GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1920 item #1349074
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$195
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Last year we found a pair of drop earrings very similar to these, but in blue, and they sold in a twinkling. "My dream earrings!" the customer called them. Perhaps these pink beauties will fulfill a dream for you -- or someone on your gift list.

A dream we didn't know we had came true when this brooch turned up -- as pretty a match for the earrings as if they'd begun life together, both made of gilt brass filigree set with pink art glass moonstones and both from the same region and era. Funnily, the pieces weren't far from each other, even after being exported: One reached us from a Wisconsin estate; the other from an estate in Minnesota. Given so much serendipity, of course we had to team them as a set for their next chapter.

The "Czecho" signature on the brooch lets us date it to the first years of the Czech Republic (established in 1918). The region was previously known as Bohemia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War I ended, and Bohemian glass has been prized from medieval times. These gorgeous old pink satin glass moonstones certainly live up to the area's reputation. Although its dating is technically transitional, falling between the death of King Edward and the period dominated by Art Deco style, the brooch is wholly Victorian in spirit, so must have been crafted immediately after the war (or perhaps before, but not stamped until later).

The earrings not only share that style, but look even more Art Nouveau than the brooch. Each is a whirl of scrolling shapes, crowned by a curvy flower petal motif enameled in luscious rose to go with the heavenly art glass. Enameling of this sort is characteristically Czech, as is the very fine quality of the stones. Despite the absence of marks, we can be virtually certain of the earrings' origin -- although it's likely they came into existence while the area was still Bohemia.

The brooch, which can also be worn as a pendant or choker necklace, if threaded over a ribbon at each end, is of impressive size: 2.5 by 2 inches. The earrings are in similar scale: about an inch at their widest, with drops that will fall about 2 inches below your ears. In each piece, one stone took a teensy ding that's hard to notice without extreme magnification. It also takes a loupe to notice the very minor surface wear. Overall condition is superb, relative to age.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1930 item #1348995
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$180
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As you know if you collect Suffragette jewels, rings are the holy grail. Of the relatively few made, most feature gold and precious stones and are priced accordingly. An example with faux gems is a rare find, especially one this impressive in both beauty and scale.

Its condition is wonderful, too, but that isn't so unusual. Having been worn typically for meetings and marches, not on an everyday basis, Suffragette jewelry often survives looking nearly new, assuming careful storage. This ring, in fact, isn't far from flawless. Only under high magnification can surface wear be noticed on the gilt bronze mounting or the stones it holds.

This is is a jewel that simply can't be overlooked, with a huge mound of jade art glass atop a whopping face 1 1/2" tall and an inch wide. And let's not forget the two richly colored faux amethysts and four pretend pearls. The unusual color combination held deep meaning among early feminists, 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 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. Such lavish size and ornament, along with these Art Nouveau curves, tempts me to call the ring Victorian -- as it may be -- but its sensational condition and a shank that obligingly adjusts to fit any finger suggest our circa 1920 dating. As you know, all American women attained the vote in 1920, but it took until 1928 for all women in England to be included. When evaluating Suffragette pieces, a long and complex history has to be kept in mind. Certain states got ahead of the nation, for instance, and occasional items are even old enough to remind us that the struggle began in the 1840s.

Based on the quality of the glass, probable origin is Czech -- or Bohemian, if made before WWI dissolved the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. From there, the ring reached us via an estate in the Great Lakes area. There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery. Gift wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1492 item #1346911
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$235
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Do you have a hero? Maybe this is for him -- or her. It's a treasure perfect for your most valued mentor, most loyal friend or even your Knight in Shining Armor.

Our splendid sword chape fashioned in England soon after the Norman Conquest dates from the 12th or 13th century (between 1100 and 1299), so it may well have seen a Crusade or two. It has a particularly elegant form and the bronze metal has developed a lovely dark green patination all over.

