'Downton Abbey' Costume Jewelry Is All Kinds of Wrong

downton abbeyAs a rabid fan of the PBS drama Downton Abbey, I find it hard to believe that these characters are fictional. They're all so real, like those in Friday Night Lights, that I refuse to acknowledge that they don't actually exist. Which is why I'm genuinely a little afraid right now of what the Dowager Countess must be thinking. Since she's totally alive and well and living in London in my mind, I'm worried that she's aghast by the latest news that PBS was trying to sell knock-off Downton Abbey-inspired jewelry, oh excuse me, my Ladyship, jewellry, on their website.

Nothing could make our Countess gasp with more fervor than the idea of her precious family heirlooms being copied and sold to unsophisticated townspeople with no titles, no property, who, god forbid, sit in swivel chairs at their, oh lord, day jobs.


The show's creator and writer wasn't happy about the jewelry line, either, and had PBS stop selling it immediately. Apparently he wasn't getting any money from the sales and you can't just go around taking copy-writ works and turning their likeness around for profit. That is a no-no.

The jewelry in question featured a “Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace and earring set” for $184.99 and a “Lady Sybil black pearl bracelet and earring set” that went for $159.99. Pretty expensive for costume jewels, but I suppose that's a moot point now.

I can see why the jewelry line was a good idea -- fans are eager to get their hands on anything Downton. So whatever the next (legal) venture is, I hope the merchandise honors the Crawleys. There's probably nothing more tasteless in their eyes than plastic pearls strung on nylon. Fictional or not, certain standards should be met. Right, Countess?

Do you love seeing the fashions and jewelry on Downton Abbey?


Photo via pbs.org

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