Jewelry History

Jewelry Styles: Baroque

Period: 1600 – 1775


  • pearls, rubies, emeralds, topazes
  • Gold and silver ornaments in the form of flowers
  • motifs of the Moorish art
  • arabesques, symmetry
  • Naturalistic forms, ribbon bows, bouquets, single flowers
  • The techniques: engraving, inlaying with colored stones somewhat replaces enameling.
  • The quality of cut is improved, the display of stones, not only and not so much the shape

With the beginning of the 17th century, fashion changes. These changes apply more to France, Italy and somewhat later to Spain. Germany, England and the Netherlands would catch up with these trends later.

The French court, led by Louis XIV, were the trendsetters of the time. In this they supplanted the Spanish and French Habsburgs in the Renaissance.

International trade flourished. The solvency of merchants and the middle class grows. The enriched bourgeoisie begins to claim the luxury that was available only to the nobility.

To meet the growing demands, jewelers create jewelry with the same design, but using different materials. To imitate rubies, emeralds, topaz and diamonds took glass rhinestones – “paste”.

Jewelry now is divided into casual and for going out. This trend developed during the Georgian period.

Trade with the Middle East brought exotic flowers to Europe. This led to a fascination with botany, which soon became a popular hobby. This was reflected in the art of jewelry. Jewelers tried to display fantastic plants in jewelry.

Now the emphasis in the products is on the bright colors of gemstones and metals. Work with shape and enamel gradually recede into the background.

In addition to flowers, the bow becomes a characteristic form for jewelry. It is believed that it appeared as a ribbon that fastened the stone to the clothes.

Characteristic jewelry for the Baroque style:

Pearl parures (sets) of necklaces, bracelets, hair ornaments, earrings.

The brooch takes on a familiar appearance and a purely decorative function. This is associated with the Marquise de Sevigne, a French court lady. She is believed to have invented the idea of wearing a design of a satin bow and a pendant on a corsage with a clasp. Other ladies followed suit and began wearing similar jewelry on corsages.

By the middle of the 17th century the design of the earrings became more elaborate. Became popular luxury earrings “chandeliers” and “girandoles”.

Chandeliers are earrings consisting of the central part and a great number of pendants.

Girandole (fr. girandole – candelabrum, candlestick) – earrings consisting of the central part and three volumetric pendants.

Such jewelry is bulky and heavy and therefore difficult to wear. To lighten the construction they used concealed loops and ribbons to transfer some of the weight to the upper part of the ear or a ribbon in the hair.

During the Renaissance, watches were part of other pieces, now they are jewelry in their own right. All of the jewelry art techniques of the time were applied to watch design.

Cloth belts or in the form of chains were decorated with pendants and were also considered independent jewelry that had no other function.