In 1851 gold was discovered in Victoria, Australia and a gold rush to rival the Californian rush of 1848 was on. People from all over the world flocked to “golden triangle” enclosed by the towns of Ballarat, Bendigo and Wedderburn. As with all gold rushes, people of all trades arrived to find their fortune and as with all gold rushes, nearly all of them didn’t. As a result Melbourne’s jewellery industry got a kick start from two fronts. Firstly through the availability of gold to work with and the talents of the jewellers who didn’t make their fortune panning for gold. These persons many of which come from the Germanic States and middle Europe had to return to what they knew the manufacturing jewellery.
A periocular movement that emerged from this was a Bacchanalian influence style called the grape and vine motif. This technique used finely pressed leaves of gold and fine wires in the shape grape vines were produced in a fine light weight pieces. Many demi parures comprising of brooches and earrings were manufactured. Some of the brooches swivelled whilst others had a hinged lid with a vine leaf design. Flowers and swallows motifs were also used. Some items also incorporated a local touch by using kangaroos and emus. Occasionally they were set rudimentally set with garnets and emeralds. Some of the makers that excelled in this style of jewellery were Lamborne and Wagner, Christian Qwist and Edward Shafer.