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Downton Abbey 

The following blog was written by a “jewel” of a friend of Past Era Antique Jewelry…   

Dear Friends.


Like many of you every Sunday evening I escape to the world of Downton Abbey——that soothing Edwardian fantasy world where I,  of course, am a countess, not a cook. Julian Fellowes has beautifully captured a past era and those of us who love spending a great deal of time at PAST ERA ANTIQUE JEWELRY watch in our own special way. We sit closely to our televisions waiting for a great jewellery moment.  Our expectations are merited.  Cora, Countess of Grantham was an American heiress who would have brought a fabulous trousseau of jewels (think Consuelo Vanderbilt) with her to England in addition to daddy’s robber baron dollars that saved Downton.  Two of the most fabulous jewellery collectors and arbiters of fashion, Queen Alexandra, the beautiful, longsuffering and very much bejeweled consort of Edward VII and her daughter-in-law Queen Mary wife of George the V dominated this period.   Both Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary knew quite a lot about acquiring serious quality bling (think the Cullinan diamond and its by products which the present queen refers to as “Granny’s Chips” and the Empress Feodorovna necklace and tiara).   Alas, so far no jewellery worthy of these ladies has come into view. The lockets, the lavalieres, the negligee necklaces worn by the ladies of Downton appear historically accurate but jewellery of the period was small in scale so unless there is a long lens close up it is hard to gain more than a general impression.  Perhaps we are spoiled by the vividly photographed Edwardian jewellery on the PAST ERA website.  I have caught myself on more than one occasion wondering if the Crawleys had not sold their really good things to Marion Glober for her shop. 


Downton Abbey is such the rage there are even games on the PBS website. I have invented my own game of which Past Era piece would be worn by which character. These are some of my selections:


This wonderful diamond and emerald heart pendant would be perfect for Lady Sybil. The emerald is a secret symbol of her Irish chauffeur. 

Edwardian 14K yellow gold diamond and emerald heart locket; circa 1900 

 I really want Lady Mary to marry Matthew and be happy and I think that this fabulous moonstone and diamond ring would be a perfect wedding gift to her from her mother. It was made for Lady Cora from a stone in her beloved American father’s stickpin when she came to England to marry Lord Grantham.  I do so love the custom of close family giving good jewels to brides.   Think about it. Have you ever heard that corning ware is a girl’s best friend?  

Edwardian Platinum and 18K Moonstone and Diamond ring

  I think Lady Cora would definitely have worn this lavalier.


Edwardian diamond and green tourmaline necklace



Of course Lady Violet needs a quizzing glass. 


Victorian Enamel Quizzing Glass 





To be continued..please check back for some jewelry selections for the ladies of Dowton Abbey….


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