I’d like to welcome a guest blogger on We Heart Vintage today, Kelly from Henryka, a smallshop in Herefordshire that sells silver and amber jewellery.
Hi guys, I’m Kelly, it’s great to be here blogging on We Heart Vintage.
As we’re talking all things Vintage here, I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you a little history about the little gem, which is Amber…Well, technically Amber is not an actual gem stone, as I myself once thought (why ever would I think differently)? It is, in fact, tree resin; which starts out as a thick, sticky liquid derived from damaged tree’s to help their healing process, hardens over time and has been worn in jewellery from as early as the stone-age.
Using Amber in Jewellery has been a very popular choice over the last 100 years or so, maybe because it’s relatively inexpensive opposed to ‘real’ gems, or maybe it’s just its unique, natural beauty; because it started life as a gooey liquid form, you will quite often see inclusions of plants and insects locked inside and so- no two pieces are ever the same!
So here’s a little piece on how it’s been used across my favourite eras.
Art Nouveau Era circa- 1890/1910
I do feel that for being such a romantic looking period, this era is rather overlooked amongst us vintage lovers…well who’d want to squeeze their curves into a corset or endure crinolines every day? Not me! I suppose we have adopted their gorgeous, rich looking brocade fabric, feathered hats (LOVE) and also hair jewellery. Honey coloured Baltic amber and green amber was used a lot back then and generally set into gold and used for hair beads and head pieces. They would be intricately entwined amongst pinned up locks, with dragonfly and butterfly pins being a major trend.
Art Deco Era circa- 1915/1940’s
In my humble little opinion, this is by far the most glam era to date. I love everything about it. From the ornate mirrored furniture and bold geometric shapes, to the lavish feathers and furs, and then of course we have the flapper dress. Can you get any more glamorous? ‘Flappers’ (a new breed of women known to wear short skirts and flaunt their stuff) they loved their long beaded necklaces, commonly made up of a dark coloured, cherry amber and cut into a ‘disco ball’ kind of shape (I’m sure you know the style). Long, tasselled earrings to match, showed off by the new cropped hair-styles, which I’m guessing, must have jiggled a bit whilst dancing the Charleston! Fabulous!!
The swinging sixties
With the ‘60’s, came fun, and the jewellery was no exception. Dainty feminine designs gave way to chunky, bold pieces in Perspex. Colour was everywhere, and monochrome was born. This is when milky white amber became a ‘thing’ made into bigger pebble shaped beads this time around for necklaces and bracelets. Large swinging pendants on long chains, in an array of shapes, and generally set into silver accessorised the mod clean cuts of mini dresses across the land.
The really great thing about today’s fashion is that anything goes. We quite literally, are spoilt for choice. Interior, jewellery and attire from just about any year will never look out of place. So take your pick… Which is your favourite era?
This blog post was written by Kelly of Henryka, a lover of all things pretty and silver jewellery, in her spare time she likes to cook and listen to rock & roll.