GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1900 item #1348277
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$95

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The Art Nouveau setting of this exquisite antique ring dates it to the 1890s, when French scientist Louis Bouton began cultivating blister pearls -- each of which took about two years to develop. The remarkable gems soon charmed jewelry designers on the prowl for something new, but the later and simpler Arts and Crafts style had taken hold by the time there was a reliable supply of pearls. Thus, this elaborate mounting is highly unusual. Here graceful scallops and fronds ornament the ring's shoulders and the bezel's frilly outer frame. The stone's a marvel, too: almost an inch tall and wonderfully luminous and vivid, dominated by coral, rose and sea green.

Signed simply Sterling, so probably of American origin, the jewel is undoubtedly hand-crafted. Current size is a U.S. 4.5 - 5, easily changed since the back of the shank is undecorated. Provenance is a West Coast estate and there are no condition issues of note. (A prior resizing mark could be smoothed away in a jiffy and, like most old sterling bands, this needs tapping back into round, which any good jeweler can do in about 30 seconds.)

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1980 item #1319236
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$295
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No doubt you've seen the tall Victorian rings with three stones in a dainty stack -- well, this dazzler not has the three stones (round purple amethyst cabochons), but has them set in a veritable totem pole of swirling Art Nouveau lady portrait heads. It's a whopper -- nearly two inches tall by an inch wide -- and reached us from an estate in New Orleans, always a top source for breathtaking jewelry.

For dating, I'm torn between true Nouveau and Revival. That the stones are cabs and of slightly irregular shape screams Arts and Crafts and the only mark (partly worn away) is sterling, rather than the later 925, which was rare until the 1930s. On the other hand, lack of surface wear could argue for a later dating -- or may simply demonstrate caution or luck. Either way, it's easy to assess the ring's fine condition, because somebody polished it lately. The polishing was more enthusiastic than I prefer for historic jewelry, but time's patina is already restoring itself and, in the meantime, the exposed details provide our best clue to the ring's past. Under a lot of tarnish, who could tell much about tiny faces? Now we can, and they don't seem sufficiently refined to call them Late Victorian or Edwardian with certainty. So little ultra-craftsmanship survived after World War I that I have to say this was probably made during the 1960s Art Nouveau Revival period. It's still almost antique by American 75-year standards -- and no less amazing, but at least $500 more affordable!

Still there remains another puzzler as to dating: the ring's large size. Perhaps it really was made a century ago to wear over gloves, since few bare female fingers would fit a US 8.5 -- or I should say the 8.25 to 8.75 range, since temperature causes readings to vary that much within an average day. Regardless of who wore it last, this wonderful ring can easily be sized to fit you now. To judge by a small dimple at the very back, it may have been adjusted before.

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 : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1113816
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$195
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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. It's an unusual example of the form, being crafted in heart shape. This is a truly spectacular jewel -- highly dimensional, large (about 2 inches x 1.75 inches) and beautifully detailed with floral and foliate shapes surrounding the lady with the flowing hair.

Besides wearing it in the usual ways, it would look great on a ribbon as a choker necklace or headband -- or on a hat or a purse -- or turning a scarf into a sash. The styling possibilities are just about endless.

Provenance is a Michigan estate and condition, as you see, is remarkably fine. There's some loss of silver on the high points, which is inevitable with a plated piece after so long. You could of course have it replated, but the color variation has its own charm. Findings are correct for the period: an open C clasp and typical late 19th century hinge. The pinstem would originally have been longer, but most have been shortened through the years for safety's sake.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount on international delivery). Beautiful gift-wrap is also free on request and, obviously, this would be a very romantic present. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1037954
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$110
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This highly ornate antique belt or sash buckle is a showpiece of Art Nouveau design, featuring a beautiful lady amid and crowned with flowers. There's elaborate scrollwork, too, and all the repousse work was done in very high relief to enrich the design further with shadows and highlights.

Dating to the Late Victorian era, circa 1890-1900, the buckle measures about 3" x 1 3/4" when fastened and its brackets will accommodate a sash or belt up to 1 1/8" wide. Imagine its impact at the waist of your favorite evening gown or a wedding dress -- although you'll certainly wear it on lesser occasions, too.

The metal beanth the gilding appears to be silver of less than sterling grade. (It isn't heavy enough to be pot metal.) Condition is lovely, showing only minor loss of gilt finish. The eye of the fastener (but not the hook) seems to have been reattached at some point, possibly replaced. The buckle is very sturdy and wearable now, but of course our price reflects the old repair. This would be a great deal more expensive if perfect, because authentic Nouveau "lady portrait" jewels are getting very scarce and valuable.

Likely origin, based on style and quality of craftsmanship, is French or Belgian, although the buckle reached us from a Chicago collection.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1037952
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This gorgeous antique buckle or clasp is comprised of two highly dimensional repousse rose medallions, each 1 3/4 inches round. Being crafted on the grand scale the Victorians loved, it can't be overlooked even if worn on a long formal gown or evening cape.

Condition of the buckle is lovely, with no dents , just a little age-appropriate surface wear. You can see time's rich patina on the reverses, but the fronts shine brightly. They appear to be plated with silver or one of those hard-wearing silver metals in the platinum family, rhodium or chromium.

Each of the two parts has a loop that can be stitched to a belt, sash or cape.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1037948
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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A romantic gift for a bride, or your lady love?

This exquisitely detailed antique buckle makes Cupid the star. Decorative silver plaques featuring seated cupids or cherubs in repousse are framed by the actual buckles, made of an early plastic. Large enough to make a major fashion statement, it measures a spectacular 4 1/2 inches wide when closed. This jewel would do a lot for your favorite little black dress - and just imagine it at the waist of a wedding gown.

