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Development with a Christian message > The History of European Style > Development with a Christian message  |  Print  |  E-mail a friend
The stability in Europe gave room and space for development. Cities were growing, universities were established and architecture prospered.

Still the Bishops and feudal Lords executed their political powers, claiming ownerships and rights to land and taxes, but the development could not be stopped and new technology, designs and crafts flourished.

This also meant change in the making of jewellery. Christian symbols still dominated, but the demands of the noble classes gave rise to both religious and profane styles and new techniques.

The copy seen here is inspired from a 12th century pendent from Sweden. It is made from silver and rock crystal. The mixed style is profane, byzantine, Slavic and Swedish. Available at www.museumjewellery.com.

Until the 13th century gems were polished (cabochon) rather than cut in facets, given pebble-like shapes and soft colors. Stones were chosen not just for color but also for their supposed healing and spiritual powers.

According to the treatise on lapidary written by Marbodus, an eleventh-century Bishop of Rennes, the sapphire's virtues, included not only protection against physical injury, fraud, fear and envy but also the promotion of peace and reconciliation.

The skills of the jewellery makers progressed. Amongst the greatest masterpieces of medieval goldsmiths' work are the jewel-like enamel plaques, often decorated with elaborate filigree scenes. Most of these were of religious subjects - principally scenes from the New Testament or from lives of the Saints.

Illustration above: 12th century pendent from Sweden, made from silver and rock crystal
Illustration beneath: Pope Gregorio IX, by Rafael


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