Orange Blossoms Explained

In the Victorian era, orange blossoms were worn by fashionable brides as symbols of innocence and fertility. 

Artificial orange blossoms worn by Henrietta Woodcock at her wedding in 1848. Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Artificial orange blossoms worn by Henrietta Woodcock at her wedding in 1848. Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Perhaps the most famous bride to opt for orange blossoms was Queen Victoria herself, who wore a wreath of them in her hair at her 1840 wedding. 

quuen victoria wedding portrait.jpg

The Queen's husband noticed Victoria's affinity for orange blossoms, and gifted her jewels of porcelain, enamel and gold that were beautiful representations of the real thing. 

Suite of porcelain, enamel and gold orange blossom jewelry. Gifted to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert between 1839 and 1846. 

Suite of porcelain, enamel and gold orange blossom jewelry. Gifted to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert between 1839 and 1846. 

The fashion for faux orange blossoms faded by the twentieth century, but the sentiment behind the buds had become wedding tradition. If you look closely at Art Deco bridal jewels, you are likely to come across tiny orange blossoms incorporated into the design:

All of these pieces date to the 1920s and 1930s, and though the orange blossom motif is very subtle, the sentiment remains the same. 

Say YES to Wednesday: Black, Starr & Frost Engagement Ring

This beautiful solitaire engagement ring features a sparkling 0.50 carat old European cut diamond of H color and VS2 clarity. The gem is set in platinum prong mounting with carved scrollwork detailing on the shoulders. The inside of the setting is stamped with the maker’s mark "B.S. & F." for Black, Starr & Frost, a historic New York jewelry firm. This piece dates c. 1920. 

Say YES to Wednesday: Yellow Gold & Diamond Victorian Engagement Ring

A beautiful .53 carat I/SI1 old European cut diamond is set in a charming mount that features buttercup prongs and an Egyptian lotus motif on the shoulders. Worn hallmarks tell us this ring was fabricated in England, most likely in the late 19th century.

Currently available at Gray & Davis. 

Would you say yes?