Victorian Rose Gold and Onyx Bracelet

About Details History
This stunning c. 1880 bracelet was designed to be worn as a part of a woman's late-stage mourning ensemble. In the earliest stages of mourning, the bereaved were allowed to wear nothing but black, and this rule extended to a person's jewelry. Wearing anything that sparkled or shone was a BIG no-no. Toward the end of the period of mourning, however, lighter colors, more extensive use of gold, and some (but not all) gems were considered acceptable. This chic and modern-seeming bracelet is crafted in warm 15k rose gold, its circumference is set with immaculate table cut onyx. The original safety chain was missing from the bracelet, owing to its somewhat small 6" inner circumference, we have replaced it with a semi-detachable rose gold chain catch for ease of use.

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  • Materials: 15k rose gold, onyx
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 6" inner circumference, 2" safety chain, 6.8mm width
  • Location: To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

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    VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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    About Details History
    This stunning c. 1880 bracelet was designed to be worn as a part of a woman's late-stage mourning ensemble. In the earliest stages of mourning, the bereaved were allowed to wear nothing but black, and this rule extended to a person's jewelry. Wearing anything that sparkled or shone was a BIG no-no. Toward the end of the period of mourning, however, lighter colors, more extensive use of gold, and some (but not all) gems were considered acceptable. This chic and modern-seeming bracelet is crafted in warm 15k rose gold, its circumference is set with immaculate table cut onyx. The original safety chain was missing from the bracelet, owing to its somewhat small 6" inner circumference, we have replaced it with a semi-detachable rose gold chain catch for ease of use.

    less
    more

    • Materials: 15k rose gold, onyx
    • Age: c. 1880
    • Condition: Excellent
    • Size: 6" inner circumference, 2" safety chain, 6.8mm width
    • Location: To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

      less
      more
      VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
      less
      more