It reached us through a leading antiquities dealer in Cambridgeshire and, in nearby Suffolk, we found these wonderful handcrafted beads with an ancient look, rustic and licked by flame. Then we strung everything together on a leather thong to create a real swashbuckler of a pendant! It's particularly great with a turtleneck (his or hers) -- and a museum-worthy display piece when not being worn. Size is about 2 1/4" by 1 1/8".

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Modernist : Pre 1940 item #1338378
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$165
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A host of objects evoke eras and they're delightful, but when an item evokes a particular moment in history, it's incredibly exciting to me. It's like a time machine! Climb aboard this early modernist brooch and you're in 1930 -- or at least the immediate neighborhood. Stylized feather and fern leaf brooches were the latest and greatest -- done up in platinum and diamonds by the likes of Suzanne Belperron, whose work is well-chronicled and deserves to be, but also produced for ordinary mortals with far more adventurous taste than cash to indulge it.

For the example here, our dating comes not only from records kept in the halls of grandeur, but also from plain history open to all. Look at the colors of these stones -- green, white and violet, as in "Give Women the Vote" -- and remember that it was in 1928 when the last group of Englishwomen (those without property) were enfranchised. This achievement remained a big cause for celebration as the decade turned -- particularly since there wasn't a whole lot to be celebrating immediately after the Crash of '29.

Now please join me in picturing the first owner of this brooch: a highly modern miss, indeed, and a Suffragette surely. A persistent Suffragette, since voting was fait accompli for most women soon after World War I. That's why Suffragette jewelry nearly always looks Victorian, Edwardian, transitional or Early Deco. And that's what makes this piece very special.

Of course it's also special for being just wonderful. A towering plume or assemblage of fronds (whichever you see) -- more than 3 1/4 inches tall -- it gleams like new, so the metal must be rhodium or chromium (hard-wearing cousins of platinum, albeit far cheaper). The graceful mounting is set with three green and white tigers' eyes that could almost pass for real, plus three faceted amethyst pastes. Weight is 10.3 grams (51.5 carats) and provenance is a Midwestern estate.

That the brooch is in fantastic condition isn't really surprising, since Suffragette jewels were generally tucked away fondly after a few years' use. The color scheme doesn't exactly go with everything -- but what a lot of fun somebody's going to have with this!

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1980 item #1320905
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$140
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These spectacular artisanal earrings from a California collection are set with real amethyst, rose quartz and onyx. They aren't costume jewelry by any means, even though the creator chose to work with a softer metal than silver or gold. Brass is just perfect for these gracefully sculpted floral and fan shapes, plus the layers of light, bright feathers that swirl around them to shoulder-skimming lengths.

If you love jewelry with a show-stopping, eye-popping, extravagant look, you've found your new favorite earrings here. Without a doubt, they're one of a kind, since the prior owner recalls purchasing them from a jewelry artist at Moro Bay. That was long ago, sometime in the 1960s or 1970s, but their condition remains superb. They've been looked after beautifully. Fasteners are clips, the only comfortable way to wear earrings this large.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1700 item #1276000
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$95

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Could the era that gave us Puck - not to mention Henry VIII, history's most self-indulgent monarch since Nero - be less than playful? Not likely! Little princess Liz, herself, might have practiced up to fund colonies and fight armadas with a toy purse on a frame like this one. It was the perfect accessory for a Tudor tot learning to say "MINE" along with "GO TO THE TOWER" - and it's perfect now as a whimsical pendant for an adult or child. Just add a cord or ribbon and tie it on your neck - or wrist - or cellphone, for that matter.

Beautifully detailed (on both sides, as pictured here) and measuring about 2" wide by 5/8" high, this fascinating conversation piece was acquired from a leading English antiquities dealer. It's exceedingly rare. Chances are, you'll never see another like it; indeed, none of us will.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre AD 1000 item #1275998
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$165

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In remarkable condition, this stunning ancient pendant is formed in a well-detailed floral shape and set with a ruby red cabochon stone (presumably glass). It's most unusual to find an item of such antiquity still containing a stone, let alone one in splendid condition, but the overlapped edge of the mounting indicates it's original. I can't see any way that it could have been replaced.

