The Belle Époque & Edwardian periods were a time of increasing wealth and thriving arts at the turn of the 20th century. The jewellery from these periods was light and delicate – a combination of handmade and machine crafted decorative pieces. The market in natural pearls was at its peak at this point, and platinum was a fairly new material in jewellery manufacture, making it all the rage.
Belle Époque or “Beautiful Era” designs were influenced by the Rococo period, 18th century jewellery and the Court of Versailles. Pastel colours from the fashions of the time inspired looks in white on white, calling for platinum designs with pearls and diamonds. These also included stones in lighter shades, supporting the distinctive compositions.
In Great Britain, the Edwardian period began during the reign of King Edward and his Queen, Alexandra. Edwardian jewellery was all about diamonds, platinum and pearls in delicate and lacy designs. Pieces were crafted with popular motifs such as garlands, foliage, ribbons and bows.
Our 12 March auction of Jewellery, Watches & Silver in Edinburgh includes several beautiful examples of Belle Époque and Edwardian jewellery including lovely gem and seed pearl pendants alongside stunning diamond and platinum pieces.