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An Affair to Remember



By Sanhati Banerjee

There are some things in fashion and jewellery that retain their timeless appeal. They form the classics and are meant to be keepsakes for forever. One such thing is antique jewellery, that will never lose its exclusive aura and a charm that speaks of the glamour of the old world. So, here’s a review on the contemporary state of affairs in the domain of antique jewellery.

ANTIQUE

Antique jewellery, the term rings with the trinkets of a sophisticated era, steeped in notions of valour and grandeur. It symbolises romance of the olden times, when kings used to court their queens, poets use to pen down sonnets for their muse and courtly love was both fashionable and a part of cultural epithets.

 

Know the Types

 

The art of jewellery making in India has existed since time immemorial and with an astounding diversity. In contemporary times, one can opt for antique jewellery that is heirloom or modern antique jewellery which refers to jewellery in gold or silver, that goes through a process of oxidising and is sometimes buried in a pot of clay, to give it a dull look.

 

Starting from the times of the Indus Valley civilisation, the love for jewellery could be found in both men and women and the multifarious ornaments were available in glod, silver, copper, ivory, pottery and beads. 

 

Jewellery from the Gandharva period featured strong Greek or Hellenistic influnces. With the coming of the Sunga period, the use of gold, precious stones like corals, rubies, sapphires, agates and crystals became prominent. With the coming of the Mughal dynasty, more finery and detailing could be seen in Indian jewellery. During the reign of Akbar, pearls, gems and gold were heavily used in designs that were a hybrid of Iranian and Hindu influences. Today, you can very well find Jodha-Akbar styled antique jewellery. Jehangir is credited to have introduced softer designs. Shah Jahan had introduced Dutch designs.

 

The variety in Indian antique jewellery can be found in the fine filigree work of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, meenakari work and gemstone jewellery form of Rajasthan, kundan work of Delhi, filigree work in gold and silver thread, the Ratnachur and Mantasha which are Mughal in origin and others.

 

European antique jewellery are also very popular with Indian women, especially those with an exposure to international jwellery forms. Victorian Jewellery refers to the styles of jewellery that were fashionable during the reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, from her coronation in 1837 until her death in 1901. Estate Jewellery is simply that is passed down by generations and can be decsribed as heirloom jewellery. The jewellery may have been owned decades ago and may have outlived many eras and times and trends in jewellery. Period Jewellery is jewellery that has recognisable characteristics from a specific design period.

 

Puja Sharma, the owner of jewellery store, A Few of My Favourite Things, says “ There are different types of antique jewellery. The most common ones are estate antique jewellery, Victorian, Art Deco and Art nouveau. Jewellery that is between 20-25 years old and made from precious semi-precious stones is Vintage Jewellery. Costume jewelry is made of less valuable materials including base metal, glass, plastic, and synthetic stones; in place of more valuable materials such as precious metals and gems.”

 

Kirandeep Kaur from Bronze Age 1957 says, “Antique jewellery could be tribal, meenakari, kundan or jadau with navratan.”

 

Jewellery designer Daizy Sangla says, “Antique jewelry can be classified in terms of time period along with region. As far as Indian traditional jewellery is concerned, it reigned from as long as the Mughal
period to the time of the British empire. The settings ranging from kundan, polki, to Victorian styles of jewellery.”. 

 

Style Sheet 

 

Kirandeep Kaur says, “These days lots of brides and women relatives wear a cocktail of contemporary and traditional styles of outfits...that’s when Art Deco jewellery can compliment, otherwise traditional is the best. She should decide on a colour and design of the jewellery that would not only match with her wedding oufit but later in life would also be used on other occasions. It should not be too heavy.” 

 

Speaking on how Art Deco jewellery can compliment Indian brides, Puja Sharma says, “Perhaps the best known of all vintage jewellery is Art Deco. Still cherished by many, it is characterised by geometric shapes and bright colours. Art Deco jewellery often features Bakelite, celluloid, enamel and highly polished metals. Intricate, ostentatious, and architectural, Art Deco jewellery best complements a whimsical and modern style.” 

 

Daizy Sangla says, “The urban Indian wedding involves a lot of style statement and colour themes. People lay a lot of emphasis on themes which include Art Deco jewellery as well. Brides-to-be tend to match bold colours and different styles and designs of jewellery with their outfits.” Speaking on the contemporary style options, Daizy further adds, “The modern Indian brides are still opting for traditional ways of dressing on their D-day! Invariably, they support the antique look in jewellery in terms of necklaces and hair accessories (known as matha pattis) in polki (uncut diamonds). Bold rings with heavy traditional stone work are also in vogue.” 

 

Get inspired by these modern twists and combine it with your love for the antiques to create a romantic look on your wedding.

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