Charlotte Gere
Judy Rudoe
British Museum, London, 2010, English
Nonfiction, Jewelry Design
ISBN: 9780714128191

From the Publisher. This book rewrites the history of jewelry in the age of Victoria. The "age of Victoria" is taken in its widest sense to encompass jewellery made throughout Europe and America, displayed at the great international exhibitions and distributed through foreign trade, illustrated publications and a burgeoning tourist industry. Throughout, links with other disciplines will provide both the specialist and the non-specialist with the information to understand how jewelry permeated all walks and conditions of life in the 19th century.

The focus of the book is on the attitudes of owners to their jewelry and the symbolic weight that it was expected to carry. Rather than concentrating on the major figures at the top end of the jewelry trade, it is oriented towards the social aspects of owning, wearing, and displaying jewelry. For example, novelists used jewelry to add a moral or metaphorical dimension to a character, while jewels depicted in portraits often carried multiple messages which could be immediately decoded by the viewer. The achievements of science, the fascination with nature and the Victorian sense of humor are all embodied in jewelry. Topics discussed in depth include the importance of jewelry in the life of the Queen herself, jewelry and dress, the language of jewelry, the cult of novelty, the importance of nationalism in the revival of historical styles, and the contribution of archaeological discoveries. The volume is sumptuously illustrated with contemporary reportage, photographs, and portraits as well as examples of jewelry from the British Museum and other collections. 

On 1 book list
Marion Fasel
This 552-page labor of love covers a vast array of jewelry and the symbolism of various styles during the Victorian era.
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