Sparkling jewelry mark of growing social wealth


During the 1800s and 1900s the world came alive. Early 1800 witnessed the Industrial Revolution of mass production, and therefore more employment of the masses permitted more time for leisure and material desires.

The spirit of productivity and creativity appeared infinite to the imagination, with hopes of most everyone and those desiring wealth.

There were newspapers and publications for all that could read; education became available to generations that lacked the opportunity before; wheels became fitted with rubber tires; roads and rail lines expanded.

These were just a few occurrences that affected industry, statehood, cities and towns.

With the ballooning world and time for finer dress and entertainment came the desire to adorn oneself with sparkling jewelry.

This had been an ornamental part of life back in the days of the Bible. Pagan cultures also beautified their appearance quite elaborately.

Before the Industrial Revolution everything was either made by hand or slowly manufactured by crude processes.

It was then possible for anyone to leave behind a social level and climb the ladder a bit higher.

Folks during the Victorian era understood that education, hard work and a respect for God and fellow persons could aid in a person’s desire to better themselves. Even the children of the well-to-do became aware of a trade and industry.

Another event that awakened many to mechanical advances, furniture fashions, clothing fads, and many diverse factors, was the Great Exposition of 1851 in Europe and later American Exposition.

The Crystal Palace Exposition in 1853 in America, plus the many other expositions in Europe, were showcases of 1800s industrial contributions to the world.

As the 1800s came to a close and Victoria related designs and decoration became the vogue, dramatic elaborate dress and jewelry captivated fashion trends.

Fashion leaders sought to make the most of this fad by designing styles that enlivened the eye and desires of the vogue conscious.

Dress designs that accentuated the feminine figure became fashionable. Every way to bolster certain body lines, trim down other areas was employed. Jewelry designs followed the same trend.

As the royalty and court members went in fashion, the public followed quite readily.

Choker or “dog-collar” necklaces were favored by the Queen of England, and very quickly all fashion-minded ladies in the United Kingdom, Europe and America followed attentively. Pearls were another of the Queen’s favorites.

Chantelains were almost a necessary part of attire for Victorian ladies; this type of accessory was in and out of fashion for many centuries. By 1860 this fad waned, however Alexandra revived it by 1887.

This item consisted of a large piece worn centered at the waist, either pinned or hooked to the waistband.

Attached to this was usually five chains onto which was fastened articles deemed necessary to busy oneself at a worktable or sewing table – scissors, thimble holder, pin cushion, etc.

Other ladies may have scent bottles, pencils, small notebooks and such.

Earrings became fashionable again, especially the long drop types. Although these did not dominate the fad, several other types were worn suitable to the person’s attire and desires.

Bracelets were worn either on the bare arm or over the see-through lace sleeves. Necklaces of every length, size and material were worn.

During this era, broaches were mostly of a delicate, light type. Quite a number were decorated with pearls and enameling. Broaches resembling hoops and bar pins appealed to many.

Jewelry during this fashion period has a charm unique to itself.


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