It’s time to wear your heart on your sleeve
Heart-shaped accessories are on the rise. Did you know that there has been a 52% increase in searches for heart shaped jewellery over the last 12 months?
It’s no secret that heart-shaped accessories and garments have conquered the runways recently, though the vogue for hearts has been steadily increasing for years. From the 90’s with Vivienne Westwood’s heart handbag and Tiffany’s signature heart tag, to Lana Del Rey’s iconic heart-shaped sunglasses, hearts have been a prevailing favourite in celebrity and high-fashion styling. Moschino’s 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection opened with black dresses appliquéd with heart motifs on the lapels and heart-shaped earrings. Both Chanel and Saint Laurent have featured heart-shaped jewellery in their current collections, the latter being particularly reminiscent of the 90’s look. With such a huge recent resurgence, it doesn’t look like this trend is going to disappear anytime soon.
What’s the history of heart jewellery?
Heart-shaped motifs in accessories have prevalence in history and stretch back further than you may think. Cordiform (heart-shaped) artefacts have been found dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians adorned the deceased with amulets modelled into hearts, which were supposed to deliver vitality to the body in the afterlife. Heart-shaped jewellery, however, was not really reported until the late Middle Ages.
In 14th century Europe many people were illiterate so Medieval manuscripts relied heavily on symbols. Medieval life centred around love and chivalry and so the heart symbol became an important and recognisable image to communicate passion, romance, and courtly love. From tapestries to brooches- the heart became an extremely popular design.
The 18th century boasted hearts in all kinds of forms. From twin hearts (meaning love intertwined) to crowned hearts symbolising loyalty, to hearts with arrows (meaning love conquers all), there were hearts for any occasion. Each variation was significant in jewellery of the time and the trend refused to fade. By the Victorian era, sentimentality in jewellery had reached it’s pinnacle and it’s this era that birthed so many designs that are still well loved today.
What are the most popular antique heart designs?
Gate bracelets came into fashion in the Victorian era and were worn by women as a sign of fidelity. Heart padlocks were also popular in the Victorian era and were gifted by Victorian gentleman to their beloved during periods of separation. They were valued as a symbol of love and commitment. During this separation, the heart would be locked shut, only to be unlocked upon his return.
Lockets have retained popularity for centuries and have been worn since the Middle Ages, mainly to carry charms for good fortune. It was only around the 19th Century that lockets were associated with romance. Victorian lockets were often ornately designed and heart-shaped in form. Heart-shaped lockets were deemed to lock away a loved one’s memory and were often filled with photographs or locks of hair in remembrance of one who has passed.
At Jewellery Addiction we are dedicated to sourcing the most affordable and wearable treasures for your budget. Our skilled team are happy to assist you with finding the perfect timeless piece for your wardrobe, ensuring you get many years of wear from your purchase.