The Language of Flowers

We see a lot of nature-inspired design in antique jewelry history. In the early Victorian era, known as the Romantic Period, artists, writers and jewelers took their fondness for flowers a step further. They conceived a language of flowers, giving different blooms different meanings. A bouquet could send a whole message, with blossoms expressing a wealth of sentiment.

While floral meanings evolved slightly across the generations, and regional variations were common, a rose and forget-me-nots symbolizing love and enduring sentiment withstood the test of time, just as the color white remains a symbol of purity and innocence to this day.

 Victorian French 18k gold pendant with plique-a-jour enamel, with a bouquet of roses and a forget-me-not border. At G&D.

Victorian French 18k gold pendant with plique-a-jour enamel, with a bouquet of roses and a forget-me-not border. At G&D.

 Art Nouveau 14k gold pin with enamel. Krementz maker’s mark. At Gray & Davis.

Art Nouveau 14k gold pin with enamel. Krementz maker’s mark. At Gray & Davis.

The pendant has French hallmarks. The gold pin is stamped with the telltale double handle of Krementz Co. The Newark, NJ based jeweler started out making menswear, and branched into fine gold jewelry around the turn of the 20th century. This lovely piece was surely meant as a gift. The infinitely locked love knot in 14k yellow gold is decorated with forget-me-nots in blue and white enamel, which signified true and enduring love.

Of course, much was written about the language of flowers. Here are some works in the public domain that extensively describe your floral options and their meanings, all rife with romantic poetry for your reading pleasure, as well:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/The_Language_of_Flowers?id=wMAOAQAAIAAJ

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=2bCdaZ7KvDsC&rdid=book-2bCdaZ7KvDsC&rdot=1