History Of Jewelry With Feathers

The history of jewelry with feathers is rich and diverse. Feathers have historically been used in a variety of cultures as an accessory for formal garments or as gifts given to highlight the significance of an individual.

Many ancient civilizations believed in the spiritual power of feathers, and used them to create meaningful pieces that helped to conveyor specific messages or feelings. From Eastern European folk costumes to modern-day accessories, this article will explore the heritage and symbolism behind jewelry with feathers since ancient times.

In Ancient Times – Origin from Egypt to other Middle Eastern empires The use of feathers for adornment dates back centuries upon centuries; some of earliest examples are found on artifacts from Ancient Egypt dating back over 3,000 years ago. Feathers were used symbolically within many spiritual practices of the time, often representing flight or ascension-such was the case for Elijah’s chariot transporting him up into heaven when his followers looked up from Cyprus (2 Kings 2:11).

They also represented wealth and dominance amongst those at war-often imbued with spiritual beliefs like ancestor reverence-as evidenced by headdresses worn by ancient Mayan rulers in Central America as well as pieces weathered by some African populations over 100,000 years ago.

Modern Jewellery – Impact on weddings and special events Today, jewelry adorned with feather motifs appears far removed from its original purpose within ancient belief systems; feathers are now seen as a representation of fashion innovation around the world, making appearances both on the runway and within more casual wear collections too. Additionally, feathered jewelry has become a popular accessory choice throughout various life events such as wedding ceremonies, prom parties and baby showers to name just a few.

The versatility of this type of garment has made it desirable across generations; ranging from exceptional couture pieces crafted by high-end designers all the way down to budget-friendly trinkets available in major chain store outlets.

Early History of Jewelry with Feathers

Throughout human history, feathers have been used by various societies for many different reasons. Jewelry crafted from feathers can be traced back to thousands of years ago in various ancient civilizations. In prehistoric times, feathers were a requirement for survival and protection, specifically used as part of the clothing and insulation of both humans and animals in harsh climates.

Evidence of jewelry with feathers from this time period has been found in archaeological sites around the world. Fossils from the late Cretaceous period have revealed the use of smaller feathers that had a resemblance to modern-day jewels or decorations that people use today.

Cultures Across The Globe: Different Styles Of Jewelry With Feathers

One of earliest known styles of jewelry craft with feathers traces back to North American Aboriginal cultures, such as the Iroquois, which made feather fans, rattles and masks to honor their ancestors and spirits. Bedouin tribes in Northern Africa also utilized feathers as part of their traditional dress and adornments before the development of more modern jewelry making techniques in Africa during the early 20th century.

In ancient Central American societies like Aztecs, Maya and Incas, feather jewelry was considered to be an elite status symbol worn solely by royalty or those high up in society. During colonial times, Native Americans living on reservations wore feather jewelry with tribal designs to express cultural pride; these styles continue today among many Indigenous communities who utilize traditional themes for jewelry designs featuring feathered elements alongside beads and other craft materials.

21st Century Usage: Development Of Modern Styles And Practices

Today we can see a huge variety bird-feather themed jewelry being worn by people who are looking to make a fashion statement or simply follow current trends. A majority of feather jewelry is handmade by artisans combining colored-dyed material sourced from farms or other animal welfare suppliers with complex beadwork patterns often finalized through elaborate stitching techniques such as loom weaving or macramé knotting.

Some stores specialize exclusively in ethically produced feather looks while others provide customers with ready-made products due to mass production technology becoming increasingly accessible worldwide. Nevertheless it does not take away from the unique aesthetic charm offered by timeless hand-crafted pieces – perfect for any occasion whether it be casual days at home or extravagantly glamorous events.

Medieval Times

The use of feathers in jewelry goes back to the medieval times, when they were primarily used by nobility as a status symbol. Although fashion in that era was mainly focused on embroidered robes and pointed hats, feather ornaments and jewelry designed with them had become increasingly popular.

According to records from the time, it became fashionable for European monarchs and nobles to adorn their clothing with various items fashioned from feathers, some of which were constructed into extravagant headwear and ornately decorated capes. This was meant to signify wealth and stature within their social circles.

In Europe particularly, birds of prey such as eagles and hawks were heavily featured in a lot of the feather-crafted pieces due to their unassuming boldness in nature – something that the esteemed members of society sought to emulate. Feathers were (and in some cases still are) viewed as symbols of power, faith and strength; elements that those at the top emulated [or sought after].

Placing such important meaning behind each feather ornament further cemented its use in jewelry designs during this time.

Rise In Eastern Style Feather Jewelry: Exismple Of Japan’s Makko-Tori Earrings

As trading increased between various countries around the world during this period, so did appreciation for differing cultures and styles – including those found predominantly throughout Asia Pacific regions. Much like what transpired in Europe, these societies held high regard for certain bird species with noble traits; most notably those associated with good luck charms (such as cranes), that could be seen through many of their craftsmanship pieces too such as fans, parasols and kimonos.

