The 19th Century And French Jewelry
The 19th century was a time of great change and new inventions, with the English Queen Victoria an enormous influence throughout the western world by way of magazines and journals which were distributed in numbers that presaged the mass media of the 20th century.
Jewelry was also designed and created en masse. In France it was an especially creative period in jewelry design and production. As Wartski outlines in reference to an exhibition of French 19th century jewelry:
The nineteenth century in France was one of the most creative periods for the design and manufacture of jewellery. A myriad of workshops some now famed, others forgotten mirrored the changing fashions of French society from the magnificence of the first Empire to the naturalism of Art Nouveau in their work.
Here is a fine antique French diamond and emerald dress ring from the 1880s, in 18K yellow gold with the diamonds set in silver.
The pierced, twist-shaped mount is centred with a step-cut natural emerald prong set in yellow gold and flanked on either side with Old European round-cut diamonds prong set in silver. The shoulders are accented with two bezel-set Old European-cut diamonds and further embellished with cushion-cut and Old European round-cut diamonds graduating in size.
On the next page, a more whimsical 19th century piece from France!