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Exquisite 23 inch Antique Lace Collar c 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1920   item# 1191823

Exquisite 23 inch Antique Lace Collar c 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Our superb lace collar from the late 19th or very early 20th century is detailed in back just as on the front. Each element of the lace - flowers, grapes, leaves and so forth - was stitched by hand onto fine, soft netting that's a beautiful color match. I'm not expert enough about textiles to be sure the lace elements are also hand-crafted, but it's certainly possible, given the design quality of the piece and the loving care it's been given.

Acquired at a major antiques fair in Newmarket, near Cambridge in England, the collar is more than 17" wide at the bottom of the front. About 23" long from front corner to back corner, it gives you almost a FOOT of gorgeous lace on each side of your shoulders. Its ecru color is actually paler, more toward a creamy off-white, than you see here, the photo being slightly darkened to reveal more detail.

A fine hook and thread eye remain at the bottom of the back and another thread eye a few inches above indicates one hook is missing, easily replaced. I've found no other flaws.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. There's no charge for insured domestic shipping, with an equivalent discount for international delivery. Thanks for looking!



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!



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!



8 Antique Alfred B. Pearce Fern Dessert / Salad Plates

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Ceramics: English: Pre 1910   item# 634895

8 Antique Alfred B. Pearce Fern Dessert / Salad Plates
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This exquisite set of handpainted side plates with gold gilt rims originated in England circa 1900. The green-on-white design is enchanting, featuring layers of delicate fern fronds. Pale ferns recede into mysterious distance behind their brighter companions in the foreground.

Ferns were an extremely popular Victorian motif, as you know, most often executed in all-green majolica. If you happen to have a majolica serving piece, these plates would be perfect to use with it. They measure 7 3/4 inches round and 3/4 inch deep.

Each plate bears the hallmark of Alfred B. Pearce & Co., which even gives the company's address: 31 Ludgate Hill, London, EC1. Additional markings are the initial M in green (presumably the artist's initial), the number 5664 in red and, incised into the plates, a large D followed by a smaller 3. Their condition is lovely, showing only minor loss of gilding and a little stacking wear to the bases. There are the slight variations in color that you'd expect from handpainting.

Finding an 8-plate set complete after this long is, of course, rather rare. Adding to its collectibility, the maker's early work isn't plentiful. According to the Museum of London, which has a Pearce cup in its collection, the company operated from 1901 through the 1930s. These plates certainly date from before World War I -- most likely before 1910, as they're so classically Late Victorian/Edwardian in design.

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!



Exciting Tortoiseshell Pique Piano-Shaped Music Box

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Pre 1960   item# 563694

Exciting Tortoiseshell Pique Piano-Shaped Music Box
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Because it plays the charming Cole Porter tune "I Love Paris," which debuted in the 1953 musical "Can-Can", this gorgeous music box shaped like a grand piano can't be older than that. Even so, it's about 50 years old and of a type that won't ever be duplicated, so has assured investment value. Tortoiseshell has appreciated a lot since it became taboo in 1975 -- a great break for threatened hawksbill sea turtles, but disappointing for collectors of this marvelous substance prized by connoisseurs since ancient times. Its worth resides in its rich mottled colors -- translucent yellow dashed and spotted with brown -- and its very high sheen. The Romans veneered furniture with it and the Georgians and Victorians adored tortoiseshell piqué jewels inlaid with metals, mother-of-pearl and whatnot.

Tortoiseshell is actually a natural thermoplastic, so it softens when heated, making it easy to insert other materials; that's the process called piqué. You can tell the shell is genuine by the pattern of dots visible under magnification and by the absence of mold marks you'd see in modern plastic.

This treasure, obviously hand-made, holds irregular silver leaf forms and gold or gilt twisted wire. The music plays when you wind the key on the base and open the keyboard cover to reveal lovely keys of carved ivory or bone. You can also open the top, revealing a fine beveled mirror, the music works clad in a blue sueded box and a little niche just the size for a favorite few rings. Measuring about 6 inches long, 3.75 inches wide and 3 inches tall (or 6.5 inches when opened), it stands on three brass-tipped legs of intricately turned wood.

Condition is gorgeous, although we should take note of two flaws. The keyboard cover, which has a filament hinge on one side to activate the music, is missing something on the other side (hard to notice, but there's a teensy chip at the outer edge) and the broad side of the box is somewhat uneven. The latter is probably original to the piece, since it's quite a production to bring the various plates of a tortoise's carapace together and one wants to avoid any waste due to the high value.

This is a really remarkable item. I've seen no others like it, either before or after the English auction sale where we acquired it. My best guess on origin is France, where it may well have been produced as a special souvenir for tourists who'd enjoyed "Can-Can."

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!



Hand-Made Art Nouveau Silver Candlestick circa 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Continental: Pre 1910   item# 551067

Hand-Made Art Nouveau Silver Candlestick circa 1900
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Along with the flowing, organic lines of Art Nouveau, this graceful candlestick shows Arts and Crafts influence in the simplicity of its fabrication. To form the stylized calla flower at center, a sheet of silver was artfully wrapped, seamed and folded, while the engraved ivy leaves, each slightly different, were also cut from sheet silver. The curvy tendril that comprises the base is weightier (great for safety), so some other metal is inside the silver there. No marks are present, but the piece tarnishes and polishes like sterling. Its silver content has to be high.

