We are generalists, in jewellery periods, but highly specialised into Estate & Antique Jewellery. What you will find on the Magpies website covers all the periods described below. We have extensive stock collected over 30 years of dealing and personal collecting. Many of the prime pieces are from our personal collection. As we are downsizing, and working less, we have come to realise we simply cannot justify a private collection worth over $2,000,000. So our loss is your gain. As we will be travelling even more than we have to date, (up to 4-6 months of the year), with the sole purpose of hunting out those unique pieces, you will see some fantastic pieces appear on our website as we find and load them for your pleasure.
We invite you to share our passion for this unique collector field. It is a constantly changing, evolving, fascinating, educational, beautifully satisfying passion and can represent a fantastic investment as you are investing in a product people love, not just for its aesthetic beauty but also because it has already stood the all important test of time.
Periods of Estate jewellery from Georgian to Victorian
Estate jewellery may come from any time period, however the most popular are Georgian, Early Victorian, Mid-Victorian, Late Victorian, Arts and Crafts Era, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Retro, and Art Organique.
Georgian jewellery (1714–1837)
Georgian-era jewellery is fairly hard to come by as much of it has been dismantled over the years. Therefore, it represents some of the most sought-after estate jewellery. When you find a piece, be prepared to pay good money for it. It will be rare and stand high in the ‘great’ investment’s stakes. Look especially for Sterling Silver, hallmarked for the period. You will find Georgian cutlery (Silver Flatware) on this site at excellent prices.
Early Victorian, romantic jewellery (1837–1855)
Early Victorian-era jewellery also featured nature-inspired designs, similar to jewellery of the Georgian era. Frequently, these designs were delicately and intricately etched into gold. Lockets and brooches were popular in daytime jewellery during the early Victorian era, whereas coloured gemstones and diamonds were worn during the evening.
Mid-Victorian, grand jewellery (1856–1880)
Because the Grand or Mid-Victorian era corresponded with the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, many jewellery pieces have solemn, sombre designs. Known as mourning jewellery, the pieces feature heavy, dark stones. Jet, onyx, amethyst, and garnet are frequently found in jewellery from this period. Compared to previous periods, Mid-Victorian-era jewellery features highly creative, colourful designs using shells, mosaics and gemstones.
Late Victorian, aesthetic jewellery (1885–1900)
During the Late Victorian or Aesthetic period, jewellers used diamonds and feminine, bright gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, and spinel. Star and crescent designs as well as elaborate hat pins were also popular. Some scholars believe the aesthetic era began sooner, in 1875, and ended as early as 1890.