Welcome to Malak Jewelers’ Flashback Friday! Each Friday, we will feature a piece or set of jewelry from our Estate Jewelry collection!
This week, we're in awe over the delicate metalwork in these sapphire pins!
The Edwardian style arose as a response to the Victorian era's emphasis on rigidity and solemnity. Near the end of the 1800s, society began to reject Victorian ideals of propriety. They were inspired by the Prince of Wales, who was a frivolous, fun-loving man. By the time he took the throne as Edward VII in 1901, the Edwardian era was in full swing. The Edwardian period is also known as La Belle Epoque, because it was focused on beauty for the sake of beauty.
In terms of jewelry, Edwardian style focused on individual, unique pieces. In the Victorian time, mass production was seen as a marvel. Suddenly, jewelry could be mass produced, which made it easier to access. Edwardian society rejected this ideal, moving back to handmade pieces that were one-of-a-kind. Advances in technology meant that platinum became easier to shape, leading jewelers to create stunning, delicate pieces of platinum, often accented with diamonds for a monochromatic, sleek, elegant look.
Characteristic features of Edwardian style jewelry are milgrain, openwork, and geometrical and garland motifs. Milgrain was a technique where the edge of metal is beaded. This created a softer edge on Edwardian pieces. Openwork was a focus on light, delicate metalwork rather than heavy, solid styles. Openworked platinum in the Edwardian era mimicked lace and embroidery with its intensely delicate flair.
The motifs that were most common in Edwardian jewelry took advantage of techniques like milgrain and openwork. Geometric designs were enhanced by negative space inherent in openwork jewelry. Garlands, bows, swags, and other rounded shapes were softened by milgrain edging. With an overall focus on light, flowy, delicate jewelry, the Edwardian era produced some of the most stunning jewelry in history.
One of the most common pieces of jewelry in the Edwardian era was the bar brooch. These brooches were deceptively simple, as it was usually just a horizontal bar. Yet, the real feature was in the metalwork. Delicate openwork and milgrain edging meant that a simple horizontal bar could be a feast for the eyes. Bar brooches often featured minimal stones, but could utilize diamonds and colored stones to emphasize the metalwork.
These two brooches are classic examples of Edwardian style bar brooches. Each features a central diamond, two flanking sapphires, and delicate openwork white gold. Yet, each one is slightly unique, giving a wonderful look into how much of an emphasis was placed on one-of-a-kind jewelry in the Edwardian period.
This brooch places a greater emphasis on the stones. The brooch is approximately 1.5 inches wide. The central diamond weighs in at 1/3 carat, while the flanking sapphires total 1 carat together. The stones are magnificent, with a beautiful fire in the central diamond and rich, clear blue coloring on the sapphires. The metalwork surrounding the stones is no slouch. Delicate lines of 14K white gold create an elaborate geometric frame, with milgrain edging giving the brooch a softer feel. The outer edge of the brooch features more sinuous lines on a background of white gold, giving a vine-like feel. The overall brooch is stunning, eye-catching, and a definite statement piece.
The second brooch places a higher emphasis on the delicate metalwork. The stones are overall smaller, though again beautiful with dazzling fire in the diamond and brilliant blue sapphires. It's the metalwork that really makes this brooch stand out, though. A geometric grid surrounds the central diamond, creating an almost spiderweb like feel with how delicate and gossamer it is. Swirling lines sweep from the central grid, with waving white gold around the edges. Despite the obvious metallic component, it almost feels as if it was something you could find in nature. The brooch is approximately 2 inches wide and dazzles in 14K white gold.
Come see these pins or several of our other stunning Edwardian style pieces in our Estate Jewelry Collection! Malak Jewelers has an extensive collection of estate jewelry for sale. Come check out our vintage and pre-loved pieces. You might just find your next heirloom!
Malak Jewelers is Charlotte, North Carolina’s premier direct diamond importer, supplier of loose diamonds, and custom design jewelry. When you buy from Malak you receive 100 Day Price Protection and a Lifetime Upgrade Promise. Be sure to check out our wide variety of diamond engagement rings both in our online catalogue and at our store in Charlotte, North Carolina's Arboretum Shopping Center.