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Antique Art Nouveau Suffragette Pendant Necklace

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930   item# 691014

Antique Art Nouveau Suffragette Pendant Necklace
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This spectacular necklace makes a powerful feminist statement, while also being ultra-feminine. Its provenance is a Kentucky estate and most likely dating is circa 1900, although it could be from the first Victorian Revival period, which began in the 1920s. Either way, it's antique by American 75-year standards.

Fashioned in lavaliere form, the necklace has a gracefully domed openwork surmount above the bold central element: a large (1 1/2" x 1") and highly dimensional pendant with Art Nouveau flourishes that cage a jadelike stone of early plastic (probably Galalith, invented in the 1890s), set in an ornate frame jeweled with four faux pearls and four faceted amethyst pastes.

All the stones most likely were made in Bohemia, which became Czechoslovakia after World War I and for centuries produced the best simulated gemstones. These appear original and are in fine condition, as are the richly textured gilt setting and long-link chain. Even the chain is edged with lovely Art Nouveau scrollwork. It measures 7" on each side, the fancy clasp adds another 1/2" and the lavalier adds 2 1/2", so total hanging length is 17".

As you know if you collect Suffragette jewels, the unusual combination of green, purple and white typically signifies that a jewel was first owned by a member of the movement. For them, green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. All this seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any. To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades in the U.K. and U.S., we modern women owe our right to vote. That right was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. Thus, although most of the jewelry is Victorian, Edwardian or transitional, some was crafted in the Art Deco era.

The wealthiest suffragettes mixed amethysts and pearls or diamonds with green stones such as emeralds or peridots, but pretend gems were naturally favored by gals of lesser means and they could look just as opulent, as this necklace proves. It was certainly a jewel prized by its first owner and has been equally cherished by her heirs. Time has patinated the gilt metalwork (heavy brass or possibly bronze)and there's age-appropriate surface wear, but no damage.

Although forgotten for many years, these jewels have been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Superb Victorian Neoclassical Sapphire Ring size 10.5

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 691013

Superb Victorian Neoclassical Sapphire Ring size 10.5
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

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& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

At size 10.5, this astounding antique ring was fashioned either for a man or for a woman to wear over gloves. Certainly it was hand-made, most likely in the 1860s or early 1870s. That's when the Neoclassical Revival was going full-tilt and the paintings of Lawrence Alma-Tadema took the world by storm.

The Greco-Roman beauty pictured here in a toga-like garment and classical headband could easily have stepped from one of his luxurious ancient scenes -- and even the heavenly blue of an Alma-Tadema sea is captured by the four sapphires that adorn the carved portrait. "Sapphire" means blue in Greek, BTW, and there's nothing bluer than the Aegean. It's known as "The Stone of Destiny" and, as such, is said to promote mental clarity and good fortune.

Besides being neoclassical to the max, the ring shows Arts and Crafts influence in its meticulous artistry, as well as the graceful simplicity of the mounting and the choice of silver, rather than gold.

These sapphires were represented to me as genuine gems of 5 point size. I'm no jeweler, but they appear real and are set as gems should be, open at the back for optimal sparkle. The only mark visible is Sterling, which suggests American origin. A European jewel of the same age and exquisite quality would have a row of symbolic hallmarks. There's a lot of silver involved, as the ring's face measures about 3/4 of an inch by 3/8 and total weight is in excess of 8 grams. Condition, as you see, is lovely and provenance is a Minnesota estate.

Whether you choose this as a special gift for your favorite gentleman or prefer to have the shank reduced to your size, you'll be very proud of it, indeed. It's a one-of-a-kind jewel worthy of those who collect the finest and it wouldn't be out of place in a museum display.

A maker mark may well lie under the deep patina on the ring's reverse, but the decision on far to go with cleaning rightly belongs to the next owner. Someone has recently polished the rest of it, thankfully with great sensitivity and intelligence. You wouldn't want it stripped back to made-yesterday whiteness.

Thanks for looking!



