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The Georgian Era

12 June 2018

The Georgian era spanned five kings – George I-IV and William IV – from 1714 to 1837 and produced beautifully hand crafted and highly collectible jewellery.

Unidentifiable by marks or stamps, the jewellery is usually typified by closed back gold settings with foil backed stones set in silver tops to enhance their brilliance.

The metalwork is generally very ornate. Early repoussé gold work design is hammered from behind. Later cannetille work is typified by intricate twisted filigree wire work.

Popular motifs are flowers, crescents, ribbons, bows, leaves, feathers and sprays of foliage. Blue enamelling and glass work is also common. Designs are also influenced by archaeological finds in the ancient worlds of Greef, Italy and Egypt. 

Diamonds and coloured stones are commonly used as well as coral, shell, agate, chrysoberyl, pearl, paste and glass. Stones are table cut with flat tops and bottom, rose cut with domed top and flat bottom, old mine cut round and faceted like modern brilliants, cabochons and briolettes.

Settings are intricate, sometimes en tremblant on springs, usually as hair ornaments or brooches. 

During the Napoleonic wars precious jewellery was replaced by Berlin cut steel and iron jewellery, now very rare.

Authentic Georgian jewellery is now rare and collectible.

Emma Reeves
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