19thThe 19th century was a period of huge industrial and social change, but in jewellery design the focus was often on the past. In the first decades classical styles were popular, evoking the glories of ancient Greece and Rome. This interest in antiquities was stimulated by fresh archaeological discoveries. Goldsmiths attempted to revive ancient techniques and made jewellery that imitated, or was in the style of, archaeological jewellery.
There was also an interest in jewels inspired by the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It is a testament to the period`s eclectic nature that jewellers such as the Castellani and Giuliano worked in archaeological and historical styles at the same time.
Naturalistic jewellery, decorated with clearly recognisable flowers and fruit, was also popular for much of this period. These motifs first became fashionable in the early years of the century, with the widespread interest in botany and the influence of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth. By the 1850s the delicate early designs had given way to more extravagant and complex compositions of flowers and foliage. At the same time, flowers were used to express love and friendship. The colours in nature were matched by coloured gemstones, and a `language of flowers` spelt out special messages. In contrast with earlier periods, the more elaborate jewellery was worn almost exclusively by women.

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