Although acquired from a dealer in England, the candlestick originated in Continental Europe, I believe, because its measurements are inexact in inches. Height is a little more than 5 inches and width is a bit more than 5.5 inches; in centimeters, that would be 13 by 14. Based on style, France is the best suspect.

As you know if you collect Art Nouveau, authentic pieces are getting very hard to find. This is without a doubt the real thing, having been in my personal collection for decades, and it's a one-of-a-kind treasure since it wasn't factory-made. From every angle, it's stunningly sculptural.

Although at least a century old -- probably dating between 1895 and 1905 -- the candlestick is in lovely condition, showing just a few tiny dings and some tarnish and wax residue deep within the calla flower. I clean it only lightly, to preserve vestiges of age patina, but it will polish to a high shine if you prefer that look.

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



Lovely Victorian Staffordshire Pink Roses Jardiniere

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Ceramics: English: Pre 1910   item# 550846

Lovely Victorian Staffordshire Pink Roses Jardiniere
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Here's a jardinière to delight you, if you love roses, the color pink and richly detailed china. It's hard to capture in photographs, but this pot has loads of textural interest. Beads and wispy wavy patterns are worked in the clay, beneath those delicious glazes that look like raspberries and cream. The rose motif, painted on both sides, is so fine that sunlight seems to glow through the outer leaves. Both the base and upper edge are scalloped and there's copper lustre around the top.

Measuring 4 inches high and 4 1/2 inches across, this little beauty is in very nice condition, showing only age-appropriate crackling of the glaze, minor base wear and a little flaking on the lustred edge. You have to look closely to notice.

Unfortunately, this is the sole survivor of a set. Its larger mate broke on the journey from England and the maker mark was probably on the smashed one. As you know, it was quite common in Victorian times for makers not to put their names on every piece of a set. On this one, the base shows only a Staffordshire England stamp. Alas, I forgot to search through the shards of the other and haven't been able to identify the pattern yet. If you have a clue as to which Staffordshire pottery made this, please e-mail to tell me.

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!



Hammered and Silvered Jardiniere Planter 1905 - 1945

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Plate: Pre 1950   item# 505222

Hammered and Silvered Jardiniere Planter 1905 - 1945
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The Neo-Classical rope twist ornament and fine Arts & Crafts workmanship of this lovely flower pot or planter argue for an Edwardian dating, as does the the absence of marks. Only because of its marvelous condition do I hesitate to call it that old. There was also a revival of interest in Neo-Classical forms for home decor in the 1940s, so it could be up to 40 years younger than it looks. However, it would be more likely marked by some company if made that late. Given that it came from England but measures precisely in inches, as opposed to centimeters, we can rule out its being more recent. Size is relatively generous: 6 inches in diameter and 4 1/4 inches tall.

Whether antique or merely vintage, this is a marvelous item, both decorative and useful. It's silvered so heavily that you really don't notice wear to the finish, except at the very bottom of the interior, which is amazing for a piece of this type. Even some of that wear, apparently revealing underlying brass, may just be tarnish, since I polished only lightly.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Lovely Edwardian Whiting and Davis Dresden Mesh Bag

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Pre 1920   item# 491059

Lovely Edwardian Whiting and Davis Dresden Mesh Bag
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Far more Edwardian in spirit than Art Deco, this remarkable antique evening bag from a Florida estate features baby fine mesh hand-enameled in the Impressionist manner. The subtle blue, green and lilac shades remind me of Monet's waterlily ponds painted at Giverny. As you know, the company's later designs are of larger mesh, decorated with assertive Art Deco colors and on boldly geometric frames. This frame, by contrast, is thoroughly Edwardian, with delicate floral and foliate details also appearing on the oblong links of 13 1/2-inch chain, which shows strong Arts & Crafts influence and is diagonally attached as chains were in the 19th and very early 20th centuries. Probable dating would be between 1907, when C.W. Whiting became a partner in the firm, and 1920.

Exclusive of the gorgeous chain, the bag measures almost 9 inches from its clasp to the lowest point of fringe, and the shape flares to 7 inches wide at the bottom. Thus, it's unusual for size as well as style. Comparably sized W&D bags are now selling in the $300-350 range, but we've priced this example low due to the need to restitch the lining to the frame's perforations. This will be a quick and easy job for anyone handy with a needle (as I'm not). Apart from that, I see no problems of note, only minor age-appropriate surface wear to the mesh and gilding. All the grillions of fine links remain attached, with no tears, and the beautiful floral clasp closes securely.

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



Art Nouveau Gilt Bronze Lizard on Leaf Sculpture c1880

Catalogue: Archives: Decorative Art: Metals: Bronze: Pre 1900   item# 410402

Art Nouveau Gilt Bronze Lizard on Leaf Sculpture c1880
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Sold; thank you! $345. 

The Victorian keeness for gardening extended to the creatures of the natural world, with the result that reptiles and insects were highly popular forms for 19th century jewels and home adornments. A prime example of the latter - executed in the sinuous Art Nouveau manner - is this finely detailed bronze lizard on an exquisitely modeled leaf. He's so lifelike that you can feel him watching you with great alertness. Unlike most of our other ornamental antique bronzes, this one is so good it deserves the "fine art" designation.

A pleasure to stroke as well as to look at, this delightful little sculpture, measures about 6 1/4 inches long and 2 1/2 inches at its widest. A signature could well be present beneath the heavy patina on reverse, but I haven't found it. Probable origin is France or England, where we acquired the piece. It likely dates from the 1880s, since Art Nouveau influence is evident, but not florid in the 1890s manner. Condition, is superb.

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