The jewel is between 1700 and 2000 years old, made of lead which has developed rich patina and luster through the centuries. It measures 30 mm (nearly 1 1/4")in diameter and comes strung on a lanyard, as it was probably worn originally.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1910 item #1270979
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$225
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This gorgeous antique demi-parure would be the making of any outfit in the yellow/orange/brown spectrum. It's a choice you'll never regret, if those are your colors -- or your lady's.

Of impressive size, these jewels are graceful in motion and comfortable to wear, because of the airy openwork so characteristic of Edwardiana, The pendant is almost 2 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches at its widest, while the matching dangle earrings are an inch long and half an inch wide. That the earrings have screw fasteners also argues for an Edwardian dating; these existed in Late Victorian times, but didn't really catch on until the early 20th century. The girandole (three-drop) form of the pendant is a throwback to Georgian times, however, which was perpetuated through the Victorian period by the Queen's fondness for wearing her grandmother Charlotte's girandole jewels. Here the drops feature lots of Art Nouveau curves, somewhat tempered by Arts and Crafts influence. When those design currents intersect, there's a really fresh look that I love.

Each piece sparkles with excellent topaz and diamond pastes, presumably Bohemian, but the metal's a puzzle. In most lights, it appears silvery, yet at times seems a very pale gold. That could be a light wash of gold over silver or the nature of the alloy, resembling ancient electrum -- or perhaps just a bit of tarnish. There's simply too little surface wear to tell if there's an underlying metal, and it strikes me as criminal to damage such pristine, subtly shimmering surfaces with polishes or test acids. Fortunately, we found a replacement chain that's a great color match. The pendant could still use a proper bale that matches -- perhaps a fancy one; we'll leave that selection to you, along with the decision about how much polishing to do, if any.

Provenance of the set is a Texas estate and its origin is most likely European.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Modernist : Pre 1930 item #1270826
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$85
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Want a bracelet as Art Deco as the Chrysler Building? Here's one that's sure to win raves with any outfit from jeans up!

About 1.5 inches wide and highly dimensional, this bold and sophisticated cuff is fashioned of top-quality brass - far weightier stuff than most brass today. That's what allowed it to survive in such marvelous condition. Its outer surface gleams, having been polished occasionally through the years, but the rich patina within its decorative recesses and on the reverse argues firmly for a dating between 1925 and 1935. I'd bet on the front end of that range, since the bracelet is European, probably from France, where Deco design appeared early under the moniker Moderne. Either way, it's antique by American 75-year standards.

Since it can be expanded or compressed at will (carefully, please), the bracelet should fit just about anyone. Please be cautious also about polishing, avoiding chemical dips that would strip the patina out of those wonderful radiator-like grooves. A gentle hand and a gentle cream or polishing cloth will protect its beauty and value.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and pretty 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 : Other Metals : Pre 1900 item #1269623
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$250
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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. This led to a series of historical revivals, including Classical, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo, as well as the Renaissance style we see here. The Austrians (who became Austro-Hungarians after the early 1860s) did particularly lovely work in the Renaissance vein, aided by long experience in enamel painting, which was central to the type.

A wonderful example of that artistry is this bracelet. Both its dating (1875-1880) and origin are established by the fact that a necklace featuring precisely the same painted motif is a book piece. (See "Popular Jewelry 1840-1940" by Roseann Ettinger.) The charming miniature, hand-painted on a cabochon of porcelain, shows a richly colored scene in which an aristocratic couple enjoy music outdoors on an autumn day. The young lady plays a lute while her beau sings along. Their attire evokes the early Renaissance and further nods to that era include the wristband of finely formed and textured filigree and the painting's frame, which is constructed architecturally in three layers, with intricate surface patterning and a fine dogtooth collet.

