Friday, January 31, 2014

✿ Flowers for sale ✿

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I stocked the top of the shop with big, colorful flower brooches this afternoon. Just click on the brooches above to link to the listings! All of these date to the late 1930s-early 1940s . They are pot metal plated in rhodium with enamel and rhinestone details. This type of figural floral brooch was very popular at the end of the Art Deco period and into the 1940s. Women's clothing of the 1940s was, all in all, made of sturdier fabric than in previous eras and the jackets, blazers and coats were able to support large, heavy brooches like these. The calla lily brooch is marked for Coro and is a variation on a popular brooch (pictured in a reference guide below).

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I ♥ vintage metal necklaces

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These four necklaces are new in the shop! Every lady should have a few cast metal necklaces in her jewelry box, I think. They are bold and simple and they go with just about everything, from a printed blouse to a t-shirt to a cocktail dress. Just hover over the necklace to grab the listing link. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Shop week in review

Lots of black, white, gold and silver ✦ in the shop this week ✦ Is it a bit grim to pile so much black in the shop in the middle of winter? Mehh, I don't know. I think it is quite pretty. And hearts are timely, non? To those of you who disagree, I promise some colors in the coming days!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jewelry, food, things on the wall

Jewelry, food, things on the wall. That pretty much sums up my Instagram feed. And sometimes an action shot of my kiddo. If you would like to hang out in the land of square photos with fancy filters, I am jeanjeanvintage.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gimme some Gimmel rings

I am happy to have a ring in the shop with such a long, long history as well as a traceable provenance. This style of ring is called a gimmel ring, which indicates that it has interlocking "twin" (from "gemellus" in Latin) parts. It can also be called a fede ring when it features the clasped hands, an ancient symbol of good faith and trust. You can see a very early example of a fede motif ring right here in the collection of the Walters Art Museum

This style of ring makes many appearances in history. It was often used as a wedding ring because of the powerful symbolism of the interlocking bands. We find reference to "joint ring" in Shakespeare's plays and there are early examples of gimmel rings in museum collections around the world, including a this piece from the early 1600s at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a wonderful German example from the late 1500s at the Metropolitain Museum of Art. Here are a few more examples from the Victoria & Albert Museum (image linked):

Early gimmel rings were interlocking but we don't see a nicely functioning pivoting mechanism (or pin) until the 1800s. And it wasn't until 1939 that an American designer Samuel Kalina applied for a patent on a design for such a feature. The gimmel/fede ring that I have in the shop right now is his design, manufactured from these very drawings:

This particular ring was made from a design patented in 1940 by a Mr. Samuel Kalina. It is an unusual opportunity to see the original drawings for the ring as well as admire the finished product.

As Mr. Kalina explains in the patent write up, "the principal object of the invention is to provide a novel ring embodying sections for containing identification data, engraved or otherwise inscribed thereon, and constructed and arranged for clasping together so as to conceal such data, together with a form of clasp having a significant sentimental value aspect when fastened."

This ring is done in sterling silver with two interlocking bands and clasped hands. The detail on the hands and cuffs is incredible and the laurel-leaf casting on the top and bottom of the bands is exquisite. There other marvelous examples of gimmel/fede rings on Etsy - many of them older than mine - including this 18K gold triplet fede ring (concealing a heart!) over at one of my favorite shops, The Deeps

And thus concludes your history lesson for the day :)

Patent image and quotation courtesy of Google Patents, historical gimmel ring images courtesy of the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, 18K gold gimmel ring courtesy of The Deeps

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New bracelets

New bracelets in the shop today! All to be found in the Jean Jean Vintage bracelet drawer.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The real deal

These three exceptional rings are now in the shop. A bit of a departure from the costume pieces I normally stock, I know. I will continue to supply those, too! But you can expect to find a few "fine" rings in the Jean Jean Vintage collection from now on. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before I discovered the thrill of real gold and gemstones :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Little things, big things

I had a lot of fun listing these tiny pins and giant brooches yesterday. Do you have room in your jewelry box for that gorgeous belt slide? Or how about the glowing-green glass pin?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A pretty necklace update with a pastel and crystal theme. All available in the shop today.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New gold rings

These three gold rings are fresh in the shop!
Victorian buckle ring, 18K yellow gold dated for 1881
9K onyx signet ring, dated for 1980
Art Deco wedding band, 22K gold and dated for 1931

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Unfinished Art Deco rings

Looking for a new project for the New Year? How about finishing these Art Deco rings? This vintage jewelers case of unfinished rings is up for auction on eBay right now. I've gone to visit the listing many times, needless to say. Some of the settings are really fantastic. All they need is a little gold plating and some faceted glass stones! I would love to see the before/after photos. Happy New Year!