Thursday, October 23, 2014

Custom Victorian glass signet seal rings


I recently acquired several Victorian glass intaglio seals, loose and begging to be set as rings. I've chosen to set them simply in 10K yellow gold. The prongs grip the seal at the beveled side, allowing the intaglio face to remain unhindered (i.e. if you want to actually stamp with your ring, you can!) The seals are deep, giving the rings an impressive profile. Orders placed by the middle of November can be ready in time for Christmas - what a perfect gift! $680 + shipping. Layaway optional.

The signets read, left to right, top to bottom:
Elle est legere (It is lightweight), with an image of a chain
Paix a mon ami (Peace to my friend), with a dove and laurel branch
Je me change qu'en mourant (I will remain steadfast until death), with a leaf SOLD
Le globe est ma patrie (the planet is my nation/country), with a globe
Qui me neglige, me perd (He who neglects me, loses me), with a bird escaping a cage
May the (wings) of friendship never lose (a feather), with wings and a feather
Repondez s'il vous plait (Reply, if you please)
A's well that ends well . . . , with a thistle
Usque ad cineres (Until ashes), with clasped hands

If you are interested in ordering a custom ring, please contact me. The ring pictured here, which reads "We part to meet again" with a pair of scissors (those clever Victorians!) will be available in the shop later today.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Victorian Stag Locket


I just listed an incredible locket this afternoon - a ca. 1880s Victorian stag locket with enamel details. The stag was a symbol of harmony and honor ("will fight if needed" kind of thing) to the Victorians and Queen Victoria herself had several items of jewelry with either stag teeth or stag motifs. Her husband, Prince Albert, enjoyed hunting the animal. The blue enamel on the locket forms the horizon behind the stag, which stand majestically on a rocky slope. The details on the animal are wonderful and the locket is in excellent condition. I don't believe it was ever worn, actually.

In this article, you can read about some of the teeth (human and animal!) jewelry that Queen Victoria possessed and see a fascinating stag tooth necklace gifted to her by Prince Albert.

Friday, October 10, 2014

HONEYBEE Czech necklace


This necklace, which is most certainly Czech in origin, makes me very excited. It is so rare to find front-clasp necklace like this. In fact, I was only able to find three other examples around the web this week (two of which come from this shop, which I would argue has the best selection of collectible Czech jewelry on Etsy). What makes this necklace even more interesting is the color choice - bold, nearly neon yellow and black. I've truly never seen anything like it. I hope it goes to a great home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1930s glass necklaces, "Made in France"

{via}
{via}
{via}
{via}
{via}
{via}

I didn't really know about these chunky, French glass bead necklaces until I found one in a pile of things I won at an auction earlier this year. They are serious pieces of jewelry. The one I listed in the shop weighs over 5 ounces and you can feel it sinking around your neck with the weight of all that beautiful glass. The necklaces are strung on sturdy herringbone silver chain to support the heavy beads and the clasps are often barrel style and always marked, "Made in France." So if you are out antiquing or at a flea market and you see a necklace like this, peek at the clasp. They aren't flashy in the way that some Art Deco necklaces are but they are fabulous in their own way.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Heart of gold: Colombian gilt lace jewelry


Whenever a company asks me to review a piece of clothing or jewelry, I am hesitant and I end up saying no 99% of the time. But when Uncommon Goods contacted me last week I made an exception. I was intrigued by their B Corp status (what what?) and curious about the story behind the company they wanted me to check out, a Fair Trade jewelry manufacturer with Colombian roots.

Uncommon Goods is a Brooklyn based online marketplace with a focus on small-production, handmade, and socially-mindful products. They are a B Corp, which means that they are a for-profit company that has documented and measurable social goals as well as business (financial) ones. There are only about 1000 B Corps in the U.S., which puts them in pretty exclusive company. You can visit here to find Uncommon Goods' most recent B Corp scorecard, rating them on everything from employee wages and benefits to community giving.

And now to the necklace. As you know, I rarely wear anything that is new. But, but, BUT - this 24K gold dipped lace necklace has charmed the pants off of me.  It is made by a mother/daughter business duo with the help of Colombian artisans. The mission of the company is to support, though meaningful and empowering employment, those people (most women) who have been displaced over the course of the Colombian Civil War. The gilt lace pieces combine two traditional Colombian crafts - fine metalwork and lace art. I think this is one of the best lines offered in Uncommon Goods handmade jewelry selection and it certainly stood out to me when I browsed the personalized jewelry selection right here, too.

As a little bonus, the heart pendant twists slightly to one side, which reminds me of the Georgian "witches hearts" that I covet as an antique jewelry collector! I wore it all day yesterday with my trusty fall flannel. A good piece of jewelry . . . and for good in the world. I'm a fan.

Thank you to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring this post.

More reading:
This is a great article about B Corps in the New Yorker.
And here is a nice bit about Belart, the mother/daughter company that made this necklace.