Australian Arts & Crafts Rhoda Wager Opal PendantIrene Byrne & Co
Design Period: Arts and Crafts
Jeweller: Attributed to Rhoda Wager
Gemstone: Opal Doublet
Measurements: Opal = 27.00 x 19.00 mm
Material: 9ct Yellow Gold
Pendant is accompanied by an independant valuation
Her designs were mounted in open frames, allowing natural light to flow through the gemstone showing off its beauty. Wager focused on her workmanship. Instead of stamping out her designs from one thin piece of metal (which was common place, easier and more time effective practice) each design element in her work - every leaf, stem, flower or berry is separately made and then soldered on until the piece is all brought together as a whole. Her favourite stone was the Australian opal accompanied by her signature setting of vines and leaf motif intertwined with tiny berries and round flower heads.
Arts and Crafts Movements (1901 - 1910):
The movement started in Britain and was led by designer William Morris, historian Thomas Carlyle and art critic John Ruskin. They criticised that the new, fast paced, industrial age, led by the machine which was allowing designers to lose their skills by neglecting past craft techniques. Their focus was to embrace traditional techniques and quality materials as opposed to cheap materials that were sought out for the masses. One of the greatest achievement the movement is not known for, is the fact that it was the first time, it allowed women to become designers in the art and design world. Areas of design influenced by this movement were in furniture and objects, textiles, architecture art, and jewellery. Jewellery took on a more simpler design and designers sought inspiration from nature. Jewellers sought the natural beauty of a gemstone instead of using it for its value. Materials that were used included silver and copper with gold rarely used, and only by master jewellers for their wealthier clients. Notable jewellers from this period include, British jewellers Georgie Gaskin and Arthur Gaskin, Sibyl Dunlop, American jeweller, Marie Zimmermann and Australian jeweller, Rhoda Wager.