Baroque jewelry was popular in early Georgian times and was highly intricate in design. Often it would contain exacting symmetry and very “open” designs, almost like lacework. The often overly ornate designs were better suited to necklaces and brooches, and so the best designs were reserved for those pieces.
Baroque jewelry came into fashion as a result of the reign of the French Emperor, Louis XIV. Louis demanded that people at court show their wealth in material terms, sewn into their clothing when they visited him. This caused something of a race to the bottom in that subtlety and finesse quickly changed to opulence and vulgarity. Mountains of metal and gemstones became common, and the trend for bolder jewelry made its way across the English Channel. Fortunately, designs were somewhat more subtle than the French courtier’s efforts. The pieces were, however, still far bigger and more colorful than anything known previously.
Baroque jewelry has seen a real renaissance in the past few years, with new pieces in the style becoming very much sought after.