Saturday, July 12, 2008

Victor Victorian

Ever since I was little, I've had an odd thing for the Victorian (and early Edwardian) era... don't know why, but I have distinct memories of pretending to be a Victorian orphan, accent and all. I never thought that it would actually be a source of inspiration, style-wise. It's not the clothes that I look at though, rather, it's Victorian jewelry and how they wore it. I am particularly fond of the way they layered necklaces, both chunky and delicate, all the while adding brooches and lockets to the mix.
I am constantly searching for the perfect Victorian locket.

I love the different lengths and various brooches.

This necklace is amazing, especially the way it falls and is pinned.Her necklace falls at just the right spot below the collar bone and is the epitome of simple elegance (with a hint of sultriness).

These photos inspire me in terms of how I layer my costume jewelry and vintage brooches, but they also have inspired me to collect Victorian pieces of my own. So far, my collection is small but I'm always searching for more, both at antique markets and especially on eBay. I have a photo-charm necklace that has a photo of one dapper gentleman on one side and a different man on the other. I also have a brooch that apparently was from a nurses uniform and as well as a charm bracelet.

The most intriguing thing about vintage or thrift shopping is finding things with a bit of history, and imagining the story behind them. This is especially so with the vintage Victorian pieces that I have found. I wonder...

Who is this fellow? Why did this woman have him on one side of the charm and another fellow on the other? Were they her brothers? lovers? sons? I like to think of some sordid melodramatic love triangle. Probably not, but it's fun to imagine.

This charm bracelet is probably my favorite piece of jewelry. There are just so many charms on it, and again makes me wonder about it's original owner. There is the huge bull (which is perfect for me as a Taurus) and intriguing charms like....

A porcupine, a sewing machine, a faun, a frog, a teapot, a Scottish piper...Maybe she was a Scottish seamstress who loved tea, and had a fondness for woodland creatures, real and mythological alike. Erm, it's possible?

(Victorian Images via (1) tastevick's flickr; (2 & 3) ggaabboo's flickr; (4) V&A Lafayette Studio)

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