Jewels of the Crown
Celeste Janvier, Queen of Comus, 1906, wearing her jewels.
Though fashions may change,
the popularity of jewelry never fades. And this is no more apparent than during Carnival’s golden age—1870 to 1930, when the mutton sleeves of the Victorian era gave way to slimmer silhouettes. The jewelry, however, didn’t get smaller. And this can be seen in the recently published “Mardi Gras Treasures: Jewelry of the Golden Age,” by Mardi Gras historian and designer Henri Schindler. Fourth in a series of books by Schindler about Carnival ephemera, this book displays the finery and flash of Carnival royalty—much of which could rival its European and Asian counterparts. Though rhinestones and semi-precious stones were worn instead of precious jewels—the pomp and circumstance of these “faux” kings and queens and their courts could never be denied.
Closeup of Janvier’s jewels.
Photographs from “Mardi Gras Treasures: Jewelry of the Golden Age,” by Henri Schindler, courtesy of Pelican Publishing Co.