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Style Refferance

Okay I’ve been asked to design a piece for a play, set around Louis
XVI’s era. I’ve been scanning the Internet for pictures to get a
feel for the style of the time period and all I can find is chairs,
clocks, furniture and flatware.

I have vague ideas about chokers or wide drippy necklaces that are
trying rather hard to be chandeliers. Yes the piece I’ve been asked
for is a necklace, but honestly even pictures of bracelets would help
more then chairs!

Norah Kerr

I've been asked to design a piece for a play, set around Louis
XVI's era. I've been scanning the Internet for pictures to get a
feel for the style of the time period and all I can find is
chairs, clocks, furniture and flatware 

if there was a book at the library with photo’s of the french crown
jewels. -

regards goo

One suggestion :look up Vieux Carre,french quarter New Orleans.and
antiques the store catalogues are full of period jewelry from French
makers in the late 17th early 18th centuries a.c.e…Marie Antionette
a fairly new and not great release, has a lot of period design to
pause the dvd on…,Under set design and costume keywords type in Sun
King, and you’ll get a lot of info,New Orleans’ Cabildo and
Presbytere have an online collection of Louis XVI period items,and
how they were displayed in that era,and by the citizenry ( albeit
upper class). The historic New Orleans collection also has a great
deal of XVI period materials…just some thoughts


Look for paintings, primarily, portraits of that time period. Try
the Museum websites or art books at the Library. Wasn’t he married to
Marie Antoinette? How about watching the movie or searching pictures
of that movie for inspiration? Search Marie Antoinette on Google,
then look at the images results too. And there is It sounds like a really fun project!


Vera Battemarco
Couture Artisan Jewelry ™


I’d suggest searching on Marie Antoinette’s jewels… possibly even
referencing the recent movie with Kirsten Dunst as they did quite a
bit of historical research into fashion, as I understand.

That should give you a bit of an idea of the style to work with, at
least. Soiunds like a fun and interesting project!

Good luck!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry

Hi, Norah. I’m not really an expert on historic jewelry, but…
Louis XVI was the late 18th century, which is the classical period.
Since you only need one piece of jewelry, apparently, it’s not all
that hard - doing a whole line would be more. Basically that period
through the Victorian, Georgian and even Edwardian times is typified
by what’s called “The Garland Style” - acanthus leaves, lots of
nature, figurative pieces, lots of detail, enameling, pearls, often
heavy in look if not weight. Since stage jewelry is exaggerated and
you don’t need the detail of a real piece, I’d suggest some of these
places, and you’d be near enough in style: -a few of that period

That’s probably good - if you did something frilly and leafy that’s
fairly symmetrical you’d probably be ok - something with pearl beads
maybe (I doubt the budget includes real ones…)


From the that I could gather:

They wore something like a choker or a collar, long necklaces and
girandoles-earrings with 3 hanging elements in pendeloque form.

The design motifs typical of this period: garland-like curves in
chains, slender leaves, branches and flowers with a naturalism
underlined by soft colours, coloured stones in the centre of the
jewel, delicate bows, repitition of form giving an overall heavy
impression though the individual units would be light.

I hope this helps.

This is a best site I found, start from:
some other info at

What a fun job!

Hi Norah,

Actually chairs, clocks, furniture, from the period are all good
beginning sources for getting a ‘feel’ for the style you’re going
for. You can look at period jewelry in museums to find things like
proper gem cuts and popular colors, but without the surrounding
context, it’s hard to create a piece that looks authentic. You really
want to look at everything from the period for ideas and clues to
’what’ the fashion was. It also helps to research the history for
clues to ‘why’ certain design elements were popular. Take a close
look at portraits from the period, and focus on not only the jewels
worn, but also pay close attention to the clothing, accessories, and
the architecture of items in the portrait. You’ll start to notice the
more minute common design elements in everything from jewelry,
textile patterns, furniture motifs, weaponry, etc. Also keep in mind
that for the stage, the piece usually doesn’t need to be accurate in
authenticity of construction. You really want it to be big and bold
for the audience. Take the design elements you use and really
exaggerate them. I think you’re on the right track with something
wide and dripping with sparklies. Good luck on the project! It sounds
like fun work!

Best regards,

Lyn Punkari
Darkridge Jewels

Thanks for the links, they have been a huge help!

There is a budget to contend with which will be a challange, but the
director wants to keep the piece herself so it’s a bit more then you
would expect (and suddenly I have less corners I can cut too)… I
just didn’t want to sink an entire day of the budget on being lost
in the Toronto Refferance Library. I’m getting advertising which I
can put against ~some~ of the labour, but seeing as I haven’t
designed it yet I haven’t costed out the materials yet. laughs Good
thing I love a challange yes? I also think I’m going to be loving the
strong Canadian dollar.

Anyway thank you, as always you guys rock!

Norah Kerr