Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goofy and gorgeous






Have you seen this jewelry before? It is has four names a) reverse carved glass jewelry b) paperweight jewelry c) souvenir jewelry and, my favorite - d) goofus glass jewelry.

The first name gives you an idea of the technique used to create the jewelry. It is made by carving a design into the back of a piece of glass, painting the cavities created, and then sealing off the back. The second name - paperweight jewelry - comes from the domed appearance of the glass. The last two names, souvenir jewelry and goofus glass, likely came about because cheap, reverse molded, unfired paint glass used to be given away as carnival prizes. Maybe when you got home with your prize you looked closer and said, "Wow, this glass is goofy!" Or, "I've been goofed - this stuff is junk!" Who knows. Anyhow, at some point our pretty jewelry got confused with this funky glassware, possibly because the reverse molding/carving technique is shared.

This glass jewelry has been around since Victorian times (buttons, etc.) but my favorite pieces are from the 20s, 30s and 40s. There are later pieces that aren't as nice - with dogs and marlins and stuff carved into the glass. But earlier pieces have more ladylike motifs - flowers, birds, sprigs of berries, etc. These are getting harder to find but they are still very affordable. Maybe something to start collecting? I know I am! Look for some in the shop soon!

First two images courtesy of Vera Battemarco and Morning Glory Antiques.

5 comments:

Zohar said...

These are SO SO nice! I love the 3rd and the 4th especially :)

Em said...

Lovely--love the second one especially.

E. Driscoll said...

I love these! They're really quite fun. They seem like the fun version of reverse carved lucite pieces...

Brook said...

I'm a huge fan of reverse carved jewelry. I'm particularly fond of the non-painted variety, it has a certain subtlety that I find very pretty. These colors are so striking though, I think you just gave me a reason to expand my collection!

lauren said...

i loves these. i wore my goofus piece out this weekend, to zingerman's no less!

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