Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1930s glass necklaces, "Made in France"


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.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Collier de chien


As I was preparing to list the Edwardian collier de chien in the shop last week, I searched around a bit for images of other styles. Ten minutes quickly turned to sixty minutes. I don't think I blinked. The collier de chien was popularized by Princess Alexandra (later Queen Alexandra), who supposedly wore the neck-hugging necklaces to hide a scar. The style was quickly adopted by women in England and beyond, making the collier de chien (and plaque de cou) one of the most recognizable styles of Edwardian jewelery. This Pinterest board shows many great examples, including several unbelievable plaque de cou by Lalique and the like.

{all images linked to their original source}