History of Silver Jewelry Caskets and Quadruple Silverplate Jewelry Boxes
Silver and silverplate boudoir accessories became very popular during the late 19th century. Inexpensive manufacturing techniques provided elaborate and valuable-looking objects, including jewelry boxes, jewel boxes and jewel caskets / jewelry caskets - many with mechanical parts.
Collecting silver and silverplate jewelry boxes or jewel boxes has reached a near-fevered pitch, as there are so many styles to choose from to express one's personal preferences.
When storing away your jewelry away for the night, the following tips will help make sure the jewelry box is put to good use in storing your jewelry. By properly putting away your jewelry in the jewelry box, it will less likely become damaged.
For necklaces and bracelets, try to have them hung on hooks in a jewelry box or armoire that offers it. If there are no hooks, you should still keep the clasps fastened to avoid entanglement of the jewelry.
Before you put that valuable jewelry away in the jewelry box, you should make sure iit is DRY! This is vital to keeping your jewelry safe in its jewelry box. Even if stored away properly, if the piece of jewelry has water on it, damages can occur such as loosened cement on precious stone settings or the tarnishing of silver.
For a look at a wide-variety of antique, vintage and silver and silverplate jewelry boxes or jewelry caskets, this is an informative site aptly named Jewelry Boxes.
Throughout history, jewelry boxes were constructed and designed by craftsmen, one box at a time. With the Industrial Revolution came the concept of mass-production, and was avidly adopted in the United States during the late 19th century.
American ladies of the early 1900's aspired to the high style of great cities like London and Paris. Jewelry stores window displays showcased the latest designs. Jewel boxes were available in all sizes, from the smallest ring box to handkerchief and even glove sized boxes. Their bottoms could be a beautiful as the tops.
Jewel Cases, jewelry caskets, and trinket boxes were classified as an art metal wares, and were plated in gold, silver, copper or ivory. A popular misconception is that there was iron in the metal. The most common base metals for jewel boxes were actually spelter or antimonial lead. Almost all alloys used were of metals with low melting points, explaining the broken hinges often seen today.
Manufacturers experimented with many finishes. Most jewel boxes were first electroplated with copper, then finished with gold or silver. Other refinements were French Bronze, Roman Gold, Pompeian Gold, French Gray and Parisian Silver.
Around 1911, ivory finishes were being introduced, achieved by painting with white enamel, then applying various oxides, resulting in Old Ivory, Oriental Ivory, Old antique Ivory, and Tinted Ivory. Enamel finished boxes were more lasting than gold or silver boxes.
Jewel boxes were lined with fine pale-colored silks from Japan and China, also with faille, satin or sateen, and were often trimmed with twisted satin cord. Some boxes were lined with velvet in brighter colors.
International trade and travel drew attention to decorative styles all over the world. For example, the Classical styles, the Victorian Period, Art Nouveau from France, and world discoveries like the Egyptian tombs. And Americans began to reflect on their own history, with a renewed interest in its Colonial days. All was reflected in Jewel Boxes.
The most prominent decorative style of jewel box during the early 1900's was Art Nouveau, a romantic style noted for its flowing, asymmetrical lines, with motifs relating to nature. Most collectors today associate Art Nouveau with graceful nymph-like young women, but floral motifs held a major place in the American Nouveau jewelry box world.
The Language of Flowers was a popular concept during the Victorian Period. Floral sentiments were reflected in the Nouveau style on jewelry boxes, the four-leaf-clover for good luck, daisies for innocence, roses for love and beauty, and so on.
There were several American Art Metal manufacturers that designed and produced jewel boxes. For example, Jennings Brothers, Kronheimer and Oldenbusch, Benedict, NB Rogers, The Art Metal Works, Brainard and Wilson which patented one of the first Nouveau jewel box designs, and Weidlich Brothers which took several patents on their Colonial designs.
Many of these manufacturers trademarked or signed their jewel boxes. Peak production lasted fewer than 15 years, from 1904 through 1918, but the term mass-production held a completely different meaning back then than it does today.
Gold and silver finished boxes were the most common. Also rare are souvenir jewel boxes with commemorative ceramic or photo discs. The ivory finished boxes, though somewhat later in development, remain elusive. Their finishes were more durable, so they may still be handed down within families.
