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Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver (72)

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Fantastically Huge Antique Multan Enamel Silver Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Pre Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 1228199

Fantastically Huge Antique Multan Enamel Silver Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This stupendously scaled ring from the Punjab was sold to me as 18th century, but I'm calling it 19th century to be conservative, since I know so little about jewels of this type. From what I've read, it's of a form often called "enamel mosaic" and is traditional to an area that includes parts of modern Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. The name comes from a famous town, Multan, which dates back to the time of Alexander the Great or before.

As you see, the look evokes fancy prayer rugs and Paisley shawls and the ring almost covers my finger. It's nearly 2 1/2 inches tall, with every smidgen of surface covered by intricate, hand-crafted metalwork: enameled floral and geometric shapes within the central panel, surrounded by four rows of edging, two of them highly dimensional.

The metal typically used is coin silver, not high grade, and indeed you'd want something sturdy to preserve all this detail. As is inevitable with rustic jewelry of great age, there are enamel losses -- but the abundance that remains makes it difficult to notice what's missing. Also worth mentioning is that the color intensity varies with the light; whether this is due to the nature of the enamels or general wear, I don't know. Too, the shank, although adjustable, is a little bent, so it might be smart to have your jeweler make the first size adjustment for you; s/he can put it back into round at the same time. Current size is about a US 6 -6.5. (We state sizes as a range, because results from different types of measuring equipment can vary up to half a size, as our fingers also do with the time of day and temperature.)

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



Antique Crown and Heart Brooch of Hallmarked Sterling

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Scandinavian: Pre 1930   item# 1163799

Antique Crown and Heart Brooch of Hallmarked Sterling
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This charming little treasure has led me on quite a chase. It struck me initially as a Scottish “luckenbooth” brooch from the early 19th century, and I could easily have let the issue lie right there – EXCEPT for its tantalizing row of hallmarks obscured by heavy tarnish. Normally, I defer to the purists among us and leave things in as-found condition, but in this case my curiosity got the best of me.

Lo and behold, those hallmarks told an entirely different story once they were restored to legibility! The brooch isn’t Scottish at all, but Scandinavian – crafted in Sweden and at least 100 years younger than suggested by its style, size and details of fabrication (T-hinge, open C clasp and thick, elongated pinstem).

It apparently dates from 1928, old enough to be antique by American 75-year standards, but it’s of a form consciously preserved without change for hundreds of years, in the same tradition as folkloric costumes. Again as with costumes (and worn with them on special occasions), these crowned heart jewels show minor differences from region to region and somewhat greater variations from nation to nation; for instance, the Norwegian version typically features filigree and the Scottish variation usually lacks dangling drops and may feature two hearts intertwined.

How Scotland got involved in all of this is simply a matter of geography becoming history, as it tends to do. Being just a short sail away in Viking days, much of Scotland fell under Norse rule and colonization created a Norse-Gael culture which is still reflected in many names and customs. As I was reminded by my research, the last Norse-held territory wasn’t ceded until the time of James III of Scotland, who married a Norwegian princess in 1468. Funnily enough, crowned heart brooches were soon (if not already) being sold as love tokens from lockable booths (so-called luckenbooths), located along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from the 15th century until 1817.

That said, you’ll acquire a wonderful conversation piece, if you acquire this brooch which looks so utterly Georgian and Scottish but isn’t. Size is 1 ¾ inches by ¾, but it seems bigger, being sturdily built, with a nice heft to it, and extremely eye-catching due to the drops that dance with every motion.

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



Lovely Vintage Enameled Silver Swans Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Period: Pre 1970   item# 1161534

Lovely Vintage Enameled Silver Swans Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

In a season when rings with animal motifs are the trendiest bling around, what fun to find that design in a historic jewel that will hold its value beyond the present and gain value as time goes on!

This ring with its pair of graceful swans is an enchanter, built up in shades of blue enamel with silver wirework on a domed band. We know it's from a Pennsylvania estate, but chronologically, it's one of those marvelous mysteries we run across now and then.

Whereas the design first suggests the late 1960s aesthetic -- hippie neo-Romanticism to the max -- the hallmark introduces a big question mark. The ring isn't stamped "925" (as was typical after the mid-1930s) or "Sterling" (as was seen earlier). Instead, it simply reads "Silver" -- suggesting not only a somewhat less than sterling grade but an early dating. Thus, the ring may be decades older than it seems. It isn't unlike some pieces produced in the early 30s, when Disney-esque figural jewelry was popular -- and it could be even older, an Arts & Crafts piece.

