Playful, feminine, and classic—bow jewelry never goes out of style even though different styles of bow jewelry have taken the spotlight throughout the decades. While the design and style of bows have evolved over time, the bow appears to be a constant theme in brooches.

Today, GIA introduces iconic bow jewelry designs from the Georgian, Victorian, and Art Deco periods to provide a better sense and feel for the artistic influences of the times. Enjoy browsing these bow-tiful jewelry pieces.

Georgian

Bowknot brooch, 18th century Northern European. Photo by Harold & Erica Van Pelt/GIA, courtesy of a Private Collection.

Bowknot brooch, 18th century Northern European. Photo by Harold & Erica Van Pelt/GIA, courtesy of a Private Collection.

The bowknot featured in this antique brooch may also be referred to as a lover’s knot – a complex knot of interlacing bows that symbolize the bonds of love. The brooch was designed with pear-shaped, old-mine cut and rose-cut diamonds— diamond cuts characteristic of the time.

Two floral spray brooches from 18th century Russian crown jewels. Photo by Harold & Erica Van Pelt/GIA, courtesy of a Private Collection.

Two floral spray brooches from 18th century Russian crown jewels. Photo by Harold & Erica Van Pelt/GIA, courtesy of a Private Collection.

During the Georgian period (1714-1837), the bow style was very popular among royalty. In fact, intricate bow brooches and pendants were featured adorning royal robes and attire in portraits of the day. These two floral spray brooches with ribbons are from the Russian crown jewels. They’re a fine example of the bow jewelry popular in the 18th century.

Victorian

Late Georgian/early Victorian antique brooch. Photo by David Behl, © Janet Mavec & GIA

Late Georgian/early Victorian antique brooch. Photo by David Behl, © Janet Mavec & GIA

Take a look at this intricately designed antique brooch from the late Georgian/early Victorian period. Jewelry from the Victorian period (1837-1901) often features natural influences that are showcased well in this piece—notice the leaf motif around the edges of the bow. If you are enamored with jewelry that features themes from nature, turn your gaze to Jeweled Winged Wonders for more beautiful pieces.

Art Deco

Art Deco platinum and diamond brooch. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA, courtesy Vivid Diamonds and Jewelry.

Art Deco platinum and diamond brooch. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA, courtesy Vivid Diamonds and Jewelry.

The Art Deco style (1920s and 1930s) is characterized by symmetrical and graphic patterns, as seen in this vintage Art Deco platinum and diamond  brooch, with its angular, geometric shapes. Go beyond bow jewelry and dive deeper into this iconic style with The Genius of Convertible Jewelry During the Art Deco Era.

Tiffany & Co. platinum and rose cut diamond bow brooch with millegrain work, saw-pierced, and French cut black onyx. Photo © GIA & Tino Hammid, courtesy of Neil Lane, Inc., Beverly Hills

Tiffany & Co. platinum and rose cut diamond bow brooch with millegrain work, saw-pierced, and French cut black onyx. Photo © GIA & Tino Hammid, courtesy of Neil Lane, Inc., Beverly Hills

Rose-cut diamonds, millegrain work, and saw-piercing distinguish this Tiffany & Co  Art Deco platinum brooch. This vintage brooch incorporates black onyx to provide contrast to the white diamonds and enhance the design. View another well-known rose-cut diamond in Famous Diamonds: The Orlov.

Bow jewelry reflects the era in which it was created. Hopefully, today’s blog post has given you greater knowledge and historical perspective on bow jewelry, and has sparked your interest in different antique or vintage brooch styles.