The term "Street Jewellery" denotes the enamelled-iron advertising signs in common use from the 1880's to the mid Twentieth Century. These signs reflected in their design, typography and textual content the social and economic atmosphere of that period.
The period was the cradle of our contemporary technological and industrial practice. Study of Street Jewellery therefore allows the student to appreciate in essence the marketing methods current then, which led to those prevailing now.
In 1975 Christopher Baglee and Andrew Morley began their collaboration to learn more about enamel advertising signs and to promote public awareness about this aspect of early advertising. The first fruit of this collaboration was a major loan exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne,in April 1978 under the title 100 Years of Enamel Signs. It ran there for a month, achieving high attendance and acclaim, then continued as a touring exhibition for eighteen months, visiting twenty other venues, with equal success.
This was followed in 1983 by the establishment of the Street Jewellery Society, which ran from 1983 till its closure in 2010.
After the Society's closure, the society's website, which had the same content on three linked domain names, was replicated, with Morley taking over the .org domain and Baglee the .com. The .co.uk domain is now used only as a repository for the images common to both of the other domains. Here are links to the two continuing web sites:
- streetjewellery.com — maintained by Christopher Bagley
- streetjewellery.org — maintained by Andrew Morley