A brief history of jewellery

From time to time I like to revisit my folders from my jewellery study days. Sometimes, because I want to refresh my memory of techniques, formulae or specialised tools. Sometimes, for inspiration - to revisit images I'd collected, or moodboards I'd created.  

My latest trip down this memory lane unearthed a time map I had created, plotting the development of jewellery over time. And I thought it'd be interesting enough to share


What is shows

The horizontal line, running though it, plots major historical periods. Purple labels, on the map space, show key historical milestones or cultural trends. And the black text shows the prevailing style of jewellery at the time, including materials used, techniques and key influencers.


I created this to help me sum up the large volume of information I had amassed, researching all things jewellery. Back in an earlier career, I was using perceptual maps as a standard tool of the trade. So, what better than use it to understand the historical context and how it was influencing jewellery deveopment over time. The map stops in the later half of the 20th century - like all historical reviews, it's hard to go all the way to the present.


NB: my lens was jewellery development in Europe. Obviously Asia, Africa and South America had their own significant and impressive jewellery cultures. But that would be an enormous task, totally outside the remit of my course.


I hope you find it interesting and discover little nuggets of gold within it!