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Antique Victorian Taille d'Epargne Brooch Pendant

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 599885

Antique Victorian Taille d'Epargne Brooch Pendant
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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This exquisitely detailed jewel is really a wonder, in several ways. For one thing, you seldom see a bar brooch that can also be worn as a necklace pendant on a chain or ribbon. Also rare are its size -- fully 2.5 inches wide -- and its findings indicative of very great age. The early safety pin-clasp is of a type introduced in the 1850s and the old T-hinge is the sort that was replaced by the tube style around 1870.

Thus, this piece is far older than most bar-shaped brooches, most likely dating from the 1860s, when the form was still being defined. It first came into vogue after the Prince of Wales married Alexandra of Denmark in 1863. She pinned her collars high (or wore choker necklaces) to hide a small scar on her throat and, since she was the trend-setting "Di" of her day, fashionable women rushed to emulate her style.

The popularity of black enamelwork was, of course, a nod to another royal: Queen Victoria, a widow in permanent mourning after 1861. Here its look is lively, not morose: highlighting a festive bunch of snowdrops, spring's first flowers, and an exceedingly elaborate tracery of vines and stylized leaves.

The condition of the jewel is lovely; I see no wear at all to the enamelwork and you have to search with a loupe to find any wear, except to the findings. The pin was crafted in two parts, with the beautifully ornamented top wrapped over the back, and most wear is at that seam. Even the edges are decorated; a very great deal of work went into this jewel.

In the absence of markings, I can't be sure whether the top is of gold or rolled gold (so thickly surfaced that it will essentially never wear out). Either way, it would probably test 9k, and applying files and acids to such a nice piece would be a sacrilege. The back seems to be heavily gilded. Provenance is a California estate.

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 Very Early Native American Turquoise Silver Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Native American: Pre 1920   item# 598378

Rare Very Early Native American Turquoise Silver Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $135. 

This is an extremely old and interesting ring, made by rustic techniques not seen much, if at all, after World War I. It may be substantially earlier than that.

Turquoise stones first appeared in Native American silverwork in the 1880s, a couple of decades after a few tribesmen learned to make silver jewelry. It wasn't produced on a commercial scale until around 1920, when tourists of the "Fred Harvey Era" began visiting the Southwest by railroad. Tools were generally primitive before then and most silver was from coins melted down. Rapid advances in quality during the 1920s, more turquoise from new mines and the availability of sheet sterling from around 1930 accounted for the differences we see in newer jewels, which are generally hallmarked and often maker-marked.

Here the only marks we see were made by files, hammers and casting in sand or tufa rock. Both the setting and the turquoise cabochon show the surface irregularities we expect from early work and are, like all the first pieces, of Navajo style. Tribal distinctions didn't arise until many decades after Navajos passed silversmithing skills along to their Zuni and Hopi neighbors.

The stone, as you see, is a particularly luscious one -- certainly natural, grown greener with age and loaded with copper matrix that looks characteristically Bisbee (called the "Tiffany of Turquoise"). That mine has been closed for ages, as have all others from which this could conceivably have come.

About a U.S. size 5 now, the ring could be easily altered either way, since the dual shank unites at the back. The face measures about 5/8 by 5/8 inches and the stone about 1/2 by 3/8 inches, sitting high in a tall collet against a flat background with a dimensional edge patterned to look like a twist. The finer workmanship of the band suggests that it might be a later replacement for a simpler one broken long ago. We haven't cleaned the ring at all, leaving to its next owner the decision on how far to go with polishing.

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!



Antique Sautoir Necklace Beaded in Suffragette Colors

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Strands: Pre 1920   item# 596342

Antique Sautoir  Necklace Beaded in Suffragette Colors
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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When you see green, white and violet together on historic jewelry, this unusual color combination usually signifies that the piece was originally owned by a member of the Suffragette movement. To them, the first letters of these colors stood for Give Women (the) Vote.

Here that message resounds in a sautoir (open lariat) necklace, lovingly hand-crocheted of white, violet and mint green beads -- hundreds or perhaps thousands of them. At more than 56 inches long (including 2-inch tassels at both ends), it could even be tied on as a belt. Despite its length and thickness, this necklace is extremely light and comfortable to wear. The beads look like celluloid, but may be some other early plastic.

