Edwardian Garden Party

Exquisite brooch with sapphire & diamonds, Belle Époque circa 1905

The long Edwardian garden party is the term used to describe Edward VII's reign in England. It was the last gasp of the "long 19th century", the last happy years before the First World War. Industrialists transacted historic business and the aristocracy in Britain, as well as on the mainland, celebrated lavish parties. It was an era of transition, where old and new met as in no other epoch. From this period comes this spectacular brooch, which combines modern and historical influences. A faceted blue sapphire sits in a mesh of fine ribbon and tendrils of delicate leaf and flower ornamentation. The stone is left natural and untreated and displays an intense, deep blue color. A moveable suspended diamond pendulum completes the elegant design and adds a serene touch in interplay with the floral ornaments. It is the so-called Garland Style, presented here in exemplary fashion. The style harkens back to the aesthetics of the late 18th century, but without copying them. Rather, the goldsmiths of the time succeeded in finding a direction entirely their own, whose delicacy of execution was entirely modern. The leaf tendrils and flower festoons, for example, make us think of the 1780s, when Rococo and Classicism met. The entire conception of the jewel, however, is an innovation, even revealing the influence of Art Nouveau in the lines. The platinum-covered front of the brooch allowed the diamonds next to Millegriffes to shine in the then-new electric light. In the elegance of the design and the exceedingly fine execution, this piece reveals itself to be a white jewel of the highest quality.

In the years shortly before 1890 there was a true revolution in the field of jewellery. The excess of historicism in form and colour appeared to be no longer in keeping with the times throughout Europe. Increasing mechanization, also in jewelry making, had repeated the same forms over and over again until they had finally become interchangeable and arbitrary. The jewellers feared for their existence: jewellery sales were declining rapidly, a new fashion was not in sight! At the beginning of the new decade the crisis was overcome. White jewels were the solution, and they quickly caught on. Instead of many poorly combinable pieces of jewellery, ladies now concentrated on a few, but all the more high-quality objects. They were united by their common colour: white diamonds and pearls shone in settings of silver, later platinum and white gold. The designs are filigree and completely restrained in their formal language. Leaves, tendrils and light geometric shapes suddenly dominated the picture, which until just now had been populated by putti in large numbers. The piece of jewellery presented here is a piece of this new fashion, which remained current into the first years of Art Deco.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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