AC Silver are proud to present a stunning range of antique Victorian bracelets for sale.
Our selection of Victorian bracelets comes ornamented with diamonds and other precious gemstones. From yellow and white gold to platinum and silver we have it all here at AC Silver.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40+ years of experience within the antique industry, handpicks all Victorian bracelets for sale.
All antique Victorian bracelets for sale include free and fully insured global shipping.
Queen Victoria was coronated during the Romantic period, and ancient symbols of eternal love, such as snakes, were seen in fashion throughout her reign.
During the Victorian period there are many cultural paintings displaying a wide range of dignitary wearing bracelets, including Queen Victoria herself with a multistranded pearl bracelet and Eleanor Pavlovna with a snake bangle worn on her forearm.
Due to the daytime fashion being so conservative and the ears never being exposed it was rare that earrings would be worn; especially with the notion of a pierced lobe being uncouth. To counterbalance this, it can be found that the Victorians wore brooches, hair ornaments and a numerous bracelet, in a range of gemstones, gold and enamel.
The middle of the Victorian period, referred to as the Grand Period saw a continuation in the use of bracelets, with gold being engraved, embellished with scrolling designs and incorporating twisting features, in addition to the prior used enamel and fringe work. The bracelets themselves became wider; many Victorian women would choose to wear one wider bracelet in replacement of their numerous finer examples.
After the death of Prince Albert there was a state of mourning, where black onyx gained popularity, in addition to cameos; a lighter way of expressing sentiment of a loved one. Cameos could be found in brooches but a number of bangles were produced so the wearer would visibly see the portrait more often through the course of the day.
In relation to signifying devotion and affection to loved ones, some bracelets and bangles would contain the popularised plaited “hairwork”, which was incorporated with gemstones and metal.
One of the most unusual bracelets of the Victorian period is one owned by Queen Victoria herself, which incorporated her children’s baby teeth.
During the industrial revolution the use of factories and modern machinery developed and metalworking was performed on a mass scale; allowing a drop in the cost of jewellery, making it more accessible to the lower economic population. For the middle classes enamel hinged bracelets gained high popularity, with the variety of enamel colours replicating the details of gemstones, in addition to providing an alternative material to portray a decorative scene.
The late Victorian period saw a change in the daily attire, with larger skirts and wider sleeves, which in turn required the jewellery to becoming larger in scale.
Also, the late nineteenth century saw gold bracelets, which made an appearance and occasional functionality of handcuffs. The 1879 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book reports; "A gold handcuff, presented by a gentleman, and locked on the wrist of the fair recipient, is a curious but not uncommon conceit in bracelets, and frequently is used instead of an engagement ring.". Whether these broad gold bracelets were presented with a lock or key, they were meant as a symbol for matrimonial bondage, however not restricted to be worn on the wrist of engaged women. The origin of this fashion is unknown, but was a bold statement to be worn by any Victorian lady.