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Necklaces & Chains

Necklaces are one of the oldest forms of adornment. The earliest examples were made of wood, bone, and shell; they were incorporated into spiritual practices and have developed into highly decorative designs since then. Beaded necklaces were prevalent in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Babylon; and beads were made from carnelian, lapis lazuli, agate, and gold. In Ancient Greece, elegant and delicate gold necklaces set with gemstones were worn by women; while in Ancient Rome, pearl necklaces were worn by members of the elite. Necklaces were not as commonly worn in the medieval or baroque periods but surged in popularity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the necklines on women’s dresses became lower.

Velvet ribbons with pendants, pearl collars, and rivière necklaces were popular during this period. Empress Eugenie of France popularised the layered necklace look, as she often wore many necklaces at once. During the Edwardian period, pearl necklaces became fashionable and have remained a popular style ever since. Bentley & Skinner are pleased to offer a wonderful range of necklaces, including pearl necklaces, ribbon necklaces, chokers, beaded necklaces, torques, and necklaces set with a variety of fine diamonds and coloured stones.

Chains are another ancient form of adornment, as they have been made for thousands of years and used in jewellery for many purposes. It was the Ancient Egyptians who first threaded delicate links of gold and silver together, creating chains not dissimilar from the ones worn today. Chains became utterly popular in the Victorian era, as both men and women favoured them for their practical use – to hang pocket watches, fob watches, gloves, muffs, and more. These Victorian chains are distinctively long and weighty, and although pocket watches are not in fashion anymore, these chains make ideal necklaces.

Bentley & Skinner carry a wonderful selection of chains, both antique and new. We are delighted to present the chain necklaces of contemporary jeweller Lucie Heskett-Brem, known as the Gold Weaver of Lucerne, who uses ancient and long-forgotten techniques to painstakingly create delicate and detailed chains by hand. These chains are magical, one-of-a-kind pieces, and are imbued with the kind of craftsmanship used thousands of years ago.

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Necklaces & Chains

Necklaces are one of the oldest forms of adornment. The earliest examples were made of wood, bone, and shell; they were incorporated into spiritual practices and have developed into highly decorative designs since then. Beaded necklaces were prevalent in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Babylon; and beads were made from ... Read more
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