1902 Encyclopedia > Jewellery

Jewellery




JEWELLERY (Latin, gaudium; French, jouel, joyau). Personal ornaments appear to have been among the very first objects on which the invention and ingenuity of man were exercised; and there is no record of any people so rude as not to employ some kind of personal decoration. Natural objects, such as small shells, dried berries, small perforated stones, feathers of variegated colours, were com-bined by stringing or tying together to ornament the head, neck, arms, and legs, the fingers, and even the toes, whilst the cartilages of the nose and ears were frequently perfor-ated for the more ready suspension of suitable ornaments.

Amongst modern Oriental nations we find almost every kind of personal decoration, from the simple caste mark on the forehead of the Hindu to the gorgeous examples of beaten gold and silver work of the various cities and provinces of India. Nor are such decorations mere ornaments without use or meaning. The hook with its corresponding perforation or eye, the clasp, the buckle, the button, grew step by step into a special ornament, according to the rank, means, taste, and wants of the wearer, or became an evidence of the dignity of office. That these ornaments were considered to have some representative purpose even after death is abundantly proved; for it is in truth to the tombs of the various ancient peoples that we must look for evidence of the early existence of the jeweller's art.

That the Assyrians used personal decorations of a very distinct character, and possibly made of precious materials, is proved by the bas reliefs. In the British Museum, we have a representation of Samsi Vul IV., king of Assyria (825 B.C.). He wears a cross (Plate XI. fig. 1) very similar to the Maltese cross of modern times. The still more ancient Egyptian jewellery is distinctly brought before us by the objects themselves, placed with the embalmed bodies of the former wearers in sarcophagi, only to be opened in our own time. The most remarkable collection of Egyptian art in this direction is to be found in the jewellery taken from the coffin of Queen Aah-hotep, discovered by M. Mariette in the entrance to the valley of the Tombs of the Kings in 1859, and now preserved in the Bulak museum. In these objects we find the same ingenuity and perfect mastery of the materials as characterize the monumental work of the Egyptians. Hammered work, incised and chased work, the evidence of soldering, the combination of layers of gold plates, together with coloured stones, are all there,—the handicraft being complete in every respect.

A diadem of gold and enamel, found at the back of the head of the mummy of the queen (fig. 2), was fixed in the back hair, showing the cartouche in front. The box holding this cartouche has on the upper surface the titles of the king, "the son of the sun, Aahmes, living for ever and ever," in gold on a ground of lapis lazuli, with a chequered ornament in blue and red pastes, and a sphinx couchant on each side. A necklace of the order or decoration of the Fly (fig. 3) is entirely of gold, having a hook and loop to fasten it round the neck. A small porcelain cylinder (fig. 4) is ornamented with interlaced lotus flowers in intaglio, having a ring for suspension, and fig. 5 is a gold drop, inlaid with turquoise or blue paste, in the shape of a fig. A gold chain (fig. 7) is formed of wires closely plaited and very flexible, the ends termi-nating in the heads of water fowl, and having small rings to secure the collar behind. To the centre is suspended by a small ring a scarabeus of solid gold inlaid with lapis lazuli. These scarabei were in constant use in Egyptian ornaments, and were worn in rings by the military caste. We have an example of a bracelet, similar to those in modern use (fig. 6), and worn by all persons of rank. It is formed of two pieces joined by a hinge, and is decorated with figures in repousse with a ground inlaid with lapis lazuli. A signet ring (fig. 8) has a square revolving bezel on which are four serpents interlaced.

The discoveries of Dr Schliemann at Mycenae and at Hissarlik, the assumed site of ancient Troy, supply further illustrations of ancient jewellery and gold work. In extent and in the wonderful character of the design and workmanship, the relics found at Mycenae present the most perfect examples, although some of the objects brought from the "burnt city" at Hissarlik give evidence of singular skill and ingenuity in the methods of com-bining the various portions of an ornament and finesse in working the gold. From Mycenae the objects ranged over most of the personal ornaments still in use: neck-laces with gold beads and pendants, butterflies (fig. 16), cuttlefish (fig. 10), single and concentric circles, rosettes, and leafage, with perforations for attachment to clothing, crosses (fig. 9), and stars formed of combined crosses, with crosses in the centre forming spikes,—all elaborately ornamented in detail. The spiral forms an incessant decoration from its facile production and repetition by means of twisted gold wire. Grasshoppers or tree crickets in gold repousse suspended by chains and probably used for the decoration of the hair, and a griffin (fig. 17), having the upper part of the body of an eagle and the lower parts of a lion, with wings decorated with spirals, are among the more remarkable examples of perforated ornaments for attachment to the clothing. There are also perforated ornaments belonging to necklaces, with intaglio engravings of such subjects as Hercules and the Nemean lion, and a duel of two warriors, possibly Hector and Achilles, one of whom stabs his antagonist in the throat. Another has a representation of a lion, very archaic in treatment, the style resembling that of the fore part of the lion found on the statue of Sardis, attributed to Crcesus, 560 B.C. There are also pinheads and brooches formed of two stags lying down (fig. 15), the bodies and necks crossing each other, and the horns meeting symme-trically above the heads, forming a finial. The heads of these ornaments were of gold, with silver blades or pointed pins inserted for use. The bodies of the two stags rest on fronds of the date-palm growing out of the stem which receives the pin. Another remarkable series is composed of figures of women with doves (fig. 20). Some have one dove resting on the head ; others have three doves, one on the head and the others resting on arms. The arm3 in both instances are extended to the elbow, the hands being placed on the breasts. These ornaments are also per-forated, and were evidently sewed on the dresses, although there is some evidence that an example with three doves has been fastened with a pin.

Mention must be made of an extraordinary diadem found upon the head of one of the bodies discovered in the same tomb with many objects similar to those noticed above. It is 25 inches in length, covered with shield-like or rosette ornaments in repousse, the relief being very low but perfectly distinct, and further ornamented by thirty-six large leaves of repousse gold attached to it. As an example of design and perfection of detail, another smaller diadem found in another tomb may be noted (fig. 11). It is of gold plate, so thick as to require no " piping" at the back to sustain it; but in general the repousse examples have a piping of copper wire. Diadems of similar form are found on statues of Aphrodite, and also on statuettes of Hercules in ivory, in the Assyrian collection at the British Museum. Fig. 13 represents a remarkably elegant pendant ornament, the design being of an exceptionally beautiful character. A cross of thin gold work formed of four leaves (fig. 18), a finial-like orna-ment (fig. 19), and the head of a pin or brooch evidently suggested by a butterfly (fig. 14), are all characteristic of the gold work of Mycenae.

The gold ornaments found at Hissarlik, in what Dr Schliemann calls the " Treasury of Priam," partake in most instances of the same characteristics as those found in the sepulchres at Mycenae. There are necklaces, brooches, bracelets (fig. 29), hair-pins (fig. 23), earrings (figs. 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28), with and without pendants, beads, and twisted wire drops. The majority of these are ornamented with spirals of twisted wire, or small rosettes, with fragments of stones in the centres. The twisted wire ornaments were evidently portions of neck-laces. A circular plaque decorated with a rosette (fig. 30) is very similar to those found at Mycenae, and a con-ventionalized eagle (fig. 31) is characteristic of much of the detail found at that place as well as at Hissarlik. They were all of pure gold, and the wire must have been drawn through a plate of harder metal—probably bronze. The principal ornaments differing from those found at Mycenae are diadems or head fillets of pure hammered gold (fig. 24) cut into thin plates, attached, to rings by double gold wires, and fastened together at the back with thin twisted wire. To these pendants (of which those at the two ends are nearly three times the length of those forming the central portions) are attached small figures, probably of idols. It has been assumed that these were worn across the forehead by women, the long pendants falling on each side of the face. If, however, the position on which they were found was formerly part of a temple instead of a palace, it may be suggested that they were used as veils for the priests when giving forth the oracles from the shrine.

Jewellery and gold work of a very similar character has been found at Cyprus within the last few years by Major Cesnola. The rings (Plate XII. figs. 5 and 6) have a great resemblance to the Greek, whilst the beetle, which is of green stone set in gold (fig. 6), has a very Egyptian-like appearance. The great similarity in design and workman-ship between these Eastern examples and the gold jewellery and personal ornaments found in Peru and Mexico (figs. 1,2, 3, 4) is not a little remarkable. These, however, are more rude in design, though equally good in workmanship.

Greek, Etruscan, and Roman ornaments partake of very similar characteristics. Of course there is variety in design and sometimes in treatment, but it does not rise to any special individuality. Fretwork is a distinguishing feature of all, together with the wave ornament, the-guilloche, and the occasional use of the human figure. The workmanship is often of a character which modern gold workers can only rival with their best skill, and can never surpass. The pendant oblong ornament for contain-ing a scroll (Plate XL fig. 34) is an example of this, as also the Italo-Greek earring (fig. 32). The earring (fig. 36) is an exquisite illustration of Greek skill in the introduction of the human figure; the rosette for concealing the hook and the winged ornament at the back of the Cupid are beautifully wrought. The other earrings (figs. 33, 35, 37) are all characteristic. The Etruscan examples are of the same character. The pendant (fig. 40), the rosette (fig. 38), and the plaque of gold (fig. 38) repeat some of the forms found at Mycenae, with possibly a little more classic grace of detail and refinement of workmanship. The brooch (fig. 41) is perhaps the most characteristic example of purely classic design, essentially Greek in its principal details, whilst the workmanship is all that can be desired.





The granulation of surfaces practised by the Etruscans was long a puzzle and a problem to the modern jeweller, until Signor Castellani of Eome discovered gold workers in the Abruzzi to whom the method had descended through many generations, and, by inducing some of these men to go to Naples, revived the art, of which he contributed examples to the London Exhibition of 1872, successfully applied to modern designs.

The Merovingian jewellery of the 5th century, the Anglo-Saxon of a later date, and the Celtic as leading to the Gothic or mediaeval, have each distinguishing features. In the first two the characteristics are thin plates of gold, decorated with thin slabs of garnet, set in walls of gold soldered vertically like the lines of cloisonne enamel, with the addition of very decorative details of filigree work, beading, and twisted gold. In Plate XII. figs. 9 and 13 we have examples of Anglo-Saxon fibulae, the first being decorated with a species of cloisonne, in which garnets are inserted, while the other is in hammered work in relief. A pendant (fig. 8) is also set with garnets. The buckles (figs. 10, 11, 12) are remarkably characteristic examples, and very elegant in design. A girdle ornament in gold, set with garnets (fig. 14), is an example of Carlovingian design of a high class. The Celtic ornaments are of hammered work, adapted to uses now comparatively unknown, but display another style of workmanship,—details in repousse, fillings in with amber, rock crystal with a smooth rounded surface cut en cabochon, with the addition of vitreous pastes. The minute filigree and plaited work, in combination with niello and enamel, communicate to the ornaments of this class found in Ireland and Scotland an unmistakable Oriental spirit alike in design and workmanship.

In figs. 15 and 17 are illustrations of two brooches. The first is 13th century; the latter is probably 12th century, and is set with paste, amber, and blue. The brooch in the form of a figure of St Christopher bearing the infant Saviour, and supported by his staff (fig. 16), is of silver gilt. Chaucer mentions such a brooch as worn by the yeoman:—" A Crystofre on his brest of silvyr schene."

Rings are the chief specimens now seen of mediaeval jewellery from the 10th to the 13th century. They are generally massive and simple. Through the 16th century a variety of changes arose; in the traditions and designs of the Ginquecento we have plenty of evidence that the workmen used their own designs, and the results culminated in the triumphs of Albert Diirer, Benvenuto Cellini, and Hans Holbein. The goldsmiths of the Italian republics must have produced works of surpassing excellence in workmanship, and reaching the highest point in design as applied to handicrafts of any kind. The use of enamels, precious stones, niello work, and engraving, in combination with skilful execution of the human figure and animal life, produced effects which modern art in this direction is not likely to approach, still less to rival.

In Plate XII. illustrations are given of various characteristic specimens of the Renaissance, and later forms of jewellery. A crystal cross set in enamelled gold (fig. 18) is German work of the 16th century. The pendant reli-quary (fig. 19), enamelled and jewelled, is of 16th century Italian work, and so probably is the jewel (fig. 20) of gold set with diamonds and rubies.

The Darnley or Lenox jewel (fig. 21), now in the possession of the Queen, was made about 1576-7 for Lady Margaret Douglas, countess of Lenox, the mother of Henry Darnley. It is a pendant golden heart set with a heart-shaped sapphire, richly jewelled and enamelled with emblematic figures and devices. It also has Scottish mottoes around and within it. The earring (fig. 22) of gold, enamelled, hung with small pearls, is an example of 17th century Russian work, and another (fig. 23) is Italian of the same period, being of gold and filigree with enamel, also with pendant pearls. A Spanish earring, of 18th century work (fig. 24), is a combination of ribbon, cord, and filigree in gold; and another (fig. 25) is Flemish, of probably the same period; it is of gold open work set with diamonds in projecting collets. The old French-Normandy pendant cross and locket (fig. 26) presents a characteristic example of peasant jewellery; it is of branched open work set with bosses and ridged ornaments of crystal. The earring (fig. 27) is French of 17th century, also of gold open work set with crystals. A small pendant locket (fig. 28) is of rock crystal, with the cross of Santiago in gold and translucent crimson enamel; it is 16th or 17th century Spanish work. A pretty earring of gold open scroll work (fig. 29), set with minute diamonds and three pendant pearls, is Portuguese of 17th century, and another earring (fig. 30) of gold circular open work, set also with minute diamonds, is Portuguese work of 18th century. These examples fairly illustrate the general features of the most characteristic jewellery of the dates quoted.

