A historical reflection

March 08, 2015

Scandinavia has been producing distinctive jewellery since the Vikings, but the industry really emerged in the 19th century when jewellery drew on Nordic traditions with heavily embellished bracelets, rings and pendants featured ornate knotted designs. Silver was the popular metal used in jewellery with simple gemstone and pearl decorations.

The designs evolved in the 20th century. Norway focused on enamelled metal arts, reflecting the Art Nouveau trends of bright colours and layered floral shapes. In Denmark, jewellery makers focused on sculptured quality. Skønvirke or ‘beautiful work’ saw pieces made in silver with the use of precious stones with motifs of flowers or birds.

One of the most famous Danish jewellery designers, Georg Jenson, opened his own studio in 1904 in Copenhagen. His previous work was highly influenced by natural forms and typically included graceful, simple silver shapes.

During the two world wars, Europe faced material shortages, which forced Scandinavian designers to experiment with other materials including glass, iron, bronze and ceramics.

After the wars, enameled silver was adapted in contemporary styles and exports of mass-produced jewellery started to grow. Common designs included simple enameled butterfly or leaf shapes.

These contemporary and modern designs became a strong theme with a focus on basic geometry to create precise pieces such as earrings and cufflinks. Contemporary became avant-garde in the 1950s and has continued to evolve to the current day.

With such a strong history, steeped in a love for the dynamic design of beautiful jewellery, Scandinavia continues to offer distinctive jewellery to millions of people across the world. Scandinavian Statements was borne out of this appreciation of its Scandinavian heritage and seeks to bring the best of contemporary and traditional jewellery to the UK and further afield.