Monday, 15 October 2012

Gold for Iron: Patriotic Jewelry in 19th century

Berlin iron jewelry first became popular as a patriotic symbol in years 1813-1815, when the Prussian royal family urged all citizens to contribute their gold and silver jewellery towards funding the uprising against Napoleon during the War of Liberation. In return the people were given iron jewellery such as brooches and finger rings, often with the inscription Gold gab ich für Eisen (I gave gold for iron), or Far das Wahl des Vaterlands (For the welfare of our country/motherland), or with a portrait of Frederick William III of Prussia on the back. Jewelry in the early decades of the 19th century were made in Neoclassical or Georgian style (cameos, foliage, motifs from Greek or Roman mythology). In ensuing decades, iron jewelry was often used for mourning jewelry, and changed stylistically to reflect the current Gothic Revival tastes (pointy arches, trefoils, quatrefoils).

Berlin iron jewelry's vogue began to diminish by the mid-19th century, though the Franco-Prussian war sparked a brief revival in the 1870s.

The worth of iron jewelry has been increasing throughout the time, and it still continues to escalate as there will not be more of this historic jewelry. Today, these are collector's items and true pieces are usually found in museums or private collections. Replicas are widely manufactured today and is easy to obtain especially over the internet.

1 comment:

  1. Discover the official Ashlynn Avenue online store. Purchase the latest in women's fashion in our shop today