1889’s Fall Fashions

The Fall Trends of October 1889, according to Godey’s Lady Book, the leading women’s fashion magazine of the Victorian era.   Fig. 1. Ulster of dark blue cloth, belted into the waist. Felt-trimmed shoulder cape with silk, velvet and feather aigrette. Fig. 2. Walking costume for lady, made of cloth. The front part of the... Continue Reading →

Victorian Slide Jewelry

Before the invention of the wrist watch, Victorian women would wear their hunter case watches as a necklace, adding ornate, engraved pieces to the chain. Thus, slide jewelry was born! Composed of a “starter” chain with various gemstone "slides" added to it, Victorian slide jewelry allowed women to customize to their liking, much like the... Continue Reading →

A Secret History

Popular in the 19th century, Lovers’ Eyes were tiny portraits painted on pieces of jewelry meant to conceal the identity of their subject. Since only an intimate acquaintance might recognize the individual’s eye, the token of affection could be proudly displayed while keeping forbidden romance a secret. Lovers' eye jewelry pieces were sometimes studded with... Continue Reading →

What Lies Beneath

Victorians firmly believed in the importance of wearing the appropriate clothing for every occasion. So how did Victorian women create their famous silhouette? With no fewer than seven undergarments! Victorian women wore an extraordinary amount of underwear: first came the chemise and drawers, followed by a corset, under-petticoat, crinoline or hoop skirt, over-petticoat, and bustle.... Continue Reading →

The Origins of “Jet-Black”

One of the more fascinating histories of Victorian jewelry is that of jet. Jet is a fossilized driftwood, smooth and lightweight with an intense black color, that can be found in the seaside cliffs of Whitby, England.   The most prolific patron of this sought-after “gemstone” was Queen Victoria. In an era that called for... Continue Reading →

BRING THAT BACK: LOCKETS & PERFUME BUTTONS

As our previous post about Buckle Jewelry touched on, the Victorians were a sentimental lot. They were accustomed to losing loved ones to disease, workplace accidents, and war, and so they built a culture that helped them to cope with these losses. In addition to buckle jewelry, lockets and perfume buttons were worn in remembrance... Continue Reading →

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