I expected to see jewelry styled in the fashion of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the time period that was the Estate's heyday. Instead, the jewelry was very modern and greatly influenced by the large artisan community in the Asheville area.
The largest collection of jewelry was dichroic glass. The glass was boldly wire wrapped in sterling silver and very modern. The necklaces curled and twirled as they draped around the neck. The glass was primarily in pastel colors or in cool blue tones and the designs were very intricate.
|An example of dichroic glass by Jewelry24Seven|
|Wire Wrapped Blue Topaz in Gold Fill by YourDailyJewels|
the wire wrapping was simple and straight forward. None of it detracted from the beauty of the stone. It simply acted as a frame for the stone. Only the bails have some slight embellishment.
The last collection of jewelry was found only in one gift shop. It was a small collection of spoon jewelry featuring watches, bracelets, pendants, and earrings.
Downtown Asheville has a large artists' community filled with jewelers, painters, fiber artists, sculptors, and potters. This community has spilled over into the gift shops at the Biltmore Estate. This continues the efforts of George Vanderbilt to support his community when Biltmore House was first built in 1895.