GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Art Nouveau : Pre 1900 item #1348952
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$325
Reduced from $395. Free U.S. Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired.
The giardinetto (little garden) style -- often called giardinetti, the plural -- originated in Italy during the Rococo years of the 18th century and has been revived in other eras when an exceptionally feminine look was prized. Here the artist made the look totally fresh, adapted in the Jugendstil style of late 19th century Eastern Europe.

This elaborate multi-part antique pendant brooch is one of the most delightful Victorian jewels I've seen and, fittingly, it's been treasured. Notice the rose gold gilding, still shining as brightly as new. There's delicate chasing around the bar pin, which has an elongated pinstem, tube hinge and safety-pin clasp reliably dating the piece to the 1880s. Most wonderfully of all, an oval bail beneath the pin suspends a fully dimensional, round basket holding a bouquet of gorgeously enameled flowers and leaves with highly polished accent stones of rose, emerald and coral art glass. Quite sizeable, it measures about 2 1/4 inches tall and 1 1/4 inches at its widest -- large enough to look sensational on a coat or jacket -- and obviously the basket drop can also be worn to great effect on a necklace chain or ribbon.

Without markings, which in this age appeared only on precious metals, one can't be absolutely certain, but all the indications of Austro-Hungarian origin are present -- and, if you love jewelry from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, you know how difficult it is to find now. There was never much, since the Dual Monarchy lasted only from 1867 to 1918 - besides which jewels from this area and period are so special that people seldom let them go. They share the decorative opulence we prize in the shimmering paintings of Klimt, a goldsmith's son who studied at Vienna's celebrated School of Applied Arts. Its students learned to design outstanding arts and crafts products that could be mass-produced for a growing middle class who emulated the aristocracy and had refined tastes. I expect the creator of this elaborate multi-part pendant brooch was trained there.

It isn't surprising when "ballroom" jewels survive in splendid condition, but this charmer was more likely worn by a young lady enjoying the casual pleasures of the Heurigen (wine gardens of the Vienna woods) or riding the Riesenrad, prototype of ferris wheels. Nonetheless, it's as imaginatively and carefully crafted as the adornments of aristocrats.

The underlying metal appears to be a sturdy luxury-weight brass. To see minute losses of gilding and enamel requires extremely high magnification. To the naked eye (at least mine), this jewel is perfect. Its provenance is a North Carolina estate and you'd have to look a long time to find anything comparable.

There's no charge for insured U.S. delivery, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and beautiful gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Art Nouveau : Pre 1900 item #1348932
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$150
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired.
Authentic Art Nouveau jewels are so scarce now that even good Revival pieces are fiercely collected, so we're thrilled when we can offer you The Real Thing -- particularly at a price that's realistic for ordinary mortals.

Even better, this beauty from a New York estate is a superb example of its period, because nobody else has ever done Lepidoptra so brilliantly. Jewelry artists of the late 19th century fell profoundly in love with moths and butterflies, not only for their grace and color but for the symbology. These fabulous creatures are all about transformation, the most absolutely magical thing there is. It's no accident that the Symbolist movement arose at the same time as Art Nouveau. Both responded to the increasing mechanization and sameness of their surroundings by delving below the superficial to renew our ties with spirit and nature. Organic forms replaced industrial geometry and "precious" materials were less valued than the creative use of whatever you were using. And quality craftsmanship, usually by hand, was vital.

All of that is evident in this little treasure. Along with its lovely metalwork and old pastes -- two diamantes and a big rose-cut emerald pretender (darker than pictured) -- notice the characteristic whiplash curves, the medievalist collet set and the slight assymetry that testifies to the work of hands, not machinery. Attesting to age are the open C clasp, a hinge type true to the period and a pinstem that was clearly shortened (a common precaution after women ceased wearing layers of heavy underclothing).

It's almost miraculous after so long, but the brooch reached us in nearly pristine condition, with virtually no loss of the gleaming, heavily gilded finish. You have to search hard with high magnification to spot any wear. It measures a dainty 1 1/8" in each direction, so was evidently made for a young woman. Large jewelry was then considered vulgar until you were married, because it raised the rather scandalous question of where you got such nice things and how. Seems silly today, but its petite size makes this a piece you could pin on a ribbon and wear as a choker without choking yourself. It would look really sweet on a headband, too.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1227260
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$135
reduced from $185.
Free US shipping & gift-wrap if desired.
Want a truly romantic gift for your lady? The sweet pair of lovebirds adorning this antique choker will make your sentiments clear -- and chokers are today's most fashionable necklaces, just as they were when Princess (later Queen) Alexandra set the trend in Victorian England.

Our delightful example of the form shows clear Art Nouveau influence in the ornate wreath that surrounds its central medallion, where the lovebirds flutter gracefully. The adjustable chain closure of fancy links finishes with a sturdy hook and dangling ball and allows a perfect fit for necks up to 16 inches.

Beautifully cared for during the past century, this treasure is in excellent condition. I notice no flaws apart from age-appropriate surface wear. The birds' wings and heads are slightly more reddish in color than the rest of the necklace, which has a rosy cast overall. The medallion may be of actual rose gold, a great favorite in the 1890s (and again today), although our price assumes gilt brass overall. Whatever the metals, this is a highly ornamental and unusual jewel appropriate for both day and night. It will be comfortable even in warm weather, because the mesh allows air to circulate.

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!