Jewellery was now being designed on an international scale by artists and and men who were not practising goldsmiths and the princes of Europe, wishing to keep abreast of the latest fashions expected their court artists to provide drawings and designs for jewellery in the new styles.
This would have been no problem for Henry VIII’s court artist William Holbein who had made his way to the English court from Augsberg – Southern Germany a wealthy city firmly located on the trade route to Italy, that supported up to 700 skilled jewellers and goldsmiths at this time.
But the printing press enabled the reproduction of designs which were soon being distributed through the jewellery workshops of europe. This rapid dissemination of styles brought a new stylistic unity to to european jewellery and it was not uncommon for leading jewellers and goldsmiths to move from one court to another according to the chance of patronage – leading to a constant exchange of ideas, techniques and styles.
SAT SEPT 22 2012 at 2:30pm