Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830
By Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collings
Antique Collectors' Club
9.5 x 11.75 inches
200 pages, 300 color illustrations
Finally, a book on Georgian jewelry! Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 is an exciting new addition to the ever-growing world of books on jewelry. It fills a large gap in the study of jewelry history. Previous to this publication, there had been little available on the Georgian period and there has certainly been no book published before this that shows so many beautifully photographed pieces. Interesting and important to note is that most of the pieces shown have been on the market in recent years and not necessarily museum pieces. Therefore, this book would be invaluable to collectors and dealers as well as scholars.
The book is presented in a fascinating and useful manner, suggesting the concept of darkness into light, much like the era itself. A brief history of the Georges begins the volume, with information on the enlightenment and freedom caused by the industrial revolution, the forging of America and the ability of more people being able to attain wealth. The concept of more freedom for women is suggested, opening up their ability and desire to adorn themselves. Day wear to evening wear is shown, presenting the jewelry of the Georgian era from the viewpoint of fashion, with wonderful portraits illustrated and anecdotes of the period. The preface states that there are not very many portraits of ladies wearing jewelry from this era, yet, the authors were able to find quite a number of fine examples.
A wide variety of different materials and techniques used in jewelry of the Georgian era are presented and discussed, with illustrated examples. Some of the sections are brief, but quite informative and include paste, Berlin Iron, micromosaics, agate and much more. Practical advice on how to recognize and repair the jewelry is also given.
Most of the illustrations are pieces from the last 50 years of the era, the 1820-30s, and most are English and French, but also Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, many with sections specifically devoted to the various countries.
Though written and presented in what the publishers refer to as an "accessible" manner, this is a well researched and important new work.
Judy M. Cohen