That women love their jewellery is a universal fact. And for anyone with a passion for jewels and the animal kingdom, collecting art jewellery with animal motifs can be a fascinating journey of discovery. From the colourful peacocks to the slithering snakes; cutesy rabbits to mystifying owls, jewellery today is definitely witnessing a unique makeover… one that connects the wearer with ‘nature’ and at the same time making them look oh so glamourous. Say hello to a new kind of jungle – the jungle of bling, which is the hottest new trend revival in the world of jewellery.
Now India is definitely not new to this trend. We have all seen our grannys sporting those exquisite pieces be it necklaces, earrings, rings or bangles designed in the shape of a peacock, one bird that’s been awfully popular in India since centuries. And now Indian and international brands are exploiting this very trend and presenting jewels that are high on the glamour factor and quirky in style. Some of the “most wanted” animals to sport this season are owl, lions, tigers, dragonfly, zebra, panther, frogs, rabbits, snakes, et al.
And there is a plethora of options if you have decided to gauge this trend and make it your style statement this season. From luxe designer brands like Cartier, Chopard, Chanel, Bracialeto, et al for the ones who have no qualms spending big bucks to look stylish to high-street brands like Promod, Aldo, Forever 21, Miss Jo, Accessorize, etc, for the ones who are fond of affordable chic fashion, everywhere you go you will find these cutesy blingy creatures catching your eye.
But how did it all start? We know the ‘India’ part of it, let’s now analyze how did this bling revolution began in other parts of the world.
VINTAGE & ANTIQUE ANIMAL JEWELLERY
Both symbolism and sentimentality were major elements in Victorian jewellery. In the late 1800’s, Darwin’s controversial theories on evolution, as well as new exciting botanical discoveries of the day piqued interest in the natural world. Personal adornment reflected these new interests with jewellery created in forms of insects and animals. Nd wallah, animal jewellery arrived!
CONTEMPORARY ANIMAL JEWELLERY
From an early Cartier diamond-studded gold panther reflecting this famous jeweller’s passion for form, abstraction, geometry, and the animal kingdom (the first Cartier panther ‘arrived’ in 1914 and a vibrant and exquisite parade of owls, eagles, pigs, giraffes, herons, and snakes followed) to Celtic jewellery heaped in symbolism rife with boars (masculine power), bulls (virility, sovereignty, and wealth), and dogs (archetypal symbols of shape-shifters) to an Edwardian Deco era turkey fairly coming alive with delicious purple and lavender color and pizzazz to the contemporary animal inspired wearable art by Laurie Stetzler — every mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, marine animal, insect and arachnid one can possibly imagine has been represented in artfully crafted jewellery in every culture and society.
PERSONALITY ANALYSES THROUGH ANIMAL JEWELLERY IN EARLIER TIMES
The late 1800s and early 1900s was also a time when jewellery helped in reading the wearer like books — the design expressing the wearer’s feelings and hopes. For example, butterflies symbolised the soul, dogs symbolised fidelity, and salamanders and lizards symbolised passionate love!