Would anybody know of any reference works for the everyday and
best jewellery worn by middle-class people between 1600 and 1850 in
England and North America?
My area of study is in the pre 17th century eras, where there has
been a lot of recently released stuff on finds from the working and
middle classes from places like London and York; so I don’t have a
lot of early modern resources.
You could try Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewlerers by
Patricia E. Kane
The bibliography in that one may give you some good leads.
Based on my medieval and renaissance sources, much the same forms
can be found in everyday jewelry, just in lesser metals and stones.
At least for the early modern era, you have a lot of portraiture to
work from, even of not so wealthy people.
You could also contact the people at Colonial Williamsburg
Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL