2008/07/23

Regional Dutch Jewelry



Regional Dutch Jewelry or as they say in the Netherlands: streeksieraden.


The two jewels depicted here originate from Walcheren (Zeeland) and are manufactured during the 19th century. Most pieces of this type of jewelry, if not all, are all made in 14K gold.

These jewels have a special significance, as in those days one could not only tell the precise origin of a person simply by looking at what he was wearing but also what religion that person had, if she was married or not and well-to-do or not. Indeed, every Dutch village had its own costume and decoration. The jewelry was set almost exclusively with blood coral (from the Mediterranean Sea) and garnets originating from Bohemia).

Most of the times the clasps were made in gold filigree. (Filigree is in fact thin golden wire plain, twisted or plaited into refined motifs. This technique demands very high skills and precision from the maker.) People used to wear these jewels mostly on Sundays or holidays.

Basically in 1900, there were 10 different areas in the Duch province of Zeeland (the richest in terms of clothing variety) to which, very precise, jewels are to be attributed: Tholen, Noord-Beveland, Zuid-Beveland, Schouwen-Duiveland, Walcheren, Arnemuiden, Nieuw en St-Joosland Axel, Hulst and Cadzand.

Today, only 3 areas keep traditional clothing: Walcheren, Arnemuiden and Zuid-Beveland, although nowadays, mostly worn by elder women and people in folkloric dance groups.

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