The band is an oval, as is characteristic of many fine 19th century bracelets, and it's really a better fit on the arm than round. Size is on the petite side, suited to a smaller than average wrist (up to about 6 inches).

Condition of the bracelet is marvelous, especially considering the delicacy of the materials. The porcelain plaque shows no wear; the hinge and clasp work perfectly; and the rest of the richly gilded metalwork reveals just a few tiny dings under very high magnification. Clearly, it's been cared for with love. It reached us from a West Coast estate.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Pre 1900 item #1227263
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$195
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As you know if you follow fashion, chokers are the trendiest necklaces around today. In fact, the last time they were so coveted, Alexandra was Queen of England! This example was crafted even earlier, when she was still Princess of Wales. The Princess Di or Countess Kate of her day, beautiful Alex popularized chokers (and high collars with bar pins), because she liked to hide a small scar on her neck. Her adoring subjects and fans across the sea needed no such excuse.

This choker, a paricularly wide and wonderful one, couldn't be more Belle Epoque. Everything about it screams Gay Nineties: the curvy Art Nouveau forms, richly gilded metalwork and spectacular, unusual stones. Signed "Greene Bros., New York City, NY", it's set with 10 gorgeous speckled coral cabochons. These look like real coral, but could be excellent art glass or early plastic, and faux coral was equally prized at the time. The choker's central oval medallion measures a stately 2 1/2 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches wide and is riveted onto a mesh band measuring 4 1/2 inches by 1 inch, which has brackets to hold ribbon or lace. Jewels of this sort were tied on, giving the wearer a chance to match her necklace ribbons to her dress. Hair was customarily pinned up, so the pretty bow at the back was easily visible. Depending on what you tie it to, this versatile jewel could also be worn as a sash ornament or a headband.

No polishing of the gilt brass has been done, since the decision on how far to go with cleaning should be left to its next owner. Obviously, the metal could be made quite bright by a good jeweler, since the inner surface still shimmers. Overall condition is extremely good, with only minor age-appropriate wear, and provenance is an East Coast estate.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1920 item #1222328
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$175
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Halley's Comet put on a particularly bright show in 1910, inspiring a craze for comet jewelry (as happened also in 1835). Comet brooches are rare, but we always look for them and have several at the moment. This one is spectacular, featuring 11 faux-garnets, richly colored and faceted for maximum sparkle. The gilt metal setting is highly ornate and dimensional, with lacy ruffles around the comet's head and further openwork throughout the length of the tail.

Everything's in remarkable condition, relative to age; you may want your jeweler to clean the crevices and perhaps tweak a couple of teensy waves in the tail's edge. You'll notice on the back a "Czecho" stamp that tells us this beauty was sold during the first years of the Czech Republic (established in 1918). The region was previously known as Bohemia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War I ended. Based on the comet theme, we believe the brooch might well have been fashioned before the war, but impossible to export until afterward, so left unmarked until normal business resumed.

Size is substantial: about 2 inches long and a bit more than 3/4 of an inch at its widest. There's an early safety catch and the pinstem appears to have been expertly shortened at some time (a smart idea, since the extra-long pins characteristic of old brooches became dangerous after women gave up wearing layers of heavy underclothing). Provenance is a New England estate.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1910 item #685882
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$125


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Authentic Victorian Art Nouveau "lady portrait" jewels have become so scarce that even well-made replicas are soaring in value, so we're delighted to present this treasure from the late 19th or very early 20th century. It's a highly unusual example of the form, being crafted as a hair jewel. Through many years of collecting Art Nouveau, I've never before run across a barrette like this.

Obviously you could transform it into a pendant necklace and/or a brooch by having it placed in a bezel with the appropriate hardware. By most reckonings, that would substantially increase the value; however, I find it even more interesting in its unexpected present form.

This is a truly spectacular jewel -- highly dimensional, large (about 1.5 inches round) and exquisitely detailed. The portrait head is one of the loveliest I've seen, both for the woman's beauty and for her harmony with the floral and foliate shapes surrounding her. A flower wafting from behind settles like a ruffled cap over her curls.