Antique Art Nouveau Suffragette Pendant Necklace

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1910   item# 690513

Antique Art Nouveau Suffragette Pendant Necklace
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $160

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& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

This antique Suffragette pendant is wonderfully opulent, richly jeweled with cabochons of amethyst and chrysoprase, half-pearls and even faceted amethysts and emeralds. Eight faux gemstones, four of significant size, are featured and they're of such quality they really have to be Bohemian. I expect the intricately layered and detailed setting of gilt filigree is, too, which makes the piece Austro-Hungarian -- probably crafted just before the war that ended their empire, sometime around 1910.

Suffragettes were marching across England and America then -- and also in other parts of Europe. Whether those in the East also used the Suffragette colors of green, white and violet (standing for Give Women the Vote), I don't know. The pendant was probably made for export, though, since it reached us from a Virginia estate. The original owner would have been near enough to Washington to participate in the mass marches that grew bigger and bigger through the early years of the 20th century.

Measuring about 1 1/4 inches tall and a little more than an inch wide, in an scrolling shape typical of Art Nouveau design, the pendant is in lovely condition, showing only age-appropriate surface wear, no damage. The stones have come through sublimely. The chain probably isn't original; it looks a little younger, but it's a good old one of the right color. Twenty-six inches long, it slips conveniently over the head, with no need for a clasp.

Wearing Suffragette jewels like this is a great way to show feminist pride and appreciation of the efforts of those who won our right to vote. That right was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. Although forgotten for many years, these jewels have been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings) and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find. This is a piece that offers significant investment potential, as well as exceptional beauty.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare BELAIS White Gold & Yellow Gilt Antique Cufflinks

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Accessories: Cufflinks: Pre 1920   item# 689814

Rare BELAIS White Gold & Yellow Gilt Antique Cufflinks
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Despite making a specialty of Belais jewelry for several years, I've seen their famous white gold appear along with yellow gold in only three instances (one other of which we were privileged to sell). Here the Belais 14k tops are set in richly gilded frames and the look is wonderfully opulent. Move over, Diamond Jim! Too, on the practical level, the mixture of metals means you can wear these beautifully with rings and watches of either color.

Also unusual is the motif engraved on each of the cufflinks' four octagonal faces. Most Belais cufflinks are obviously Art Deco, but these are earlier, showing strong Arts and Crafts influence in the Celtic manner. Against a spiral background, a stylized cross forms the central element. Also indicating great age are the connectors, which have a fancy scrolling shape typical of Art Nouveau, a Victorian style that persisted into Edwardian times.

These cufflinks, I believe, date from early in the Edwardian era -- circa 1905. That was the year when the HWK Company was formed in Providence, RI, a major jewelry center then. HWK held the Talon Grip trademark and the reverses here are signed TALON GRIP, as well as BELAIS 14K WHITE GOLD FRONT. Size is 5/8 of an inch in each direction, provenance is a Louisiana estate and condition is lovely, showing only minor wear under high magnification.

With fashion's return to the elegance of French cuffs, antique cufflinks are flying off our shelves as fast as we can find them, particularly those by Belais. When you possess a piece bearing that legendary name, quite simply you own the best of the best, because the Belais Brothers were the *gods* of white gold jewelry in the early 20th century (circa 1900-1930). The onset of the Great Depression caused the New York company's closure by destroying the market for luxury goods.

Thanks for looking!



Antique Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Cheese Knife c 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Plate: Pre 1910   item# 689811

Antique Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Cheese Knife c 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

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This exquisite piece of antique cutlery, although technically a cheese knife, would also be a marvelous letter opener for display on your desk. Seven inches long, it has a graceful 3-inch scimitar blade and a gorgeous 4-inch handle about an inch thick, featuring gorgeous portrait heads on both sides. The Victorian beauties shown in profile are amid lots of scrolling floral and foliate detail, including the whiplash curves so typical of Art Nouveau design.

Besides being beautiful, this knife feels great in the hand -- perfectly shaped and weighted for pleasure in use.

That no marks are present signifies great age and, under high magnification, all surfaces show wear appropriate for a Victorian or Edwardian dating (circa 1895 - 1910). The intricate pattern of tiny scratches that gives antique silver its rich patina isn't visible to the naked eye, however. At a glance, the knife is in such fabulous shape that you'd almost mistake it for new. Thus, this is a very rare find, indeed.