These wonderful antique jewel boxes were much valued, and they held their popularity well until World War I, when the continuity of fashion was broken, re-directing interest from decorative to the function and power of the machine. Fortunately, we can still discover examples of the almost-100-year old treasures. The Jewel Box Book
The cocktail ring is a large, dramatic ring often worn at cocktail parties by women. During the Prohibition in the US women often wore these rings at illegal cocktail parties, where they flaunted the fact that the wearer was drinking illegally, and was doing it with style. Today's cocktail rings can be worn to many different types of occasions or even as part of a casual outfit. There's no one set style for a cocktail ring, but many have a large, centered imitation jewel.
Though cocktail rings first came into fashion in the 1930s, they grew in popularity throughout the 1940s and 1950s, as cocktail parties continued to be popular events. Although cocktail parties are less common now, many people still wear a cocktail ring with huge diamonds or other large precious or semi-precious gems for formal dressy occasions, and especially for events like premieres of films, Broadway theater productions, or award shows like the Oscars or Emmys.
While the trend in earlier rings was to use precious stones, particularly diamonds, most cocktail rings today are made with faux stones. The difficulty and expense of obtaining large precious stones often makes using real stones prohibitively expensive. Costume jewelry stores stock reproductions of rings worn by fashionistas, and a good costume cocktail ring is perfectly acceptable for anything but the fanciest events.
Natural pearl and cultured pearl necklaces are created in different ways. Natural pearls occur in the wild, without any human assistance. They are hunted and are quite rare. When found, the pearls are harvested, cleaned and made into jewelry.
Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are grown under tightly controlled conditions by pearl farmers. Farmers plant a core made up of mussel shell into an oyster or mussel; then the oyster or mussel forms a pearl around this irritant, just as they do when forming natural pearls. Pearl farmers design cultured pearls from start to finish, ensuring they are perfectly shaped and luminous. Once harvested, the pearls are cleaned, and some are treated and bleached before being made into jewelry. Both natural and cultured pearls can be freshwater or saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are created or occur in mussels, while saltwater pearls are created or occur in oysters.
Natural pearls and cultured pearls have different features. Natural pearls vary in size and luminosity, though most have a stunning iridescent quality. They are also found in a variety of shapes and sizes simply because they are wild. Cultured pearls have some of the same qualities, but they will most often be uniformly shaped and sized, and they can also be dyed or bleached to achieve different colors and luster.
Necklaces have been an integral part of jewelry since the time of ancient civilizations and pre-date the invention of writing. Necklaces are believed to be as old as 40,000 years, during the Stone Age. The oldest necklaces were made of purely natural materials - before weaving and the invention of string, durable vines or pieces of animal sinew left over from hunts were tied together and adorned with shells, bones or teeth or colourful skins of human prey animals, bird feathers, corals, carved pieces of wood, colorful seeds or stones or naturally occurring gems, or other beautiful or artful natural elements found nearby.
Cloth working and metalworking greatly expanded the range of jewelry available to humans. Twine and string enabled the development of smaller, more durable, more intricate necklaces. After the Bronze Age began and humans discovered how to melt metal and cast it into shapes, bronze, copper, silver, gold, electrum, platinum and a variety of other metals were used to make eye-catching necklaces for both men and women, and metal chains became possible. Gem-cutting and glass-blowing allowed faceted and highly polished gemstones and/or beautiful art glass to be added to pieces.
In the modern era, a variety of new metals are available for necklaces that earlier generations could not properly melt until high-temperature crucibles and blowtorches were developed, such as stainless steel and titanium; electroplating has enabled mass ownership of gold (or at least gold-veneer) jewelry. Miniaturisation and laser etching enable the crafting of finely detailed artwork, or insignias or other calligraphy, within individual necklace elements.
Women's necklaces are often classified by length.
A choker length necklace measures 35 centimetres (14 in) to 41 centimetres (16 in) long and sits high on the neck.
A princess length necklace measures 45 centimetres (18 in) to 50 centimetres (20 in) long, longer than a choker, but shorter than a matinee.
A matinee length necklace measures 56 centimetres (22 in) to 58 centimetres (23 in) long - typically a single strand that rests at the top of the cleavage.
An opera length necklace measures 75 centimetres (30 in) to 90 centimetres (35 in) long and sits at the breastbone.
A rope necklace is any necklace longer than opera length.
A lariat is a very, very long variation on the rope, without a clasp, often worn draped multiple times around the neck; the ends can be crossed over, looped, or knotted in various ways. This type of necklace sometimes incorporates a loop at one or both ends to allow it to be worn in the style of a lasso, or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle.