A collection of antique or vintage necklaces and pendants comprises many style and designs, all of which have a place in your jewellery wardrobe. In the Victorian era, many women wore what is known as a Victorian long chain, or muff chain. As the name suggests, these chains were often over 60 inches long and were use to thread through a muffler or, alternatively, they were the feminine version of a watch chain being fitted with a clip style catch to take a ladies' pocket watch.
Of course, silver or gold lockets were also staples of the antique necklaces. The gold lockets of the era are usually smaller and were oval, square or round shaped with hand or machine engraved patterns. Larger bold silver lockets were also often engraved, or decorated with a buckle design, and many were worn on chunky silver collars which, although the look heavy, are actually very comfortable to wear. The later Victorian years and Edwardian period saw a change to more delicate pendants. These were often created in 9ct or 15ct gold wirework style and were set with gemonstones such as peridot, amethyst, aquamarine and pearls. Art Nouveau silver pendants were often decorated with rich, translucent enamels in rich blues and turquoise colours. The best and often most collectible examples of silver art nouveau necklaces are those by Tiffany and Charles Horner.
For many jewellery wearers, the Art Deco period is the creme de la creme. The era was a short one and so true examples in good condition can be hard to find. The typical style of the Deco era is architectural and angular with arrow motifs and stepped patterns reflecting the design of the Empire State building in New York. The most typical examples are those set with diamonds but other gemstones such as onyx and coral also typify the age.
Mid-20th century necklaces from Scandinavian designers such as the David Andersen workshop are very covetable and an affordable item of designer jewellery. Some of the necklaces are decorated with enamel and their geometric shapes seem fresh and contemporary, making them as relevant and wearable today as they were in the 1960s and 1970s.