Marriage and Wedding Jewelry
Over the last weeks, we have chatted about wedding and marriage jewelry. It was not only wedding rings that expressed this form of antique Sentimental jewelry.
#6897 Antique diamond hair clip - perfect for bridal hair.
Until fairly recently, a vast array of marriage jewelry was given to brides-to-be. In the case of the very wealthy, this might be set out and displayed, along with other marriage gifts for the public to view. Lists of marriage gifts would even be printed in the newspaper. Anything and everything was given to future wives, the variation depended on the wealth and resources of the families. Most fabulous of all were the gifts given by Royalty - from France to Russia, some of which can be seen in museums today. Marriage jewelry inventories of the super-wealthy were enormous, covering pages and pages and pages.
#5623 Set of jewelry making the perfect gift for a bride.
One particular kind of bridal jewelry was made of tiny pearls. We will describe them in a later post. White jewelry, symbolic of the virgin state of the bride, is traditionally worn by Western brides.
Not only the bride wears wedding jewelry. The mothers of the couple often vie with one another to impress and look good on the happy occasion. The mother of either bride or groom has good reason to congratulate herself and celebrate the union of her child. Perhaps she is compensating for the loss of her child to another, his/her growing up and leaving the nest.
#5207 Corsage for mother of the bride
In the past, enormous retinues were common at weddings. Bridesmaids, flower-girls, grooms-men, maids-of-honor - there were a host of functionaries participating in the ceremony. Traditionally, an item of jewelry was presented to every one of these attendants, although with the expense involved, this is rarely practiced today.
#6431. Frog brooch for man or woman to bring felicity in marriage.
Eastern cultures, African and other societies have vastly different traditions regarding wedding jewelry. This would be a specialised field, but I do want to mention the fantastic antique rings worn in India, most commonly by men, as wedding or marriage rings. (picture below).
A young girl recently married in her finery. Everyday marriage jewelry of an Indian woman.
Indian women wore and still wear, even more marriage jewelry and they often wear it on a daily basis. Marriage necklaces, some extremely elaborate, marriage pendants or thali, face jewelry such as nose rings (naath), head ornaments and the myriad bangles from plastic to gold that can cover a bride's arm from wrist to shoulder identify a woman as being married in India.
In India, traditionally, jewelry was a woman's only true possession. Her jewelry was the only thing a woman was allowed to own. Her jewelry was quite literally her bank. Naturally, Indian women love their jewelry, which is usually at least 22k gold.
#5841. Pearl necklace ideal for a wedding.
Some specific forms of bridal jewelry will be discussed in a later post.
#5755 Indian marriage ring originally worn by a man.