Category Archives: Jewellery history

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

How Do You Reconcile Beauty and Truth? by Barbara Steinberg

In 1789, the French Revolution started a political pendulum that swung sharply between Republic and Empire. The 1848 Revolution installed a democratic republic, whose electorate put Prince Louis-Napolèon Bonaparte and his Imperialist party into power. Napolèon III adopted the earlier revolution-motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, but in 1851, he staged a coup and proclaimed the Second French Empire.… Continue Reading

Catacomb Saints

Catacomb Saints

Between the 16th and 19th century, by order of the Vatican thousands of ancient Roman corpses were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome.These skeletal remains were given fictitious names and were sent abroad as relics of saints. Although it is unlikely that any of the corpses were of religious significance, the remains were decorated, bejewelled… Continue Reading

Whitby Jet

Whitby Jet

Jet is a minor gemstone which is derived from wood which has been subject to high pressure over millions of years. It is along with Amber one of two organic gem fossils. Jet has been utilised in adornment since neolithic times. The earliest known object is a carving of a damsel fly larva originating in… Continue Reading

The Kiani Crown

The Kiani Crown

  This opulent and splendid crown was worn for coronations in Iran during the Qajar dynasty (1796 – 1925) The Kayanian are a dynasty of Iranian legend, the Kayanian kings are the heroes of Avesta, the sacred writings of Zoroastrianism. The Kiani crown is a physical manifestation of the belief in the divine royal glory.… Continue Reading

The Snettisham Hoard.

The Snettisham Hoard.

  The Snettisham hoard dates from the Iron Age circa 75BCE and was discovered in Snettisham in Norfolk. UK , by metal detcetorist Charles Hodder. In all 9 kilos of gold and silver were discovered including 70 complete torcs. Some pieces had been discovered in Snettisham between 1948 and 1973, however the discovery in 1990… Continue Reading

Etruscan Jewellery.

Etruscan Jewellery.

  The Etruscan people were a sophisticated, luxury loving people who lived in Northern Italy 800 – 400 BC. They were astute traders, and had great wealth. Wealthy Etruscans built them selves dwellings for the afterlife. These dwellings were very similar to those which they had inhabited in life.Whole villages and towns of these tombs… Continue Reading

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

The Gold Crowns of Mycenae, Bactria, and Silla By Barbara Steinberg

According to archeological finds by Heinrich Schliemann, an elliptical gold diadem with removable crown-ornaments was first discovered in a Mycenaean funerary mound called Grave Circle A, or the “Grave of Women”, c. 1600-1500 BC. The Mycenaeans were an Indo-European people who settled in Southern Greece along the Agean Sea in the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC). They came… Continue Reading

Puabi: Queen of Ur

Puabi: Queen of Ur

During the first dynasty of Ur (Ca 2600 BCE) a women priestess or queen lived. Ur was an important Sumerian city-state, which is located in Mesopotamia which is present day Iraq. Puabi is sometimes called Shubad, however this translation from the Akkadiam language was later found to be incorrect. Her tomb was discovered by Leonard… Continue Reading

Religion, War, Trade, and Art Nouveau By Barbara Steinberg

Religion, War, Trade, and Art Nouveau By Barbara Steinberg

Where should my pencil begin to trace the historical connections that led to French Art Nouveau jewelry? The Sixteenth Century, perhaps? At that time, Popes countered the Protestant Reformation by sending Jesuit missionaries to far-off lands. The missions converted non-European peoples, so Catholic monarchs could then step in, colonize new territory, and bolster the political… Continue Reading

Ivory

Ivory

  Ivory is a material which is historically used widely in adornment. Ivory is the tusk or tooth of an animal, including : the elephant, the walrus, the boar, the hippopotamus, the sperm whale, the narwhal and the crocodile. Ivory can be identified as it carries a distinct striation pattern called Schreger lines. The formation… Continue Reading