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.Often, the eras and the styles "blend," existing simultaneously, flowing and melding much like a river.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. By understanding economics, culture, fashion and even political events, the collector can become her own Sherlock Holmes.The elusive process of circa dating a piece can now be unlocked by just knowing how to use the keys to the door.
The first letter of each stone spelled a word when put together. There was a wide variety of materials used in the jewelry: turquoise, coral, pearls, agate, tortoiseshell, cut steel, sterling, gold and various grades of gold, jet, French jet (black glass), lava, onyx and paste, low carat gold markings (9 carat) and gun metal "blackened steel." Jewelry had a "stamped," machine made look and feel.A formula for 18 kt white gold was introduced by David Belais as "18k Belais." Both pot metal and sterling were plated with rhodium to create the look of platinum. Theda Bara plays Cleopatra in a silent film version, and many ladies decided the Egyptian slave look was for them.Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia became the Republic of Czechoslovakia.Permanently foiled stones (rhinestones) process refined. Society was moving faster and the artisans favored the slower pace to create graceful pieces.The materials for this jewelry were bronze, brass, silver, copper, amber, enamels and glass.