Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sepia Saturday

I was really pleased when I saw  this week's theme - women dressed in their finery, displaying their jewels. I could use photos from my fairly extensive family and friends photos, inherited from my great aunts. There are dozens of photos of women - perfect for the theme.

That is until I went looking in albums and discovered something I had never noticed before. Not being one who wears much jewellery I had never noticed that in all the photos, there was very little jewellery on display - in fact I found nothing except the occasional earrings, a locket or two and a few neck brooches. And that was it.  It was not as if poverty was the reason - all pretty affluent looking ladies, mainly wives of professional men.  The dresses they wore were made from rich fabrics, if a little sombre in colour.  And not a sign of a evening dress or ball gown.

On reflection I remembered that all these families would have been of German origin and from very strict Lutheran backgrounds. And so, very modest jewellery if any at all. Frivolity was not part of their lives, modesty and thrift were.  I remember my mother telling me that dancing was not allowed in their lives and it was not until she went to teach in the country in about 1922 that she had ever experienced a life of parties, dances and balls. And she came from a quite liberal family and from a less strict branch of the Lutheran church. I know that in the mid 1800s when the German immigrants came to South Australia, they came in two groups and were unable for many years to come to an agreement on church matters, so there was a schism in the Lutheran cmmunity with one group being much more strict than the other.

So to my collection of ladies and their jewels or lack thereof. 

Lace at the neck was very popular and often a small brooch. This woman has a fancy little cap as well

Many of the younger ones wore flowers. This young lady sports lace at the neck as well as a brooch.

Another with a narrow lace  neck trim and a brooch.

The older women wore these elaborate caps and again the lace and brooch.

This was one of the more decorated ladies I could find - earrings, lace and a locket. Some of them compensated with quite ornate buttons.

Again the lace cap with brooch and earrings

Lace, earrings and brooch

Lace, brooch and dangly earrings

Only a small neck pin and flowers

And, quite over the top - earrings, a lot of lace, a locket and flowers. I think there may be a brooch there as well.

Liz Needle


  1. A most perfect collection! Great post.

  2. Oh Liz what a magnificent collection! I am pea green with envy. Some of those photos are in such good condition too.....the faces reach out to you if you know what I mean.

  3. I think you found quite a bit of jewelry!

  4. A fine collection of jewelled gems, thanks for sharing them.

  5. Well considering you said there wasn't much I think you did pretty well! These ladies are all lovely in their own way and sometimes 'less is more'.

  6. Oh I hope that that first woman was as sweet as she looks. However, she might be pulling a fast one on us and might have been a very demanding and difficult woman. There's an interesting story in that face.