History Of Paparazzi Jewelry

It was not long until similar pieces began making their way into traditional costume accessories made from feathers including earrings or chokers necklaces with beaded accents crafted into them also known as Makko-Tori earrings originating mainly from Japan [4].

Other examples included custom pierced ‘kanzashi’ hairpins often rendered stylistically into shapes like flowers or animals but sometimes even more elaborate pieces tied together using silk cords. Further symbolic meaning can be drawn from such creations amongst symbols attributed to auspicious circumstances like dragons painted on red feathers combined with hemp leaves (thought enhance longevity).

Such distinct eastern style shaped how many artisanal jewelers crafted pieces well into the 19th century up until modern times further advancing new designs made using multiple variations from dyed feathers across all regions alike.

Renaissance Period and The Symbolism of Feathers

The practice of using feathers as an adornment has been used in many societies and cultures dating back to the ancient Greeks. In the Renaissance period, feathers were frequently seen adorning garments, jewelry, and decorations. Many symbols and meaning were attributed to feathers such as youthfulness, nobility, strength, freedom associated with birds of flight and often worn for protection from harm or even good luck charms.

During the Renaissance period it was believed wearing a feather created a closeness with God and enabled access to divine wisdom. Feathers were also often seen in works of art such as paintings by Fra Angelico and Raphael where adorned designs held symbolic value for the artist at that time. For example, two vertical feathers closely together symbolizing heaven or a sermon on generosity whereas three horizontal feathers represent faith hope charity or a sermon on the Three Kings.

One of the oldest uses of feathers as jewelry dates back to when Indigenous people used them to decorate headdresses and jewelry like garters belts or necklaces. Feathers representing courage honor bravery loyalty power religious ceremonies healing ceremonies and funerals had deep spiritual symbolic meaning representing life-giving power. Below is a list of some symbolism associated with different types of traditional feathers:

  • Feathers from simple birds such as crows – creation of new ideas
  • Owl feathers – heavenly secrets worldly knowledge
  • Peacock feather – glory ambition pride
  • Swan feather – love harmony beauty peace
  • Hawk feather – watchfulness far sight clear vision
  • Pheasant feather – auspicious occasions fertility celebration

Baroque Period

In the 17th century, feather jewelry was associated with the Baroque Period. Feathers were a popular accessory that served primarily as ornamental adornments due to their intricate and elaborate styles.

Plumes of ostrich feathers were used as components of fancy ladies hats and woven into intricate wigs both grown men and women used to enhance their beauty at the time. Throughout this period, silversmiths, goldsmiths, and feather makers were pushing the boundaries by combining different elements together such as ostrich feathers, quills from various birds, guinea fowl feathers, porcupine quills for a much more exotic look for their fashion designs.

It was during this era that feathers started being painted in layers of colors and subjected to special treatments in order to obtain the brightness and vibrancy of their plumes that can be found in Parisian’s drawings of the time. For example, there were gloves embroidered with peacock eye hackle or headdresses featuring colorful macaw tails.

These feathered items could often be taken apart and converted into combs with mounted hoops for ventilation purposes. Baroque style bracelets featured crow feathered forms molded with wire adjustments for added comfort when wearing them.

Empire style brooches made out of large goose quill wings marked a distinct turn from curvilinear shapes disassembled and reformed into blocks topped with richly colored parlor bird plumage highlighted elements such as grandiose daisies. Elements like these were closely related to romanticism since they strongly emphasize on classical forms associated with Greek Antiquity whilst displaying obelisks engraving honoring deceased beloved individuals or symbolic weaponry which was popular amongst Napoleon’s elite soldiers during French Revolution period.

is also notable that some sculptures recovered throughout This period suggest people adorned jewelry pieces crafted out of quail skins which are also adorned with silver plated buttons on natural leather strings completing the design individualizing them from one another just by enhancing or changing one minor detail emphasizing on structuring throughout its entirety.

Neo-Classical Period

During the earlier periods of European history, nobility wore feathers in their hair and on various items of clothing to show off their wealth and power. By wearing feathers, these elites were displaying their fortunes and nobility to onlookers. Not only were feathers a sign of certain wealthy and influential rank, but also a style statement that conveyed themes such as rebellion and romance.

Furthermore, the Neo-classical period in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries was marked by explorations into ancient cultures. This curiosity led to a number of voyages through which people discovered different cultures, artworks, music, fashion – as well as feather jewelry.

Europeans integrated feathers from other regions around the world to design extravagant pieces for themselves and bring a hint of this discovery back home. As they did so, more aesthetically pleasing pieces began to emerge – revealing intricate craftsmanship based on cultural symbolism associated with colors and shapes.

