Living in Cambridge, my calves have never been firmer. After all, cycling is our sole means of transportation and everyone here has a bike and actually uses it. In fact, this city is the cycling capital of England.
For riding, I’ve adopted a slightly forward tilted position, the better to dissuade others from barring my path. Because while the English are generally polite and cheerful, it’s a different story when they get on their bike.
Students aggressively crash down streets, lanes, causeways – gowns flowing, dresses flapping, with little regard for pedestrians or even cars. Fortunately, the school term hasn’t started yet and the sun is shining so this week it’s pure bliss to be on my bike.
Flying down Grange Road on my way to Parker’s Piece, a gorgeous line of cherry trees in full bloom graces the front of Selwyn College. Daffodils, snowdrops and dogwoods abound, and it’s easy to see why so many master jewelers find inspiration in blossoms.
Flowers, like eggs in Russia, symbolize spring. In the field of silver and jewels, for decades – even centuries – masters worldwide have used floral motifs in their creations. The mid 19th century enjoyed a prolonged period of floral jewellery and this was especially evident in the exuberant treasures displayed at the London Crystal Palace World Exhibition of 1851.
Jewellery followed the naturalistic trends of the period with bracelets and brooches fashioned as flowers, knots, grapevines or branches, and all of it crafted with remarkable creativity. At this particular event, the Russian House of Bolin and Jahn had mastered this style and exhibited technical perfection unmatched by even the French. Their diamond diadem was unlike anything seen in Europe – a foliate design set with masses of diamonds, it appeared light and feathery.
Flowers in jewellery prevailed to the beginning of the 20th century to the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts periods and beyond.
How best to celebrate spring than to dive into our selection of floral inspired jewels and treasures?
Here for your perusal are some of my favorites. Perfect for this season of blossoms and colour, we have as an added bonus these unique creations on precious metal enhanced with gems, enamel or pearls:
P.S. We have a new Russian Art Adventure scheduled for Oct 2018 – a festive celebration of the Silver Age in St. Petersburg, a glorious manifestation of arts and literature that gave birth to pivotal movements such as the avant-garde and Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. Click here or below to explore all our upcoming tours.