This is a bracelet that is designed to be worn on the upper arm.
This is a bracelet made of many moveable segments, for example a snake-link or panel bracelet.
A bracelet made of a single piece with no segments or joins.
The buckle can be functional or decorative. Popular motif in Victorian era.
A bangle that does not fully go around the arm.
This is a strap bracelet made from flat, broad links with a buckle fastener, mordant and occasionally a slide. First popular in the mid-1800s.
Link (or Curb Chain)
This style of bracelet was designed to look like cuff and were fashionable in Paris in the 1850s and 1860s before spreading to England.
A bracelet with a fastener resembling a buckle but does not have a fastening pin.
(Is also used to describe bracelets with Victorian or Victorian retrospective slides on two chains.)
Flat articulated bracelet, usually with a buckle fastener.
Tennis (type of line bracelet)
A bracelet with stones (often diamonds) in closely packed settings, creating a single line.
Charm bracelets can be defined as a bracelet with trinkets or ornaments hanging from it, although the design has taken different forms across time and culture. Charm bracelets are one of the most loved types of jewelry a woman can own. Many women, if they don’t own one themselves, have a fond memory of looking for long happy hours at the charm bracelet of an older relative, perhaps their mother or grandmother.
The most common kind of charm bracelet is the simple belcher chain bracelet which charms can be attached to. A large padlock, shaped like a heart, is often the clasp. The charms often come in the form of figurines and miniatures. Often, the owner of the bracelet can add additional charms over time or the bracelet comes already complete. The chains can be made from silver, alloyed metal, gold or gold plate. The charms themselves can be simple or set with valuable gems.
The charms can often be symbolic, as in the case of charms given by loved ones, perhaps to mark birthdays or anniversaries. This was a traditional way for the family to show their appreciation for the family matriarch and therefore charm bracelets can be full of meaning and memories and can act as historical records of someone’s life. Typical charms include whimsical items, horoscope signs, household items like scissors or irons, small cats or dogs, family keepsakes, symbols of money and birthstones.
Or they can be themed, for example in the case of this bracelet with USA State symbols.
Charm bracelets were worn and loved by the Victorians. Queen Victoria was the one who popularized them and changed charms from being something that were worn as amulets or for spells into being something worn for sentimental and decorative reasons. After Albert died, the fashion for ‘mourning charms’ became popular, with charms being made with a tiny portrait or with the deceased person’s hair.
Charm bracelets again reached a height of popularity during and after the Second World War and charms became something that service men brought home to their sweethearts from all over the world. With people longing for connection with each other, charms became a way to express feelings and preserve memories. They continued to be popular throughout the 1940s and by the 1950s, every girl had their own charm bracelet and all rites of passage in a woman’s life were marked with a new charm.
Resources / further reading:
Louis Édouard Rioult – Portrait Of A Lady Wearing Coral Jewellery
Antique, untreated coral is one of the most loved of materials in antique jewelry. It is considered to be one of the ‘organic gemstones’ (the other two being amber and jet and pearls). Women who first own a piece of old coral jewelry soon become addicted to it and tend to become collectors. There is something truly sumptuous and almost edible about antique, untreated coral. It has long been worn as a talisman and later for its pure beauty; it was considered by the Victorians to promote good health and vitality, and you can really believe that it does once you experience wearing it.
One of the wonderful things about coral is that it tends to adapt over time to the woman who is wearing it and will subtly change color in a very organic way. Many women have reported a feeling of ‘rightness’ about their particular piece of coral jewelry, as though the piece is actually part of them. Coral ranges from white, to ‘Angel Skin’, to ‘Salmon’, to ‘Oxblood’ and every nuance in between.
28 – 29 October 2009
London, King Street