The jewel dates from the late 19th or very early 20th century, but its condition is superb. The only flaws of note are areas of slight discoloration on the back; these may polish out and in any case would never be seen in use. There are no hallmarks, so the silver content is unknown. Because those weren't required in the U.S. until around World War I time, their absence suggests American origin.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free if desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1900 item #1014111
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$195

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This spellbinding buckle features "The Face in the Leaves" -- a symbol of great power and antiquity, which appears in ancient churches and cathedrals throughout the British Isles, but originated in pre-Christian times. From the dawn of history, various cultures have used similar imagery evoking the mysteries of life, death and rebirth.

In Britain, the Green Man motif enjoyed a resurgence in the late 18th century, continuing through much of the 19th. During the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts eras, it often appeared as a decorative motif in and on buildings, both religious and secular. Architects in America and the British colonies took up the design around the same time. In jewelry, on the other hand, it remained rare until the medievalist look caught on again much later -- in the 1930s, the 1960s and more recent days. Now it's wildly popular in certain circles, as you know.

Based on the strong Art Nouveau influence, this superb antique buckle dates from the Late Victorian Aesthetic Period (most likely 1880s or 1890s), which makes it quite a rarity. Although not marked, the silver looks to be sterling grade or close. It's a very fine piece, exquisitely crafted with loads of dimension and in miraculous condition, relative to age. It reached us from a midwestern estate, but was certainly produced in a major city known for first-rate silverwork (New York, Chicago or a European capital).

Wear it with any belt or sash up to about an inch wide, or stitch it onto a cape or jacket to serve as a fabulous clasp. Closed, it measures approximately 1.25 inches by 2 inches.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1940 item #940568
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$175
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As you know if you collect Art Nouveau, authentic "lady portrait" jewels have become extremely hard to find. Even good reproductions from the 1960s and 1970s are rapidly gaining value, so you simply can't go wrong with these antique earrings for less than $200.

Based on age-appropriate surface wear and screw backs hallmarked "Sterling," the earrings date, I feel sure, from the early 20th century -- either from original Art Nouveau days circa 1900 or the first Revival period circa 1930. (Examples made after 1935 are generally stamped "925"; often bear a logo, as well; and feature every sort of fastener other than screws.) Unfortunately, they're been overcleaned by some misguided enthuasist who plunged them into silver dip, which stripped off the rich patina of age and what would otherwise be luscious darkness in all the heavily textured crevices created by sand-casting. Tanish will soon start accumulating again, but at the moment they look less valuable than they are and our price reflects this. They'd cost nearly twice as much, had they been left in original condition and polished only lightly by hand on the high points.

Size is about an inch long and provenance is a Chicago estate. Probably the earrings originated in Chicago, which was a hotbed of stylish metalwork a century ago. Your jeweler could very easily adapt them for post fasteners or wires, if you prefer.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and 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 : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1920 item #939314
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
Sold; thank you!
An enchanting sweetheart ring -- or wedding ring for those who prefer the simplicity of silver -- this antique Art Nouveau band from a Florida estate bears the first mark of the Rhode Island-based Uncas Manufacturing Company (a U between two arrows). That it's stamped "sterling," rather than the later 925, is also helpful for dating. So is the style, since Art Nouveau design gave way to Art Deco after World War I. Combining all these factors, we judge the ring to have been created before or during the war, no later than 1918.

Lavished with flower blossoms and scrolling leaf forms, it's the work of a master: Vincent Sorrentino, one of the talented jewelers who arrived from Italy in the early 20th century and were instrumental in developing the American fine and costume jewelry industry. About a US size 5.5 - 6 now, it could be professionally stretched a little, but not cut for major resizing without damage to the pattern, which extends all around and remains nicely crisp. Quite a bit of tarnish is present, which in deference to the purists among us I'll leave alone. You can easily polish the ring, if you like, but I recommend using a jeweler's cloth and a light hand, rather than dips that would brighten the background along with the details and strip off the rich patina of age.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #504327
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Who's your favorite Leo Lady, and how much would she love this ring? It's a gorgeous old one, combining curvy Art Nouveau lines with an unusually simple tapering band shape that shows Arts and Crafts influence, too. I love it when those design currents intersect, because each benefits the other and you wind up with a fresh and unexpected look.

It's definitely a hand-made ring, showing tool marks plainly. Because the silver is unmarked, it could be of a grade slightly less than sterling, but it tarnishes and polishes like stering. Hallmarks weren't mandatory in the U.S. until shortly before World War I, so my best guess is that it was crafted here before marks were required. The face of the lion is about 3/4 of an inch tall, so he isn't one of those big, overpowering beasts. Condition is very nice, relative to age. With apologies to the purists among us, I gave it a fairly thorough cleaning, because the patina was so extreme. If you prefer a darker look, tarnish will soon enough return.Size is about a US 4 -- right for a pinky ring in many cases, but easily changed by any good jeweler, since the back of the shank isn't ornamented.

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!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #113905
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$55
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Subtlety and Art Nouveau don't ordinarily go together, but here's a delightful exception. This restrained and yet characteristically Nouveau jewel is lavished with floral repousse work, but holds excesses within the bounds of a slender bar pin two inches long. Notice the finely wrought clasp is engraved to match the front -- a particularly charming touch.

Hallmarked for sterling, this beauty retains quite a bit of age patina, which can easily be polished off if you prefer a high shine. Dating would be no later than the 1890s, based on the type of fastener; origin is most likely American; and condition, as you see, is superb. Obviously the brooch is entirely hand-made.

While it can certainly be worn at the throat as a bar pin or on a lapel, the rather odd fastening mechanism suggests that it may have done duty as a lace pin -- or, for the overprivileged, in a set of exceptionally nice lingerie or diaper pins.

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!