Antique Children's Jewelry. Post 44.
Finding antique children's jewelry can be quite a challenge. The hunt is worthwhile as antique children's jewelry makes the perfect Baby Christening or Baptism gift that will last a life-time and be passed on to future generations. For the serious collector, it is a fascinating and unique niche. You could start off with costume or cheap silver items and progress to fine antique pieces. Since I'm never in favor of shoddy items, I would go straight for the gold: the finest, the soonest.
Portraits of children are popular - a lot more so than those of their parents and seniors. We get a good idea of how well-off kiddies were dressed from these paintings. Invariably, they are adorned with at least one jewel, often a talisman to ward off bad spirits and ensure good health. Coral was believed to have health benefits, but sadly, the host of children depicted wearing little coral necklaces did not reap it's rewards. Queen Victoria herself had a baby coral necklace, the like of which is so often seen in portraits of children at the time.
In other cultures, with strong superstitions and beliefs in the supernatural, children are often seen loaded with talismans in various forms, including tons of jewelry. There are famous 'photos of little Indian princes weighed down by enormous quantities of fabulous gems, the likes of which most of us will never see.
Coral's medicinal qualities are again reflected in this very rare pair of children's coral bracelets. Not only are pairs impossibly difficult to find, but a pair of children's bracelets!! Even better, this pair of bracelets can be combined to make a coral necklace for when you want to shake it up a little.
Antique Children's jewelry is not just big-people jewelry cut short. It had to be made so that the proportions were correct. While I believe that children should be out in the garden, digging holes in the mud, other people dressed their babies' fingers in gold and gems. Here are two rings from the late Victorian era.
It was not just jewelry that was made especially for little Johny and Jane. Cutlery was made in small sizes, usually a one-place setting, of incredible beauty and would be given to a beloved child as a life-long gift. While Chinese Export Silver is a subject unto itself, here is an amazing set, probably copied by the brilliant Chinese silversmiths from a European model.