Medieval Style Jewelry
The Time: 19th Century The Place: The European Continent
A revival is on hand. Gothic architectural motifs begin to pervade
the world of jewelry. Pointed Arches and Quatrefoils are scaled down
to size and incorporated into golden brooches and even
Quiz time. Who of you know what a Ferronni�re is? Hmmm? You maybe?
Or you? Or you? Dzzzt! Wrongo oh great jeweler with knowledge of
gnat. Not that I knew … but that’s another story. A Ferronni�re is
a jewel worn on a ribbon across the forehead. Bring it back into
vogue folks. The more things change … the more they remain the
same. Ferronni�re mam’selle? A ring for his nose perhaps. But I
digress … as I am occasionally wont to do. One more thing …
before I go on. The French word for Forehead is: “Front” --the T is
silent … for those of you who are etymologically inclined.
Restoration of Gothic Churches was in full swing. An extra addendum
to add inspiration to the already enriched mind of the local
jeweler. The material at hand boggled the imagination. Monsters and
Saints and scenes of courtly love. War mementos as pendants were
created depicting noble Crusaders on their knees bidding farewell to
their loved ones by kissing their hands. I might have expressed my
farewell emotions a tad differently … but that’s me. Saints were
framed with enamel and inlaid in golden pendants. Monsters crouched
at the ready within a golden trefoil … to be worn upon one’s
breast as a warning to the meek and a come-hither to the bold.
Whatever that means.
Jules Wi�se and his son Louis were in the forefront of this time of
medieval jewelry along with the great Parisian designer Francois-
D�sir� Froment-Meurice with whom Jules collaborated for a while.
This bit of staid must be given … not so much to
disseminate important as to make it seem as if I were
truly doing my homework.
And so we come to our jewelry of choice. I could show you a Gallant
Crusader on his knees bidding adieu to his lady-fair … or I could
show you a saint … gazing out into an empty void with a bland
purity that could only have been created by a bland artist (is bland
artist an oxymoron?) … or I could show you a foul looking creature
crouched and ready to pounce and sink its venomous fangs into any
flesh readily available. By a show of hands mes amis … how many
for the Crusader? And how many for the Saint? And the Monster?
Ah … the human spirit never fails. You have all voted and you have
all chosen well. Question is … in your secret heart … did you
vote for the picture you are about to see. Go take a look … and
see if you voted with the majority. Parenthetically … I had
nothing to do with the choice. I merely followed the vote. If you
get a chance … let me know if you voted with the majority … or
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Gothic
… where you’ll see an image of a 19th century medieval pendant.
And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week. Benjamin Mark
TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel – 1-800-20-TYLER