Friday, February 5, 2010

The Arts and Crafts Movement - Nature inspired Jewelry

The Arts and Crafts movement occurred during the years 1890 to 1920 in the United States, but the movement itself started quite a bit earlier in England. William Morris is credited with being the founder of the movement in the UK. The movement spread to other countries in Great Britain, including Scotland and Ireland, and then on to Europe and Scandinavian countries before reaching the United States late in the1890s.

Before this time period, women wore form fitting corsets and stays which resulted in very tight clothing which was snug at the waist and neckline. The clothing designers during the Arts and Crafts period chose soft, very flowing clothing designs,and the jewelry styles of this time went well with this type of clothing.


Photo courtesy Tadema Gallery, UK

There is no one "look" for the jewelry of this time period, but basically a great deal of the jewelry was inspired by nature and organic forms. Leaves, flowers, fish and birds were common motifs.

Many of the designs of this period were made by large manufacturing firms such as Liberty and Co. The design shown here is by Arts and Crafts designer John Paul Cooper, 1869-1933. The brooch is set in gold with with black blister pearls, moonstone, amethyst, chrysoprase bowenite and ruby.


The Tadema Gallery in the UK has an interesting slide show with photos of various pieces of Arts and Crafts jewelry styles.

Be sure to visit our blog at Vintage Jewelry Lane. We have details of an interview with Arts and Crafts jewelry collector Elyse Karlin in a recent blog post there.

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