Certainly it has some age -- however much -- but most importantly it's absolutely stunning and, being adjustable, it can be worn by anyone on nearly any finger. Condition is great, with only a couple of little enamel flaws that appear to be original, not damage.

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



Antique Agate Silver Ring by Clark and Coombs c1900

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Arts and Crafts: Pre 1910   item# 1113588

Antique Agate Silver Ring by Clark and Coombs c1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This spectacular antique ring features a beautifully translucent large cabochon of dendritic agate -- the type with dark inclusions resembling ice crystal, also called mocha stone. It's collet-set in a sleek Arts & Crafts mounting of sterling silver that will please either a gentleman or a lady who favors bold forms. The ring's face is large, but not overpowering (not quite 3/4" tall)and stylized decorations on each side show the slight variations that demonstrate hand-craftsmanship.

These so-called "fancy" agates were highly prized in Late Victorian and Edwardian times. They suited the taste for unusual gems that we see in both Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts jewelry, along with their emphasis on artistic design and meticulous workmanship. The new ideal was for everything to be special and unique in some ways, as opposed to the mass-produced goods of the Industrial Revolution. Ultimately this worthy movement died of its own good taste. The insistence on ultra-fine fabrication priced most people out of the market.

The maker in the present instance, Clark & Coombs of Providence, R.I., is a perfect illustration of that. Established in 1862, C & C had a national reputation for gold and silver rings by the early 20th century and tried to carry on without further mechanization, but was unable to compete effectively. Although the firm still exists, it was taken over by new management and modernized for greater output after World War II.

It's wonderful when we find an example of their exquisite early creations. Most likely this ring dates from between 1890 and 1910. While the basic shape of the setting was used through much of the 19th century, the very clean lines of its ornamentation anticipate Art Deco, which began to evolve around the turn of the century. Its interior bears a "Sterling" hallmark and the C&C stamp used until 1915 (two Cs in triangles around a stylized ampersand tilting right).

Based on all these facts, it really isn't stretching a point to say that this ring has historical importance. It's also distinguished by being in near-mint condition, despite great age. Provenance is a Pacific Northwest estate and the current size, about a U.S. 8 - 8.5, can be easily altered, since the back of the shank is plain.

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 Sterling Silver Suffragette Bar Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1910   item# 1109825

Rare Antique Sterling Silver Suffragette Bar Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Very finely crafted with ornate ends and edges, this antique bar pin is of sterling silver (unmarked but tested), set with sparkling amethyst, peridot and diamond pastes. That it's sterling is quite remarkable for a Suffragette item; typically these are either totally costume or top end, made of gold and gems.

Complementing the beautiful metalwork, the stones here are excellent pretenders, especially the 16 fancy-cut amethysts channel-set in groups of four. Every stone appears original. Another nod to unusual quality is the early safety lever fitted on the C clasp. This is a type that dates from the 19th century, as is the hinge with its slight sideways wobble. The pinstem, originally elongated, was snipped to a less hazardous length at some time, as is common with brooches this old. Either Late Victorian or Edwardian, it reached us from a Florida estate. Likeliest dating would be 1900-1910.

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



Spectacular Antique Art Nouveau Silver Ring c 1900

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Art Nouveau: Pre 1910   item# 1037939

Spectacular Antique Art Nouveau Silver Ring c 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Stunningly sculptural, this wonderful ring combines the flowing curves and organic floral forms of Art Nouveau with a hint of Arts & Crafts influence, evident in the simplicity of its layered openwork construction. It's fascinating when those design currents intersect, as they sometimes did around a hundred years ago.

The ring's face measures a knuckle-covering inch in each direction, so this is a jewel that can't possibly be overlooked. Its material is obviously silver, rich with time's patina. That the metal is unmarked suggests American origin, since silver hallmarks weren't required here until shortly before World War I. If you prefer a brighter finish, I hope you'll just polish the high points with a jeweler's cloth and leave the patinated depths dark for drama. Condition is superb, provenance is a Texas estate and current size is about a US 5.5. It appears to have been resized once before, so can easily be altered again at the same junction.

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



Studio Sterling Modernist Sailboat Brooch Signed L O

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Modernism: Pre 1970   item# 1030491

Studio Sterling Modernist Sailboat Brooch Signed L O
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Here's a stunning jewel for those who'd rather be sailing. Clearly from the mid-20th century Modernist era, this hand-crafted brooch has a Scandinavian look, but I haven't yet been able to identify its designer. His or her stamp is an oval containing letters that seem to be L O; if that means anything to you, please tell me. The piece is also hallmarked Sterling.

