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Diamond lace bertha or garniture de corsageby Tiffany & Co., as displayed at the 1889 Paris Exhibition ( see Fig. 240)

America at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876; they record the appearance of new trade rivals such as India and Japan, and the introduction of new categories such as ' peasant' jewellery, for-merly outside the traditional concept of manufactures. Newspaper reports demonstrate the extraordinary exchange mechanism pro-vided by these exhibitions, with contracts being signed for the distribution of objects far from their country of origin, so that these new kinds of ornament, from contemporary living cultures, were seen not merely as exotic rarities but were brought into every-day commercial trade. Advertisements add yet another dimension by recording a more mundane world of jewellery use - the every-day, routine, non- special jewels, and the jokey pieces that would have been beneath the dignity of a great exhibition. These we have culled not only from the newspapers, but also from the illus-trated press - trade journals, fashion and women's magazines. These everyday jewels were popular at a different level, with man-ufacturers targeting a wide market in the local high street rather than Bond Street. Many advertisements placed in consumer as opposed to trade magazines must have been designed to exert pressure on high street jewellers to stock the designs in order to satisfy requests from readers. Such advertisements also demon-strate the astonishing speed with which manufacturers responded to topical news through jewellery design. Because these sources have revealed so much new informa-tion, a large part of what follows has not been published before. A number of major themes have emerged. Marketing is one of them, and it deserves a book in itself. John Culme's Directory of London Gold and Silversmiths, Jewellers and Allied Trades 1838- 1914 ( 1987), with its biographies compiled from sources as diverse as insurance records and Post Office directories, has been an indis-pensable reference tool. Here, we have attempted merely the beginnings of an investigation into the placing within different levels of the market of well- known firms such as Phillips, Brogden and Streeter, how the different manufacturers were linked, the retail trade and the distribution of jewellery. This has taken us into a number of company archives and also the rich resource provided by the Registered Designs volumes in the National Archives. On payment of a small fee, the design was protected from copy-ists for a certain number of years. Streeter apart, the big Bond Street firms did not register designs. Much of what they produced was expensive gem- set pieces, so it would have been beneath them and unnecessary. But for the cheaper ranges of novelty jewellery with a limited life the pirating of designs mattered. Comprehensive PREFACE HISbook offers a new approach to the subject of jewel-lery in the age of Victoria. It is not about the great masterpieces of Victorian jewellery, but about the way in which jewellery in that period, more than any other branch of the applied arts, reflected the preoccupations and aspirations of its owners. Rather than concentrating on the major figures at the top end of the trade, or indeed offering a chronolog-ical survey of the development of styles and fashions, we have tried to understand how the Victorians used jewellery and what it meant to them, both literally and metaphorically. To do this, we have of course relied on surviving jewels in collections across the UK, Continental Europe and America, some hardly known or published. But a prime source of our under-standing we have found rather in contemporary records, both written and visual, chiefly the diaries and letters of the period which give insights into how individuals explained the meaning they attached to jewellery. Fiction takes things a stage further by universalizing these meanings, building character and adding a moral or symbolic dimension. We have selected instances where the implications of choices of clothes or jewels would have been immediately apparent to their readers. Portraits add a further dimension to the language of jewellery: each jewel can be decoded, often disclosing multiple messages. Newspapers have provided a completely different angle, con-firming time and again our conviction that jewellery played a central role in the cultural life of the period. Online newspaper archives, one of the most remarkable advances of the digital age, have enabled us to find in seconds information that would previously have taken months, if not years, to assemble, as well as items we would never even have thought to look for. We have concentrated on The Times and the New York Times, since it soon became evident that we would drown in material if we went much beyond these two papers. We incorporate information from the news pages, a previously understudied area, as much as from society columns, an inven-tion of the period. The Times's daily Court Circular and the reports of royal or official events, society balls and weddings record the changing fashions at court and in the upper levels of society. Indeed, it would be possible to chronicle what Queen Victoria wore for almost every event of her life. Reports on international exhibitions perform something of the same function, but they go further. They chart the rise and fall of different countries in Europe and the moment when Euro-pean dominance in fine jewellery production was shattered by T