Here at Frank Pollak & Sons, we’ve gone in-depth about the styles of art deco jewelry and art nouveau jewelry, two fashion trends that were widely popular in the early 20th century. But there was also a third jewelry style around this time—Edwardian. Named for the then-King of England, King Edward VII (1901-1910), Edwardian jewelry represented the luxury of the English aristocracy for which it was named.
The Edwardian Era
King Edward VII was the son of Queen of Victoria, and similar to how her reign was deemed the “Victorian Era,” her son’s reign was deemed the “Edwardian Era.” While the Victorian Era’s influence was still strong, the Edwardian Era nevertheless represented a departure from the stiff, traditionalist values of Queen Victoria. King Edward VII was a playboy and a gambler, and he surrounded himself with nouveau riche plutocrats who cultivated a lavish lifestyle. This was, of course, represented in the kind of fashion styles that were popular during his reign.
Edwardian jewelry really started before the Edwardian Era began, during the last decade of the Victorian Era in the 1890s. Regardless, jewelry was a significant part of the outfit for upper class Edwardians, and they were created to go with the elaborate and elegant dresses of the time period. Typically designed to highlight a key element, such as a gemstone or pearl, Edwardian jewelry was also defined by its use of filigree and milgrain work. The filigree work created a lacy, floral appearance, while the milgrain work gave the edges a “coin edge” effect. As such, Edwardian pieces often had floral or bow forms, creating a very feminine appearance.
Edwardian jewelry coexisted with art nouveau, so while the styles are distinct, they nevertheless borrowed from one another. Edwardian jewelry, for instance, was influenced by the fluidity and sweeping lines of art nouveau pieces, as well as their floral motifs.
While Edwardian jewelry only lasted a few decades, it was nevertheless an elegant and beautiful style that can be worn even in today’s fashion world. So if you’re looking for a piece of Edwardian jewelry to add to your collection, then contact Frank Pollak & Sons to look at the vintage Edwardian pieces we have available.