Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Earrings, silver, glass, gilding, fretwork, engraving

Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

Russian jewelry’s main types were formed in the XVI-XVII centuries, during the period of the formation of the Russian centralized state. Later, the set of Russian national jewelry was enriched with new forms and types of products. Jewelry, along with traditional jewelry, is firmly embedded in the folk costume.
In the XIX century, the national identity was most fully preserved in the costumes and decorations of the peasants. In the folk environment, jewelry was the complement of mainly female festive attire. However, men often wore rings or rings and an earring in one ear.

The costumes of peasant women from different regions of Russia had a noticeable originality. Of the many local options, two main complexes stand out: North Russian and South Russian. The basis of the north is a shirt and a sundress. In cut, they resemble Old Russian clothing, the sundress is replaced by a skirt and apron. As a headdress in the North, women wore kokoshniks. The girls wore crowns. The clothes were complemented with multicolored, beaded jewelry, and the girls had ribbons.

Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Earrings. Silver, glass. Graining. L. 4,5 cm

Earrings Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

Russian jewelry is quite diverse in types. The earrings were the most popular in all parts of Russia. Earrings were worn since ancient times. In Russia, they were so popular that there was even a special master Berezniki. This specialty was preserved by the village jewelers in the XIX century.
The most characteristic forms of earrings were formed in the XVI— XVII centuries; many of them remained unchanged, repeated in various versions, until the beginning of the XX century. These are numerous earrings : single, double or triple. They consisted of one or more rods with colored stones and various beads strung on them. Was more earrings “stuffed cabbage”, the silhouette is reminiscent of the hovering of birds, ornamented with simple geometric patterns.

Pendants on the earrings in Russian jewelry

There were also a variety of cast earrings with movable pendants.
For a long time, the earrings were not threaded into the ears, but attached to hats and hair. Only since the beginning of the XVIII century, the earlobe of earrings began to be developed more subtly. It could be attached to the hinges, which allowed you to wear earrings directly in your ears. This part of the earrings begin to decorate as carefully as the pendants. They began to decorate it with stones and glass, or designing it in the form of snakes and fish.
At the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries, the design of earrings is complicated by the use of bows and pear-shaped pendants. The pendants on the earrings were made of both metal and stones and glass. For the first time, there were earrings made entirely of openwork filigree. Their plastic shape was subtly combined with the flexible plant pattern of the skani. Shvenzy earrings are decorated with typical for this time of the trefoil motif.
Products of this period, the value of the stone increased. In the XIX century, it no longer just complements the metal earring. Earrings have become more colorful. Accentuating the composition, it becomes the dominant of the entire decorative structure of the decoration.

Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Earrings. Metal, pearl, nacre, glass, stringing

Russian jewelry necklaces of the XVIII-XIX centuries

Another distinctive national jewelry was the necklace. They looked like three-dimensional chains of gilded silver with beads of faceted glass strung on them and blown metal balls. The clasp of the necklaces was most elaborately decorated. It was decorated with colored glass. The clasp was framed with thin convex metal bands or filigree. Necklaces are very decorative, plastic, rich in color.
To this day, they have survived only in a few versions.
Of the neck ornaments, the most widely used among Russian women were beads. They were made of amber, garnets, carnelian, pearls, and glass. The most affordable were amber beads. The most valued round amber, the so-called “uncut”, which was worn on holidays. Beads made of faceted” shorn ” amber were an everyday decoration.

Tsepyrus jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

A variety of chains have also been widely used in the national Russian costume. Chain-binding is one of the oldest types of Russian jewelry production. For many centuries, the methods of making and decorating chains have been perfected. They were made as three-dimensional and flat. The first ones include the so-called ring chains, which are widely used and consist of separate rings. As a rule, they were characterized by excessive massiveness. They were a little rough.
The circuit was considered to be dominated by men jewelry. Flat chains, equally worn by men and women, are characterized by a wide variety of types, links. They were made of both smooth wire and ribbed or filigree. In the XIX century, the most widely used flat chain of links. Form of resembling horizontally placed in several rows of eights, separated by short rods, as well as from rosettes decorated with enamel. There were also links in the form of various rows of peculiar wheels, on the axis of which small smooth circles are soldered. Delicate, elegant pattern of weaving, the use of beautiful filigree elements, and often enamel gave them an extraordinary decorative effect. This allowed the use of chains not only for wearing crosses, icons and panagia, but also as independent jewelry.

Button. Silver. Filigree, graining. L. 6,0 cm

Buttons Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

For several centuries, metal buttons have been a traditional Russian decoration. They were a necessary attribute of women’s and men’s clothing and were intended not only for buttoning, but also for decorating the dress. Buttons were made of various metals, including gold. But it was mainly made of silver and decorated with extremely rich. For their implementation, the most complex jewelry techniques were used: coinage, black, enamel, filigree, grain. Therefore, buttons were very expensive, they were carefully stored and used in the costume even of the XIX century. When their production was practically discontinued, they were not used for their intended purpose. Buttons began to be used as elements of beads and pendants, earrings and necklaces. In the form of buttons, only without an ear, cufflinks were also made, with which Russian peasant women fastened the cut of the shirt at the neck.

