and exuberant forms, by vigorous movement, and by rich ornament, based on classical sources, being symmetrical as distinguished from the asymmetry of the following Rococo style.

During the baroque period both men and women ceased to bedeck themselves with ostentatious jewelry and tended to wear quantities of pearls or of jewels with gemstones playing a larger role than the polychrome effects of enamelling. Enamelling in restrained style continued to be found on the backs of jewelry, such as lockets and watch-cases, and in the 1630-80s naturalistic floral styles predominated, largely as a consequence of the botanical mania then current in Europe. Diamonds were often used following the discoveries at the Golconda and Hyderabad mines in India and the new methods of diamond cutting.

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Art Nouveau style

Art Nouveau, the style of decoration current in the 1890s and early 1900s, the name being derived from a gallery for interior decoration opened by Samuel Bing in Paris in 1896, called the “Maison de l’Art Nouveau”. It was introduced in England circa 1890, mainly as a product of the movement started by William Morris and the pre-Raphaelites, which spread to the Continent and America. It came to an end with the outbreak of World War I.

The same style in Germany was called Jugendstil, after a magazine called Die Jugend(The Youth), in Holland Slaoliestijl (salad oil style) after an advertising for salad oil and in Italy Floreale or Stile Liberty (after the London store that featured it).

Applicable to all the decorative arts, it was adapted to jewelry in England and the Continent. The style resulted from a revolt against the rigid styles of the previously mass-produced wares and a philosophy that sought to revive the craft movement and aestheticism in art. It featured free-flowing, curving lines with asymmetrical natural motifs, such as human, female faces, greatly influenced by Japanese art. It used gemstones to emphasize their beauty, preferring pearls and cabochon opals and moonstones rather than faceted stones, and employed colourful enamelling.The pieces include pendants, necklaces and elaborate hair ornaments. Eventually its own extravagances led to its demise in circa 1910-1914.

Among its leading exponents in France were Rene Lalique, Maison Vever, George Fouquet and Lucien Gaillard; in Belgium Philippe Wolfers and in Vienna Josef Hoffman. In England the leaders were Charles R.Ashbee and Henry Wilson and in Scotland Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

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Art Deco style

The Art Deco style is a very famous and popular art movement that had a lot influence in the world of jewelry. Art Deco was introduced in the 1920s as protest against the Art Nouveau style. Art Deco ended in the 1930s. The style emphasized a very abstract design with geometric patterns and as most favorite colors: black (onyx), blue (sapphire), green (emerald), white (diamond) and red (coral). The baguette and emerald-cuts, which had been developed in the nineteenth century, where very popular in the 1920s because they blended so much with the geometrical lines of the Art Deco style.

Most of the Art Deco jewelry has a very luxury design. This is because of the large amount of money that was made in the war of 1914. All this money gave the opportunity to buy the best fashionable materials like: diamonds, platinum, red gold and yellow gold for the design of the jewels. Of course there are a lot of beautiful but less priced jewels in the Art Deco movement. Years later in the 1960s and 1970s Art Deco came back as a very popular decorative art. Even nowadays you can see that Art Deco style has great influence on our designing in all kind of branches.

History of Art Deco

After the Universal Exposition of 1900, various French artists formed a formal collective known as, La Société des artistes décorateurs (the society of the decorator artists). Founders included Hector Guimard, Eugène Grasset, Raoul Lachenal, Paul Follot, Maurice Dufrene, and Emile Decour. These artists heavily influenced the principles of Art Deco as a whole. This society’s purpose was to demonstrate French decorative art’s leading position and evolution internationally. They organized the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art), which would feature French art and business interests. Russian artist Vadim Meller was awarded a gold medal for his scenic design there.

The initial movement was called Style Moderne. The term Art Deco was derived from the Exposition of 1925, though it was not until the late 1960s that this term was coined by art historian Bevis Hillier, and popularized by his 1968 book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s. In the summer of 1969, Hillier conceived organizing an exhibition called Art Deco at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which took place from July to September 1971. After this event, interest in Art Deco peaked with the publication of Hillier’s 1971 book The World of Art Deco, a record of the exhibition.

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