During the 17th"and 18th centuries we see only a mechanical kind of excellence, the results of the mere tradition of the workshop,—the lingering of the power which when wisely directed had done so much and so well, but now simply living on traditional forms, often combined in a most incongruous fashion. Gorgeous effects were aimed at by massing the gold, and introducing stones elaborately cut in themselves, or clustered in groups. Thus diamonds were clustered in rosettes and bouquets; rubies, pearls, emeralds, and other coloured special stones were brought together for little other purpose than to get them into a given space in conjunction with a certain quantity of gold. The question was not of design in its relation to use as personal decoration, but of the value which could be got into a given space to produce the most striking effect.

The traditions of Oriental design as they had come down through the various periods quoted, were comparatively lost in the wretched results of the rococo of Louis XIV. and the inanities of what modern revivalists of the Anglo-Dutch call " Queen Anne." In the London Exhibition of 1851, the extravagances of modern jewellery had to stand a comparison with the Oriental examples contributed from India. Since then we have learnt more about these works, and have been compelled to acknow-ledge, in spite of what is sometimes called inferiority of workmanship, how completely the Oriental jeweller under-stood his work, and with what singular simplicity of method he carried it out. The combinations are always harmonious, the result aimed at always achieved; and, if in attempting to work to European ideas the jeweller failed, this was rather the fault of the forms he had to follow, than due to any want of skill in making the most of a subject in which half the thought and the intended use were foreign to his experience.

A collection of peasant jewellery got together by Castellani for the Paris Exhibition of 1867, and now in the South Kensington Museum, illustrates in an admir-able manner the traditional jewellery and personal ornaments of a wide range of peoples in Europe. This collection, and the additions made to it since its acquisition by the nation, show the forms in which these objects existed over several generations among the peasantry of France (chiefly Normandy), Spain, Portugal, Holland, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, and also show how the forms popular in one country are followed and adopted in another, almost invariably because of their perfect adaptation to the purpose for which they were designed.





So far we have gone over the progress and results of the jeweller's art in the past. We have now to speak of the production of jewellery as a modern art industry, in which large numbers of men and women are employed in the larger cities of Europe, but which also has its special localities in which it flourishes, and out of which an im-portant national commerce arises.

Nearly all the great capitals of Europe produce jewellery, but Paris, Vienna, London, and Birmingham are the most important centres. An illustration of methods and pro-cesses and the various kinds of jewellery produced at the present day in the manufacture as carried on in London and Birmingham will be sufficient for all practical purposes, and as giving an insight into the technique and artistic manipulation of this branch of art industry; but, by way of contrast, it may be interesting to give in the first place a description of the native working jeweller of Hindustan. Travelling very much after the fashion of a tinker in England, his "budget" contains tools, materials, fire pots, and all the requisites of his handi-craft. The gold to be used is generally supplied by the patron or employer, and is frequently in gold coin, which the travelling jeweller undertakes to convert into the ornaments required. He squats down in the corner of a courtyard, or under cover of a veranda, lights his fire, cuts up the gold pieces entrusted to him, hammers, cuts, shapes, drills, solders with the blow-pipe, files, scrapes, and burnishes until he has produced the desired effect. If he has stones to set or coloured enamels to introduce, he never seems to make a mistake; his instinct for harmony of colour, like that of his brother craftsman the weaver, is as unerring as that of the bird in the construc-tion of its nest. Whether the materials are common or rich and rare, he invariably does the very best possible with them, according to native ideas of beauty in design and combination. It is only when he is interfered with by European dictation that he ever vulgarizes his art or makes a mistake. The result may appear rude in its finish, but the design and the thought are invariably right. We thus see how a trade in the working of which the "plant" is so simple and wants are so readily met could spread itself, as in years past it did at Clerkenwell and at Birmingham, before gigantic factories were in-vented for producing everything under the sun.