The influence of French "art medals" is strong and quite possibly an original by one of the masters is recreated here. Provenance is a Louisiana estate and condition, as you see, is remarkably fine. Quite a bit of patina remains on the aged brass reverse, but the front was brightly polished sometime recently. The hairpin-type barrette catch still works perfectly after more than a century.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1900 item #405482
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$275
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This exquisite double cameo shows the high quality and Neo-Classical subject matter we associate with the earliest years of the 19th century, so I believe it to be Late Georgian or Regency. Probable origin would be Italy, since the best carvers were there, though it reached us via a Massachusetts estate.

Double cameos are rare to begin with, and this one is also unusually large, ornately carved and imaginative. Its foreground figure is a warrior whose helmet has a ferocious feline on top - or perhaps the cat is on the head of the background figure. One or the other thus appears to be Heracles (aka Hercules), the ancient superhero noted for slaying lions and wearing their pelts. If he's at back, the helmeted figure is likely his patron Ares, god of war. If, on the other hand, Hercules is the helmeted figure, then the one in back is probably Queen Omphale (known to have borrowed the Nemetean lion's skin at times to make a fashion statement) - or the hero's later wife Dejanira - or perhaps his patron goddess Athena. The imagery on the shield at the extreme foreground is more straightforward: It shows a winged figure cracking a whip over a pair of horses pulling the chariot that signifies the sun's daily progress across the sky, thus the passage of time.

The cameo, which appears to be onyx, is seriously sizeable at 1 1/2 inches tall and 1 inch wide. The rope-twist frame, evidently gilt bronze, adds another 1/8 inch in each dimension. Both parts are very old, but the cameo and its present setting certainly didn't begin life together. The frame, characteristically Victorian, isn't really worthy of the cameo, nor is the fit perfect. Black epoxy holds the frame on and another epoxy line reveals repair to an old hairline fracture. Thankfully, the little crack did not extend into the carved area, which is crisp and pristine. Even the noses haven't been dinged and you know how common that flaw is.

No problems at all are apparent at the front, apart from age-appropriate loss of gilding to the frame and a slightly wavy joint of the bezel. This jewel is immediately wearable, although you may want to put it into a proper gold or silver frame. The price would of course be enormously higher if the cameo looked as perfect on the back as it does from the front. (The only other Hercules-in-lion-pelt cameo I've found currently online is merely of shell, rather than stone, but framed in gold and priced at $1,000.)

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Arts and Crafts : Pre 1900 item #344079
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$95
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While most of us know the discovery of King Tut's tomb in the 1920s led to a craze for Egyptian-inspired jewelry, fewer are aware there were earlier Egyptian crazes - circa 1800, prompted by Napoleon's campaign in Egypt; again during the 1860s, when the Suez Canal opened to great pomp and ceremony; and to a lesser extent in the closing decades of the 19th century, sparked by various archeological discoveries.

This particular jewel, based on its style and details of fabrication (such as the tube hinge and safety pin clasp), has to be from the Late Victorian era, likely circa 1880. It's a rare example of a decidedly Egyptian motif on a bar pin. Quite heavy for its size (about 2" x 3/8"), it seems to be of bronze rather than brass and has a japanned (blackened) background and reverse. Upraised in relief and brightly polished, the serpentine motif is as trendy now as when the Victorians fell in love with it. To them, the snake signified eternity and worn often in sentimental contexts; Queen Victoria's wedding ring, for instance, was of serpent form. The use of black suggests this could have been a mourning jewel.

Given its stylized simplicity of design and indications of hand-craftsmanship, Arts and Crafts influence on this brooch is strong. It was probably made in Europe - England would be my best guess - but reached us from a Florida estate. Condition is lovely, all original except that the pinstem was at some point snipped (not a bad idea, since those extra-long ones could easily draw blood). The pinstem shows a slight crimp, too, indicating that someone tried first to shorten it by this means.

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!