The main types of Russian decorations jewelry were formed in the XVI-XVII centuries, during the formation of the Russian centralized state. Later, a set of Russian national decorations, decorated with new forms and types of products, which, together with traditional, firmly entered the folk costume.
In the XIX century, national identity was most fully preserved in the costumes and decorations of peasants. In the people’s environment, including in other places.
The costumes of peasant women from different regions of Russia had a remarkable originality. Of the local elections, there are two main complexes: North Russian and South Russian. The main northern designs of the shirt and sarafan, resembling the old Russian clothes, in the southern complex sarafan, replace the skirt (panel) and apron. As a Russian decorations headdress in the North, women wore kokoshniki, girls – crowns; clothes of the southern type were supplemented with a horned kichka and multicolored beads adorned with beads, and girls with ribbons.
Jewelry organically fit into the overall composition of the costumes of both complexes. The greatest application in the diary, at an earlier age, at an earlier age, at an earlier age, in the south was dominated by embroidery and decorations from beads and down.
Russian jewelry is quite diverse in its types, but earrings have been used by the greatest love in all parts of Russia. Earrings were worn since ancient times, in Russia they were so popular that there were even special craftsmen making earrings. This specialty was preserved by village jewelers in the 19th century.
The most characteristic forms of earrings were formed in the XVI-XVII centuries; many of them remained unchanged, repeating themselves in different versions, until the beginning of the XX century. These are numerous earrings, one of them, doubles and, triplets, consisting of one or several rods with colored stones (pellets) strung on them and various beads; earrings, cabbage rolls, silhouette resembling hovering birds, ornamented with simple geometric filigree and insect patterns; a variety of cast earrings with movable pendants. For a long time, earrings were not passed in the ears, but attached to headdresses and hair.
In fact, it was only from the beginning of the XVIII century that the earring (earlobe) of the earrings began to be developed more finely, to strengthen on the hinges, so as not to wear earrings and directly in the ears. This part of the earrings begins to decorate as carefully as the pendants, decorating it with stones and glasses or developing in the form of snakes and fish.
At the turn of the XY1I1 – XIX centuries, the designs of the earrings are complicated by the use of bows and pear-shaped pendants, which were made both of metal, and of stones and glass. Earrings, entirely made of delicate filigree, appeared for the first time. Their plastic form was thinly combined with a flexible floral pattern of scans. Shvenza is decorated with a typical trefoil motif of the trefoil.
In the products of this period, the value of the stone increased. In the XIX century, he no longer just complements the metal earring, enriching its color and accentuating the composition, but becomes the dominant of the entire decorative decoration, subordinating metal to it, reducing its functions to the role of a frame.
All the artistic styles that succeeded each other in Western European art for two centuries were reflected in Russian earrings. They are characterized by the picturesqueness of the complicated forms of baroque, the strict symmetry of classicism, and the dryish refinement of the Empire. At the same time, the best of them always had a national identity and artistic originality.
Most clearly these qualities were embodied in earrings made of pearls, widely distributed in the Russian North and in the center of Russia. The shapes of the pearl earrings were extremely diverse. They were either flat – strung in the form of a grid of small river pearls, often together with metal beads, or bulk – imitating grape brushes or wicker baskets, or combining flat and three-dimensional elements – with a metallic pear-shaped pendant wrapped with pearls and a flat bow of threads pearls. Thin overflows of skillfully matched pearls, a simple but elegant pattern of weaving gave a kind of beauty to these products. Until the 20th century, pearl earrings were the most favorite and most characteristic ornament of Russian women.
Another distinctive national jewelry was necklaces in the form of volumetric chains of gilded silver with beads of cut glass strung on them and blown metal balls. The most sophisticated decoration of the necklace clasp. It was decorated with colored glass, the frames of which were framed with thin convex metal ribbons or filigree. Necklaces are very decorative, plastic, saturated in color. Up to now, they have survived only in a few variants.
Of necklaces, Russian women had the broadest use of beads. They were dug from amber, pomegranates, carnelian, pearls, and also from glass. The most accessible were amber beads. The most appreciated round amber, the so-called “unshaved, worn on holidays; beads from faceted – “shaved amber were a casual ornament.
In the national Russian costume, a wide variety of chains have also found wide application. Chain-linking is one of the oldest types of Russian jewelry production. For many centuries, the methods of making and decorating chains were perfected. They were made both voluminous and flat.
The first include the widely spread so-called annular chains, consisting of individual rings. As a rule, they were characterized by excessive massiveness, some rudeness of work and were predominantly male decorations. Flat chains, equally worn by men and women, are characterized by a wide variety of species, links that are carried out both from smooth wire, and from ribbed or filigree. In the XIX century, flat chains of links resembling horizontally placed in several rows of eight, separated by short rods, as well as from rosettes decorated with enamel, or from links in the form of various rows of original wheels, on the axis of which small smooth circles. A delicate, elegant pattern of weaving, the use of beautiful filigree elements, and often enamels, gave them an extraordinary decorative character that allowed us to use chains not only for wearing crosses, patterns and panagias, but also as independent decorations.
For several centuries the traditional Russian decoration was metal buttons. They were a necessary attribute of women’s and men’s clothes and were intended not only for fastening, but also for decorating the dress. Buttons were made of different metals, including gold, but mostly of silver, and decorated extremely richly. For their implementation used the most sophisticated jewelry techniques: chasing, mobile, enamel, filigree, granules. Therefore, the buttons were valued very expensive, they were carefully stored and used in a costume even in the XIX century, when their production was almost stopped, but they were used not so much for their intended purpose, but as elements of beads and pendants, earrings and necklaces. In the form of buttons, only without an ear, cufflinks were also made by which the Russian peasant women fastened the cut of the shirt at the neck.
