Reliving the joy of vintage jewellery
Vintage jewellery speaks in a loud, bold language.
The style, elegance and history bound up in pieces from a by-gone era make them gifts which carry with them years’ worth of stories and meaning. Vintage jewellery also acts as highly individualized statements for those who like to stand out from the crowd.
So whether you’re looking for a necklace, pendant, ring, brooch or exotic item, as a gift or for yourself, here’s our guide to why our vintage jewellery collection is a great place to start your search.
For those who like to stand out from the crowd or make a bold entrance at a party, there’s nothing that can surpass the style of a great vintage piece of jewellery. Unique designs or styles grabbed from high points of movements such as Modernism, Art Deco or the Victorian era, can really make a statement when paired with a little black dress – or you can jump into an era with both feet by finishing off a vintage outfit with the perfect piece of jewellery from that era. People who buy vintage are the type of people who don’t do the “off the peg” look – these are people who care about their style and enjoy the looks on people’s faces when they walk into a room.
That surprise element
Leading on from the vintage jewellery-lover’s individuality comes that wonderful moment when they find something with a real wow factor. And often this appears in the form of an item which is really outside the box – something like a colourful gem-set brooch or an intricate collar style necklace. These are items which not only complement an outfit – they completely make an outfit sing. Modern designers may deal in quirky designs and street style, but nothing can compare with items which simply aren’t being produced these days.
Great jewellery is built to last – it’s made to be passed down through the generations. Nothing proves this more than vintage jewellery which has already spent decades being enjoyed and worn. It may be true that in many cases the history of a vintage piece may not be passed down too, but certainly those hallmarks of quality – endurance and timelessness – will be. And when it comes to tried and tested fashion statements, you simply can’t go past the quality of name designers from each of the modern design movements of the past 150 years. Let’s face it, if you want a quality art nouveau design – then choose something created at the turn of the 20th century.
Not an awards season seems to go by without commentators falling over each other to praise some red carpet display of vintage jewellery. Felicity Jones from The Theory of Everything wore vintage at this year’s Golden Globes, while an exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art called Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection is being credited as the inspiration behind this year’s Oscars preference for ornate bib-form vintage necklace designs and bold drop earrings.
Shopping for vintage is not the same experience as choosing modern jewellery because you really never know what’s on offer. Just scan the vintage collection on the Walker & Hall website to see the incredible range of items, styles, eras and fashions – it’s certainly nothing like choosing a modern designer and seeing what they have on offer. For vintage fans, this experience of not knowing what you’re going to be faced with, of knowing there will likely be something different on offer in a couple of weeks’ time, is the thrill of the chase: you browse and browse until something jumps out at you.
Mix and match modern and old
Some vintage fans love the jewellery because of the history it represents – because it speaks of a by-gone era or of people who aren’t around to still tell their stories. But for others, the love of vintage is that it creates its own modern style. The whole steampunk movement is built around the melding of 19th century aesthetics with the futuristic world of the internet – and that has given rise to fashions which unashamedly mix individual vintage pieces with ultra-modern styles.
Vintage jewellery works on both levels when it comes to recycling. Firstly, and most obviously, it removes the risk of wasting resources by repurposing jewellery intended for one person and presenting it to another. Often jewellery is thought of as an heirloom – something to be passed on through families – but this cannot always be the case and so it’s important that pieces are not lost and that the original effort and creative spark which gave rise to the piece in the first place is carried on.
The second aspect of recycling is how important it is viewed as part of society today – especially in a country which prides itself on a clean, green image. Gifting vintage jewellery shows both that the giver is in tune with this way of thinking, and that the recipient understands its importance. Vintage jewellery therefore becomes a way of wearing your eco-credentials proudly.