Rings and bracelets Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

In the XIX century, various rings and rings were worn everywhere from hand jewelry. Bracelets, so popular in Russia in ancient times, with rare exceptions have disappeared from popular use. Rings and rings were common in all strata of the Russian people. Women and girls of some regions wore simple copper and silver rings without stones. The rings were of the type of wedding rings, sometimes three on one finger, and often on all the fingers of the hand, except the thumb.
The shapes of the rings are quite diverse. Signet rings decorated with engraving were very popular. Sometimes carved with stones, they were mostly worn by men.
Rings with round, square, and octagonal shields were widely distributed. Since the 80s of the XVIII century, the rings were decorated with numerous glasses. At the same time, not only the shield, but also the tire of the product were carefully developed. The use of colored foil, placed under the glass. This created a peculiar effect of a shimmering colorful surface.

Silver rings in Russian jewelry

Appeared in the middle of the XIX century, plate silver rings with a horizontal notch are distinguished by precisely adjusted proportions and the beauty of the silhouette. They can be a model of strictly honed taste and skill of execution.
A certain grace is also possessed by the rings characteristic of this time, in the form of a coiled snake, completely covered with stones. Sometimes they were made in the same way in combination with colored enamels. This type of ring is most widespread among the middle strata of the urban population and the well-to-do peasantry.

Brooch, colored garnets, engraving

Mainly in the same social environment, brooches, pendants and medallions became popular from the middle of the XIX century. As inserts, they used a variety of natural stones of various shapes and facets. These types of jewelry are usually made of precious metals. This is more typical of European dress, and not for the Russian national costume. So they are the same as some other types of products, the wide existence of the Russian peasants did not receive.

Belts. Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries

In some areas of Russia (especially among the Don Cossacks), metal belts were an indispensable addition to the costume. They were made of individual links or leather with metal overlays. The most decorative element of the belt was the buckle. Openwork details and gilding, complex interweaving of plant and animal patterns. They gave an exceptional conviviality to this kind of folk decoration.
These are the main types that make up the traditional set of jewelry of the Russian national costume.
Jewelry was made from various metals, both precious (gold) and non-precious (copper, tin), but most often from silver, a metal available to the average buyer. They were available even to peasants and at the same time had excellent decorative qualities. The masters lovingly preserved its natural color, shimmering brilliance. Solid gilding was resorted to only in cases where the color and compositional solution of the product required it. However, at the end of the XIX century, with the advent of demand for cheap imitations of expensive jewelry, the number of gilded products increased markedly.
At all times, various colored stones were widely used in Russian jewelry. In different periods, preference was given to different stones. However, the love of the Russian people for pearls, which was widely used in the costumes of all segments of society, passes through all the centuries. Its best grades were used for finishing expensive gold items intended for the upper class of society. And small pearls, which were extracted in large quantities in the rivers of Russia, served as an ornament of folk clothing. The pearls are inserted into the jewelry worn in the form of necklaces. Pearls were embroidered with kokoshniks and crowns. It was used as an independent jewelry decoration, and in combination with other stones.

Amber in the Russian jewelry

Amber was very popular in the Russian, especially among the peasants. It is covered with numerous folk legends and beliefs. In the Russian North (in the Arkhangelsk and Olonets provinces), amber beads were worn on the bride before the crown as a talisman against damage. It was believed that they would bring her health and happiness.
Among the urban population, products with grenades were widely used: beads, earrings, brooches, rings, bracelets. Ancient jewelry, mainly in rings and beads, carnelian is often found, the taste for which probably came from the East. In the 19th century, there was an interest in agates and quartz, which in some cases were combined with precious stones and turquoise.
In folk jewelry, expensive stones — diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires. Large pearls were replaced with cheap colored glasses, often placed on foil, beads and mother-of-pearl.
When creating jewelry, Russian jewelers used a wide variety of techniques: casting, forging, coining, stamping, rolling, filigree, grain, engraving, enameling, blackening, gilding. Different art centers in Russia had their own favorite ways of making and ornamenting products. At the same time, the best works of masters have always been distinguished by strict restraint in the use of decorative means.

A. Golikov. Bracelet. Metal, cornelian. Mail plaiting, graining. W. 4,6 cm.
Brooch. Coloured gold, garnets. Engraving.
L. 3,5 cm. W. 2,6 cm.
Pendant. Silver, turquoise, pearl, glass beads. Gilding. L. 6,0 cm.
Ring. Gold, garnets. Casting, hand finishing, enamel.
Earrings. Silver, pearl, turquoise, glass.
L. 5,5 cm.
Earrings. silver, pearl, glass, gilding, fretworks of rolled metal, ribbon, engraving
Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Chain. Silver. Gilding. L. 80,0 cm
Earrings, gold, pearl, fretwork
Buttons. Metal, pearl, glass. Stringing, gilding. L. 3,3 cm
Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Button. Silver, nacre. Filigree, gilding.
D. 2,2 cm.
Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Buttons. Silver. Filigree, graining, enamel. D. 1,5 cm
Russian jewelry of the XVIII-XIX centuries
Earrings. Silver, glass. Casting, enamel.
L. 4,75 cm.
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