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Antique Edwardian Filigree and Gros-Point Tapestry Bag

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1920   item# 691605

Antique Edwardian Filigree and Gros-Point Tapestry Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Edwardian handbags often range to sensible sizes and yet they're also the prettiest purses ever made -- rich with exquisite needlework and such dressmaker details as seam cording and truly luxurious linings (like the heavy champagne silk-satin you see here), plus fittings of greater refinement than in any other period. It was a very brief era, just a few years, but it set an abiding standard of quality in purses and jewelry.

I don't open the private vault often, but have decided to let this fabulous bag -- a star of my own collection -- fly free into the Wider World. It's a purse you can carry not only for special evenings, but also by day without looking overdone. Its large size (9" x 10") is an important part of its versatility. Although the gilt filigree hardware is as jewel-like as you'd expect from an Edwardian evening bag, this isn't one of those precious teensy models made strictly for the cocktails-and-dancing circuit.

I hope the next owner of this treasure -- made even more exceptional by its near-mint condition -- will see that it gets a great deal more use than ever before. It's certainly meant for a lady who leads an interesting life. Provenance of the bag is an estate in Scotland and dating is circa 1905-1910. Both sides are identical, except in the color of a few stitches that authenticate hand-craftsmanship. Its chain handle, possibly not original since it's a bit sturdier than I'd expect (but the right color), is 20 inches long.

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



Gorgeous Antique Suffragette Brooch circa 1920

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1920   item# 691577

Gorgeous Antique Suffragette Brooch circa 1920
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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That this exquisite Suffragette brooch comes from a Rhode Island estate adds particular interest, since that state was a major jewelry production center in the early 20th century. Many of the most talented designers and artisans worked for companies located there, and no doubt also created jewels on the side. This brooch isn't marked, but obviously is by a master with access to excellent materials. The substantial weight of it will surprise you, as will the quality of the art glass and metalwork. Details incorporate Art Nouveau scrollwork plus Arts and Crafts influences seen in the cabochon cut and collet settings of the amethyst, emerald and baroque pearl. The richly textured reverse is beautiful, too.

The brooch is in such fabulous shape that you'd almost mistake it for new. However, great age is indicated by the findings. While an early safety clasp is present, the pinstem moves with that wonderful side-to-side wobble that says you've got a true antique. Around 1920 would be right for this hardware. Also arguing for that approximate dating is the size of the brooch. At three inches long, it's larger than earlier bar pins, evolving toward Art Deco boldness.

I expect the original owner acquired it very shortly before the vote was gained for all American women in 1920, or perhaps in celebration of the event, and then stored it away very carefully. There's really no other way to explain its virtually pristine condition. It takes serious searching with a loupe to find any signs of surface wear to the gilding or glass.

As you know if you collect jewelry of this type, the unusual color combination had deep meaning for early feminists. 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. Forgotten for decades, Suffragette jewelry has 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. We try our best to keep a good selection, but demand keeps growing. If this strikes your fancy, you'd better not delay.

As always, we offer free insured U.S. shipping (or an equivalent discount for international customers). Gift-wrap is also free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Vintage Meyers Lizard and Snakeskin Pouch Clutch Bag

Catalogue: Archives: Collectibles: Memorabilia: Pre 1950   item# 691129

Vintage Meyers Lizard and Snakeskin Pouch Clutch Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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You could pay thousands for a new reptile bag -- but why not spend far less? Here's today's trendiest purse shape, the oversized clutch, styled by the esteemed maker Meyers in an exotic combination of lizard and snakeskin. This is a very glamorous and tactile bag with loads of life left in it. It's also spacious enough to be genuinely useful, measuring 11 1/2 inches wide and 8 inches tall. It even has a convenient 43-inch shoulder strap of smooth leather with brass fittings that you can use when you want your hands free.

Vintage soft-sided and gathered reptile bags are seldom found in any condition, let alone this good. These skins are in amazing condition, supple and gleaming, with very little wear. In luscious mahogany brown with strong overtones of cordovan or burgundy, the bag is lined in matching smooth leather and has a faille-lined zip pocket sporting the maker's plaque that reads "Meyers USA". The interior is perfectly clean and undamaged, free of the typical pen marks and lipstick marks, and the snap fastener closes securely. It can't have been used much. I expect it dates from the 1940s or possibly the early 1950s and it reached us from a Texas estate. Meyers handbags, as you know, are among the most collectible, so you'll be very proud to carry this stunning example.

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



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
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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
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $160

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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
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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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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


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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!


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