Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Edwardian Epoque

During the Edwardian period wealth fluorished, the movie and motor industries excelled and it was a time of new ideas, refinement and elegance. The era lasted from 1901 to 1915 and is often referred to as La Belle Epoque and/or The Gilded Age. Queen Victoria died in 1901 and her son was crowned King Edward VII and his bride Alexandra, Princess of Wales, became a trendsetter and influenced fashion with her wearing of lace, silks and diamonds.

Edwardian jewellery was feminine, delicate and light, and less ornate than in Victorian times. Platinum became the most popular metal during this time and Cartier pioneered its' use by designing delicate fragile looking jewellery. Baguette cut stones, in the millegrain settings, were popular as they reflected maximum light and colour. This flash of colour and brightness suited the fashion of low necklines in evening dresses. Pendants became popular with diamonds and pearls set in platinum for their white on white colour scheme. Another typical design of the Edwardian era was the simple circular brooch, often stone set. It could represent a garland of flowers or a wreath of laurel or ivy leaves, and sometimes it would have a central flower design or an offset diamond or coloured stone.

A pair of platinum Edwardian diamond drop earrings offered by Pari’s Jewellery

"Plique a Jour Pendant" - this beautiful silver & moonstone pendant is attributed to Liberty and is a fine example of the quality craftsmanship at the beginning of the 20th Century, offered by Gareth Brooks

An Edwardian paste bracelet offered by Peter and Naneen Brooks

A selection of various Edwardian and Victorian pieces of paste jewellery by Peter and Naneen Brooks

Rings were popular during this era and women tended to wear several on each hand, such as this Edwardian diamond ring in 18ct gold, offered by Pari’s Jewellery.

Pearls became very fashionable during the Edwardian era, and were sourced from the Persian Gulf, Australia, Ceylon, the Mississippi Valley and even Scotland. Pearls were arranged to enhance the edges of brooches such as in these two lovely designs:

Victorian/Edwardian memorial brooch with enamel and pearls offered by Connie Speight

Natural pearl brooch with agate in the centre, 1915, offered by Sheila Cameron

Edwardian homes were furnished and decorated with refined pattering and designs and home utensils were beautifully made to fit the tastes of this era, such as this Royal Worchester enamelled plate, dated 1913 offered by W & L Antiques and Minton cup and saucer, also offered by W & L Antiques.

The Edwardian era also birthed writers, artists and composers that we consider modern. Pablo Picasso ignited Cubism with his move to Paris and in London The Bloomsbury Group, which included E.M. Forster were founded. Authors such as Galsworthy and playwrights like Shaw, Ibsen and Pinero, introduced new themes of fallen women and class differences to challenge the Victorian ideals of society.

Theatre programme from London Coliseum, Sarah Bernhardt season including Le Proces de Jeanne D'Arc, dated 08.09.1913. Offered by Castaside.

Many more Edwardian objects of style are to be found in Alfies!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

really an eye opener for me.

- Robson

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