Of the ornaments of hands in the XIX century, everywhere wore a variety of rings and rings. Bracelets so popular in Russia in ancient times, with rare exceptions, have disappeared from folk art. Rings and rings were common in all layers of the Russian people. Women and girls in some regions wore copper and silver simple rings without stones, such as wedding rings, sometimes three to one finger, and often to all fingers of the hand, except for the big one.
The forms of the rings are quite diverse. The ring-prints, decorated with engraving, and sometimes carved stones, were used very popular, they were worn mostly by men.
Widely distributed rings with round, square and octagonal flaps. Since the eighties of the XVIII century, the rings were decorated with numerous glass, and carefully designed not only the shield, but also the product shinu. Using a colored foil, placed under the glass, created a peculiar effect of a shimmering colorful surface.
Appearing in the middle of the XIX century, plate-shaped silver rings with a horizontal notch are distinguished by precisely adjusted proportions and beauty of the silhouette and can serve as a sample of strictly perfected taste and mastery of performance.
A certain grace is also characteristic for this time ring, solved in the form of a coiled snake, entirely strewn with stones, sometimes in combination with colored enamels. This type of rings was most widely distributed among the middle strata of the urban population and the wealthy peasantry.
Mostly in the same social environment since the middle of the XIX century brooches, pendants and medallions have become popular. As inserts they used a variety of natural stones of various shapes and fences. These kinds of ornaments, usually made of precious metals, are more characteristic of a European dress, and not of a Russian national costume, so they, just like some other types of items, have not received wide access to Russian peasants.
In some regions of Russia (especially among the Don Cossacks), metal belts were an indispensable addition to the costume. They were made from separate links or leather with metal straps. The most decorative element of the belt was the buckle. Openwork details and gilding, complex weave of plant and animalistic patterns gave an exceptional festivity to this kind of folk decoration.
These are the main types that make up the traditional set of jewelry of the Russian national costume.
The ornaments were made of various metals, both precious (gold) and non-precious (copper, tin), but more often of silver, metal, affordable for the average buyer, even for a part of the peasantry, and at the same time possessing magnificent decorative qualities. Masters lovingly preserved its natural color, glittering shine and resorted to continuous gilding only in those cases when the color and composite solution of the product required it. However, at the end of the XIX century, with the appearance of demand for cheap imitation of expensive jewelry, the number of gilded items has increased noticeably.
At all times, various colored stones were widely used in Russian jewelry. In different periods, preference was given to different stones, but through all ages the love of the Russian people for pearls is being widely used in the costumes of all walks of life. His best grades were for finishing expensive gold things destined for the upper stratum of society, and small pearls, which were extracted in large quantities in the rivers of Russia, served as an ornament for folk clothes. Pearls were inserted in jewelry, worn in the form of necklaces, which the northerners called, pearls, and cut out kokoshniki and crowns. It was used as an independent jewelery decoration, and in combination with other stones.
Amber was very popular in Russian, especially among peasants. It is covered with numerous folk legends and beliefs. In the Russian North (in the Arkhangelsk and Olonets provinces) beads of amber, or, as they were lovingly called there, “waxen pearls, put on the bride in front of the crown as a guard against corruption, believing that they will bring her health and happiness.
Among the urban population were widely used items with garnets: beads, earrings, brooches, rings, bracelets. In ancient ornaments, mostly in rings and beads, carnelians often meet, the taste of which probably came from the East. In the XIX century there was interest in agates and quartz, which in some cases combined with precious stones and turquoise.
In popular decorations, expensive stones – diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, large pearls – were replaced with cheap colored glasses, often placed on foil, beads and mother of pearl.
When creating jewelry, Russian jewelers used a wide variety of techniques: casting, forging, chasing, stamping, rolling, filigree, granulation, engraving, enameling, blackening, gilding. In different art centers of Russia there were their favorite ways of making and ornamenting products, but the best works of masters always differed by strict restraint in the use of decorative means and perfect possession of the most complex jeweler techniques.
The artistic expressiveness of the ornaments was achieved by the original plastic of the very form of products, the perfection of compositional constructions, the subtlety color solution, as well as the wide use in the forms and ornaments of traditional folk art motifs. Most often these are vegetable patterns: floral motifs, trefoils, curly stems. Often the masters decorated their works and stylized images of birds, fish and animals, inspired by the nature of their land. Many of these motifs were born in remote antiquity and date back to pagan cults of heaven, sun, earth, water, life, etc. In the 19th century, the importance of ancient symbols was already forgotten. Their images of folk jewelers used more by tradition, sometimes putting a new meaning in them, and more often – just as a successful decorative motive.
In the peculiarity and richness of ornamental motifs, in the smooth contours of Russian jewelry, the balance of their compositional constructions and the clarity of the general plan, the features of the Russian national character were manifested, the worldview and figurative vision of the Russian people were manifested. These qualities largely determine the lasting value of the works of art of the past. Modern jewelers store and develop the richest traditions of Russian jewelry art. Traditional kinds of ornaments, traditional forms, motifs of ornaments, receptions of craft take a full place among new modern expressive means.