Today we take a look into the jewelry box of @LuckandLockets to see her favorite treasures and the stories behind them! I love her attitude on her collection and if you think you can’t collect antique jewelry because you live either a busy life or live nowhere near an antique jewelry shop, think again! She has done most all her shopping through Instagram alone and has created quite the collection! I’m sure you’ll notice all our jewelry friends represented in her collection! Enjoy!
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Collecting antique jewelry takes patience, a roving eye and a lot of time! I work full time in crazy hectic NYC and have a family, too, so there isn’t a whole lot of down time to treasure hunt (trust me — try dragging a 10 year old boy and a husband to the antiques stores while on vacation!) So, what a godsend that so many amazing antique jewelry vendors sell online, open 24/7. It wasn’t so long ago that it was a novelty to buy fine antique jewelry online — all without seeing or feeling it in person, from a seller thousands of miles away. An article I read in Vogue a few years ago opened a whole new world of antiquing possibilities to me — it was precisely about the growing numbers of women who were investing in jewelry for themselves – buying over the internet! I was sold and have not looked back.
I search for pieces that are “niche” — rare and unusual in some way, yet wearable in the real world (I love a tiara as much as Lady Mary, but no-can-do on NYC subways!) Georgian pieces are wonderful and romantic, because they pre-date mass production and I love the handcrafted and “imperfect.” I also adore figural pieces, and anything with a message or story. The web has been a great way to source unusual pieces from home –after the work emails are done, dinner dishes washed and child is in bed! And when I found Instagram, I was hooked! In fact, I have found some of my favorite pieces through my IG feed — from an amazing community of antique jewelry enthusiasts, who share a similar aesthetic and passion (and who happen to ferret out unique pieces from their sources).
Here are some of the rings I found through my IG feeds – representative of some of my favorite motifs and materials — and I think many of them are definitely one of a kind!
From left to right:
Thumb: (Bottom) Georgian enameled memorial ring, inscribed 1806 … from @shopfiligree. I love the modern, austere vibe of this ring, even though it is over 200 years old. This is my go-to stacker.
(Top) Art Nouveau “Night and Day” signet ring . . . from @eriebasin. The gold on this ring has that wonderful, soft, velvety texture that only comes with age. The surprise to this ring? Each shoulder is carved with a distinct Art Nouveau “maiden” — one has her eyes closed in sleep (Night) and the other is wide-eyed (Day). I am not engraving this one — it just seems perfect and pristine the way it is.
First Finger: (Bottom) Mid-Victorian green-eyed snake ring in rare 16k . . . from @theedencollective. Every antique ring collection needs at least one snake. I picked this one for its detail and dimensional quality — its head is rearing up, and a tiny tongue is just visible in its parted mouth. A little creepy, in a good way.
(Top) Late Georgian-era French ring set with fat, juicy foiled garnets . . . from @theoneilovenyc. The color of these stones is incredible, and the foil has remained intact all these years. One of my all time favorites.
Middle Finger: (Bottom) Art Nouveau-era ring set with the most incredible turquoise scarab . . . from @duvenay. No other way to put this, but I LOOOVE this ring for its bold scale, handmade setting and of course that soft, dreamy turquoise. This stone came from the Porterfield Turquoise Mines in New Mexico, owned at the time by the family of @duvenay. I feel honored to wear this cherished piece.
(Top) Victorian hard stone cameo of Mary Queen of Scots (a favorite of mine) ornately framed . . . again from @duvenay. This ring is a little crazytown, right up my alley — probably an old conversion. It’s chunky, but feminine because, well, it’s a cameo!
Ring Finger: (Bottom) OK, it’s not easy to pick a single favorite, but this could be IT. Victorian elephant carnelian intaglio ring . . . from @Circa1700. The intaglio is the star — incredible skilled detailed carving in a perfect minimal setting. The British hallmarks are all there, but a little bit of a mystery as to the year…long story, but it hardly matters, as I am never giving this one up!
(Top) Victorian-era French pave turquoise initial ring . . . another from @theedencollective. All I can say is thank goodness I did not change my name when I got married, just so I could get this ring. Some things are meant to be.
Pinky: Georgian flat cut garnet eternity band …from @lisajshuler. I have searched more antiques booths than I care to count for this ring, and yet I found it on IG. I eyed this baby long enough to gestate a real live human one (at least it felt like it) and cursed the Georgian ladies for their tiny fingers . . . until I sized my pinky and realized I could make this Georgian mine.
Not to be completely ring-centric, here is a group of some of my favorite pendants recently sourced online.
Clockwise from the top:
Top: Massive English Victorian rock crystal orb, with a jeweled snake coiled around it. Mesmerizing and mystical. (See detailed photo).
Right: French Belle Epoque onyx locket, set with a dragon — or is it a basilisk? Either way, I love this guardian mama.
Bottom: Art Nouveau Austro-Hungarian Plique-a-Jour locket. I am loco for enamel and lockets — and bonus that the lady is wearing jewelry.
Left: Victorian coral figa (in fact, an entire coral arm). This piece is so ridiculously over the top it had my name all over it. A figa ARM clutching a bunch of lucky coral horns? AND wearing a turquoise gold bracelet AND an Etruscan style turquoise embellished “cap sleeve”??!! Crazy in the best way. My uber lucky charm.
Center: Victorian Scottish seal, with a carved citrine. I have a deep fondness for this one. The top is deeply carved with flora and fauna, depicting a game of “Hare and Hounds”, a precursor to Paper Chase. The seal itself is a wonderful citrine intaglio of a coat of arms, with a one word, yet powerful motto “Essayez” (“Try”). I wear this when I need a reminder to go for it!