Posted by learntobead on October 25, 2011
Cristobal Balenciaga was a Spanish fashion designer who began selling fashion and accessories aroun 1919, but came into prominence in the 1950’s. He’s known for building in very broad shoulders into jackets, blouses and gowns. He also brought into fashion the Tunic Dress, and the high Empire Waist dress and gown.
He was a hands-on designer, making many of his own clothing, as well as jewelry.
He was considered one of the all-time great couturiers. His pieces are very collectible.
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Posted by learntobead on July 30, 2011
SINGING BIRD PISTOLS
Watch this video of these 200 year old Singing Bird Pistols. They recently sold for over $5 million at auction.
Made of gold and enamel and set with pearls and diamonds. They are the only known surviving pair and
attributed to the Geneva firm of Freres Rochat.
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Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011
American Gypsy Jewelry
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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Posted by learntobead on April 13, 2011
Erotic Watches Auctioned Off
By Antiquorum, The Leading Watch Auctioneer
A unique collection of more than 30 erotic watches and system objects are among the timepieces Antiquorum offered on March 27 here as part of its “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” auction. The highlight of this collection was a repeating musical watch with four actions and a concealed erotic automaton. Dubbed “Musique d’Amour” and made in 1810, the watch is believed to be the work of Genevan watchmaker Henry Capt, and which was expected to fetch around $90,000.
A Google search of images under the keywords “erotic watches” turned up 4,500,000 images. So I guess, given this large number of images, erotic watches are very popular and here to stay. And probably good investments.
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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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