Jewelry History from Ancient Origin to Nowadays
In prehistoric time, jewelry was a style of decoration, made by shells, stones and bones. It was likely to be worn away from the danger of life, to a sign of social status or rank.
The discovery of gold is another stage of this period. Its brilliant color and unchangeable nature were taken as symbols of the sun. Therefore, the circle ornament made of gold and similar to the sun appeared in this period.Gold collar, also known as throat guard, Ireland,late Bronze Age(roughly 800-700 BC).The Victoria and Albert museum, London.
The Greek Era
The Rome Time
The typical feature of Roman jewelry was the portrait of a conqueror. At that time, the Romans succeeded in establishing and expanding their territory through anti-invasion. They pursued the elegant and luxurious lifestyle with the posture of conqueror with the social atmosphere of flaunting wealth and power. At this time, jewelry design began to serve people instead of the god and myth.
Middle ages is known as the dark time of Europe. Religion heavily restrained people's thoughts and aesthetics. Throughout the middle ages, jewelry and dressing were divided into Christian jewelry and secular jewelry, with different materials to reflect corresponding status and rank.
In the late middle ages, a large number of gems appeared on clothing, belts,hair ornaments, brooches and etc. Jewelry such as scallops and other ornaments often appeared in the upper class. Brooches were also exquisite and gorgeous, and even shoes were decorated with jewelry and gold. People began to seek the fashion again.
During the Renaissance, jewelry not only had religious and social significance, but also was the expression of honor and privilege. The governors and new middle classes used jewelry to show off their status and wealth. Women's clothing in this period was mostly seen in low-necked, off-the-shoulder style, which was most suitable for necklace wearing. The theme of designs covered religion, myth, fable and exotic animals. The jewelry worn by upper class ladies was gorgeous and elegant. Gold and silver were widely used.At the height of the Renaissance, jewelry was more exaggerated and heavy in shape and more intricate in designs.
In the 17th century, the jewelry trend was exaggerated, luxurious, and intricate baroque style. The baroque art style was originally an architectural style that emphasized the flaunting of wealth and the extensive use of precious materials. In the later period, the expansion affected the overall reform within Europe at that time. Of course, jewelry design is no exception. The jewelry design in the baroque period was extravagant and gorgeous. It was good at expressing strong emotions by colors. And it was also good at adopting dynamic elements such as curves and slashes. In the first half of the 17th century, the western world suffered from was and political turmoil. which also made jewelry fashion change frequently. With the emergence of "death jewelry", the traditional religious theme of jewelry was gradually lost. This was also an important turning point in the history of jewelry.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, when Europe entered a period of relative stability and peace, the slim and tedious rococo style became the popular fashion in the art world. The jewelry was also decorated with fine, light, gorgeous and heavy elements, thus formed the exquisite and elegant rococo style.
Art Nouveau and the Garland style Period
New artistic style was spread to the entire western jewelry industry. Rich colors and modern contemporary feeling. At the end of the 19th century, elegant "wreath-style"jewelry appeared, with rounded frames,flowers and leaves decorated on it. Precious stones were used in jewelry, but precious metals were no longer limited to silver and gold. Platinum started to be used at this time.
Art Deco Period
Art Deco was main art style in France in the 1920s and 1930s. With the development of human civilization, modern life has a fast pace, people gradually pursued a simple and lively style. Jewelry started to follow the principle of "serving people" in design, theme and form. Hence, this trend was also lasting into the late 20th century and the beginning of 21th century.
Contemporary Art Period
With the development of industry and art, the decorative art style with geometric graphics as the basic graphics has entered jewelry industry. The geometric jewelry is suitable for both manual production and machine production. During this period, jewelry has developed into a new era that acceptance of machine without giving up manual productions