Aug 232014
 

 

The idea of going to war wearing jewelry might seem odd, but during World War II, men’s sterling silver bracelets like this were traditionally given to departing U.S. soldiers by their sweethearts; bestowed as a token of love, but also to identify the body if they were killed in combat. This example was given to pilot “F. Griscom” of the U.S. Army Airborne Corps or “A.B.C.” (as stated on the reverse).

A rare and compelling bit of romantic military history!

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 9:25 PM
Apr 132014
 

In the late 13th century, the city of Venice, fearing the outbreak of fire, declared a nearby island as the official sector for its glassblowers; and ever since, the greatest glassworks of Italy have taken that island’s name: Murano.

When you think of Italian art glass, you almost certainly hold in your mind the fine and filigreed forms first produced on this fabled isle: swirling multicolored vases, scintillating chandeliers, the famed “thousand flowers” bouquets of millefiori paperweights… Less well known, but much more accessible―and collectible―is beautiful Venetian beadwork. Using a small table-torch, a technique known as lampwork transforms glass into stunning and sparkling jewels.

First developed amidst the creative bloom of the Renaissance, fiorato (flower) or “wedding cake” beads (as they are known to collectors) are the ultimate example of this art-form . Each bead is exquisitely and delicately handmade; as many as six layers of molten glass are twirled and fused together to combine opaque, iridescent, and metallic materials in an effect that’s entirely reminiscent of cake-icing decoration―and every bit as tasty! 

Dating from the 1920s, this necklace and earrings set combines the ancient glassmaking technique of fiorato with Art Deco accents to create a timeless confection that’s both elegant and bold!

status: sold

 Posted by at 5:08 PM
Oct 292012
 

I love the mysterious, the curious, and the strange, and these are perfect examples: exquisitely detailed stamped copper and brass charms in the shape of various animals and icons. Almost certainly Victorian, these characters and critters are like something out of a James Fenimore Cooper novel or a poem by Longfellow. Each measures just a few centimeters in length; however, the detail is absolutely magnificent. The original purpose now lost, these adorable little charms continue to beguile . . .

 

status: sold

 Posted by at 4:31 AM
Apr 212012
 


A crucial bit of kit for the Edwardian lady, the chatelaine was the Swiss Army knife of its day: a collection of everyday tools that could be pined to a woman’s garments, long before clothing had pockets; ever ready, always useful. No lady was without one.

This particular sterling silver chatelaine was intended to be more of decorative object than utilitarian; one appropriate for Sunday church rather than work-a-day Monday through Friday. The charms assembled here dangle from a lovely repousse brooch-clip, and include a crown medallion (to honour the King), a holy crucifix (to honour the Church), and vinaigrette (to revive oneself during particularly tedious sermons!). Both the vial and brooch are stamped “STERLING” (indicating this piece is of American origin, as opposed to the British; English sterling is almost always indicated by the lion passant hallmark), and the pin on the broach is made in the classic Edwardian style with a simple C-hook closure.

A wonderful piece of historic jewelry that will make an an excellent addition to any collection!

 

 status: sold

 Posted by at 2:32 AM

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