Thursday, March 31, 2011

The other woman

The first thing I do when I get a locket home is take it apart. Especially if it has photographs in it. It feels a bit like snooping, but oh well. After all, people hide all kinds of neat things in lockets. Bits of ribbon, strands of hair, tiny drawings, extra photos of other women . . . wait, what?! That's what I found in this Victorian pocket watch style locket when I opened it the other day - a hidden photograph of a striking lady and a lock of golden hair.  It obviously hadn't been opened for a long, long time. So what's the story with these three?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At auction

Egyptian revival brooches ca. 1925 || $1,744
Georgian foiled quartz necklace ca. 1820 || $10,256
Victorian tortoise-shell and citrine bangle ca. 1860 || $3,282
Edwardian diamond and emerald lavalier ca. 1905 || $4,923
Early 20th century diamond ring ca.1915  || $9,641
Here are a few beautiful pieces - Georgian through Art Deco - that sold at a Christie's jewelry auction in London early last year. There is another auction coming up on April 20th that everyone is talking about because one of the world's largest pearls - La Regente - is going up on the block. More about that later!

Photos courtesy of Christie's Inc.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cuddle up necklaces

These fabric necklaces from LoveandDream look so comfy. Like perfect bedsheets. I like their color and their bulk.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gotta get myself into it

I've decided that I've gotta get myself into early plastics. I know, I know it sounds like a New Year's resolution gone bad but I'm serious. I've really disliked 1920s-1930s plastic jewelry (i.e. celluloid, bakelite, etc.) until just recently. I mean after all, it is just plastic. But I've been forcing myself to think about it, look at it, study it etc. and now I'm beginning to find it quite irresistible. Like this necklace, for example! I think you will be seeing some of it in the shop very soon.

Oh! And the title of this post comes from the second track of this mighty good mix (download it!) from the one and only Miss Moss.  I've been listening to it quite a bit lately!

dress || H&M
shoes || vintage gladiator sandals from Marie's Vintage
ring || vintage faux turquoise cabochon, thrifted
necklace || 1930s celluloid feather necklace, antique shop

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Days of the week bracelets (and underpants)

Recently, I looked at the shop and I realized there were no bracelets. Nary a one. So I set out to change that just as fast as I could! Here's what I found for you. Seven bracelets, one to list in the shop each day this week. Which makes me think of the "Days of the week underpants" scene from "When Harry Met Sally." So funny.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vintage Madness

I've been watching a lot of basketball lately and I got to thinking, what if thrifting was a sport? For those of you who have done it, you know how intense it can be - it's not impossible to imagine a league of professional antiquers! Just imagine what it would be like to spectate and hear live "on the ground" coverage at antique malls, flea markets and thrift shops? Here are a few play-by-play commentaries that I imagined for two of my favorite Etsy vintage sellers - Dear Golden Vintage and Adelaide's Homesewn - and myself. Here's the set up: The commentators' names are Tom and John. They are broadcasting live wearing vintage menswear and fancy headsets. They have a combined 46 years of experience covering vintage sports.

Lauren of Dear Golden Vintage

“The doors of the antique mall just opened and . . . yes, we’ve just received confirmation from Betty at the front desk that it is in fact Dear Golden Vintage. This is very exciting, John. Her stats sheet is incredible. She’s known in this part of the state for her accuracy and breakneck pace. People also say he has a "sixth sense" for finding tatted lace and 1940s rayon. You'll remember last March we saw her cover 100,000 square feet of collectibles in just under an hour and a half. Reports say that she's been doing a lot of home juicing since then, so who knows what she's capable of now. 

Duff (moi!) of Jean Jean Vintage
“Jean Jean Vintage has taken a sharp left down the second aisle of the antique mall and – whoah! – she is striding toward booth 204. She has a tray and is quickly filling it with baubles. Watch closely, Tom, because we might see her favoring her left hand. Reportedly, her thumb got trapped in a locket last week but it looks like she’s made a full recovery. I’m also happy to see that she’s brought her multi-compartment purse today – you’ll remember last time she forgot it and it really set her back. The necklace tangling that day was some of the worst I’ve seen."

Maria of Adelaide's Homesewn
“Now John, we all know that Adelaide’s Homesewn holds the Missouri record for most garments draped over one arm at one time, but did you also know that she also took the silver medal in the stair climbing competition at the Antique Olympics last fall? Don’t let her adorable haircut and bright lips distract you – she is fearless. When it comes to finding garments there’s no warehouse too musty, no attic too dark, and no antique mall too cluttered. We estimate that she’s rescued and redistributed just over 1000 vintage items in the last couple of years. Keep your eyes on her - she's got a long career ahead of her.” 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Point Reyes family adventure

Soren and his sister's at the trail head, which was a ca. 1860s dairy farm.
The Ocean on our left.
The pretty Point Reyes shoreline.
Tamales Bay on our right, heading out to the point.
Your truly, demonstrating the kind of "predator" pose that might scare the elk. Creepy, I know.
Tule elk grazing all around. We must have seen at least 150 on our hike.
He spotted us!
Looking down from at the tip of the point.
The lighthouse.
Along the lighthouse wall, with the stairs in the background
Last week, we went on a long hike along the Point Reyes National Seashore. My sisters-in-law were visiting and so the four of us set out together. The four-hour hike was really amazing, going north on the peninsula bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Tamales Bay (i.e. San Andreas fault) on the east. We could see both bodies of water for most of the hike. We also saw lots and lots of elk! We finished our trip with a walk down 300+ stairs to the Point Reyes Lighthouse in the hopes of spotting some whales on their northern migration. I thought they would be frolicking and waving their tails at me, but no - they stay underwater for the most part, just barely surfacing to spout once in a while. It was hard to spot them but right before we left to go back to the car, I saw a spout!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This castle

This past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine ran a story about castles for sale in Europe. I was, and remain, a bit entranced.

I decided that my favorite castle is this one, the Killahara Castle in Ireland. Not only does it appear to be the most solemn of all the castles in the article, but I love it's tower shape. It's like a castle silo that could be filled with anything! Candycorn! Cotton! Or, more likely, a series of rooms stacked on top of one another.

The castle was built in the mid 1500s and has had several owners over 500 years, including a number of prominent families, a farmer's co-op and even a cow. Today the castle operates as a guest house and it is also, of course, for sale if you want to buy it.

Photos credits: Eddie McGivern via the Killahara Castle website

Monday, March 21, 2011

Double take

1920s Art Deco 10K white gold diamond ring || 1920s Art Deco sterling silver, rhinestone and enamel ring
1920s style mount with 1900s European cut diamond || 1920s brass, rhinestone and enamel ring
1930s Art Deco 18K aquamarine ring || 1930s Art Deco sterling silver blue glass ring
1900s Art Nouveau gold signet ring || 1930s gold plated signet ring
I recently bought several great Art Deco (ca. 1920s-1930s) costume rings for the shop and, just for fun, I went looking for their fine jewelry equivalents. It is amazing to me how skillfully crafted the costume versions are, and how closely they resemble the originals. The main differences are usually metal type (platinum vs. sterling) and stones (diamonds vs. rhinestones), which account for the great difference in value. Often, the level of craftsmanship and the intricacy of the costume pieces are almost on par with the originals. I wish we could say the same for costume jewelry today! Here are four examples that I found. The rings pictured on the left come from one of my absolute favorite shops, The Three Graces, and the rings on the right are in the shop.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I spy spring

In a rare turn of events, I have several colorful pieces in my stock. I think these pretty pinks and greens are quite timely - spring is nearly here! Here are the newest additions to the shop.