Historic references for jewelry

I am having the devils own time trying to find references for
medeival and renaissance jewelry designs. Anyone have any
references that they can share?

Silverhorn Designs

By the best reference available is:

Mediaeval European Jewellery, Ronald W. Lightbown; Victoria &
Albert Museum, 1989 ISBN 0 948107 87 1 It is a large wonderful
book, but somewhat expensive.

(I have a several page list of books on Mediaeval European
Jewelry with comments if you are interested let me know privately
what you are specifically interested in.) Mark Chapman

Aloha Elizabeth, You may like to check out “Goldsmiths Art, 5000
years of jewelry and hollowware” by Hermann Schadt. It is
printed by Arnoldsche, Verlagsanatalt GmbH, Senefelderstr. 8,
D-70178 Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright 1996. some others are
"History of Ornament, Ancient and Medieval" by A.D.F. Hamlin,
Styles of Ornament by Alexander Speltz and Handbook of Ornament
by Franz Sales Meyer. There is also some things in the Dover
Publications Catalog, that may be of interest. Good luck in your

Best Regards,

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking


Although I haven’t checked out these resources personally, they
were given to me by a friend of mine in the SCA (which I’m also
a member of). If you have any luck, let me know. I would love to
be able to use them myself. Here you go:

The Story of Jewelry by J. Anderson Black
Four Centuries of European Jewelry by Ernle Bradford
Jewels of the Renaissance by Ann Somers Cocks
The History of Beads by Lois Sherr Dubin
A History of Jewellery, 1100-1870 by Joan Evans
Magic Jewels of the Middle Ages and Renaissance by Joan Evans
Jewelry History and Technique from the Egyptians to the Present by Guido Gregorietti
Anglo-Saxon Jewelry by Ronald Jessup
The History of Jewels and Jewelry by Ingrid Kuntzch
5000 Years of Gems and Jewelry by Francis and Beard Rogers

Hope this helps!


Hello Elizabeth:

I have a couple of ideas that might help you out. First I would
call the Cloisters Museum in Fort Tryon Park in NYC. The entire
museum is dedicated medieval and renaissance art and they have
some really beautiful jewelry on display. They may have books in
their gift shop that might help you out. Also the Metropolitan
Museum has a nice collection of Jewelry and art from those

Also I bought a couple of interesting books second hand that are
great to reference to. The first book is “Five Centuries of
Jewelry” which has an entire picture filled chapter on the
Renaissance. The publisher is Leon Amiel and the authors are Jan
Lanllier and Marie Anne Pini.

The second book is titled “The Ring” Design Past and Present.
The book is by Sylvie Lambert. This book is still being
published. I am not sure about the first book.

Also, there is a gentleman in NYC who sells jewelry books and
catalogs by appointment only. He may be able to special order
some books for you. His name is Charon Kransen. You can contact
him by phone 212-627-5073.

I hope this helps!


Hi Elizabeth, First and foremost, go to the library and check out
books with large color plates of art from your period of
interest. Ususally the artists do a nice job of rendering the
jewelry in a mostly accurate fashion and it is not too hard to
figure out the appropriate method, e.g. fabrication, casting of
putting the piece together. If you can get hold of someone in
your area who has a copy of Lightbown’s Medieval European
Jewellry it is by far one of the best references I have ever
seen. Also good are Cellinni’s “A Treaties on Goldsmithing and
Sculpture” and Theophillus’ “On Divers Arts” , both of these
books were written in period and are available in paperback from
Dover. Also available from Dover is Dame Joan Evans “A History
of Jewellry 1100-1870”. There are lots more books available
depending on what your time period and geographical area of
interest are, I was able to find many of my books at Borders and
at Barnes and Noble as well as museum shops and used book stores,
you have to keep your eyes and your mind open. Another idea is
to contact your local chapter of the Society for Creative
Anachronism, there may well be a jewelry specialist nearby. If
you would like more info, or just want to chat about ancient,
medieval or renaissance jewelry, please contact me off list and
I would be happy to share (it is my specialty.).


aka Bianca del Drago (OL , jewelry)