Originally the term “Victorian jewelry” was designated for articles of jewelry made in the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria, but not all of the many varieties produced during her long reign, 1837-1901, are now generally classified as Victorian jewelry. These days in the international antique jewelry trade the pieces now called Victorian jewelry are not necessarily made in the United Kingdom. The term “Victorian Jewelry” became a term used for European jewelry made in the 19th century rather then the description of a certain style-movement in a specific country.
At the end of the 19th Century jewelers used nature as inspiration for their designs. Their interpretations of animals in jewels are based on a realistic view of the colours and lines in naturalistic detail. The French were undoubtedly unrivalled in the design of jewelry during this period with a deep understanding for the gems and materials used. It is in French jewelry that the most stunning naturalistic motifs can be found. This 19th Century naturalistic jewelry in diamonds, of course, can be very expensive. With careful and imaginative taste, the flowers (reedmace or cattail) and swan act as a romantic and fascinating theme of this decorative jewel.
We think that this beauty is made at the end of the Victorian and beginning of the Art Nouveau era.
The Victorian era (the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901) is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in an excess of ornament. The Victorian period can roughly be divided into 3 distinct periods; the Romantic (1837 – 1860), Grand (1861 – 1885), and Late or Aesthetic Period (1880 – 1901). The jewelry of the late Victorian period once again returned to romanticism with more delicate and whimsical motifs such as stars, crescent moons, reptiles, animals, birds and insects. The discovery of the diamond mines in South Africa led to the use of mine, rose and cushion cut diamond stones.
The Art Nouveau style has its beginning in the late Victorian era. Art Nouveau (French for New Style) is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art – especially the decorative arts – that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905). The name “Art Nouveau” is French for “new art”. It is also known as “Jugendstil”, German for “youth style”, named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, and in Italy, Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.
But all this info aside: What a beautiful brooch! Upon the sight of this brooch we all turned instantly happy. What a pretty piece of Applied Art. Charming, touching, cute, top notch work and design… One of the very nicest pieces we have had in many many years. And it stays nice… everytime we look at it we are in awe of the quality and its positive impact to our mood 🙂 .
To many antique jewelry experts, this is the reason why goldsmiths of those days used rose cut diamonds; so the jewels would sparkle better in the candle light. To prove this, the Adin Museum of Fairy Tale Artifacts is showcasing some of their rose cut diamond jewelry in a candlelight environment. There remains the question that in what other than the light of candles, oil lamps and torches rose cut diamonds had to sparkle, since there wasn’t any electricity yet.