If the good looks or scandals of period drama series Bridgerton aren’t your cup of tea (which, let’s face it, they probably are), there’s at least one good reason to watch: the Regency-era jewels. “The Prince Regent, for whom the era is named, was a great patron of fine arts and architecture, so it’s not surprising that all the decorative arts flourished at this time,” explains Nicole Corsini, the marketing director at Lang Antiques. “Both men and women of exclusive upper-class society used jewelry to display their wealth and telegraph their social status.”
It was a period during the early 19th century when everything was still made by hand, and jewels were often cut as cabochons or early facet patterns (such as rose and table cuts), set in closed foil-backed settings that enhanced their color and sparkle in candlelight. “Fashion and jewelry of that era were strongly influenced by ancient Roman– and Greek–inspired neoclassical design, thus Regency pieces tend to be more refined and elegant rather than ornate and rococo,” says Corsini.
Aside from being a show all about social status, upper-class society, and hierarchy where Edwardian era pieces would naturally fit, there’s an interesting reason why Edwardian jewels are used in Bridgerton. “There was a strong Regency revival in the early-20th century, during what we know as the Edwardian era, where neoclassic designs were once again in fashion,” says Corsini. “This may be one reason why more easily acquired Edwardian jewelry is used so frequently in Regency-period dramas.”
Plus, a closer look at the pieces curated for each character can reveal more about them. For example, Daphne, the Duchess of Hastings, wears more delicate and refined pieces to emphasize her elegance, while the more eager Featherington family wears brighter and bolder pieces to draw attention to themselves.
Below, we’ve included some of the best examples of antique pieces from Lang Antiques’ collection.
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