Measuring a substantial 2 inches by 1.5 inches, this beauty came from an estate in Maine. With apologies to the purists among us, I couldn't resist giving it a light polish, so the beautiful details can be properly seen.

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



Victorian Renaissance Revival Sailing Ship Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 1016381

Victorian Renaissance Revival Sailing Ship Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This antique silver gilt brooch is wonderfully elaborate, featuring seven rose-cut diamond pastes, golden yellow enamelwork and such a wealth of detail that you can tell the ship is a carrack (as opposed to a galleon, caravel or cog) sporting the Scottish flag, a St. Andrew's Cross.

As museums opened across Europe in the 19th century, people flocked to marvel at the treasures of the past -- and then they wanted the look for themselves. That led to a series of historical revivals, including Classical, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo, as well as Renaissance. This particular example evokes the 16th century, when monarchs vied to build the greatest of "great ships" for expanding navies bent on conquest. Obviously, the impulse struck just the right note again in Victorian times, when the British Empire enjoyed "sun never sets on it" size -- because Britannia ruled the waves, of course.

Measuring about an inch wide by 1.25 inches tall, the brooch has an old open C clasp and the type of hinge introduced around 1870. The pinstem would have been elongated originally, but got shortened sometime later in the interest of safety. Condition is quite nice, with only one tiny ding in the enamel and age-appropriate loss of silver gilt (mainly on the reverse). All stones remain brilliant and appear original. Although it reached us from a Colorado estate, the brooch certainly originated in Europe, most likely in the British Isles.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. I'm always happy to send larger images that will give you a clearer view. Thanks for looking!



Antique Art Nouveau Uncas Sterling Marcasite Rose Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Art Nouveau: Pre 1920   item# 1007452

Antique Art Nouveau Uncas Sterling Marcasite Rose Ring
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

If you don't mind being noticed (and envied), this large and spectacular antique ring is meant for you. It's a knuckle-covering 1 1/4 inches tall and 3/4 of an inch wide at leaf level.

The design, as you see, is enchanting. Marcasite "dewdrops" nestle among the rose petals and their shape is echoed by round embossing on the leaves. Edges and shoulders are lovingly detailed, as well. Naturally this was the creation of a master, namely Vincent Sorrentino, an Italian immigrant who formed Uncas Manufacturing Company in Rhode Island in 1911. The turn of the twentieth century in America attracted many talented artisans and jewelers from Italy, who were instrumental in the development of the American fine and costume jewelry industry. The Uncas "U" between two arrows (their earliest mark) appears inside the ring, along with the Sterling stamp. We occasionally see this ring with the later maker mark (a U with an arrow running through it), since the design's popularity lingered into the post-World War One era.

The rivoli-cut marcasites normally smooth after this long, but these are still sharply pointed for maximum dazzle. Overall condition is lovely -- as fine as our previous one like it, which sold within days -- so, if this strikes your fancy, it would be smart not to delay.

Present size (easily changed) is about a US 5.25 and provenance is a New York estate.

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



Rare Victorian Double Cherub Pin with 3-Chain Swag

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 957773

Rare Victorian Double Cherub Pin with 3-Chain Swag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This romantic and fascinating pair of cherub brooches joined by chains probably served to hold a Victorian lady's train -- gathering it to the side or into a bustle for dancing. It might also have been used as a chatelaine, from which various articles in frequent use were suspended by small hooks (e.g., keys, lorgnette, dainty scissors and such).

Whatever tricks it performed in the 19th century, it's a obvious treasure today -- perfect to secure your favorite shawls, scarves and cardigans. Alternatively, you might load the chains with charms and pin the festoon anywhere -- or let the item fulfill its original function as a bustle pin for a wedding or evening gown.

Of silvered brass, showing only minor losses of plating, the brooches feature two adorable repousse cherubs or angels, each with the good old open C clasp indicative of great age. The larger figure is 2.5 inches tall, while the smaller is an inch tall. They're united by three 8-inch chains of a silver metal brighter in color now than the pins, but those can easily be polished to match if you don't mind disturbing the patina of age. It's possible the chains are later replacements, but they're certainly not modern. My guess is that they're original, made of a material chosen to be sturdy in use.



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