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Entries in victorian jewelry (33)

Jewelry Collection Stories: Danielle of @jasmyntea

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This month's Jewelry Collection Story comes from a favorite Instagram collector of mine and it's not because we share the same name, although that helps ;) It is because Danielle's style and curation of such a fine collection is unlike any other!  She has a fierce eye for what she loves and I've been wanting to know her story for quite awhile now. We finally got her story (she is a busy San Francisco dweller, with a full-time job that doesn't involve jewelry) and she has provided some amazing photos of her personal collection. Let's dive into her story!

"I have always been a collector. Whether it was collecting vintage jewelry, or vintage clothing, or books on costume and fashion. I’m always looking for unique items that speak to me in some way.   I first fell in love with jewelry when I was about 12 and would ride my bike to the thrift store to look for treasures. I always liked vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Old pieces have stories within them. And I always liked to imagine the travels the pieces went through before I became their custodian.

My mother does not really wear much jewelry. Most of the jewelry she wears, except her wedding band, was probably given to her by her sisters or her daughters. She has very few pieces, so I didn’t really grow up surrounded by jewelry. I didn’t know one of my grandmothers as they both passed away before I was born. But I do wear her gold framed glasses from the 1940s every day as my own eyeglasses. I love this connection with my past. My other grandmother didn’t really have much affinity for jewelry either.  So I’m not really sure where my love of jewelry and antiques comes from--but I can tell you that I’m obsessed :-)

When I first started collecting jewelry in high school I liked vintage brooches and small enamel pins. This was what I could afford to purchase. From vintage pins, I branched out to vintage sterling. I always loved going to antique stores and hunting for unusual, inexpensive pieces. My early collection included David Anderson Norwegian pins and bracelets, sterling charm bracelets, bakelite bangles, and funky long beads to layer.  I always liked layering, mixing and creating a story with my jewelry. As my style evolved I also liked to support local jewelry artists, so I would go to fairs and stores that sold the work of local jewelry artists and try to pick pieces I liked.  My modern collection is made of up certain designers – Marla Aaron, Judy Geib, Gabriela Kiss, Louison Rare and Fine (GemstoneGypsy), Jean Jean Vintage, Gillian Conroy, Variance Objects, Dahlia Khanner, Alberian and Aulde, Amali Jewelry and local San Francisco artists Betsy Barron and Alix Bluh. I tend to gravitate towards jewelry artists versus major designer jewelry.  Although one of the first pieces I completely coveted when I was 16 was Tiffany’s Elsa Perreti sterling bean necklace.

In the recent years I have gravitated towards building my antique collection. I love to go to antique fairs and shows, stop in small antique shops when I travel and I follow many antique jewelry sellers on IG. If you are curious, my first IG discovery was Erie Basin and my early purchases were a Toi et Moi Victorian diamond ring and a French link bracelet that many people have asked if they could purchase from me.  Finding the antique jewelry community on IG has been very meaningful to me. I feel like I’ve found a crew of fellow jewelry enthusiasts that I can geek out about Georgian jewels, or old cut diamonds, or how to style antique and modern jewelry together. Before IG I never really participated in social media. Finding the IG community of jewelry lovers has been a nice addition in my life, so I don’t drive my husband and sons nuts with my jewelry interests. I’ve also enjoyed meeting fellow IG collectors on my travels. 

I can’t really categorize what I collect, because I look for unusual pieces or pieces that resonate for me in some way. I feel like I am the custodian of the pieces I collect.  I can’t always articulate why I fall in love with pieces.  Sometimes the piece feels sentimental, sometimes the piece will fill an aspect of my collection that I need for a look I’m striving for. On a broad level, I like Georgian and Victorian jewelry. And then I like modern pieces that provide contrast for the more sweet/sentimental antique pieces. I love to mix antique and modern pieces together. Probably my favorite thing to mix are Marla Aaron locks with my antique necklaces, charms and brooches. Mixing and styling jewelry is a creative outlet for me. It’s self-expression—what I’m trying to put out there on a given day. I mix everything: yellow, rose, green gold, platinum and silver. On most days I have on five types of metal. I actually tend to prefer wearing mixed metals versus monochromatic styling. Although sometimes I like to do all gold or all silver or all one kind of gemstone. 

