Joannes Vermeer - Girl With A Pearl Earring c. 1665
You won't find another 'History of Jewelry' (and there's a lot of them) on the internet anything, and I mean anything, like what you're about to read. None Exist. (unless I've been copied again!)
The history and future of Jewelry or anything in the context of time for that matter, are light years apart, yet remain inseparable, and paradoxically hardly ever considered as one complete, whole, something. I guess the Jewelry shoobies are too busy making money to consider the Jewelry narrative at all.
For arts' sake, glance back over your shoulder, just like the Girl with a Pearl Earring painting masterpiece (top of this page) and Google stalk Jewelry past. You won't have to search very far, as that's what this entire website is dedicated too.
If you consider the Natural Pearl earring dangling from the girl's ear, you can't miss that gleaming light-filled pearl right? And as if, like examining the pearl, we examine our history past, we shift the pearl into the present, now in our direct line of vision. The pearl, Jewelry History, is in the foreground. What has proceeded it, at this point, in Jewelry history, lest we forget, holds great significance for our present and future station.
From this angle, we see Jewelry History as a Magic Baroda Carpet ride, on the bejewelled horizon of days gone by, continually being interrupted by wars and politics, and paradoxically, also shaped and propelled by those very same forces.
It's one big conundrum, because from her perspective, fine estate & period pieces created for her human nature by his master art, we find an enduring reflection through the centuries of the human spirit, in its highest and most purest form. A symbolic expression of the human love narrative (his story is normally a war narrative) in space-time, expressed as only a true craftsperson can express it. As we look in fascination at that work of art we hold in our hand, we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that post modernity was merely practise, during intermission.
In the great Anthropocene, might we not just pause, to consider Her account, because a woman can sense the Jewelry narrative as only a woman can.
So how could the Jewelry narrative survive, in a world without war in the future?
From past Jewelry history, we can determine there hasn't ever been just one "History of Jewelry" - there's been many Jewelry His Stories, written in general from a male perspective. Histories of the artists. Histories of the designers. Histories of the international maisons. Histories of the jeweled craft and the histories of the goldsmith's art and so on, and so on.
Antique Jewelry narratives, written in the historical context, mostly refer to the different styles and periods and considers the continuing presence or absence of similar features. In this sense, the alterations of stylistic periods are marked by Historical events such as..err... the two world wars of the 20th century, the wall street crash of 1929, the economic boom following the second world war.
From the Famous Jewelry Collections, to the cut of the gemstone, a jewelry art historian might arrive to a closer approximation of the nature of the jewel in question, by also examination of the stones they contain; for it alone remains free of Historical bias. We know, stones and bones don't lie;)
Drawing from language, the actual word, 'antique' comes from the Latin word 'antiquus' which means 'old'. The word 'jewellery' is derived from the word 'jewel' from the Old French word 'jouel' in around the 13th century - the word 'jouel' comes from the Latin word 'jocale' which means a 'plaything'.
Antique Jewelry is jewelry that has reached 100 years or more, some argue 70 years only, in both cases, making it is a witness to a previous generation in history.
Historically, however, "antiques" hold a particular reference. Those antiquities from Old Greek and Roman civilizations, known as the 'Age of Antiquity' although considered antiques, the terms applied loosely, not in the true sense of the definition.
In the Pantheon of Jewels, Antique Jewelry and 20th century Jewelry, is an ongoing commodity, any yet remains a tribute, an artistic record, hard evidence of humanity at its very finest. Magnificent Jewelry holds special significance in history. It has strength and beauty, just roars quality and master craftsmanship and importantly provides a more true account of our history than written historical accounts.
By cross-referencing period styles, forms and the materials used in the history of jewelry, dealers and collectors can period date pieces with a greater deal of accuracy. After-all, bones & stones, antique diamonds, including the amazing blue gemstones, and antique gold work don't lie.
Antique jewelry and 20th century Jewelry, may be embellished with precious and non-precious gemstones.
Each piece tells it's own story. Many pieces express great love & intimacy. Local culture and traditions often made it impossible for people in love to express their love openly in the past - here, Jewelry came to the lover's rescue! It offered an intimate form of expression with forever lasting quality.
Fine jewelry, crafted using jewelry techniques practiced during that period, involved materials that were popular in that same period.
Handcrafted Antique Jewelry was executed with painstaking attention to the finest details, just consider Peter Carl Faberge's most celebrated achievements.
Camilla Duchess of Cornwall's Diamond Engagement Ring is a perfect example of the linear perfection in Art Deco Jewelry of the 20s.
A symbol of love in the shape of a platinum and diamond antique engagement ring has been appointed keeper of the royal flame of love, for over a generation. History and family tradition, add romance and value to a heirloom antique engagement ring.
Antique Jewelry is categorized into separate period styles. Time travelling into the past, let's take a closer look at each design period...
Our jewelry time travel journey, begins at the dawn of 18th century and travels towards the present, ending at the dawn of 20th Century. Our time travel is in Europe.
Premier jewelry, gemstones, and Natural pearls have answered a deep and personal love of beauty throughout each of the period styles in the history of jewelry. But that's just half the story.
Jewelry, gemstones and Natural Pearls have also been used strategically in world politics, and quite brilliantly by British royalty and French royalty, such as Emperor Napoleon and the acquisition of fine Jewelry of the Georgian period.
Key points in the histories of jewelry:
Click on the links below to enter the decorative periods during the history of jewelry.
So, what will the future of the "History of Jewelry" look like?
Since 1918, few Jewels have been designed for court wear in any country and since 1939, even less. In addition, for political and economic reasons, the West does not encourage the making of such splendid Jewelry anymore.
To every cloud there is a silver lining. Scarcity is good news for the Antique Jewelry Investor, because it increases demand for Antique Jewelry, Period and Estate Jewelry already in short supply, and will become more scarce, and therefore more sought after in the future. Consequently, increasing in value as you continue to enjoy it.
In concluding, Lest We Forget , the history of Jewelry has been continually punctuated by war & "reeking tube & iron...". Could we consider, the Jewelry narrative, in a world without war, in the hopefully not too distant future, by using the grammar of Her.
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