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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Hungarian jewelry

Articles of jewelry made in Hungary, principally during the 14th to 17th centuries. Gold was plentiful, and the art of the goldsmith flourished, especially at the height of the Middle Ages; but royal decrees regulated its use, and much of the jewelry was made for export trade.

Among the popular articles were gold and gilded silver bracelets, anklets, finger rings and earrings, as well as spangles and buttons to be sewn on garments, but mainly buckles and clasps for leather belts from which were suspended shield-shaped sabre tacheplates. In the 11th century Byzantine influence was conspicuous; later, Gothic styles prevailed with motifs drawn from chivalry. In the early 16th century the conquest by the Turks led to a decline in the making of jewelry until it was revived in Transylvania.

During the Renaissance the goldsmiths again flourished, and baroque styles were introduced. Pearls were lavishly used to embellish jewelry or were worn in ropes (with up to 2000 large pearls or over 4000 seed pearls on a single rope) made into necklaces or into wide bracelets (worn in pairs) or used in hair ornaments.

Gold jewelry was extravagantly worn from the 17th century, often decorated profusely with gemstones, and ornate pieces were worn at weddings and social occasions. During the 18th/19th centuries articles of indigenous design were made.

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

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