London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 was critiqued as blah and mundane, with nothing to show of artistic merit – displaying nearly all mechanically made items. For critical consumers, this was proof that mechanization did not improve design, but decreased aesthetics and called the taste level into question. These seeds of discontent would take root and grow to become the Arts and Crafts movement.
Owen Jones and John Ruskin created the Arts and Crafts Movement, which began in 1880; they believed in a return to traditional craftsmanship using simple forms as direct opposition to the growth of Industrialism.
Ruskin wrote (the movement’s purpose was): “to bring the pleasure of original creative activity into the lives of men and women of the working classes, and to relieve the monotony to which repetitive mechanical labor condemned them for the greater part of their waking hours.”
The writings of Owens and Ruskin would inspire William Morris who studied architecture and eventually designed patterns for textiles and wallpaper. He became the embodiment of a return to nature and individual craftsmanship, which provided art (beauty) for every home.
On the left is one of Morris’s tapestries (detail of a hare) and on the lower right is a swatch one of his many wallpaper patterns.
Morris pushed the idea of going back to a medieval guild system to produce goods by hand – goods that were well designed and could not be made using traditional jewelers or manufacturers. The characteristics of Arts and Crafts design were simple: truth to materials, simple forms, natural motifs, and the vernacular (domestic traditions of the British countryside).
Each piece was to be made by one person from beginning to end, but not necessarily by the designer. However, Morris was not against the notion of using machines, if they made work easier and the workmanship of the final product met his exacting standards.
At the end of the nineteenth century, mourning jewelry had become a dominant Victorian tradition. The Arts & Crafts Movement cast a bright light piercing this drab darkness with colorful enamel, shining cabochons, and designs that were influenced by the past and the Far East.
Arts and Crafts jewelry was made to be affordable for the average person. Silver was the more popular metal, while gold was used typically for accents. Pearl, moonstone, turquoise, garnet, opal, and amethyst replaced higher priced gemstones and were often cabochon cut.
Very few earrings were produced at this time because they were not considered en vogue. Necklaces were far more important pieces and they were often pendants with enamel or cabochon-cut gem adornments.
Charles Robert Ashbee designed many significant pieces of jewelry in the Arts and Crafts Movement. His Guild of Handiwork, established in 1888, produced work that was characterized by the use of colored stones and undulating wirework.
Below is the sketch and final result of Ashbee’s opal peacock brooch, circa 1900.
Below are two pieces designed by Ashbee that both capture the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement in beautiful detail.
On the left is an enamel brooch and on the right, a pendant featuring garnets and pearls.
The Arts and Crafts Era only lasted until around 1910, but it would go on to inspire Art Nouveau, Neo Plasticism, and Bauhaus - and is considered a prelude to the Modernist Art Movement.
Below are some lovely Arts and Crafts Era pieces from the heirloom collection at Isadoras. We have amazing pieces of jewelry from many different eras. Visit us in-store or online and spend some time with our collection!
Left: Arts & Crafts Blue Enamel Silver Necklace
Upper Right: Antique Blue Enamel Necklace
Lower Right: Arts & Crafts 18KT Cufflinks
Left: Beautiful Silver Watch Chain
Upper Right: Antique Carnelian Intaglio Ring
Lower Right: Arts and Crafts Smoky Quartz Necklace
Top: Antique Turquoise 14KT Necklace
Bottom: Arts & Crafts Opal Necklace
If you have any questions, you can reach our knowledgeable staff at 206.441.7711, or e-mail Isadoras Antique Jewelry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This entry was posted in Jewelry History and tagged Ashbee, Rushkin, arts and crafts era, heirloom collection, arts and crafts movement, gemstones, opal, moonstone, Silver, Pearls, Cabochon Cut Gemstones, Enamel, Isadoras Antique Jewelry on April 27, 2016 by Jill Schoenleber.
A graduation gift acknowledges a major step in your loved one’s life, and gives them a lifelong reminder of the past, present, and future.
Whether graduating from high school, college, or on to a new phase in life, your graduate will treasure such a gift for its thoughtfulness, personal significance, and sentimental value.
This lovely handmade quartz bracelet would make a wonderful graduation gift; it is the perfect one-of-a-kind token your graduate can wear for years to come.
When I graduated from college, I received a gorgeous, gold, heart-shaped locket. Every time I wear the locket, I think of the day I received my college diploma so many years ago. The memory has been etched invisibly within that gold heart for all time and I will always treasure this piece for its evocative association with such a special time in my life.
