When Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, it marked the beginning of a new age of prosperity and innovation. It was during this era that some of the finest examples of English craftsmanship appear in jewellery. These pieces have stood the test of time and are still highly sought after today.
The individuality of craftsmanship was highly regarded in this age, and an abundance of gemstones meant jewellers could be more creative with their designs. Increased global trade networks allowed Victorian jewellers to source their gemstones from the legendary old mines which still set the standard today for the rarest and most beautiful of coloured gems: notably emeralds from Colombia, sapphires from Ceylon, and rubies from Burma.
Inspiration was found everywhere, from celestial bodies in the form of crescent and star brooches, to nature, with flora and fauna often taking centre stage. Indeed, Queen Victoria was presented with a serpent ring, set with emerald eyes as her engagement ring from Price Albert. One of the most longstanding symbols of everlasting love and fidelity, the snake ring saw a rise in popularity over the course of the Victorian era, as the style of the Queen and court was often mirrored throughout the country.
To further create the ideal setting for English jewellers to excel at their craft, the formation of the middle class meant that there was an increasing number of people who could afford to purchase luxury items. In this era, jewellery was worn as a way of displaying one's status in society, and with strict rules differentiating between daytime and evening jewels, for those who could afford it, there were innumerable pieces to own!
Each jeweller involved in the creation of a piece would have been highly skilled, having spent many years perfecting their craft. Today we see their astonishing accomplishments in these stunning pieces of jewellery, which are of incomparable quality and beauty.
To find your own unique piece from this golden age of English jewellery, you can browse our collection online, by zoom appointment, or in our newly renovated showroom. We are open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm, with no appointment necessary.