Bringing Bohemian Glamour from Decadent Decades Past!
Bohemia, which is now a part of the Czech Republic, played an important role in the history of costume jewellery. It was in glass centre of Gablonz, at the end of the Victorian Era that Austrian jeweller Swarovski introduced the first cut-glass crystals to successfully imitate the look of, Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds. In 1892, Swarovski patented a mechanical glass cutter so his crystals could be mass-produced to meet the high demand.
Bohemian costume jewellers also pioneered a technique for replicating the look of Pearls which were enormously popular at the beginning of the 20th Century. Instead of using glass, jeweller makers would cut mother of pearl into beads, which were then shaped and polished until they resembled the real thing. But glass remains the Bohemia region’s most important contribution to costume jewellery.
Beads rivalling those produced in Venice were strung into gaily coloured necklaces which swung from the necks of flappers during the 1920’s. Sometimes filigreed settings held a handful of singular glass stones. Other times, heavier rectangular brooches were crammed to their corners with rhinestones in emerald green, sapphire blue, amethyst purple, and ruby red.
(text Collectors Weekly)
(to be continued….)