JGJ Curates The ‘10’ Collection for Fortnum & Mason

by | Sep 19, 2023

This year, Fortnum & Mason celebrate the tenth anniversary of their world class, jewellery room.

Inspired by this occasion, and fuelled by a recent meeting with Fortnum’s archivist, this was the perfect opportunity to design and curate a tenth anniversary collection. Entitled ‘10’ A Timeline Collection, we walked Fortnum’s costume jewel timeline for ourselves, drawing upon key themes from the archives and the last century.

JGJ Curates The Jewels For Selfridges ‘WORN AGAIN’
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From the 1930s, Fortnum’s sold costume jewellery in response to the emerging European obsession with ‘faux’; a revolution pioneered by couture icons Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, to adorn their creations.

During the twentieth century, Fortnum’s customers would find jewellery displayed in the Fashion and Gift Departments; it wasn’t until 2013 a dedicated jewellery room was opened, and as you’d expect, to great acclaim.

Designing the timeline collection to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this wonderful room was a joy. We walked the art deco period of the 1920s through to the 1990s. Diving into Fortnum’s history and learning from their illustrous archive exhibits was a wonderful inspiration for the collection. The themes chosen for the ‘10’ colleciton included charms, pearls, Royalty & The Coronation, couture designers, art deco design, dress clips, statement gold jewels and eye-catching brooches. Each theme connecting with a point in time during the last 100 years of Fortnum’s remarkable history.

The team at Fortnum’s chose several of the themes to launch the collection this month and here’s a closer look at how Fortnum’s jewel timeline inspires them.

Charming Charms

Charm bracelets were a recurring theme across the Fortnum’s collections, be they traditional 9ct gold bracelets of the 1920s or solid silver charms sold nearly a century later in the Jewellery room, each one depicting a famous moment in Fortnum’s history. Our collection includes both charm bracelets and individual charms. The charms include a sterling silver love letter embellished with a heart and triple locket spinner fob on a long chain in which you could keep tiny photos of your loved ones. The charm remains a truly timeless adornment and one that has soared to new heights in the 21st Century especially with the rise of personal jewellery.
JGJ vintage Charming Charms Fortnum and Mason

Perfect Pearls

For decades Fortnum’s has quite simply been the place to get your pearls and the Fortnum’s archive illustrates this. Often bought as gifts for birthdays and bridesmaids, initially from the ‘Gift Shop’ and in latter years from Fortnum’s Jewellery Room, the pearl takes centre stage be it fine or faux. Our collection includes single strands, double strands with feature clasps and timeless pearl earrings, a must in every jewel box.

Royalty and The Coronation

With Fortnum’s long association with Royalty (the first Royal Warrant was granted in 1910 by Queen Alexandra) coupled with this being the year of The Coronation it is a perfect time to celebrate our Royal Family and our new King. Our jewels include a golden double headed lion cuff, a miniature jewelled crown pin with pearl droplets and a bow brooch in the style of that worn on many occasions by our late Queen, Elizabeth II.

The Couture Room

Highlighting the many incredible partnerships Fortnum’s has held with world-renowned Couture Houses. From the Dior Salon in the mid-20th century to the Odyssey Department in the 1970s. Our collection includes earrings by Schiaparelli from the 1950s, statement Givenchy pieces from the 1980s, alongside jewelled Christian Dior pieces (think sapphire and amethyst crystal) from the same decade. Not forgetting a divine pair of Yves Saint Laurent pearl & crystal clip earrings dating to the 1990s. Each one a couture treasure and an unforgettable reminder of Fortnum’s storied history in fashion.
Couture Room Jennifer Gibson Jewellery for Fortnum & Mason The 10 Collection

What a privilege it has been to design a collection that pays homage to Fortnum and Mason’s jewel archive and to continue their jewel timeline with vintage finds that connect with their rich and world-famous heritage. All in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Fortnum & Mason Jewellery Room. A wonderful place!

Do visit, ‘10’ A Timeline Collection, if you are able and indeed enjoy perusing all of the wonderful jewels in the Jewellery Room on Level 2, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER. Their incredible and knowledgeable team will be delighted to help, irrespective of your intention. Perusing or purchasing, nothing, it seems is too much trouble.

Read more about our journey with Fortnum & Mason, London.

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