Style Watch: Mad Men

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. emerald and sapphire ring, circa 1960.
Ref: 16943

Saturday 10th March 2012

The much-anticipated fifth season of the hit series Mad Men started the 27th of March. In its honour we take a closer look at jewellery of that era.

Jewellery of the 1960s is characterized by bold forms, bright colours and abstract patterns, all imbibed with a vibrant glamour.  This style was very much mirrored in the art of the day--namely Pop Art, with its blocks of colour and glitzy subject matter, such as Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Lichtenstein’s comics.

A carryover from the previous decade, high fashion remained quite prim, as seen on the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth, silhouettes which are still very much considered classics today, as is the jewellery designed to go along with it.  Contrasting coloured gems and abstracted forms feature in the large-scale jewels of this decade, often available in coordinated sets of earrings, rings, bracelets and brooches.

As seen in Mad Men, cocktails were often a part of the high life, and as a result so was the cocktail ring.  Not to be overlooked, men’s luxury items were also en vogue in the sixties.  The development of the businessman as an icon of the era was reflected in the wide array of cufflinks available, produced by the top jewellers such as Mauboussin, Cartier and Bulgari. Drinking as well as smoking accessories followed suit made for men and women alike, such as swizzle sticks, cigarette holders and cases.  

Ruby cluster earrings, circa 1960.
Ruby cluster earrings, circa 1960.
Ref: 16996
open view Yellow gold swizzle stick, English, circa 1964. berganza hatton garden
Yellow gold swizzle stick, English, circa 1964.
Ref: 16993
front view Diamond cocktail ring by Van Cleef & Arpels
Diamond cocktail ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1960
Ref: 16945
front view Sapphire and diamond ballerina ring in yellow gold, circa 1960.berganza hatton garden
Sapphire and diamond ballerina ring in yellow gold, circa 1960.
Ref: 14438
18 carat gold cufflinks, French, circa 1965.
18 carat gold cufflinks, French, circa 1965.
Ref: 15963

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A long established retailer of fine period jewellery, Berganza the jewellers is based in the heart of Hatton Garden, London’s historic jewellery quarter. We specialise in the finest examples of ancient, antique and vintage engagement rings- each one unique, hand crafted and expertly created. We are proud to have one of the largest collections of antique and vintage diamond engagement rings as well as natural gemstone engagement rings in the world, our inventory boasts over two thousand rings. We are fascinated by the history, myth, tradition and design of engagement rings and their evolution over the last two millennia.

We believe in only offering exceptional pieces from each design period, from Ancient Roman intaglio seal rings, Viking twisted rings through to rare gem-set Medieval pieces, Georgian, ornate Victorian, elegant Edwardian, bold Art Deco and retro vintage designs. Each piece has a unique historical background and dates to a time when jewellery was crafted by hand in the days before mass-production, so no two are alike. We deal in rarity and as such have a vast collection of posy rings, the precursors to 'modern' wedding rings, which are most often only available to be viewed in museums. Berganza also has an extensive selection of other types of jewellery such as antique earrings from simple stud earrings through to ornate drop earrings, the finest quality from each of the historical design periods. Another specialty are antique and vintage one-off signed pieces of jewellery by the most famous of jewellery houses such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Oscar Heyman Brothers and Boucheron but to name a few. These pieces of jewellery ooze the glamour of bygone eras and are highly sought after today.

Every item of jewellery is set with hand cut diamonds or natural and unenhanced gemstones, often from mines long since depleted. We are proud to include in our compilation, jewellery set with old mine diamonds from India and Brazil, Burmese rubies, Colombian emeralds and Kashmir, Ceylon and Burmese sapphires. Our team of specialists are trained in all aspects of gemmology and history of jewellery design, so we are able to select the finest quality pieces of jewellery for our extensive one-of-a-kind stock. Our expertise in this area is unparalleled and our shared passion for antique jewellery is paramount to our business.

88-90 HATTON GARDEN, London, EC1N 8PN, England

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