Jewelry of the 1912 Titanic Era
We seem to be endlessly drawn to the drama of the fateful voyage of the RMS Titanic as this largest and most luxurious ocean liner that the world of 1912 had seen to date represents a story of the changing world and culture of the early 1900’s. The rich and famous passengers of the Titanic included the nouveau riche of America whose wealth acquired in banking, industry, transportation allowed them make frequent trips to Europe and beyond to explore both past treasures in art and architecture and also the newest technologies seen at world fairs and expositions. Women traveled to the design houses of Paris to be fitted for the latest couture designs and were accompanied with trunks of outfits and jewelry to be worn at social events and at the luxurious venues aboard luxury ship voyages. Aboard the Titanic, dinner of fine cuisine and wine at the Café Parisien would have been attended by the lady passengers of first class bedecked in expensive gowns and gems. The opulence of the Titanic included the grand staircase, cafes, tea gardens, smoking rooms, a swimming pool, Turkish bath, squash courts, and staterooms larger than many fancy Paris hotels. The second class passengers represented a rising middle class that benefitted from the jobs that came with new industries and were now able to purchase items such as jewelry that were once available primarily to the upper classes and royalty but could now be mass produced and affordable. The third class passengers sailed with dreams of a new life that would allow them to move up in society and enjoy the amenities that came along with new prosperity. Jewelry seen aboard the Titanic would have included the platinum and diamond styling of the Edwardian “Age of Elegance” era that predominated from 1910 up until 1912. The designs were indicative of the luxury and elegance that came with the wealth and prosperity of the times. Jewelry was inspired by the laces and brocades of fashion and the...
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