The Grand Period (1861 – 1885)

The mid-Victorian period, also known as the Grand period, followed the Romantic period and witnessed a significant shift in jewellery design from delicate to bold. This change reflected the evolving social roles and representation of women during that time. The Grand period saw the emergence of imitation and costume jewellery as well. This period coincided with the rise of women in business and politics, as they demanded the right to vote, study at universities, and earn their own money.

Key features of the Grand period included:

  • Themes: Insects, such as flies, butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles, were commonly featured in jewellery designs.
  • Materials: Gold was often used to create a soft look, along with colourless stones, silver, jet, ivory, and pearls.
  • Popular jewellery items: Earrings, brooches, bracelets, necklaces for evening outings, and lockets as casual daywear were common.

The death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, in 1861 also inspired the use of mourning jewellery during this period.

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