Monday, March 31, 2014

Copper and enamel, part one

I am into copper and enamel right now, especially pieces from the 1960s. Not one to normally wear a bracelet stack, I would totally make an exception for these four bracelets. Don't they look rad together?! Like this look? There will be enamel pendants and necklaces to follow mid-week!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Victorian ring stock

A few different shots of some new antique gold rings in the shop. Two of them are 15 carat gold, which was a legal standard for a very short time from 1854 to 1931. I love the patina on these and the stones are fantastic - rough cut diamonds, turquoise and paste.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Napoleon's last leaf

This is the last remaining gold laurel leaf from the wreath that Napoleon wore at his coronation in 1804. The leaves (and berries) - all fashioned by the court jeweler Martin-Guillaume Biennais in naturalistic style - were later melted down by Louis XVIII during the Restoration. This leaf survived because Napoleon gave it to the painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey, who later had it mounted in this box with an accompanying note about how he came to have it:

"At Saint-Cloud in 1805, before the departure for Milan, I was helping the emperor as he tried on the royal crown which was supposed to go above the golden laurel wreath made for the coronation in Notre-Dame. One of the leaves fell off. Just as I was about to give it to the head chamberlain, His Majesty said to me: 'Keep it; it will make a good souvenir of your clumsiness.'"

It is worth listening to the short audioguide for this piece. 

Laurel leaf image courtesy of The National Museum of Sweden
Quotation via

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

✴ birthday sale ✴

Each order gets a special little something from me!
Thank you for four wonderful years in business.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Original boxes make me happy

"Original box" is a phrase that makes me feel warm all over. When I see antique jewelry like this - "in situ" - I really feel transported to another time. I imagine standing in a jewelry shop, watching the keeper pack up a purchase and closing the box with a little snap. It is also a reminder to me that all of these things - antiques today - were once brand new, waiting in a shop for someone to try them on and take them home. Here are a few of my favorite examples (all images linked).

Images courtesy of:
Baby ring: Jean Jean Vintage
Turquoise ring: Etsy
Snake necklace and pearl parure: Oro incenso e mirra
Mourning ring: Paris Hotel Boutique
Comb: The Three Graces
Goldstone mosaic ring: Wells Antiques
Etruscan bracelet: Rubylane