Preceding the Victorian Era, the Georgian Period occupies the years spanning from 1714 to 1837 after which Queen Victoria took to the throne.
As with the Victorian Era, the Georgian Period derives its name from the fact that the period saw four separate Hanoverian monarchs ascend to the throne all of whom were called George, except for the final Georgian King who was of course named William.
William IV who was overlooked when naming the period is often overlooked in just about every other respect too, and this is largely true also when it comes to the jewellery created at the time as reigning only for seven short years, his influence pales in comparison to the four kinds who went reigned before him.
To gain a better and general understanding of the Georgian Period in order to better appreciate the jewellery produced within the period, a great place to start is via the Intriguing History website.
Georgian Jewellery Movements, Notable Themes and Fashions
The three most notable and celebrated fashions or styles adopted and / or developed during the Georgian period and which most surviving Georgian jewellery can be said to belong are the Rococo Gothic revival and Neoclassical. Listed here in the order by which each trend occurred, each also of course differed and was distinct in a number of ways with Rococo jewellery dominating the early Georgian Period and Neoclassical proving the most popular by its end.
To explore each of these Georgian fashions and learn more about what characterised each, you can do so by heading over to the Antique Jewelry Investor website and reading their article: Georgian Jewelry 101.
Meanwhile, to learn about one of the most striking fashions the Georgians embraced when creating jewellery, that of the Memento Mori design, visit the Heritage Antique Jewellery website where you can read their article The History of Memento Mori and its Use in Jewellery, as well as browse their online collection to view a selection of actual and genuine Georgian and Memento Mori pieces.
What Proved Popular to Wear
Memento Mori inspired rings, often featuring skulls and all manner of motifs meant to remind their wearer of their own mortality and so keep a person humble, pious and quite frankly, well behaved, were popular during the Georgian Period along with Gothic inspired cross motifs and Neoclassical Cameos. As reported via the Collectors Weekly website, short necklaces worn as chokers also proved hugely popular throughout the Georgian period.
Georgian Jewellery Production Methods
All Georgian jewellery was made by hand. Quite simply there was no other means of making jewellery back in the Georgian Period. Hence, the mode of production used was a matter of necessity rather than fashion.
Of course this also determined to a large extend what could be made as well as the aesthetic appearance of Georgian jewellery pieces, each being as such unique and often bearing noticeable imperfections which did nothing to negatively impact upon the value of a piece and today are often used to prove and authenticate examples of supposed Georgian jewellery.
The most popularly used cuts used within the Georgian period were the rose and the table cut, both of which are rarely used today as modern cutting techniques have resulted in far more complex cuts which better showcase a diamonds brilliance and which are as such preferred.
Rather than meaning that those who opt to wear table or rose cut diamonds are likely to receive fewer admiring looks, the unusual appearance these two old cuts endow a jewellery item with today are one of the reasons Georgian jewellery is in 2016 so popular.
Georgian Paste Jewellery
Gems featured in Georgian jewellery were often foil set with many pieces being made out of what is now referred to as paste and used to mean glass which has been hand cut and set with foil and often was placed within an enclosed backing. To learn more about paste jewellery and its history, visit the New York Times Style Magazine where you can read the article: Exquisite Paste: Who Needs Diamonds?
For more information about Georgian jewellery, continue your exploration and / or research via the Antique Jewelry University Encyclopaedia website which features an in-depth look at the Georgian Period and all aspects of the jewellery produced within it.