Dating vintage costume jewellery

This was a sensuous era with female faces, insects, flowers. Art Nouveau used many of the same materials and gemstones as did the Arts and Crafters, but their effect was much more intimate. The designers were not so quick to abandon the advanced processes of the Industrial Revolution.

Many of the pieces produced were done so in mass quantities.

The pieces were black and made of various types of materials: gutta percha, vulcanite, bog oak, ebonite and black glass.

Jewelry took the form of chatelaines, hair ornaments, lockets, pierced earrings, watch chains with fobs and seals, cameos, book chain style necklaces, hatpins, lavalieres, lace and lingerie pins, bangles, cufflinks and stud buttons.

The best tool you have to decipher these clues is your eyes. Queen Victoria loved jewelry and soon her fellow countrymen were as enamored of it as she was.Current catwalks in New York, London and Milan have been channelling a 70s vibe, so jewellery designs from that period are hot, hot, hot!At The Decorative Fair we have several exhibitors specialising in designer and couture vintage jewels: Katheleys comes from Belgium with a spectacular array of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and accessories such as sunglasses and handbags from the 1970s to 1990s by the like of Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli, Hermès and Jean Patou.Lavaliere style necklaces continued, but the long (ropes) style complemented the vertical lines of the fashions.Colors of jewels tended to be soft, muted and more natural.

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There were many motifs characteristic of this time: flowers, snakes, crescents, lizards, birds, Celtic designs, Japanese designs, horseshoes and acrostics. A Victorian filigree diamond ring today is a much sought after piece.

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