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About historical Russian Jewellery

Edellie Jewellery Blog

 

Russian jewellery began to form its own individual styling back in the 10th century. Although it was greatly influenced by the Byzantine era, at that stage it began to form a definite character of its own. Metal had been in use for many centuries and about now Russian jewellers began adding filigree work to various items.  Embossing and chasing were used for decorating the pieces as well as cloisonne enamelling, niello, and granulated gold.

The jewellery made included articles of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, buckles for belts, and filigree buttons. Some of them had pagan motifs and in others, there were found Oriental and Norse influences.

Kiev acknowledged as jewellery centre

From the 11th till the 14th century Kiev thrived as a manufacturing city for fine jewellery making. This was particularly evident with high-quality cloisonne enamelware made for necklaces and pendants, which often contained religious motifs.

Later, Novgorod overtook Kiev and during the 15th century, it was moved to Moscow. The range began to expand to include jewelled covers for secular books and gold and silver covers for icons.

With the passing of time and the start of the 18th century Russian jewellery began to appear with beautiful gemstones. Some of the items made containing several different coloured gems to be incorporated into an individual piece.

Lavish Jewels for the Royal Court

Catherine the Great introduced extravagant Western-styled pieces of handmade jewellery for wearing at the Royal Court. For her coronation in 1762, she wore a spectacular oval brilliant diamond weighing 51 carats, given to her by Grigori Potemkin.  Later it became known as the Eugenie diamond or Potemkin diamond. This was due to Napoleon lll buying and setting it in a necklace as a wedding gift for his bride, Empress Eugenie. Hence the two names for it.

Faberge eggs

Russian jewellery reached its peak with the artistic intricate work produced by Carl Faberge. His imaginative creations in gold, enamelling, and gemstones, became world-renowned. He is best remembered for his fantastic array of jewelled eggs made for the Tsar to give the Tsarina as Easter gifts.

He accomplished receiving international recognition at the Paris Exposition in 1900. This assured his making jewellery not only for the Russian Court, but also for Edward Vll, and various other members of Royalty. He specialized in the various use of enamels and metals of different colours in Art Nouveau style.

 

Every year vast amounts of cash are spent on cards, flowers, jewellery, and other gifts for Valentines Day and each year there seems to be more. More advertising for it as well. Thus commercialism has made the 14th February one of the most publicized money spenders. Jewellery gifts of hearts and “Love” bracelets, necklaces, ring, and earrings, are always in demand in gold, silver, and platinum.

This is not only a modern idea. It actually dates far back to historical times mainly to the celebration of the Roman festival Lupercalia devoted to the God of Agriculture. Can be attributed to Romulus and Remus, who, supposedly, founded Rome. This festive occasion took place about the 14-15th February.

According to legend, there used to be a gathering of priests at a cave considered to be sacred. There they sacrificed a goat to promote fertility and a dog for purification. Tearing the goats hide into strips the priests would then go and slap the crops in the fields and the women tending to them as an encouragement for them to conceive. The women then put their names into an urn. Then the young men of the area would choose a name from it and that women would be his constant companion for the year.

According to another fable the Emperor Claudius ll believed single men made better soldiers than married ones. So he forbade marriage for those in the military. Apparently, Valentine disagreed with this and he continued to perform marriages in secret. Upon being discovered he was put to death.

A third story about Valentine claims he helped Christians escape from the severe conditions of the Roman prisons. Caught and imprisoned himself he fell in love with his jailor’s blind daughter who used to visit him. Before his death wrote her a good-bye love letter which he signed “from your Valentine”.

During the Middle Ages Valentine greetings became popular and by the middle of the 18th century, it was the norm to give handwritten notes of affection and other romantic notions on 14th February, with printed cards in fashion by 1900.

All this is in the past, but, the celebration of St. Valentines Day is considered as an ongoing day of love and romance worldwide.

See the selection of Jewellery for giving your loved one at Edellie jewellery online shop.

A brief story of gemstone jewels, the origins, the design, the essence for those captivated by the colour, energy and diversity.

In the beginning

Ancient people collected gem minerals because they were attracted to the colours, lustre, and crystal forms. Soon they began to use them as amulets, charm stones, and personal adornment. Prehistoric caves revealed findings of amber used as simple jewellery many thousands of years ago. There is archaeological evidence of amber trading in Northern Europe during the fourth and third millenia B.C.

When jewellery as we know it started to be shaped in silver and gold, gemstones were often used to decorate items. The Minoans used semi-precious gemstones to decorate their jewellery. During the late Roman Empire, gems were not only used for the Emperor’s robes but also for decorating chariots, harnesses, and utensils, in the Imperial household. The gems most popular were amethyst, agate, amber, jasper, chalcedony, rock crystal, ruby, emerald, opal and coral.

Interest in gemstones declined during the early Middle Ages due to Christianity putting an emphasis on afterlife rather than worldly pleasures.

