The Victorian Era is one of the most remarkable and memorable times in British History. It is the second time, after the Golden Age – otherwise known as the Elizabethan Era, where a British Queen would be accredited and associated with the immense forward movement of a country. The Victorian Era was ruled over by the great Queen Victoria who became the last monarch under the House of Hanover (Her heir took on his father’s family name). This amazing queen ruled over the British Isles for over six centuries and was well loved by her people and her family. This era, like the others past it, had its own style and elegance. They are particularly known for fashion and style which was translated and carried over to the style of their jewelry which they considered as priceless heirlooms from times past. There are only a few truly genuine pieces that are found today and even fewer are auctioned off to the public.
An example of fine Victorian jewelry is that of a gold brooch adorned with a beautiful dove. A finely crafted piece of jewelry made of yellowish gold. The center of the ornament displays the dove with an olive branch made of swirling gold clutched in its beak. The brooch is styled in a form called ‘bulla’ which means ‘bubble’ in Latin. This type of jewelry is in a circular form that alludes to its name. It became popular in the late part of the 19th century. The brooch is made of 18 carat gold and circulated around 1880. One of the most important characteristics that effectively date a brooch is the style of its clasp. Most brooches from the Victorian Era had a “bent pin system” that kept the brooch from falling off and thus avoiding loss of the item.
Purple, which has long been known as a shade attributed to royalty, was also big in the world of fashion and jewelry during the Victorian Era. This trend is most evident in the style of an enamel pendant that was Edwardian in Style. Made of 14 carat gold, the piece a purple guilloche with a cross design was made with such fine craftsmanship. Nowadays, finding enamel Victorian Jewelry in such good condition is very rare and pieces that do survive are given such a high value.
One thing that has captured the fancy of people in the later part of the Victorian Era was that of mythical creatures that can be found in mythology books as well as in the stories that have fascinated nation after nation through the ages. This attraction to myth has been effectively translated into different styles of jewelry including one stickpin of a stylized serpent made in 14 carat gold. The said piece of jewelry is believed to be a creation of the Victorian Jeweler named B.G. & O.
The style of Victorian jewelry is an effective mirror of the style of her people. They were very much attuned to the finer details; preferring their jewelry to be encrusted in all sorts of gems and priced south sea seed pearls. All this detail contrastingly lay in delicately forged and molded gold and enamel.