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Hidden Historical Legacies: Fascinating & Controversial Blackamoor Cameos

Tanzy Ward

Hidden Historical Legacies: Fascinating & Controversial Blackamoor Cameos

Although the word 'blackamoor' is a rather controversial term, the exquisite collection of African royal-like figures are elegant important representations to preserve. Over time, 'blackamoor' began to be used to describe a darker-skinned African of Moorish heritage that resided in the ancient Iberian Peninsula cities such as Mauretania & Al-Andalus. During the early Modern Period (c.1450s-1800s), stunning blackamoor cameos were created during the Renaissance Era. The remarkable portraits often incorporated jewelry onto the African figure, which is referred to as a cameo habille. There are several examples of blackamoor cameos from different periods, including 19th century Victorian Era antiques. Their high quality craftmanship complements...


Hidden Legacies: African Presence in European Antiques Book Inspiration & Release Date

Tanzy Ward

Hidden Legacies: African Presence in European Antiques Book Inspiration & Release Date

This year I began writing a non-fiction history book that discusses the lack of acknowledgement and acclaim related to African portrayals in European antiques. Hidden Legacies: African Presence in European Antiques, emphasizes the many fascinating overlooked antiques that feature African descendants. The book includes captivating images and highlights the historic significance of these important collectibles. Completing this book was very dear to my heart and allowed me to further analyze how important it is to include these images and stories in educational textbooks. I reflected on my personal encounters with learning about European history & cultural studies as an adolescent, and the lack...


Age of The Machine: How The Industrial Revolution Inspired Innovative Jewelry Trends

Tanzy Ward

Age of The Machine: How The Industrial Revolution Inspired Innovative Jewelry Trends

The first Industrial Revolution (c.1760-c.1840) ushered in a new way to create items and changed societies forever. No longer relying on everything being made from hand, factories began to produce mass quantities of goods at rapid rates. New social and economic conditions emerged, including an increase of middle-class families in Europe and America. The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) and the success of the railroad system created new opportunities that left a permanent impact on various industries, including expansion in the jewelry market.  (Claude Monet's 'Gare Saint-Lazare' Landscape Portrait  Inspired By The Industrial Revolution, 1877) The Industrial Age paved the way for a variety...


The Crystal Palace: The Historic Arts Exhibition That Left An Ongoing Legacy

Tanzy Ward

The Crystal Palace: The Historic Arts Exhibition That Left An Ongoing Legacy

  During the Victorian era, there were many innovative changes in the industry and the arts. Under Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901), Britain staged the first International Exposition of Arts & Industry in 1851. The exposition provided a spacious arena for different nations to showcase their newest creative arts and industrial inventions. Prizes were awarded in four categories: sculpture, raw materials, machinery inventions, and plastic. The exhibition was located in a building constructed with glass & cast iron, and resembled the shape of an parallelogram. Designed by Joseph Paxton and built by the Fox & Henderson firm, the building was called...


Attleboro Massachusetts: How The City Became Known as The Jewelry Capital of The World

Tanzy Ward

Attleboro Massachusetts: How The City Became Known as The Jewelry Capital of The World

When collecting and researching antique jewelry, Attleboro, Massachusetts is a common place of origin for many makers & businesses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Originally, the area was inhabited by indigenous groups like the Pokanoket Tribe before English settlers migrated to the area in 1634. Prior to being called Attleboro, the area was called the town of Attleborough, but adopted it's current name in 1914 as the reincorporated city of Attleboro.  (1909 Postcard of Downtown Attleboro, Massachusetts. Arthur Unknown)  Dating as far back as the 1790's, Attleboro was home to a variety of manufacturing firms that specialized in accessory...