Gemstone revival in France

Gemstones in the Gothic period were only smoothed to remove blemishes, then, drilled through and polished, leaving the stone looking as large as possible. The fashionable gems of the period were ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, rock crystal, and amethyst. With progress, the first facet cuts appeared. During the 14th- century gems began to be used to decorate religious items and as well as spectacular royal crowns made as well. Wearing jewellery now became the fashion at royal courts and among the nobility.

The Renaissance aroused interest in smaller precious gems with diamond, transparent pale-coloured stones, and turquoise. The 17th- century brought about the development of new facet cuts, such as the rosette and brilliant cut. These enhanced colour play and lustre of diamonds.

Wearing beautiful gems

Ancient Egyptians wore necklaces and rings that shone, as intensely did the ancient Greeks. It has been noted by Homer in his writings, of the precious priceless earrings of Hera and of the amber necklace that Eurymachos gave to Penelope.

Transparent stones of bright colours often look better on women than men. Stones with deeper tones of a less conspicuous colour usually suit males. Naturally, jewellery must match clothes and appropriate for the occasion. Formal evening clothes for the theatre do not go with brightly coloured stones noticed from afar, and when several jewellery items are worn together, they should match.

 

Art Nouveau styling changed jewellery designs dramatically with its free-flowing curving lines and forms of romantic ideas and dreams. Intertwining floral patterns, butterflies, and dragonflies, were much in evidence. And pearls and cabochon moonstones were used together with enamelling for pendants, necklaces and hair ornaments. The trend that began in Paris was captured quickly by the rest of the Continent, turning jewels into fashionable wearable art.

Among the most famous goldsmiths of the time was the Parisian, Rene Lalique. He produced some exquisite pieces of jewelry. Lalique began a style of subtlety, placing great emphasis on materials such as glass, enamel, and horn, instead of using precious stones, that is still much admired and copied today.

Art Nouveau styling was the current decoration in the 1890’s and 1900’s reaching a peak about 1900. It was greatly applauded at the Paris International Exhibition.  The love of this extravagant art form of jewellery came to an end about 1914.

Art Deco

Art Deco jewelry began as a protest against the Art Nouveau movement during the 1920’s and 1930’s. This new styling put emphasis on abstract designs, geometric patterns and exotic creations. It was popularized by the machine age for producing jewels and inspired by the Orient. It hinted that jewellery fashions were now truly international.

Dense concentrations of gemstones are characteristic of Art Deco jewellery. From about 1933, gold was once again fashionable, mainly because it was less expensive than platinum. Many artists and designers from other fields now became involved in jewellery design, showing a new direction for future jewellery trends.

Jewellery of the 1950’s

Life had begun to return to normal after the war and during the 50’s new designs and styles for jewelry were brought out in innovative materials. In Britain, many of the fashion trends were influenced by the morale-boosting 1951 Festival of Britain. With the wartime restrictions lifted, diamante from Europe was once again available.

Glamourous jewelry, both genuine and imitation pieces (costume jewellery) were the order of the day. Jewelry now came made in plastics and metals, along with copper, and enamel pieces, of a high quality and well made, creating bold, glitzy items with a luxurious look. Fabulous large rhinestones were often integrated into brooches, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

To see the latest jewellery of 2018, visit Edellie online jewels www.Edellie.com

 

Victorian jewellery began with the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837. This youthful queen was passionate about jewelry. Besides wearing jewellery she often had her own designs crafted. She loved giving jewelry as gifts particularly charm bracelets and charm necklaces. Every New Year the queen gave members of her family and her circle of friends’ gifts of these charm bracelets and necklaces.

This was the time of the beginning of the industrial revolution and mass production. The Queen’s preferences were soon adopted and produced by the trades jewellers and goldsmiths. Her jewellery choice for mourning jewelry was predominant after the death of her husband, Albert.

Mourning Jewellery

When Prince Albert died in 1861, Queen Victoria once again influenced jewelry design and production. For the remainder of her life, she was in permanent mourning, wearing only black clothes and black jewels. Jet, a driftwood fossil that gained sudden public popularity for jewelry manufacture was among the Queen’s favourites. Besides Jet crosses, Jet pins and earrings, and carved Jet chains, items that used to be made in gems, glass, and metal. All now appeared produced in Jet. Another popular item in mourning jewellery of the time was a locket holding a lock of the dead loved one’s hair.

What the industrial revolution brought about

As the industrial revolution gained momentum, manufacturing techniques became more affordable. Pressed glass was used for glass intaglios, stamped and cast metal was introduced for settings, and machinery for chain making came about. This meant that jewellery selections were not confined only to nobility or the very wealthy. It became available for all people to buy for the finishing touch to their wardrobes.

In the beginning however, many Victorian women rebelled at the machine made jewellery at first sight, even though many pieces were of a very high standard.

At the start of the 1800’s, hand-carved semi-precious gem intaglio or cameo was rare, making it a treasured possession. From about 1807 hand carved Conch shell cameos began to gain in popularity. It was so much easier to carve a shell than stone, and so a new form of production artistry emerged. Travellers would return from Italy with carved shell cameo necklaces, rings, and earrings or even lava stone cameos carved from the coloured lava of Mt. Vesuvius.
Edellie, a jewellery online shop offers you varied and interesting selections of jewellery.