I’m sentimental when it comes to jewelry. I always wear a Marla Aaron lock which to me symbolizes to hold fast to what’s important. I once did post on IG about how my modern jewelry spirit animal is my engraved Marla Aaron lock that has all family initials hidden within the engraved design. If I had to pick an antique spirit animal it would probably either be antique chains or signet rings. My thorn necklace (by Gillian Conroy) symbolizes that life has thorns to deal with but I am strong enough to weather the thorns. My hand bloodstone signet ring from Metier with the word “confido,” which means trust, reminds me to trust myself. And then on any given day, my other jewelry represents other items of importance to me or things I’m trying to stay centered about.  My Mizpah ring from TheOneILoveNYC is for my husband and me, and my Souvenir bangle from Lucy Verity hasn’t left my wrist since I got it last year - I look down and remember. My Lenore heart rings: to remember love, my signets: to remember the people who are important to me, my memento mori ring from Nvitblanche: to remember to live in the moment, my ruby locket from Circa 1700 has diamonds in it from my mother-in-law in the amount of Pi carats (ok I’m a definite geek).  Recently my husband and I gave each other Gabriela Kiss eye rings to symbolize us watching over each other. 

You may wonder what pieces I am on the hunt for next.  I try to keep an open mind when I am hunting for jewelry, because you never know what you might find. I always ask myself does this resonate for me, will I really wear it and reach for this piece everyday?  I like to purchase pieces that I will wear, I don’t like for jewelry to just sit in my jewelry box. I don’t necessarily keep a running wish list. Although at the beginning of 2016 I did an IG jewelry wishlist post and when I look back on it now, I did end up collecting some of the items on my wishlist during 2016, (like my French cut eternity band from Platt Boutique Jewelry).  Right now I’m coveting high carat gold items - 22K gold bands (I just got one from Metier) and poesy rings, a Georgian memento mori ring and chains, always more chains.  Recently, I've been loving layering a lot of gold watch chains.

In closing, almost every piece I wear holds meaning for me of something I want to remember or a story I want to tell that day with my jewelry. Jewelry wearing and styling is my personal storytelling."

 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Danielle --> @jasmyntea

Jewelry Collection Stories: Jennifer of @Dupkaspike

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To end out the year, our last Jewelry Collection Story comes from Jennifer, or as many may know her on Instagram, @Dupkaspike. Her collection is eclectic, heavily sentimental and so fun to look at. She captured her collecting essence perfectly in these photos. Now if only I can meet her one day and she them in person! ;) ...take it away Jennifer:

I can’t say that I have always loved jewelry, but I can pinpoint the moment when the love affair began. When I was 16, my Dad took me into Keil’s, an antique jewelry store on Royal Street in New Orleans, and bought me two rings. One was a mother of pearl cameo with an onyx surround, and another was a rose gold carnelian with a gold inlaid intaglio of a Rose of Sharon.

It was an important moment in my understanding of jewelry. My Mom was a big Southwestern jewelry fan (I’ve inherited her collection), but it wasn’t something that resonated strongly with me, though I admired it. I was drawn more to the sentimental, and to the personal.

I did not do a lot of collecting in early adulthood. My husband is Chinese, and so over the years and when we married, I received traditional Chinese 22k gold and jade pieces as gifts, which I look forward to passing on to my children. Traditional Chinese don’t really like lower-karat gold pieces and I liked history and sentiment; so we were in agreement that mall jewelry wasn’t really for me. The jade pieces are my favorites of these, as is a giant 22k dragon and phoenix ring.

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Over the years I have gravitated to certain genres. As an amateur painter, I adore portrait miniatures, and greatly admire the skill required to produce them. I don’t have many, but I’m always on the lookout for special pieces. Recently I acquired a large Georgian locket brooch, from CJ Antiques, surrounded by amethysts and plan to commission a portrait of my kids and dog. One piece I wear often I got from Duvenay, a pretty portrait of Marie Antoinette, with a diamond halo that was converted from a stickpin.

I’m a strong believer in personalization, so mostly every new piece I own has some engraving or dedication on it. When my kids were born, I bought heavy Tiffany Lucida wedding bands and had their names engraved on the outside and their birthdates on the inside. Similarly, I had their names and birthdates engraved on the inside of gemstone and diamond stacking rings. I have several stacking rings, which I love to mix with larger pieces. One set I wear all the time is two ruby keeper rings from Jewellery Hannah, as well as a giardinetto from Pocket of Rocks. Last year I worked with Hoard Jewelry on engraving to flat gold bands for them with personalized messages. One has the cipher of a "nonsense" love song my son used to sing to me as a child when he was barely verbal; only he and I understand it. He later told me that it was his love song to his Mom, and so of course my heart melted. Other antique engraved pieces of jewelry with dedications or initials I own are mostly amatory, including a Russian rock crystal locket with diamond initials on the face that once held hair; a tiny acrostic locket with engraving and locket space for hair; a large, double heart picture frame, and a banded agate mourning locket. A favorite bangle acquired from Lenore Dailey spells, “Dieu Vous Garde,” or “God Protect You.” I also have a locket with that motif. One of my very favorite pieces it is really quite special. I got it from Glorious Antique Jewelry. It is dated 1790 and has some interesting initials on the back, and a lovely message on the front, “Pour ma Sophie pour toujours ma petite cherie toût, 1790” which roughly translates to, “To my Sophie, you will always be my little darling, 1790.”

