Edwardian Garden Party
Antique sapphire necklace with diamonds & pearls, England circa 1905
The Long Edwardian garden party is the name given to Edward VII's reign in England. It is the last gasp of the 19th century, the time before the First World War; a time when industrialists are transacting historic business, and the aristocracy in Britain, as well as on the mainland, are still throwing lavish parties. It is an era of transition, the old and the new collide like in no other era. This necklace also dates from this period, combining influences from the period of origin and history. In a laurel wreath of sparkling diamonds, genuine pearls and platinum, a wonderful sapphire swings in a platinum setting. The sapphire is untreated, a stone whose colour and clarity were created by nature. Two further diamonds lead on to the fine platinum chain, lending the jewel a cheerful note thanks to their movable mounting. It is the so-called Garland Style that we encounter 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, which was wholly modern in the delicacy of its execution. The basic form of the laurel wreath makes us think of the 1780s, when late rococo and early classicism met. The platinum-covered front of the gold pendant, on the other hand, is an innovation: it does not tarnish like silver, but allows the diamonds next to Millegriffes to shine in the then-new electric light, and is adapted to early 20th century fashion. In the elegance of the design and its colourfulness as well as in the exceedingly fine, delicate finish, 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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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.
Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.
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.