Jewellery Through Time – 3
Arts and Crafts to Present day
Following the intense industrialisation of the Victorian period, people began to revolt against the mechanised with the Arts and Crafts movement. Cheaper, mass-made jewellery was rejected in favour of artisanal pieces embracing the more muted beauty of natural, uncut stones. This quickly gave way to Art Nouveau fashions, running with the more subversive atmosphere with which the nineteenth century ended. The floral innocence of the Arts and Crafts era was replaced with more erotic pieces. Orchids were a potential link with the earlier period, but were displayed in overtly phallic ways.
The Art Deco movement saw the focus placed firmly on glitz and glamour. Designs were mostly geometric, and packed with diamonds and other precious stones. Although settings were barely visible, there was a shift from platinum towards the cheaper alternative of gold. Perhaps owing in part to our current obsession with the roaring ‘20s as depicted by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Art Deco jewellery has seen a resurgence in recent years.
Perhaps the most exciting modern accessory trend is the narrowing of the divide between jewellery and art. Many avant-garde designers focus on creating outlandish, intricate pieces which are as at home in a gallery as they are on a wrist or collar bone. Unprecedented developments in tools and techniques — including 3D printing — mean that nothing is really off limits for jewellery makers anymore, and it will be fascinating to see where things go next. Of course, for most of us, the biggest change in recent times is the drastic reduction in the price of jewellery, with attractive plastic pieces costing a fraction of their precious counterparts.
The difference in jewellery within one hundred years, let alone 3000, make it impossible to predict where things will be at the turn of the next century. We hope you’ll join us in looking forward to finding out, though!