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I love LOVE, and as such can’t seem to stop seeking out pansy jewelry. I have several enamel and gemstone pieces—a pendant and pocket watch. Pansy jewelry of course was symbolic of the French for “ Pense à moi,” or “ Think of me.” Similarly a Georgian pendant brooch I find myself wearing often simply says, “ L’Amour,” and is decorated with two seed pearl lovebirds. A garnet and white enamel pendant reads in Latin, “ Dulcis Vita::Tibi Vita,” or “ The Good “ Life; Your Life.” One piece I have, ruby hearts with diamond wings, was acquired from Park Avenue Jewelry and I decided to convert it from a brooch to a necklace. I’m a strong believer that jewelry should be worn, and I realized that it would get a lot more use for me personally as a necklace. I got this piece as my mother was dying, and it will always be very special to me as a remembrance of her.

French St. Esprit pieces are also a love and I get a lot of use out of a French regional cross I found. One of the St. Esprits is probably late 18th century and makes a political statement, with its red and blue pastes. A favorite piece of mine is an 1835 rose cut diamond, gold and silver Halley’s Comet pendant (likely converted from a brooch) that I got from Inez Stodel.

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Jennifer --> @dupkaspike

Jewelry Collection Stories: Sheri of Metier SF

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Continuing with our week of Jewelry Collection Stories, today's collection features Sheri of Metier SF. If you don't know, Metier is a boutique store located in San Francisco which went from selling mostly clothing and some jewelry, to mostly jewelry and some curiosities. Sheri and Trina curate some of the finest antique jewels you will ever lay your eyes on, so I knew the moment I asked Sheri to share her personal collection with Gem Gossip, it was going to be great!  Take it away, Sheri:

"I am a collector of jewels of all kinds. I like that they are a testament to the past and beautiful reminders of events or people, or particular moments when you put them on. I like that they decorate the way you talk. I’m fond of mingling antique pieces with modern gems, the ethos of craftsmanship binding the different time periods and jewelry styles. I’m obsessed with references to natural forms in jewelry. I love snakes and animal motifs, and am drawn to unusual natural stones, old diamonds, coral, emeralds, turquoise and agates of all sorts. I mix my metals and adore stacks of gold bands and bracelets.

I’m very sentimental and wear a curb­link chain with collected antique and Philip Crangi charms everyday. Without this talismanic necklace I feel naked. French angel charms with the names and birthdates of each of my children and a beautiful parrot locket filled with family pictures are among my most treasured pieces. 

I collect bangles and love Etruscan Revival next to Victorian next to Mid­Century. The diamond snake bangle was given to me by husband for my 35th birthday and the pair of wedding bangles were an anniversary gift. The silver floral bangle with rose gold edges was one of the first pieces I ever bought more than 20 years ago.

Ever drawn to contrasting shapes and textures, my wedding day cameo necklace pairs unexpectedly with vintage branch coral or the Gabriella Kiss ivy necklace and rough emerald earrings from Variance Objects.

Fashion always plays a big part in how I style my jewelry. Lately larger earrings for day have been calling out to me and my carved antique horn urns or intricate studded hoops from Philip Crangi again feel very au courant.

Last are my beloved rings. I’m drawn to stones and styles that seduce the mind and the eye. Two are snake rings, one a wedding band and the other a Gemstone Gypsy snake, twin to one my teenage daughter wears. My work partner, Trina and I recently bought each other the Gabriella Kiss eye rings. My mother’s diamond was set by Gillian Conroy and the extra­wide rose gold wedding band and turquoise pave navette ring have remained among my very favorite rings since I began collecting. These rings and all of my pieces are the lovely keys to my life."

You can check out her store in San Francisco or online, here. Special thanks to photographer Rebecca Goldschmidt for photos.

Metier SF

546 Laguna Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Find Your Color Palette at Fellows' Antique & Modern Sale

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As you can tell, December is FULL of the best jewelry auctions--it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Fellows does not disappoint, with their December 10th Antique & Modern Sale lineup now online for your enjoyment. If you're struggling to find that "perfect" piece for a holiday gift this year, make sure you check out their catalogue. It is brimming with fun antique jewelry, rare items and collectible pieces. I've put together a color palette to get some ideas flowing. Whether you're drawn to moody blues, epic greens, festive florals or vibrant orange, these will surely get you inspired!