About the metal composition, tarnish does lift off with polishing, so there's silver involved at least as plating. The blade seems to have been brightly polished recently, but yielded a little more tarnish when polish was applied. The handle hasn't been polished lately, so I left it alone, except to try a little polish on the outer edges. The experiment showed that it will brighten considerably all over, if you prefer that look. The handle's underlying metal may be pewter and the blade's steel -- or both might be silver of a sturdy, less than sterling grade. Testing with files and acids to find out for sure would be a sacrilege, given the amazing condition of the piece. It reached us from a Pennsylvania estate, but I expect it came from Europe.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare Antique Victorian Earrings with Screw Posts c 1890

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1900   item# 687914

Rare Antique Victorian Earrings with Screw Posts c 1890
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Threaded posts and screw-on fasteners are a wonderful luxury, because you never have to worry about losing an earring due to a loose back. That luxury normally requires buying very costly earrings, but it wasn't so in the 1890s, when backs like these appeared on nicer costume jewelry, too.

Due to the form of their fasteners, we can date these stud earrings with perfect precision. Backs looked like this ONLY in the 1890s. Also typical of the era is the rosy golden mounting that's fluted like a tart-crust to cradle each gorgeously faceted, large diamond paste. Without a doubt, every millimeter of these is original.

The earrings are almost a quarter of an inch round, with most of the size in glittering stone, so they make quite an impression. Antique pastes, as you know, have much more depth and finesse than our modern rhinestones and can easily be mistaken for old-cut diamonds.

The stones are in fantastic shape, showing only slight surface wear under high magnification. The rose gilt metalwork has accumulated quite a lot of age patina, so -- with apologies to the purists among us -- I recommend a fairly serious polish. A good jeweler could loosen a few of these wide prongs, take the stones out, remove a century of grunge behind them and make these shine like the dickens. I can barely restrain myself from taking them to my favorite jeweler -- but will, since the decision on how far to go with cleaning rightfully belongs to the next owner. You don't want them to look like they were made yesterday, of course, but there's clearly room for improvement short of that.

From a St. Louis estate, these earrings are a truly rare find and of a style you'll delight in wearing both day and night. We've priced them this low, to allow for professional cleaning.

Thanks for looking!



2 Antique Victorian Gold Fox Head Pins for Her or Him

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 687178

2 Antique Victorian Gold Fox Head Pins for Her or Him
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold;thank you! 

This pair of circa 1900 antique hunting pins is truly remarkable, both because it's so rare to find a set still together and because they're in virtually pristine condition. Probably of French origin, they're from a gentleman's collection found in Paris and were no doubt used to secure a cravat -- but not used much.

The highly detailed and dimensional fox heads measure about 5/8" by 1/2" and the pins are 2" long, crafted in the safety pin style popular in the late 19th century. The reverse of each head is marked ARO and ARO Double, referring to the maker and a double plating process that produced this rich golden finish that still gleams like new today. Hand-craftsmanship was obviously involved, in that one head is a bit more brightly burnished than the other and the end loops vary slightly in size from pin to pin. One pin looks a little more open in the photos, but I've since pinched it in. The underlying metal is somewhat malleable but quite sturdy.

The set would be an extraordinary gift -- or two gifts, if you can bear to separate them.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shippingm with an equivalent discount for international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Exquisite Antique Arts and Crafts Suffragette Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Arts and Crafts: Pre 1900   item# 686092

Exquisite Antique Arts and Crafts Suffragette Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

(Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

Arts and Crafts workmanship is renowned for its excellence, but this brooch takes the prize. The level of detail here has to be called obsessive. Photographs only begin to capture it; in fact, it can't be fully appreciated without magnification. The leaves, for instance, are not only veined but finely stippled and a tiny whorl is incised at the base of the stem. Equal precision applies to the shapes, not only to their crisply defined edges but also to how they've been positioned sculpturally.

For even more dimension, the gorgeous stones are set high above the background elements. A raised undergallery holds six prong-set emerald pastes and then a collet rises in the center to frame the amethyst paste. A top-knot of faux moonstone globes is wired above -- completing the Suffragette palette of colors and also beautifully balancing the curve of the stem below the sparkling flower. Within the Suffragette movement, green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry featured, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote.