It is impossible to find any date at which the systematic production of jewellery was introduced into England. Probably the Clerkenwell trade dates its origin from the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, as the skilled artisans in the jewellery, clock and watch, and trinket trades appear to have been descendants of the emigrant Huguenots, as the Spitalfields weavers were. The Birmingham trade would appear to have had its origin in the skill to which the workers in fine steel had attained towards the middle and end of last century, a branch of industry which collapsed after the French Revolution.

Modern jewellery may be classified under three heads: —(1) objects in which gems and stones form the principal portions, and in which the gold work is really only a means for carrying out the design by fixing the gems or stones in the position arranged by the designer, the gold being visible only as a "setting"; (2) when gold work plays an important part in the development of the design, being itself ornamented by engraving or enamelling or both, the stones and gems being arranged in subordination to the gold work in such positions as to give a decorative effect to the whole; (3) when gold or other metal is alone used, the design being wrought out by hammering in repousse, casting, engraving, or chasing, or the surfaces left absolutely plain but polished and highly finished.

Of course the most ancient and primitive methods are those wholly dependent upon the craft of the workman; but gradually various ingenious processes were invented, by which greater accuracy in the portions to be repeated in a design could be produced with certainty and economy : hence the various methods of stamping used in the pro-duction of hand-made jewellery, which are in themselves as much mechanical in relation to the end in view as if the whole object were stamped out at a blow, twisted into its proper position as regards the detail, or the various stamped portions fitted into each other for the mechanical completion of the work. It is therefore rather difficult to draw an absolute line between hand-made and machine-made jewellery, except in extreme cases of hand-made, when everything is worked, so to speak, from the solid, or of machine-made, when the hand has only to give the ornament a few touches of a tool, or fit the parts together if of more than one piece.

The best and most costly hand-made jewellery produced in England, whether as regards gold work, gems, enamelling, or engraving, is made in London, and chiefly at Clerkenwell. A design is first made on paper, or drawn and coloured, and when needful with separate enlargement of details, everything in short to make the drawing thoroughly intelligible to the working jeweller. According to the nature and purpose of the design, he cuts out, hammers, files, and brings into shape the constructive portions of the work as a basis. Upon this, as each detail is wrought out, he solders, or fixes by rivets, &c, the ornamentation necessary to the effect. The human figure, representations of animal life, leaves, fruit, &c, are modelled in wax, moulded, and cast in gold, to be chased up and finished. As the hammering goes on the metal becomes brittle and hard, and then it is passed through the fire to anneal or soften it, in fact to restore the particles of gold to their original position. In the case of elaborate examples of repousse, after the general forms are beaten up, the interior is filled with a resinous compound, pitch mixed with fire-brick dust; and this, forming a solid but pliable body underneath the metal, allows of the finished details being wrought out on the front of the design, and being finally completed by chasing. When stones are to be set, or when they form the principal portions of the design, the gold has to be wrought by hand so as to receive them in little cup-like orifices, these walls of gold enclosing the stone and allowing the edges to be bent over to secure it. Set-ting is never effected by cement in well-made jewellery. Machine-made settings have in recent years been made, but these are simply cheap imitations of the true hand-made setting. Even strips of gold have been used, serrated at the edges to allow of being easily bent over, for the retention of the stones, true or false.

Great skill and experience are necessary in the proper setting of stones and gems of high value, in order to bring out the greatest amount of brilliancy and colour, and the angle at which a diamond (say) shall be set, in order that the light shall penetrate at the proper point to bring out the " spark " or " flash," is a subject of grave consideration to the setter. Stones set in a haphazard, slovenly manner, however brilliant in themselves, will look commonplace by the side of skilfully set gems of much less fine quality and water. Enamelling has of late years largely taken the place of "paste" or false stones. This may be divided into two kinds—champlevé and cloisonne. In champlevé the enamelling substance is applied to the surface of the gold as ornamental details, and is "fired" in a muffle or furnace under the eye of the enameller. Here the metallic oxides play an important part in imparting variety of colour, as in the case of the "Strass" of which " paste " or false stones are made. Cloisonné enamelling is effected by walls of gold wire being fastened to the surface to be decorated, upon which surface the design has been already drawn in outline. Within these walls or " cloisons " the various-coloured enamels are placed, and the whole fixed together by firing until the surface is more than filled up. The surface is levelled by grinding down with pumice stone, and then polished. One kind of champlevé closely approaches in its character to cloisonné. It is when the gold is thick enough to allow of portions to be cut away by the graver, and in these incised parts the coloured enamels are fused as in the manner of the true cloisonné.

