Glossary

Choker

Chokers were first worn in early civilisations – Mesopotamian and Egyptian – to protect the wearer and give them power. Over the years, the close-fitting neck adornment has held a variety of meanings – during the French revolution red ribbons were worn in sympathy with those who were beheaded at the guillotine, while in the late 19th century, black neck ribbons were associated with prostitution (see Manet’s Olympia). The style grew in popularity during the early 1900s when Queen Alexandra was rarely seen without one (to allegedly hide a scar on her neck). And, of course, most recently in the 1990s when tattoo chokers and velvet ribbons were ubiquitous.

Are we missing a jewellery term?

Help us make the glossary better.