The back of the brooch is also fascinating. A sort of tendril stretches gracefully between the leaves and adds support for the stem. The old hinge and open C clasp, obviously original, have a rosy glow from underlying copper where silver plating has worn. The rest of the brooch appears to be silver (probably a sturdier grade than sterling to hold protect this detail). Patches of patina remain on the reverse and lots is visible beneath the flowerhead. The front was given a skillful light polish by someone not long ago; you can still see small areas of tarnish among the stipples and a generally warm tone all over. The silver hasn't been stripped back to made-yesterday whiteness, thank goodness.

That no marks are present is a surprise, given how much work went into this treasure. The glass stones, based on their superb quality, must be Bohemian. The brooch, itself, was probably crafted in America, where silver didn't have to be marked until latter Edwardian times. Most likely dating would be the end of the Victorian era or the earliest Edwardian years, around 1900 to 1905. Size is 1 7/8" x 1", but its dimensionality and rich coloring make the brooch seem bigger. There's one oddity I should mention: a teensy hole drilled near the base of one leaf, which is difficult to notice. Perhaps more white beads were wired there and it would certainly be easy to add some.

Another lovely way to wear this pin would be at your throat on a ribbon choker.

Forgotten for many years, Suffragette jewels have rapidly gained value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount on international delivery). Gift-wrap is also free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Richly Jeweled Antique Edwardian Suffragette Earrings

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1920   item# 685789

Richly Jeweled Antique Edwardian Suffragette Earrings
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

I've never seen this many jewels -- 32 total -- packed onto so little metalwork, which gives these antique earrings a really opulent look. There was certainly no conflict between being a Suffragette and being highly feminine. There are five faceted pastes in each earring, plus 10 faux pearls and a very dimensional heart-shaped leaf of faux opal with loads of fire, that seems to be carved, rather than molded.

I date the pair to the Edwardian era, give or take a few years. A hint of Victorian Art Nouveau remains evident in their curvy starburst or pinwheel form, but they also have the delicacy that we associate with Edwardian and transitional styles. The glass is Bohemian / Czech, based on its quality, and all stones appear original. Settings are gilt brass with screw-backs and it takes magnification to notice surface wear. There's still a lot of shine. Size is about 3/4" in one dimension and 7/8" in the other, but they seem larger because there's so much going on. Although from an estate in Ohio, these seem decidedly European to me -- probably Austro-Hungarian in the last days of Empire, made for export to the Suffragette market in the UK or US.

As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, the unusual combination of colors is what we look for. Green stood for hope, purple for dignity and white for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. All this seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any.

To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades in the U.K. and U.S., we modern women owe our right to vote. That right was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. Thus, although most of the jewelry is Victorian, Edwardian or transitional, some was crafted in the Art Deco era.

Forgotten for many years, these jewels have been rapidly gaining value since the star-studded TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Antique Victorian Suffragette Necklace w/ Dangles c1900

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 682845

Antique Victorian Suffragette Necklace w/ Dangles c1900
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

(Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

Dating from the late 19th or very early 20th century, this dramatic necklace not only makes a powerful feminist statement but is also poetry is motion. Its three dangling drops, each set with a diamond paste, will sway and glitter with your every sigh. The bold central element above is a sculptural triumph, gracefully curved with Art Nouveau flourishes and adorned with huge molded jewels that look like mounds of carved jade, both green and lavender, amid 13 more faux diamonds.

All the stones appear original and are in remarkably fine condition, as are the richly textured gilt setting and chain. Most likely the necklace was made in Bohemia, which for centuries produced the finest simulated gems, as well as ornate and rather fanciful settings. The area became Czechoslovakia after World War I, but was previously part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

As you know, the unusual combination of green, purple and white typically signifies that a jewel was first owned by a member of the Suffragette movement. For them, green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. All this seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any. The wealthiest suffragettes mixed amethysts and pearls or diamonds with green stones such as emeralds or peridots, but pretend gems were naturally favored by gals of lesser means and they could look just as opulent, as this necklace proves. It was certainly a jewel prized by its first owner and has been equally cherished by her heirs. Overall length is about 16 inches and provenance is a West Coast estate.

To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades in the U.K. and U.S., we modern women owe our right to vote. That right was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. Thus, although most of the jewelry is Victorian, Edwardian or transitional, some was crafted in the Art Deco era. Although forgotten for many years, these jewels have been rapidly gaining value since the star-studded TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!


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