My previous post on 18th Century Jewelry has been very popular, so I thought I would follow it up with a post filled with pictorial examples of what was worn at this time. All of these were pulled from Wikimedia Commons. In the pictures I was able to find below, I noticed that there are two types of neckwear. A simple ribbon or pearls.
I was able to find three examples of women wearing pearls. In my last post about jewelry I stated that Mrs. Adams’ pearls actually were not real, so it's likely that these pictured below were not either.
The woman below has a rather large neckpiece that goes from her neck down to the top of her dress. The necklace also has a cameo type thing, and two matching pearl bracelets with similar cameos. Also interesting to note in this painting is this woman's earrings. They seem to also be made of pearls and are rather large.
The woman below has a more simple set of pearls on. You can see that her necklace is tied in the back with a ribbon. Similar to the painting above, she also has a matching set of pearl bracelets. It's important to note as well that the pearls here and above are rather large and round. These are not delicate pearl necklaces.
Here is one last example of pearls. This is a drawing, so it's a little harder to see them, but you can tell she has one strand around her neck. They do not seem to be as perfectly round as the two depicted above either.
These pictures below show a more simple neck ornament of ribbon. The pictures I have here show a simple black, thin ribbon, between 1/8 inch and 1/2 inch. I have also seen a few pictures where the ribbon was thicker, maybe almost an inch and a half to two inches, and it was also black.
The woman below is wearing a thin black ribbon in the style we would call a 'drop' necklace. The ribbon goes around her neck and then drops down to the top of her dress in a 'Y" shape. It's hard to tell how she achieved this, but by zooming in you can see that most likely she just doubled up the piece of ribbon and looped it through itself in the front and tucked the end in the top of the dress.
Below is a fun portrait that has a lot of neat things going on, but as far as her neckwear is concerned, it looks like she is wearing a black silk ribbon that is a half inch thick. It is tied in the back and it also has a drop with a good size cross on the end of it. It looks to me like she made a small loop of ribbon, slid the cross on it, and then tied that to the front of the loop of ribbon going around her neck. Pretty simple to do.
This little girl below has a similar necklace to the one shown in the first painting. This shows that this kind of neckwear wasn't only for adults. It's hard to tell if this ties in the back or not, but the double ribbon in the front tells me that most likely it's not and it put together in the same way as the first painting.
This painting below is a little later than the others, but I really like it because it's not a 'portrait' so to speak. It depicts someone of the 'everyday' wearing a ribbon necklace. Unlike the others though, she has the ribbon tied in a knot in the front, close up it looks like maybe a thin silk that is a forest green (maybe black) color. Again this looks like it is a half-inch thick.
I hope these examples give you a better idea of the type of necklaces an 18th century woman would have worn. As you can see it wasn't anything too complicated and relatively simple to duplicate.
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