ANTIQUE BROOCH – REFLECTION OF THE ERA
Antique Brooch – as a piece of jewelry – reaches its peak in the middle of the 17th century, it was during this period that European and Russian craftsmen began to actively use diamonds in brooch decoration. And, perhaps, this period can be called the diamond in the history of the evolution of the brooch. It was the works of this period that laid the foundation for diamond cutting of diamonds, which is used today. The brooch itself changes its purpose. If before this brooches were used more as beautifully decorated clasps, then in this period agraphs were more used in ceremonial or other solemn events.
For example, agraf diamond yarn made of silver and gold is represented in the Russian Diamond Fund. Made in the form of a bow strewn with expensive diamonds, this magnificent brooch belonged to Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. Another unique thing in the same series is the “Big Bouquet” brooch. It also belonged to the royal family and was made in the form of a bouquet of flowers, richly decorated with colored gemstones.
With the growth of more and more democratic and revolutionary moods in France, the Empire style begins to come into fashion. There is no longer that royal luxury, it is more seasoned and concise. Semiprecious stones are used as the main material for making brooches, on which images were carved. This type of brooch went down in history under the name “gemma”. In turn, these brooches were divided into cameos – made with convex carvings and intalia – with a deep one. Cameos became very popular both in Europe and in Russia. The main material for performing cameos was onyx. In Russia, cameos were set in diamonds. These collectibles are magnificent vintage. The value of these products only grows over the years.
With the advent of the 19th century, the jewelry world was overwhelmed by the fascination with the shape of brooches in the form of various insects. The departure from the conservative and prim forms of the previous century served as a magnificent creative space for jewelers. Dragonflies, ladybugs, spiders, made with elegant taste, very quickly gained popularity in the European elite. Even jewelry insectariums began to develop – collections of jewelry insects that exist to this day. Such antiques are of extraordinary value to collectors. The masters of the 19th century honed their skills so seriously that albums and atlases with a detailed image of various insects were an obligatory attribute of a serious jeweler. Around the same time, another branch originates – the mourning brooch. They were performed from black gems and were widely used in the British Isles.
At the end of the 19th century, the works of Russian masters — Sazikov, Khlebnikov, Ovchinnikov — became visible. The design approach of the artist-jeweler begins to begin. If before this, the high cost and quality of processing the material was more appreciated, then with the advent of technological devices the role of the artist begins to increase.
More sophisticated and highly artistic things appear. Semi-precious stones are gaining more and more popularity. In the decoration begin to appear the use of enamel, guilloche. Guilloche is a special grinding of metal in the form of wavy, interwoven lines. The most popular stones for making brooches are garnet, agate, amethyst.
The turbulent XX century could not but affect the design decisions of artists-jewelers. The modern style is in fashion. Masters tend to get closer to the naturalness of lines with unique observation, peeped at nature. Light, playful and abstract forms appear more and more. Such masters as Fouquet, Tiffany, Lolik, who became the founders of Art Nouveau, appear in the arena.
For any artist, a brooch has unlimited potential and allows you to express your finished concept like no other piece of jewelry. So the famous brooch “Birdcage” was created during the occupation of France by the Nazis. A “Liberated bird” was published since the liberation of France from the invaders. And still this work is considered a symbol of independence and freedom.