Lockets are a beautiful way to recognize your graduate's achievements. Sweet and sentimental, they will hold memories for an eternity.
Your graduate will forever associate your gift with a time in their life when they advanced from one accomplishment to another.
In celebration of all our outstanding graduates, here are a few fantastic vintage gift ideas from the heirloom jewelry collection at Isadoras.
What a lovely way to remind your graduate that their achievements are truly worth celebrating and acknowledging forever!
Upper Left: Edwardian Rose Gold Knot Earrings
Upper Right: Edwardian Rose Gold Buckle Band
Lower Left: Edwardian Diamond, Pearl & Ruby Ring
Lower Right: Edwardian Rose Gold Watch Chain
Upper Left: Edwardian Sapphire & Diamond Ring
Right: Art Deco Sodalite & Marcasite Necklace
Lower Left: Edwardian Moonstone & Citrine Ring
Upper Left: Circa 1910 Edwardian Engraved Locket
Upper Right: c. 1880 Victorian Silver Cross
Lower Left: Antique Silver Locket & Chain
Lower Right: Vintage Peacock 10KT Cufflinks
Top: Victorian Tortoise Sterling Box
Lower Left: Antique Italian Silver Enamel Box
Lower Right: Midcentury 14KT Gold Lapis Ring
This entry was posted in Our Thoughts, Inspiration and tagged accomplishment, graduation, graduate, heirloom collection, Gifts, Victorian Jewelry, unique, Isadoras Antique Jewelry on April 25, 2016 by Jill Schoenleber.
In honor of our addiction to Game of Thrones – and the fast-approaching Season Six (tomorrow night!!), we thought it would be fun to select some amazing pieces from our antique heirloom jewelry collection that reflect both the style and personalities of Cersei Lannister, Marjaery Tyrell, and Sansa Stark.
From her power-perch in King’s Landing, Cersei can be seen sporting heavy jewelry – weighty necklaces, large pendants, and bold rings.
Her jewelry is as assertive as her personality.
We chose statement necklaces and rings for Cersei - a locket to hold a picture of her dear-departed Joffrey, and a deep, red garnet pendant that is both bold and stunning. It makes sense that she would wear a lion ring – she is a Lannister, after all. Our vintage sapphire cabochon ring would look amazing on her as well – and the setting reminds us of the Iron throne.
Upper Left: Victorian Silver Locket & Chain
Upper Right: Midcentury Star Sapphire Ring
Lower Left: Circa 1970s Lion Head Ring
Lower Right: c. 1870 Garnet Enamel Necklace
The Tyrells govern the gold that the Lannisters depend upon to keep their monarchy well stocked with Dornish wine. Even with all that cash, Margaery’s jewelry tends not to be overly lavish or garish – rather, it is understated and surprisingly subtle – not unlike her resourceful personality.
For Margaery, we chose exquisitely detailed pieces that compliment the low necklines she prefers to wear. Each necklace is a superb example of subtle beauty.
Upper Left: Antique Seed Pearl Necklace
Upper Right: Georgian Silver Necklace with Garnets
Lower Left: Edwardian Diamond Platinum Necklace
Lower Right: Austro-Hungarian Pearl and Citrine Necklace
Sansa has learned a lot these past seasons. One thing she did not count on was the poisoned-filled stone that made her blue festoon necklace a murder weapon. Her jewelry tastes run to the delicate side of the spectrum (and typically do not include deathly substances).
For Sansa, we selected a mixture of traditional and whimsical. We can picture her wearing either the zircon or citrine festoon necklace to any imperial function. The soft brown and bright blue hues of each necklace look magnificent against the color of her hair. The quartz pendant and seed pearl necklace remind us of her sweetness and youth.
Upper Left: Edwardian Zircon Festoon Necklace
Upper Right: Quartz Necklace with Sapphires
Lower Left: Victorian Seed Pearl 14KT Necklace
Lower Right: Antique Citrine Festoon Necklace
This entry was posted in Our Thoughts and tagged vintage picks, festoon, sansa, margaery, cersei, game of thrones, heirloom collection, necklace, ring, pendant, Sapphires, citrine, Pearls, Lion, Locket, Isadoras Antique Jewelry, Diamonds on April 23, 2016 by Jill Schoenleber.
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