In Britain, jewellery during this time was had moved from being oversized and ostentatious, to a more delicate affair, something our European neighbours characterised as La Belle Époque.

Large designs were replaced by intricate garland motifs, ribbons, laurel wreaths, bows and lace, all of which had an ethereal quality. Jewellers who designed pieces in the La Belle Époque were influenced by the soft lines and natural designs of both the Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movements.

French art and design served as an inspiration for jewellers over in Blighty. The Court of Versailles influenced commissions by those who wanted a taste of aristocracy. It is believed that Louis-François Cartier and his designers were too inspired by France, as they traced the streets of Paris, drawing upon 17th and 18th century architecture for inspiration.

Queen Mary (1867-1953) Princess of WalesImage: royalcollection.org.uk Queen Mary (1867-1953) Princess of Wales
Image: royalcollection.org.uk

One particular fashion that made it from France to Britain was the decorated choker. In around 1865, the style of neckwear was a sign of the most fashionable in France. It later reached England in around 1880, and became a favourite of the Princess of Wales.

Queen Mary (1867-1953) Princess of Wales Queen Mary (1867-1953) Princess of Wales

An Edwardian platinum diamond tiara. Of garland design, comprising a series of old and single-cut diamond graduated foliate and loop motifs, each with principal old-cut diamond collet and surmount, to the single-cut diamond bar links and base metal frame. Estimated total diamond weight 10cts, principal diamonds estimated I-J colour, SI1-P1 clarity. Total weight 66gms. With fitted P.G Dodd & Son case. An Edwardian platinum diamond tiara. Of garland design, comprising a series of old and single-cut diamond graduated foliate and loop motifs, each with principal old-cut diamond collet and surmount, to the single-cut diamond bar links and base metal frame. Estimated total diamond weight 10cts, principal diamonds estimated I-J colour, SI1-P1 clarity. Total weight 66gms. With fitted P.G Dodd & Son case.

The undisputed King (or should we say Queen) of Edwardian jewellery was the tiara. Ethereal and as delicate as lace, these pieces of headwear were worn by the elite of society. Designs often featured garlands and were made often made in platinum and finished with diamonds or pearls. This example, which will be featured in Fellows' Antique and Modern Jewellery on 10th August, encompasses all the wonderful style features of Edwardian tiaras.

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Viewings for Fellows' Antique and Modern Jewellery sale will be held on 1st, 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th, with the auction taking place on 10th August, 2017. See here for the full catalogue.

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