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The Era

The Edwardian period covers the short reign of King Edwardian VII of England, although stylistically it is often extended through to 1920. Samuel Haynes describes the era as a “leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag”. Long before he sat on the throne, King Edward was head of a fashionable elite and strongly influenced by the art and styles of continental Europe. The late 19th Century – the fin de siècle – saw jewellery trends move away from the large and ostentatious pieces that characterised the High Victorian period, towards smaller more refined pieces. By 1903, technology had advanced such that jewellers could now work with platinum: the strength of this new precious metal allowed incredibly delicate metal-work such as millegrain, openwork, and filigree, all of which were ubiquitous in the Edwardian era.