Naturalism in Jewellery

Naturalism in Jewellery

12 March

Naturalism in jewellery is a nice theme to explore when we are coming into Spring and summer, when the winter landscape changes to become more enriched with colourful foliage, flowers and greenery, we can choose to reflect this in the jewellery that we wear.

Natural themes in jewellery such as flowers and fruit can be traced back to the Georgian period in the 19th Century.  These motifs first became fashionable in the early years of the century, with the widespread interest in botany and the influence of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth.

By the 1850’s the delicate early designs had given way to more extravagant and complex compositions of flowers and foliage. At the same time, flowers were used to express love and friendship. The colours in nature were matched by coloured gemstones, and a ‘language of flowers’ spelt out special messages. One example of this is ‘Dearest’ jewellery, usually a ring in a floral cluster set with diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz, the first letter of each stone spelling ‘Dearest’, lot 355 is a copy of an earlier version of this design. ‘Daisy’ clusters were popular in the later part of the century, usually in diamonds but coloured stones were also used, lot 241 is a nice example of a ruby and diamond daisy cluster ring, still popular today.

Drawing from influences of nature stayed a part of jewellery design though the latter part of the 19th Century, the 20th Century and into modern times. The more stylistically accurate designs of the Victorian era gave way to the more flowing designs of the Art Nouveau period, lot 125 is a typical example of an Art Nouveau design using curved lines and encompassing seed pearls and peridot to evoke nature. Design becomes more abstract as we go through the 20th century, abstract ‘Spray’ floral cluster brooches and jewellery being very popular in the 1950’s and 60’s (see Lot 165). The 70’s and later remain abstract in design, lot 165 is a lovely example of pair of vintage turquoise and gold leaf earrings. Continuing to modern times one of my favourite lots in the sale is lot 191 which is a ruby and diamond flower cluster ring, where we have almost come full circle to the realistically designed pieces of earlier eras. Themes of flowers and foliage in jewellery will ever remain popular symbols of the of new life that Spring brings with it and wearing these themes is a lovely way for us to express that hope.

Lot 241 A RUBY AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING, the circular cut ruby to a surround of old cut diamonds, mounted in yellow gold. Estimated; weight of ruby 1.00 ct, diamonds; 2.40 ct; colour and clarity I, SI, size N/O. Est: €3800 – 4500
Lot 125 AN ART NOUVEAU PERIDOT AND SEED PEARL PENDANT, mounted in 9ct yellow gold Est: €80 – 120