View Full Version : Pearl Wedding Jewelry
02-10-2010, 11:35 PM
the dress is high empire. Josephine Bonepart could have worn this dress.. need to know your thoughts and opinions on what type of pearl wedding jewelry would look "right" for that time period?
02-11-2010, 12:56 AM
I think it might would help if you described the neckline of this dress.
At the recent class I attended about pearls, the instructor mentioned that in trying to look at paintings from the past, the artist liked to embellish the picture with pearls that may have not been actually worn. I though that was interesting. That style of dress was actually popular during different times periods.
02-11-2010, 02:24 AM
It would have bared the upper chest and neck. Seductive without cleavage.
Big round pearl choker. Drop earrings. Maybe some small pearls woven into Grecian hairdo. This is the height of the Romantic/ Regency period from Josephine in France to Jane Austin style in England.
02-11-2010, 02:42 AM
I also immediately thought of a choker, maybe a few rows, with a really long rope, down to the waist. Empire line is very elegant, good choice.
02-11-2010, 03:25 AM
I was thinking triple choker also. But if that isn't a flattering style for the bride, perhaps a short single strand with a drop of some sort.
I was reading about the dress--low, squared neckline, very small sleeves just covering the shoulders and high armhole.
Interesting that they were making faux pearls back then.
02-12-2010, 02:45 AM
I agree with purlgurl, why not peruse era paintings?
02-12-2010, 10:42 PM
HERE (http://www.fashion-era.com/regency_fashion.htm) are some fashion plates of the era
02-13-2010, 03:22 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies to the Georgian Wedding/Empire/Regency and most appropriate Pearl Jewelry question.
Cailtlin, thanks for the photos!
As we know, Georgian fashion and jewelry and romance are synonymous, a fitting style theme for a wedding.
Without boring you with a whole lot of stuffy opulence, the "empire style" was based on features of the Roman Empire and its many archaeological treasures which had been rediscovered starting in the 18th century. Empire even influenced architecture with the American style called "federation-style" characterized by motifs such as eagles, bellflowers and thunderbolts.
Despite the French revolution of 1789, when a pair of fancy shoe buckles might be enough to condemn you to the guillotine, France managed to hold on to her role as the leaders of fashion and jewelry and the extremely talented jewellers of France, and Napoléon Bonaparte's obsession with art and jewelry were two of the reasons why.
The jewels of the 18th to mid 19th century in Europe and England, were influenced by the taste of the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte whose enthusiasm for art, fashion and jewelry were only eclipsed by his enthusiasm, for "France, the army and Josephine" - (Napoléon's famous last words)
Purlgurl and Seahorse, I agree, artists certainly have been known to take liberties and wield their artistic license around, not only have artists painted pearls into life , artists have also been known to paint "mother-in-laws" into life and in the very period of fashion and jewelry we are talking about - the regency period, and the painting? Napoléon Bonapart's wedding!
In this very famous painting of Napoléon & Josephine's wedding, Napoléon's mother (she appears as the matronly figure, centre left of the papal miter in photo, but in actuality, she refused to attend the wedding, (possibly because of his choice of bride).
Drop earrings YES definitely in keeping with the period. The favorite earrings of the time were long diamond or pearl earrings called - "pendeloques" that Empress Josephine and other members of the imperial family wore.
Purlgurl - a very long rope of pearls down to the waist, interesting idea. Thanks again everyone for all your imput and thought provoking ideas.
02-13-2010, 08:51 AM
Congratulations YHammouda-Eyre on your pending wedding.
I reckon you have been given some good advice there.
I though I would share a gold button from Napoleon times that I rescued from the scrap box at a manufacturing jewellers.
I have been told that it originated from France but who knows?
It had seed pearls and very fine black enamel.
As you can see all the pearls were removed, I have put some simulated pearls to gauge what the button would have looked like.
I would love to have it restored back to its original beauty one day -it is really difficult to get a good supply of matching seed pearls.
02-13-2010, 03:31 PM
It breaks the heart that the pearls were removed. Do you suppose they were planning on melting it?
02-13-2010, 04:07 PM
That's so beautiful--Bernadette, hopefully you can restore it. I love the design; florals are always timeless, IMHO. What mm pearls actually fit in there? Looks like 3 different sizes. I would have thought small undrilled freshwater pearls would be quite available, or are you wanting something more exotic?
02-14-2010, 12:18 PM
Blaire, it "was" going to be melted down, that's why the seed pearls were removed:( I am sorry I did not get my hands on it before they were removed.
Pattye, they are half cut seed pearls, they vary approx 1mm and smaller.
Now that pictures have been taken I will be on a quest to get some seed pearls.
02-14-2010, 01:19 PM
what an exquisite piece of art history you managed to salvage from the scrap heap! Not your average scrappy gold.
Are there any markings at all, perhaps on the back? You might have to examine with a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe. Can you tell if this gold button is gold colored metal, gold over silver or gold?
You mentioned the enamel is BLACK. A technique of enameling black onto silver (not usually gold) was done by filling parts with powered black matt alloy made of metallic sulfides, together with a flux and fused into the depressions of the design. Niello decoration on metal is a VERY old technique and has even been found on Bronze age jewelry. It was revived by the Dutch in the late 16th mid 17th century and in the 19th century by Karl Wagner (1799-1841) a German jeweller after he moved to Paris in 1830.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece.
02-15-2010, 11:01 AM
The button is yellow gold, I cannot remember the carat of gold as there are no markings and I have had the button a long time.
I was told by a collector of buttons the era, and but now it has got me going too.
I have now made inquires via a button society and will let you know when they get back to me with any information.
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