> Fellows Antique & Modern Sale, Thursday, December 10th, 2015 <

Image One:

Lot 26: A bright blue enamel ring, finished off with white enamel around the edge, is set with five rose cut diamonds in silver settings. This is a fine piece of Georgian jewelry and I love the openwork shoulders--gives it some nice detailing! 

Lot 37: A mashup of my current muses all in one piece of jewelry--a tri-colored figa pendant! I love the detailing with the different colored gold. The uniqueness of this piece is really something else! It is all 18k gold and the piece measures a little over two inches.

Lot 45: A moody mid-19th century gold Holbeinesque pendant, consisting of a garnet, pearl and some enamel. The garnet cabochon in the center is foil-backed, flanked by pearls with rose-cut diamonds, blue, red and green enamel in a circular-shape. The backside features some beautiful etching. So exquisite! 

Lot 134: An Egyptian-revival plique-a-jour brooch. The coloring is bright and vibrant, depicting an Egyptian King in a headdress with wings. Nothing like that stained glass window effect on a piece of jewelry.

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Image Two:

Lot 38: This emerald and diamond dress ring features a crowned heart, an enchanting jewelry motif! Pear-shaped emeralds team up to form a heart shape, along with a bow of diamonds to form the crown. Such a pretty piece!

Lot 56: A fun waterfall of diamonds is depicted in this pendant, which is set with Old European cut diamonds and some rose cut diamonds, accented with black enamel. The two diamond scrolls which start at the top of the piece set it off beautifully!  

Lot 399: Such a fantastic piece of Art Deco history, this drop pendant features emerald and diamonds in platinum in a chandelier style. The necklace that is comes on also has some special detailing--dispersedly set with pearls throughout. Gives off a very romantic vibe!

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Image Three: 

Lot 114: A gem-set ruby band ring featuring cushion cuts which graduate in size, each bold and juicy as ever. The ring is done in yellow gold and would make a gorgeous right hand ring or stackable within your collection. Be a lady in red!

Lot 157: An epic pair of Victorian fringe earrings, each set with an oval cabochon garnet in a scalloped motif with hanging chains at the bottom.  I love the bow detail at the very top--it is unexpected and gives it a nice character. 

Lot 384: Jewelry featuring hands is a personal favorite--this claddagh ring has French assay marks and a gorgeous trillion cut pink sapphire. The hands are articulated and show enough detail to be just right!

Lot 443: Fiery garnets create this striking necklace, which is rather delicate and modern looking. A medium-sized round garnet at the very top, followed by four smaller garnets, ending with the biggest garnet at the bottom. A simple design but very powerful.

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Image Four:

Lot 100: A mid-20th century enamel pansy brooch. This one features an old cut diamond in the center that is approximately 0.15 carats, with pink and white petals. The center shows purple as well.

Lot 108: Another mid-20th century enamel pansy brooch, this time featuring a pearl in the center and mostly purple and white enamel colors with some yellow detailing. Love these enamel pansies--my collection is lacking one!

Lot 269: An incredible Carlo Giuliano brooch which is a bumble bee reverse crystal intaglio brooch, surrounded by amethyst and half pearls. What is even more amazing about this lot is it comes with the original box and the maker's mark is clearly on there. What a fantastic piece! 

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Fellows Auctions

 

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Book Review: Sentimental Jewellery by Ann Louise Luthi

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Looking for a quick jewelry read?  Then this book is for you!  This 40-page paperback book is packed with valuable facts about sentimental jewelry, starting with the Georgian Era, then up through Victorian and ending with a chapter on Collecting Sentimental Jewellery.  There is also a section with a diverse list of further reading options in case one wants to delve into the subject even further.  If memento mori, mourning jewelry, portrait rings, lovers' eye jewelry, REGARD rings, jet and hair jewelry, cause your heart the flutter, I recommend this book!

The author, Ann Louise Luthi, is a member of the Society of Jewellery Historians and has extensively written and lectured on antique jewelry.  She has also worked with the British Museum in the jewelry collections department. 

I received Sentimental Jewellery from my mom for Christmas and I read the entire book while sitting next to the fireplace on Christmas Eve.  It is a good read for a beginner collector, as well as a novice...I especially love how easy and approachable it is to read and enjoy.  

To buy your own copy of this book for your Jewelry Library, click here: