Victorian Style Jewellery
The Victorian Era
With the crowning of Queen Alexandria Victoria in 1837, the Victorian era of jewellery began. She was the longest ruling monarch in the United Kingdom. The early years were the start of the Romantic jewellery period as the Victorian era of design and fashion combined several different influences of motifs from the Gothic, Classical, and Elizabethan era as well as others like Rococo and Romanticism designed for the new version of the ideal woman.
Early Victorian Period
Early Victorian years for fashion diamond jewellery, which lasted until 1860, were also known as the Romantic period. This is the period during which the Queen was married to Prince Albert. The jewellery carried a move away from the aristocratic lifestyle and more on the dreams and emotions of the people.
Pendants and brooches were very popular during this time period as there were symbols used such as flowers, birds, and grapes to help encourage the romantic feeling of the time period.
Becoming standard during this particular time period you would have seen hair jewellery or memorial mourning brooches worn by people as well as pendants with polished agate gemstones known as Scottish pebble jewellery.
Mid Victorian Period
After the sudden passing of Queen Victoria’s husband, the romantic period ended giving way to the Grand or Mid-Victorian period where jewellers where using darker stones like black onyx and jet to symbolize the national mood of the times. Celtic Revival Crosses were also popular during this time period as it was worn as either a pin or pendant.
The Mid-Victorian times saw a rise in urban middle class as more jewellery pieces were being created for both everyday use and collectors during the Victorian era as well.
Jewellery also saw the influence of the Far East, Indian, and Eastern motifs press forward into the European jewellery designs and art designs.
Late Victorian Period
As for the late Victorian period that lasted from 1885 until the Queen’s death in 1900, there was a new spirit and style of fashion jewellery that swept across Europe swiftly. The idea that jewellery could be fun and exciting again was back into the minds of people as the Queen’s daughter-in-law brought out some of the best of the times with wonderful jewellery trends.
The discovery of the Kimberly diamond fields in South Africa helped the period reach its pinnacle with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Diamonds were plentiful in this era of the Victorian time period, and there were a lot of different styles of jewellery.