Originating in England, the Aesthetic movement was collaboration of new ideas and influences that affected all facets of the decorative arts. There was an enthusiasm for craftsmanship, and natural materials as well as a passion for ornament and eclecticism. With an increase in trade and travel there was a growing interest in a variety of exotic styles from the Far East and Japan resulting in use of new materials and colors. Figures like Christopher Dresser, an English botanist, were fascinated with the natural world and promoted a new synthesis of Western and Eastern ideals. Although the Aesthetic Movement evolved into two significant styles, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts, the ideals continued into to the early twentieth century.
A type of hair accessory that was either feather shaped or had a hair fastener from which a bird’s feather could be attached. A spring was often included in the device so that the feather moved with the wearer.
A decorative gold element in a form inspired by a classical oval Greek vessel, featuring two-handles and tapering to a point at the base. Amphorae were used chiefly to hold oil, wine, or other liquids.
This style stemmed from the growing fascination late nineteenth century Europe developed for the Far East. Japanese decoration was applied to recognizable European forms and English designers created decorative objects inspired by Japanese principles of design.
This style is based on stylized sweeping curves derived from organic and naturalistic forms. Designers of this period were often inspired by the asymmetry of Japanese design, the curves and scrolls of Rococo and the rigid line of the Arts and Crafts.
Oversized shoe buckles popular in the 1770s and 1780s named after the Comte d’Artois. These buckles were worn by both men and women and came in variety of decoration ranging from plain metal to pastes and diamonds.
A type of colorless glass which resembles rock crystal and contains between 10% and 24% lead oxide. Crystal glass can be colored by adding various metallic oxides to the melt and is used extensively in costume jewelry for beads and stones. In 1892, Daniel Swarovski patented the first machine to cut crystal, allowing the process to become faster and more precise.
Trade name of a dense synthetic resin made from carbolic acid and formaldehyde, patented between 1907 and 1909 by Leo H. Baekeland. Also known as catalin, bakelite can be molded, extruded, or carved, which made it popular for a variety of uses during the 1930s and 40s, including jewelry, kitchenware, and toys. As a thermostat plastic, bakelite will not melt when exposed to heat.
The brightness of the light that is refracted from a faceted transparent gemstone. When less light escapes through the bottom of the stone and refracts back through the crown, or top, the greater the brilliance.