Enamelled subjects or paintings, portraits, landscapes, animals' heads, &c, are sometimes used as a setting for pins, brooches, pendants, bracelets, &c. These are of course true champlevé ; and formerly very able artists, such as Bone, Essex, and others, were employed in the produc-tion of costly works of this kind.

Engraving is a simple process in itself, and diversity of effect can be produced by skilful manipulation. An interesting variety in the effect of a single ornament is often produced by the combination of coloured gold of various tints. This colouring is a chemical process of great delicacy, and requires much skill and experience in the manipula-tion, according to the quality of the gold and the amount of silver alloy in it. Of general colouring it may be said that the object aimed at is to enhance the appearance of the gold by removing the particles of alloy on the sur-face, and thus allowing the pure gold only to remain visible to the eye.
The application of machinery to the economical production of certain classes of jewellery, not necessarily imitations, but as much " real gold " work, to use a trade phrase, as the best hand-made, has been on the increase for many years. Nearly every kind of gold chain now made is manufactured by machinery, and nothing like the beauty of design or perfection of workmanship could be obtained by hand at, probably, any cost. The question therefore in relation to chains is not the mode of manufacture, but the quality of the metal. Eighteen carat gold is of course always affected by those who wear chains, but this is only gold in the proportion of 18 to 24, pure gold being represented by 24. The gold coin of the realm is 22 carat ; that is, it contains one-twelfth of alloy to harden it to stand wear and tear. Thus 18 carat gold has one-fourth of alloy, and so on with lower qualities down to 12, which is in reality only gold by courtesy.

The application of machinery to the production of personal ornaments in gold and silver can only be economically and successfully carried on when there is a large demand for similar objects, that is to say, objects of precisely the same design and decoration throughout. In hand-made jewellery, so-called, mechanical appliances are only used to economize time and reduce the necessity fot the handicraftsman doing that which can be done as well, perhaps better, by some simple mechanical method applied under the hand. In machine-made jewellery everything is stereotyped, so to speak, and the only work required for the hand is to fit the parts together,—in some instances scarcely that. A design is made, and from it steel dies are sunk for stamping out as rapidly as possible from a plate of rolled metal the portion represented by each die. It is in these steel dies that the skill of the artist die-sinker is manifested. Brooches, earrings, pinheads, bracelets, lockets, pendants, &c, are struck out by the gross. This is more especially the case in silver and in plated work,—that is, imitation jewellery,—the base of which is an alloy, afterwards gilt by the electro-plating process. With these ornaments imitation stones in paste and glass, pearls, &c, are used as setting, and it is remarkable that of late years some of the best designs, the most simple, appropriate, and artistic, have appeared in imitation jewellery. It is only just to those engaged in this manu-facture to state distinctly that their work is never sold wholesale for anything else than what it is. The worker in gold only makes gold, or real jewellery, and he only makes of a quality well known to his customers. The producer of silver work only manufactures silver ornaments, and so on throughout the whole class of plated goods. It is the unprincipled retailer who, taking advantage of the ignorance of the buyer, sells for gold that which is in reality an imitation, and which he bought as such.

Space will not permit of any notice of various kinds of personal ornaments coming under the head of jewellery, such as the elegantly designed hand-made pearl ornaments, Whitby jet, coral, &c, nor can we allude to the methods adopted in the workshops where gold and silver alone are used to economize the metal that would be wasted without proper precautions. Even the minute quantities of the material which adhere to the hands of the workman are washed off before he leaves the premises, carried into a proper receptacle, and recovered by chemical agency.

The special localities of the jewellery trade proper, in England, are Clerkenwell and Pentonville in London, and Birmingham. In Clerkenwell an inquiry made some years
ago showed that from 1600 to 2000 persons were employed in the trades connected with the production of jewellery and personal ornaments. In Birmingham at least 8000 were thus occupied, chiefly in production of what may be considered as purely mechanical work. Among the higher class of jewellers in Birmingham some of the best work sold in the London shops is produced, the mechanical means employed being so ingenious, and the handicraft power so skilfully applied in fitting, setting, and finishing, as to leave little or nothing to desire, when compared with hand-made work of the same class. (G. W.)



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