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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Georgian jewelry

Articles of jewelry from Georgia (not to be confused with the Georgian style from England), a region in western Transcaucasia and since 1921 a republic of the USSR. The metalwork dates from very early pre-Christian times to the 18th century and was highly developed, with the processes of gold soldering and filigree being known from c. 1500 BC. Examples from the Akhalgori Treasure of the 6th century BC include elaborate gold head-dresses and earrings, as well as pieces set with gemstones cut en cabochon.

From the 3rd century AD work was done in cloisonné enamel and champlevé enamel, especially in the 13th and 14th centuries. The greatest cultural period was under Queen Tamara in the 12th and 13th centuries, when the master jeweller was Beka, founder of the Opazi style.

During the Persian-Turkish wars of the 16th century, the arts declined, but were revived in the 19th century, when work was done in Niello and with filigree decoration; cloisonné enamel was again used, with the cloisons fixed to a copper base by cold soldering. At all times the Georgians emphasized polychrome decoration by their lavish use of enamels and gemstones.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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