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Edwardian Lace Jewelry


#1

Lila,

The original Edwardian pieces made between 1900 and 1910 were
handmade using platinum wire.

The bulk of the estate pieces seen in the market today that are
referred to as Edwardian are actually pieces made between 1920 and
1940 and were die stamped.

These later pieces often referred to as filigree, pierced design,
lace work or Edwardian style jewelry have a very different look to
them than the Original Edwardian pieces

Greg DeMark
www.demarkjewelry.com


#2
The original Edwardian pieces made between 1900 and 1910 were
handmade using platinum wire. 

I am going to take a huge exception to the above statement. Edwardian
pieces were made by piercing almost exclusively. Piece was
constructed in the regular manner and than was made as light as
possible by careful piecing.

I will go even further and say that if you see a piece which is made
using platinum wire, it is either a bad imitation, or an outright
fake.

Leonid Surpin


#3

Leonid,

I have dealt in and studied Antique and Vintage jewelry first hand
for over 30 years. I will never say I know everything there is to
know but I will say that I am well versed.

During any time period there may be artists or jewelers working on a
similar style using differing techniques.

There may very well have been pieces created between 1900 and 1910
in the Edwardian style using hand piercing but handmade pieces using
Platinum wire and flatwire folded into a filigree and then milgrained
is in fact from 1900 to 1910 and not a bad imitation.

The bulk of the pierced and die stamped pieces are actually from
after 1910 and remained popular until the 1940’s.

Greg DeMark
www.demarkjewelry.com


#4

Hello Leonid and others;

I am going to take a huge exception to the above statement.
Edwardian pieces were made by piercing almost exclusively. 

I believe Leonid is right. I’ve been doing a lot of restoration on
antique jewelry for years and I’ve never seen anything from that
period that looked like it was constructed from wire. There is a lot
of construction involved, especially the understructure, but if you
loupe an article like this, you can see it’s pierced. I’ve done work
like this by engraving first, then piercing along the engraved lines
where I want openings. I would also question the statement that the
die struck articles are from the 20’s and 30’s. I’m pretty sure I’ve
seen die struck version from earlier. “Edwardian” refers to the
period of King Edward VII of England who reigned from 1901 to 1920.

David L. Huffman


#5

Greg,

The technique of piercing, to achieve the results one can observe in
Edwardian Jewellery, was not easy to master and pieces do exist where
attempts were made to imitate the effect using wires, but they dated
to later periods. There are also pieces which were cast from the
molds
made from Edwardian pieces, they also look like they were made from
wires.

First you should be aware that Hallmarking in England was very
strictly enforced. In the Edwardian Period jewellers were using
silver solder to joint platinum. The piece constructed of wire would
have never have made through the hallmarking. Even if a jeweller had
superior soldering skills, still the risk was to great, because
pieces that were sub-par were destroyed.

Second to make platinum wire in that period was extremely difficult.
Wire making required frequent annealing. Platinum should be brought
to bright orange to remove work hardening. Since most of the heat
sources at that time were carbon based and platinum is easily
contaminated with carbon at high temperatures, the technological
limitations were difficult to overcome and platinum wire was used
very infrequently. It is for that reason, the pieces constructed of
platinum wire should be a suspect for dating errors.

The third reason is that wire due to its round cross-section, even
when it is flattened, does not have the required strength. To insure
strength, the pieces were pierced in such a way that it looked like
thin wire from the top, but was much thicker on the inside; the
cross-section of every element was triangular, so the pieces were
looking very light, but also were very strong. When inner walls were
polished, so the thickness on the bottom was invisible. Polishing was
done with coarse thread also held in a saw frame. The technique was
very pain-staking and that is why many attempts were made to replace
the whole process with something else at later time.

That is why the term “Edwardian Jewellery” has a very precise
meaning for jewellers and it is that meaning that I was referring to.

Leonid Surpin.