The rise of the Edwardian era at the turn of the twentieth century brought with it many innovations and discoveries that changed the course of jewellery design. In 1901, Edward VII became king and hailed in the new Edwardian age. With societal rules becoming more relaxed compared to the rigidity of the Victorian era, it was the perfect time for jewellery to reflect this lightness.
It was Louis Cartier who led the way in using platinum as a setting for precious stones, and this made it possible to create intricate details that previously were not possible. The delicate nature of this filigree became known as platinum lace. The exquisite openwork combined with the silvery tones of diamonds and pearls created a new whimsical look that was highly sought after.
Popular at this time was the garland style, which made use of a variety of motifs. From bows and tassels to wreaths and lace, the Edwardians spared nothing in their pursuit of the opulent. The luxuriousness of these beautifully handcrafted pieces can be seen in the simplicity of a diamond solitaire ring or a dazzling tiara, which was the ultimate status symbol. Despite their love of jewellery, everything was fashioned with the upmost class, creating a tasteful, yet bold and interesting look.
There were seemingly no limits to the array of jewellery that blossomed during this period, and designers took it upon themselves to create ever more tantalising designs, which extended past the realm of jewellery and into gifts. Cigarette cases, scent bottles and clocks were just some of the everyday items that were being adorned with jewels and carvings to create a decadence in all areas of material culture. Precious stones were flowing into England from all over the world. They were often used as both accents for the increasingly popular diamond or to showcase brilliant colours and cuts.
Following King Edward’s death in 1910, his legacy lived on with this tasteful yet luxurious approach to jewellery design, which prevailed in Britain until the onset of World War One.
The Edwardian style has continued to inspire design and attract people over one hundred years on. If you would like to have your own unique piece of Edwardian elegance, here at Berganza we have a vast collection of beautiful and original of the era pieces. Browse our collection online, or come and visit us in store.