Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > Design Periods > Victorian

Antique earrings: The Late Victorian Period 1885 - 1901

Article from Berganza

edwardian old mine diamond stud earrings. hatton garden
Edwardian old mine diamond stud earrings, circa 1905.
Ref: 26198

Queen Victoria reined from 1837 to 1901, a total of 64 years. Across this period, there were three prominent jewellery trends. In this article we outline the final part, the Late Victorian period, from 1885 to 1901.

After 1885 and into the late Victorian, or ‘Aesthetic' period as it is known, women tended to wear less jewellery and smaller pieces in general. This period was considered as going against the growing industry which encouraged mechanical design. By avoiding highly elaborate jewellery people were evading new means of production and were embracing simplicity. Softer lines and nature inspired designs were where both Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movements developed, which both started in the 1880's through to 1910. Designs were anti-industry and pro-traditional craftsmanship.

The stud earring became popular during this time, set into both silver and yellow gold. Diamond stud earrings were prominent as the African diamond mines were producing more diamonds in higher quantity, therefore they were more available. Pearl studs were often worn during the day, and diamonds of an evening.

Despite the general fashion for simple designs, the increased availability of diamonds meant that they were still used to great effect in highlighting coloured stones. Diamonds would be set next to opals, moonstones and pearls, into stud clusters and small drop clusters. Screwback fittings, where the wearer did not require pierced ears also came about at this time - the precursor to clip earrings. For pierced ears, the traditional shepherd's hook, post stud and hoops were used.

The Victorian period as a whole saw many different types of earrings, from long girandole chandelier pendants, to yellow gold archaeological revival filigree drops, coloured stone clusters and simple diamond studs. Find your beautiful pair of Victorian earrings in our collection at Berganza.

front view antique diamond cluster earrings berganza hatton garden
Victorian diamond cluster earrings, English, circa 1890.
Ref: 26227
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Updated 17/07/2024 at 11:34AM

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