Sautoirs were popular from Late Victorian through Edwardian times and into the early years of the Art Deco era. Ours comes from a Midwestern estate in amazing condition. It can't have been worn much, probably because it was made very shortly before the vote was granted and then tucked away as a memento. I expect it was created between 1910 and 1920.

Suffragette jewelry has been rocketing in price since the 2004 TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" revealed what those gals went through (arrests, 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 have serious investment value, too.

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!



Victorian Art Nouveau Door Knocker, Gilt Bronze Lion

Catalogue: Archives: Furnishings: Architectural: Exterior: Pre 1900   item# 594072

Victorian  Art Nouveau Door Knocker, Gilt Bronze Lion
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $235.  

Truly the King of Beasts, this lion is one of the most magnificent I've seen. Artistic detail has been lavished on his facial features and ornately scrolling mane. Probable dating would be 1885-1895, the height of the Victorian Art Nouveau period in Europe, but an amazing amount of gilding remains present.

From an English dealer near Cambridge, the knocker measures a bit more than 4.5 inches from top to bottom and almost 3.5 inches at its widest. Highly dimensional, it rises about 1.5 from the back to the lion's snout. A sturdy ring knocks on a dimpled plate below his chin, not on the lovely face itself, which is another plus. Interestingly, lion knockers have been so associated with England throughout history that they were all but banned in the U.S. in Revolutionary and early Federal times. Thus, good old ones are rarities on our side of the Pond.

Our price for this treasure represents an excellent value, since you'd have to pay nearly as much for a good reproduction with patina artifically applied. Thanks for looking!



Vintage Earrings Boucher Parisina Ballerina Figural

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Designer Signed: Pre 1950   item# 592827

Vintage Earrings Boucher Parisina Ballerina Figural
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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These stunning Retro Modernist sterling silver earrings are from the legendary Marcel Boucher's Parisina line -- a label he produced in Mexico exclusively during World War II.

Since the mark was used so briefly, Parisina jewels are highly collectible and growing hard to find. The dancers and figure skaters are in particular demand, because they're so graceful and unusual. They can be precisely dated to 1944, based on design patents. Quite generously sized, about 1 1/2 inches long, these beauties are in exquisite condition, showing only slight age-appropriate surface wear under high magnification. Backs are screw type and original. Besides their Sterling hallmarks, the reverses show the Parisina mark, your assurance that they're a rare combination of Boucher's sophisticated design and the artistry of talented Mexican craftsmen. Most Parisina jewelry is of silver; however, I noticed elsewhere online a pair of earrings like these but only of gilded base metal, yet priced identically to our sterling ones.

These stylized, highly dimensional shapes remind me of Brancusi sculpture and clearly evoke the soaring spirit of Dance. They'd make a memorable gift for any dancer or ballet enthusiast.

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!



1920s Art Deco Jeweled Suffragette Earrings

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930   item# 588754

1920s Art Deco Jeweled Suffragette Earrings
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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When green, violet and white appear together on historic jewelry, this unusual color combination typically signifies that the piece was first owned by a member of the Suffragette movement -- for whom 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 well understood by everyone in the days 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 dates from the Art Deco era.

These spectacular earrings were among the last examples, dating from the 1920s. By American 75-year standards, they're already antique, not just vintage. Richly embellished with faux pearls, emeralds and amethysts (probably Czech), the earrings are highly dimensional and of excellent quality, with a nice heft. Each measures about 1 inch by 1 1/4 inches. The gilt metal features lattice-like detail and cutwork and its color is prettily patinated by age, not brassy. Based on dating, they were most likely made in England (although they could be American, produced in celebration of the Suffragettes' recent triumph here). Condition of the earrings is lovely and the original screw backs are present.

Suffragette jewelry has been rapidly gaining value since the star-studded TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what those 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. These reached us from a Midwestern estate.

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 Suffragette Bracelet of Gothic Revival Design

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Victorian: Pre 1920   item# 588752

Rare Suffragette Bracelet of Gothic Revival Design
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Dating from the late 19th or very early 20th century, this is a remarkable antique bracelet, indeed. The Victorian "Gothick" design is stunning in its own right, but the fact that the graceful gilt metalwork is jeweled in Suffragette colors makes this a truly exceptional find. Suffragette bracelets are a great deal less common than brooches, lavalieres and earrings.

