History Behind Belle Époque – Tags: ,

Have you ever heard the word Belle Époque, but wondered what it is? – It is a French word, which means “a Beautiful era.” Belle Époque was a period of Western history that lasted from 1871 (beginning of the third French Republic) to 1914 (World War I). The Belle Époque era was characterized by optimism, economic prosperity, technology, and cultural transformation. During this age, the art culture flourished; theater, music, literature gained immense popularity.

As the era of Belle Époque began, France was still recovering from Franco-Prussian war. France witnessed thousands of deaths and injuries during that time. The period of economic growth was experienced during Late Victorian and Edwardian era. In 1878, statue of Liberty was displayed for the first time, even before it was shipped to New York. Eiffel tower was a symbol of how far France has progressed, on the other hand, Machinery Hall, a building that was 111 Meters, was also established. In 1911, the population of Paris grew by 64%, which is highest as compared to today.

The Rise of Belle Époque culture

Dance, fashion, and art were the aspects of the Belle Époque culture. However, at times there was an attempt to suppress these activities as people considered them disgraceful. Along with Belle Époque culture in France, the industrial and technological revolution captured the world. Cameras, phones, automobile and air travel took over the era. The architecture also played a vital role during this period as it tried to correlate with the natural surroundings. The first vaccines against anthrax and rabies were developed during this period. Louis Pasteur was a developer of vaccination, micro-bacterial fermentation, and pasteurization. He also developed vaccines for stopping bacterial growth in milk and wine.

Jeanne Paquin was one of the famous fashion designers who was known for her publicity stunts. Where fashion industry was booming, the love for jewelry was also flourishing. Even today, the jewelry from Belle Époque is winning hearts all over the world. The jewelry was created during the first 15 years of the 20th century. It was said that the jewelry was inspired by motifs during the rule of Louis XIV. The creation of jewelry showed the prosperous time of Belle Époque.

Antique pieces from Belle Époque

This is where it gets interesting for women – Pearls, diamonds, and pale colored gemstones were used in making jewelry, tiaras, and stomachers (used for the front of woman’s dress). Later on, silver mountings were replaced by Platinum. The era was all about elegance and grandeur. Ladies would dress in beautiful chiffon or satin fabric outfit, adorned with jewels of the time. Women would embellish their hair with jewels and feathers, along with diamonds, pearls, and gemstones such as aquamarine, topaz, garnet, rubies.

The jewelry was popular from 1900 to 1915. Today, the jewels from this age remain antique, as they are found rare and limited. However, the value and respect for natural pearls and jewelry from Belle Époque continue to rise. People spend a huge amount on these jewels depending on the material, design, and significance. Therefore, if you want to purchase antique jewelry from the Belle Époque era, you can only get them off the auction. However, don’t be amazed as prices can range from $20,000 and could go up to $5 million. if you are interested you can check our other blog from Best antique pieces from Continental Europe

Visit our shop in Powerscourt, Dublin or you can contact us here or call +353 1 679 9107.