Downton fans and period costume enthusiasts alike will be thrilled to learn that a line of Downton Abbey-themed costume jewelry is now being sold through the official PBS online shop. There are currently four signature collections: Gilded Age, with designs recalling the fondness for flourishes in the Edwardian era of the show’s first series and, as the name suggests, all gold-toned jewelry; Jeweled Heirlooms, offering a wide range of old-money sparkle; Starburst, with more geometric shapes and a bright silver-and-white color palette; and Jet Memento, a set using darker metals and hematite to emulate the black mourning jewelry of the late 19th century.
Prices range from $20 for basic pieces to $110 for their silver tone crystal dangle necklace (excluding sale prices,) but most items fall below the $40 range, so you don’t have to spend like a Crawley to look like one. Many of the designs emulate the general aesthetics of the early 20th century when the show takes place, but some are modeled after specific pieces worn by the characters, such as the aforementioned dangle necklace based on one Cora wears in the 2012 Christmas special. The Downton branding even extends to the boxes that the jewelry is shipped in, featuring a beautiful antique wallpaper pattern and the show’s title and castle logo.
The official PBS merchandise line has expanded since last year to include such diverse items as pillows, tablecloths, puzzles, figurines, candles and tea, and Cost Plus World Market stocked a set of tea party-themed Downton wares last Christmas (the tea and wine appear to still be available.)Marks & Spencer carries a small selection of branded beauty products, but it looks like style-conscious Downton dames will have to wait a little longer for their fashion fix: so far, the only fashion items on offer are a few lacy scarves, shawls, and gloves. Things have also been quiet on the furniture and interior decorating side, though Farrow & Ball offer suggestions for Downton-inspired paint and wallpaper on their site.
Downton’s popularity remains strong even after four seasons – it was the highest-rated TV drama in the UK last year, according to ITV – and the marketing team would be foolish not to capitalize on the show’s continuing success. Have you bought any themed tea towels or table runners, dear readers? What do you think of the current batch of merchandise?