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. 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 faux gems were of course worn by gals of lesser means. Here two glass pearls and a glass emerald are featured, along with a large cabochon of early plastic marbled to mimic lavender jade. All the stones probably came from Bohemia, which became Czechoslovakia after World War I and for centuries had produced the best simulated gemstones. Most probable origin of the bracelet (based on style) is England.

Suffragette jewelry has been rapidly gaining value since the star-studded TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what those 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. This treasure reached us from a Pacific Northwest estate.

Thanks for looking!



Medievalist Arts & Crafts Buckle with Emerald Glass

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 587920

Medievalist Arts & Crafts Buckle with Emerald Glass
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Here's another Gothic Revival buckle worthy of adorning the Victorian beauties in pre-Raphaelite paintings -- and this one's even larger and more elaborate than our other example, also hand-made in the 1860s or 1870s, probably in England.

Characteristic of the style are witchy faux-prongs like talons and metalwork with a rustic look. Here the heavy gilt brass not only undulates as if fashioned a thousand years ago, but also has a rippling surface texture. Additional adornments are two large collet-set stones of emerald green crystal, applied scrollwork decorations and touches of forest green and lavender enamel. The lacquered front has darkened to a rich patina of age, while the unlacquered reverse shines so brightly golden that it can't have been worn much. If you'd like for both sides to sparkle, a good jeweler could no doubt remove the lacquer at the front (carefully preserving the painted colors). I like it as it is, but it's always nice to have a choice.

A whopping 3 inches tall, the buckle is 2 inches wide. To wear it, stitch one end of a sash or soft belt to the bracket and, at the other end, add two eyes of metal or thread for the sturdy hooks to slip through. (You could make that process even simpler, by just tying both ends of a scarf to the central bar in back.)

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



2 Terrific Art Deco French Jet Flapper Beads Necklaces

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Strands: Pre 1930   item# 581169

2 Terrific Art Deco French Jet Flapper Beads Necklaces
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Fresh from a New Mexico estate, we have TWO great 1920s necklaces at a fabulous combined price. One is a rope more than 60 inches long and the other measures 15 inches long plus a bountiful 10-strand tassel that's 4.5 inches long. Both are of antique black glass that's faceted to sparkle madly.

If you wear these together with the rope doubled to form a choker, as well as a free-swinging strand, they'll hang at THREE different lengths and add layers of drama to any outfit.

The rope's gilt metal clasp is marked "Made in Austria" and the tasseled beauty is most likely Czech, because those prismic teardrops are so heavy and fine. Age-appropriate surface wear is hard to see without high magnification. We've priced these beads far lower than you'd expect, to allow for restringing (a wise idea after so long).

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



Moonstone Ring Vermeil Filigree Early 20th c Chinese

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Ethnic: Far Eastern: Pre 1930   item# 575798

Moonstone Ring Vermeil Filigree Early 20th c Chinese
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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China has one of the world's oldest filigree traditions, dating from ancient times, and the Chinese continued to produce it by hand long after machine methods appeared in the West. Due to their exceptional artistry, these jewels have been popular export and tourist items in every era when the country was open to outside trade.

This exquisite antique filigree and moonstone ring was crafted for the English-speaking market, based on the two stamps "Made in China" and "Shaer". Countless hours went into fashioning the filigree setting. Not only the applied decoration but the underlying mesh is hand-wrought from tiny metal threads. The material is most likely 800 silver, since there's no sterling mark. Rings of this type were customarily washed with high-carat gold, as ours appears to be. Beyond the glory of the mounting, the moonstone cabochon is a monster -- practically as tall as the entire face of the ring, which covers my lower knuckle.

Provenance of this treasure is a Georgia estate and I believe it dates from around 1900 - 1925. Its monumentally lavish monumental scale suggests that it predates the Depression and the swirling floral decoration has an Art Nouveau feeling. Certainly it was made before World War II, after which trade with newly-communist China was suspended until the 1970s.

Condition is remarkable, relative to age, since so many of these older rings have lost much of their gilding. Size can be self-adjusted, as was characteristic of Chinese export rings.

Filigree, BTW, is among the most fashionable forms of jewelry you could choose today. According to all the latest trend reports, filigree rings with an antique look are being featured in the best places (like Tiffany and Cartier). So why not own a genuine antique filigree ring for a whole lot less?

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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