Popularity in 20th Century

The use of feather adornment spread rapidly throughout Europe in the early 1900’s after Queen Mary was seen wearing feather jewelry at social gatherings – leading many women to inquire how they could imitate her style. Thus began the boom in popularity that resulted in many couture brands creating feather costumes for dancers showcasing real bird feathers expertly crafted into necklaces, pins, bracelets, etc.

  • Feathers are used in Jewelry for centuries.
  • During Neo-Classical period Feathers were used mainly for signs of Wealth.
  • Popularity increased greatly at 20th Century after Queen Mary was seen wearing them.
  • Fashion brands started making intricate costumes with Feather Jewelry.
History of Vandell Jewelry

Victorian Era

The Victorian era brought forth a new trend in fashion that rose to prominence in the form of jewelry with feathers. Feathers were used as adornments around the necks, wrists and hats of fashionable Victorians. The use of feathers was seen as a way to add flamboyant color and texture to one’s ensemble.

Victorians also found practical and affordable use for feathers as trimmings for millinery products such as hats, fascinators and capes. Plumes of ostrich feathers, common in this era, helped make items like these light but impressive pieces. Ostrich feather plumes began to be attached to various hats in new ways, creating conversational talking points amongst stylish Victorian women.

By adding color with feathers, they created variations of their standard accessories. This allowed them to have an inexpensive but interesting addition to their wardrobe items without having to switch out the whole piece each time fashion changed.

The Victorians seemed almost obsessed with showing respectability through ones attire too; ladies’ boas made from some exotic species were extreme statements when worn with eveningwear dresses. Feathers provided accessories that were extravagant but still qualified as appropriate for formal events where dressing up was expected for most upper-class Victorians.

Not only did the feather accessories make them stand out amongst their peers, in rebellion against the plain-dressing fundamentalists who intended to bring society back down into trim lines and monotony, but also became popular forms of self-expression at festive occasions or evenings out with family and friends.

We can trace evidence from paintings that depict women adorned with colorful Hawaiian leis during outings in parkland settings as early evidence of this trend taking root in England at the time. From there, it is likely that more people began wearing similar feathered ornaments on days other than special occasions – the trend grew rapidly and luxury department stores began providing ready-made plumes and sets for those looking to try it out themselves.

Modern Times

Jewelry adorned with feathers has been in style through the ages. Examples of this type of jewelry can be traced back to Plain Indians such as the Cherokee, the Navajo and other tribes from North America.

The use of feathers in jewelry was not only for decorative purposes but for spiritual and religious meanings which were associated with their individual beliefs; the most common being protection and health. It was believed that feathers contained many healing properties similar to those found within herbal medicines such as root and berry teas, and ointments infused with plants.

In modern times, feathers have taken on a more artistic sense in regards to jewelry making. The bright colors, soft textures, and heavenly hues are being used to give costume jewelry a contemporary edge or a daring flare depending on what’s accentuating the garments being worn or accessories that are being displayed.

Feathers come in a variety of sizes as small downy ones fit perfectly inside a piece anchor earrings, while larger show-stopping ostrich plumes will undoubtedly be admired by passersby when used for making necklaces, bracelets or cuffs. Even long elk hair braids cascading down colorful quartz beads adorning soft buckskin leather is seen played out often upon wristbands and bracers all invoking an old west kind of feeling that brilliantly brings together history and fashion at once.

Feathers used in jewelry provide another level of creative expression for those who are into fashion designing thus creating masterpieces only seen in beautiful magazines or storefront windows.

Along with different looks comes additional opportunities to become inspired by picking out just the right combination of ornamental parrot feather trimming for shoulder shrug evening gowns presented at high tea events or introducing original necklaces carrying wooden based islands complete with powder-puff sized pom poms made from waxwing bird facets straight off the runway.

These examples exemplify how art plays an influential role when it comes to using feathers as part of your statement style.


The history of using feathers in jewelry is a fascinating one which can be traced back to ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Aztecs and Native Americans. Feathers were incorporated into jewelry primarily as symbols of beauty and status. They were believed to convey feelings of wisdom, knowledge and strength. They also often carried spiritual meanings or represented elements of nature that the wearer wanted to emphasize in their lives.

In recent times, the use of feathers in jewelry has become increasingly popular for its aesthetic appeal. Natural colors and shapes found on feathers are often extremely attractive and appealing when used for decorative purposes. Additionally, synthetic dyes allow manufacturers to produce feather-based jewelry pieces with bolder shapes, designs and patterns that are far more vibrant than what was available historically.

Feathers have been used to make rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and even hair accessories. They have also been crafted into beautiful headdresses which remain commonplace within many cultural ceremonies today.

Looking forward it seems likely that feather based jewelry will continue to grow in popularity for both modern everyday fashion styles, as well as special occasions such as weddings or traditional celebrations. As more creatives explore this medium the potential applications could expand significantly over time supported by advances in material science such as plastics or 3D printing which could revolutionize how feather-based jewelry is both produced and consumed by consumers worldwide.

In summary, the future for feather-based jewelry looks exciting and only limited by the imagination.