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Posts Tagged ‘antique jewelry’

American Gypsy Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

American Gypsy Jewelry

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/gypsy.html

The Antiques Road Show has a fascinating article about American Gypsy Jewelry on their blog.

Gypsy Jewelry dates from the 1900-1930’s period.   During this time, many gypsies migrated to America and brought their jewelry-making skills with them.

Gypsy Jewelry is a rare form of jewelry with strong associations to the romance of the gypsy.   Much of the jewelry is 14KT gold.   Many pieces have embedded stones, but more likely the stones are synthetic.  Gypsies didn’t have a way to verify the worth of stones.   They used synthetic stones so they wouldn’t be a position of having to value them.

Gypsies were excellent at jewelry craft because they always carried their wealth with them.   It was easier and safer to carry their wealth in the form of jewelry.

Gypsies used a lot of coins in their jewelry.   They liked to represent the profiles of women, like cameos, which they called gypsy queens.

Gypsy jewelry is worth thousands of dollars.

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The Japonisme

Posted by learntobead on June 30, 2011

The Japonisme
Influence of Japan on Western Jewelers, 1867-1917

There is a current exhibit at the Wartski Gallery in London entitled “The Japonisme: From Falize to Faberge: The Goldsmith and Japan”.     This exhibit showcases the influence of Japan on western jewelers, such as Tiffany, Falize, Cartier, Boucheron, Faberge.

Here are some of the kinds of things you would see at this exhibit:

Tiffany: Pearl Flower Brooch

 

Vever: Cherry Blossom Brooch

 

 

Wartski Promo for Exhibit

 

 

Boucheron: Brooches

 

Western jewelry artists took much inspiration from the artistic works of Japan.    Specifically, they:

1) Incorporated cloisonne (enameling) techniques
2) Used fragments to capture the essence,
such as using a flower blossom and branch to capture the essence of a whole tree, and nature itself
3) created more of a sense of delicacy in their pieces
4) Built in a sense of poetry into their designs.

 

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Jelly Bellies

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Jelly Bellies – Vintage Jewelry

Lots of people collect vintage jewelry today.    One of the most collectible vintage piece is known as a Jelly Belly.

Jelly Bellies are an animal made out of sterling or vermeil, with a carved piece of lucite for its belly.    It is rumoured that the lucite came from old airplane windshields.

A lucite belly is more valuable than a glass belly.   A clear lucite is better than a colored belly.

You can usually find these at next to nothing.   They resell for hundreds of dollars.

The first jelly bellies made have been made as early as 1938.  Most were made between 1943 and 1945, and set in sterling or vermeil.  Sterling was rationed and very expensive during these war years, so adding a piece of Lucite to the design made it possible to produce large, eye-catching designs. After the war and into the 1950’s they were made in base metals, but all of them are delightful!

Many costume jewelry manufacturers used the Jelly Bellies which means some are marked and some are not, but most famous are the Trifari and Corocraft sterling designs, which incorporated fantastic design with breathtaking quality of materials and craftsmanship.

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