Jewellery in the 16th century

The end of the Middle Ages manifests itself in a rebirth of the Human. The individual gains self-confidence, discovers his capacity for free will – a new idea after centuries of determinism and fatalism. The Renaissance is marked by a thirst for life, a desire for knowledge and a passion for antiquity, now a great source of inspiration.

The aristocracy set about building the marvellous castles of the Loire Valley. First Chambord by King François I who returns from Italy with many artists, in particular Leonardo da Vinci, bringing the Mona Lisa in his luggage. The ensuing effervescence also manifests itself in the field of jewellery and goldsmithery.

At that time, in Europe, there was a certain homogeneity in the style of jewellery. The exchange of gifts between the royal courts unified fashion. In addition, the printing press, which had just been invented, allowed the circulation of designs throughout the countries.

The jewels are only very rarely signed.

Dessin d'une bague joaillerie du 16eme siecle
Dessins de bagues du 16eme siecle

Source: Archives of the Decorative Arts Library in Paris