Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Necklace lengths and types - a guide for the classical fashionista
Bib Necklace A bib necklace is multiple strands of stepped pearls.
Choker A choker is 35 cm to 40 cm (14" to 16") long. Chokers sit on the base of the neck.
Dog Collar A dog collar necklace consist of multiple strands of pearls that lay close to the neck.
Graduated Necklace In a graduated necklace, larger pearls in the middle gradually become smaller toward the clasp.
Matinee Necklace A matinee necklace is 55 cm to 60 cm (22" to 24") long. It should sit at the top of cleavage.
Opera Necklace An opera necklace is 75 cm to 90 cm (30" to 36") long and should sit at the breastbone.
Princess Necklace A princess necklace is 45 cm to 50 cm (18" to 20") long. It is between choker and matinee length.
Sautoir or Rope Necklace A sautoir or rope necklace is any necklace longer than opera length.
Uniform Necklace Here, the pearls appear to be all the same size, although normally there is a slight difference towards the ends so they appear to be in proportion.
Necklaces have been worn throughout history, by both men and women, and have been used as marks of distinction in many cultures, including the ancient Hebrew culture. Necklaces, handsome and richly ornamented, were a principal part of the dress, both of men and women, among the ancient Egyptians; and some idea of the number of jewels they wore (remarks Sir G. Wilkinson) may be formed from those borrowed by the Israelites at the time of the Exodus, and by the paintings of Thebes. They consisted of gold or of beads, of various qualities and shapes, disposed according to fancy and enriched with jewels.
Necklaces of gold thickly set with gems were worn by the Greeks and Romans of both sexes. There was a famous necklace of the most costly precious stones upon the statue of Vesta in Rome, to whose vengeance Zosimus attributes the tragic end of Serena, Stilicho's widow, who had despoiled her of it. By the command of Honorius she was strangled.
The necklace taken from the neck of the Hindoo King Jaipal, captured by Mahmud (A.D. 1001) was composed of large pearls, rubies, etc., and was valued at two hundred thousand dinars, or a good deal more than a hundred thousand pounds.
Homer mentions a necklace curiously wrought of gold interwined with amber, which Eurymachus presented to Penelope.