Thursday, July 14, 2016

Regency Diadem Collaboration with Lia Terni

     A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to make appropriate head ornaments that simulated what I was seeing in originals from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I started to specifically look for them in portraits and prints as well as on museum sites - my Pinterest page became full of these images.  I was also on the lookout for someone to help me make these correctly.  They needed to be safe to wear (no sharp edges) and looked like the originals.  I am all for wearing something that looks close - but I also like to do as many true reproductions as I can. 

Portrait of a young Lady by Martin Drolling

     Then I needed to know what I was making.  What did they call them in the time period?  Do you know of other names? If so, just e-mail me at  I will be going into the fashion prints of the time to look at the descriptions as they can also be very informative!

     In the meantime, the dictionary by John Ash of 1775 defines the following:

"Comb - divide and adjust the hair..."

"Coronet - ...a kind of head dress..."

"Crown - to invest with a royal diadem, to cover as with a crown, to dignify, to adorn..."

"Diadem - the crown of a sovereign prince; the tiara, the ensign of royalty about the head of an eastern prince."

"Headband - a sillet for the head, a topknot..."

"Headdress - the dress of a woman's head, that which resembles a headdress."

"Ornament - to embellish, to decorate."

"Strip - a narrow piece, a narrow shred."

"Tiara - a headdress..."

     I also read an excellent article on the Jane Austen website entitled, "The Bandeau: Hairbands, Regency Style" by Laura Boyle that also described the fashions of the time.  It states that "by 1812, fashion magazines were still touting bandeau, both cloth or jeweled, as a hair wrap of choice."

Original 19th Century Pearl Regency Comb

     The definitions didn't really tell me much.  Originals are a great way to see how things were made (or altered), and portraits/prints show how they were worn.  The fashion magazine descriptions are also a good way to find out the variety of this type of decoration for the hair.  So, trying to find someone to recreate those delicate and lovely hair ornaments was not going to be easy, but I was determined to do so.  So, how to find the right way to make these?  

     I had some hit and misses in design and samples come to me, all not meeting my criteria.  I kept promising my customers that  I would offer something soon, and now that has finally been realized!

          I am very proud to have been in collaboration with Lia Terni.  She is a world renowned expert in making tiaras, headbands, and modern jewelry.  She studied in Brazil and London and agreed to help me with my dream to offer these to you.  It is such an honor to work with her.  Our project results are shown in the following images along with inspiration portraits so you can see the possibilities of how they should be worn.

Lia Terni

Jean-Pierre Granger, Portrait of Charlotte Bonaparte, 1808

Our reproduction Pearl comb with red coral and clear crystals

Our reproduction Pearl comb with lapis lazuli and clear crystals
Portrait of a Woman by Louis Leopold Boilly circa 19th century
(I also make the earrings, pearl necklace, and chain necklace)

     We have also come up with some additional headbands like those in portraits and prints to be worn as is or decorated with your favorite crystals and pearls.

Shell and Flower

Johanna Roberts-Osborn, as a Child Royal Institution of Cornwall

Marie Louise by jean Baptiste Isabey, circa 1810
(Yeah, I also make these earrings and the necklace is a specialty of mine!)

Anne-Louis Girodet, Hortense de Beauharnais, 1808

     I also have a red coral comb like the one below its way to me!  It will also be available with lapis lazuli.  

Original 19th Century Red Coral Comb
(Source unknown)

More to follow soon!