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Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume (85)

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Dramatic Italian Vintage Ring, Filigree and Obsidian

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1960   item# 1228335

Dramatic Italian Vintage Ring, Filigree and Obsidian
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$40 Sale. Formerly $60.
(Free US shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

Here's a perfect small gift or little treat for yourself. This very exotic-looking ring was acquired in Sicily and features a bold, highly prismic stone of faceted ebony glass -- most likely the natural volcanic glass called obsidian, which would have come from Mount Etna in the present instance.

The stone's setting, an ornate filigree of silvery metal, will fit anyone, since the shank was shaped with a little gap at the back. Probable dating would be Retro, circa 1950, when large costume rings were wildly popular. Its height evokes the dangerous mood of a "poison ring" but it doesn't open and, despite its impressive size, the ring's quite comfortable to wear.

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!



Huge Vintage Pink Lucite Floral Dangle Earrings

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1980   item# 1227967

Huge Vintage Pink Lucite Floral Dangle Earrings
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$65 Sale. Formerly $95.
(Free US shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

Ideal for this pink-loving season -- and not for shy violets -- these fabulous vintage earrings will turn all eyes your way! They're a whopping 5 1/2 inches long and designed to dance with every step you take.

Of frosted pink lucite in an array of floral, leaf, shell and prism shapes, they're accented by faux pearls and gilt metal chains with surface detail for extra sparkle. The tops, two inches round, are fixed to clip backs for comfort, because you wouldn't want this much weight on a post. The drops add another 3 1/2 inches to length and an amazing lot of glamor.

No doubt these were first worn by a Disco Queen of the 1970s, but she treated them gently and they're in marvelous condition. Provenance is the collection of a former antique shop owner in the Hamptons. Frankly, I've never seen any costume earrings this remarkable and I'm sometimes wearing them, myself, while they await a new owner. Seize the day soon or I may refuse to part with them.

BTW, there's a gorgeous pink Lucite garland necklace in stock now, a West German treasure from the 1950s which would be spectacular with these. Be sure to search it out, if you can stand that much drama.

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 Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Barrette c 1900

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1910   item# 1227662

Rare Antique Art Nouveau Lady Portrait Barrette c 1900
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$95 Sale. Formerly $145.
(Free US shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

Authentic Victorian Art Nouveau "lady portrait" jewels have become so scarce that even well-made replicas are coveted, 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 necklace pendant and/or brooch by having it set in a bezel with the appropriate hardware. Most likely, that would increase its value substantially; however, I find it even more charming in its unexpected present form and would thrill to see it adorning the hair of a young woman or child.

This is a truly spectacular piece -- 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 perfectly over her curls like a ruffled cap!

The influence of French "art medals" is strong and quite possibly an original by one of the masters is recreated here. It probably hails from France, given its provenance (a Louisiana estate). 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 without a glitch after more than a century.

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



Splendid Signed Victorian Coral Choker Necklace c1890

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Designer: Pre 1900   item# 1227263

Splendid Signed Victorian Coral Choker Necklace c1890
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$195 Sale. Formerly $245.
(Free US shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

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.

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. We're always happy to send larger images that will give you a clearer view. Thanks for looking!



Rare Vintage 1970s Garden Charm Necklace Veg and Fruit

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1980   item# 1227239

Rare Vintage 1970s Garden Charm Necklace Veg and Fruit
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$95 Sale. Formerly $130.
(Free US shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

Any gal with a green thumb (or a taste for healthy produce) will adore this necklace. It's dripping with fruit and vegetable charms: a bounty that includes carrots, pea pods, eggplant, cherries, mushrooms, peppers and more. The charms vary in size, up to an inch long. Some are of glass, some are artfully enameled and some are jeweled -- and vivid crystal drops add extra spice all around. The fancy-link chain is delicious, in itself.

This beauty is like new and definitely a high-quality piece. The prior owner recalls paying about $90 for it some 40 years ago, when that was serious money. Now that it qualifies as vintage, its value is bound to keep rising.

To complete a garden-fresh look, you might wish to consider our vintage fruit tart earrings or the fruit basket pair. Either would look fantastic with this necklace, and we can work out special pricing if you want more than one item.

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



Big Bold Antique Egyptian Revival Art Glass Brooch

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1900   item# 1226860

Big Bold Antique Egyptian Revival Art Glass Brooch
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$135 Sale. Formerly $175.
Free U.S. shipping
& gift-wrap, if desired. 

Most of us know the discovery of King Tut's tomb in the 1920s led to a craze for Egyptian-styled jewelry. Fewer are aware there were earlier Egyptian crazes (circa 1800, thanks to Napoleon, and again in the 1860s, when the Suez Canal opened). Further, when Tut's treasures toured the world once more in the 1970s, it was "deja vu all over again." Because of this, you always have to look very carefully at jewels with an Egyptian motif, to determine when they were made.

This example, I've decided, is from the Victorian era. It was sold to us as Deco, but the details of fabrication simply aren't 20th century. The piece is clearly hand-crafted in the Arts & Crafts manner. Notice the slight asymmetry between the top and the base, as well as the Etruscan-style granulated surface and, of course, those old paste stones that are nothing like Art Deco century rhinestones. The tall columns of blue glass seem modern now, but Bohemia was quite capable of making them earlier and I believe this jewel is from there. The jewel also shows more surface wear than is age-appropriate for the 1920s -- certainly not enough to detract from its beauty, but enough to signify great age.

Fashioned on a very grand scale, this marvel measures about 3 1/4" by 1 1/8" and reached us from a Florida estate.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. There's no charge for insured US shipping, with an equivalent discount for international delivery, and we're always happy to gift-wrap free on request. Thanks for looking.



Antique Halley's Comet Brooch of Jeweled Gilt Filigree

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1920   item# 1222328

Antique Halley's Comet Brooch of Jeweled Gilt Filigree
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$195.
(Free U.S. shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

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.

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 Austrian Comet Brooch - Huge and Heavenly

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930   item# 1220288

Antique Austrian Comet Brooch - Huge and Heavenly
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$125.
(Free U.S. shipping
& gift-wrap if desired) 

This is beyond a doubt the most enormous comet brooch I've ever seen: 3 inches tall, more than 2 inches wide and set with layers of sparkling crystal. With a bit of caution, it could become even more dimensional, since the "rays" of the mounting are malleable.

The "Made in Austria" stamp on this beauty tells us it was produced for the export market and that it can't have been crafted prior to 1919 (when the end of WWI dissolved the old Austro-Hungarian Empire). At that age, it could still be a reference to the dazzling 1910 appearance of Halley's Comet, but my guess is that some later comet prompted it, or just comets in general. There were six famous ones in the first 27 years of the 20th century, alone, not to mention the minor examples.

As you'd expect of an Austrian piece, the rhinestones here are of glorious quality. We can't know if all are original, but there are no obvious problems. The metal appears to be silver-plated and it still reads as white metal rather than the underlying brass, despite age-appropriate losses that magnification reveals. Both the extent of surface wear and the white-on-white look suggest an Art Deco dating -- no later than the early 1930s, which makes it antique by American 75-year standards. To me, the 1920s are more likely, based on the type of hinge and clasp and a pinstem that shows evidence of having been shortened (a common and sensible practice after ladies gave up heavy underclothing and their extra-long brooch pins began to draw blood). Provenance is a West Coast estate.

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



Antique Czech Bakelite Cameo Historically Interesting

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Bakelite: Pre 1930   item# 1214017

Antique Czech Bakelite Cameo Historically Interesting
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$95
(Free U.S. Shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if Desired) 

In terms of cameo history, here's the "missing link" between the type we think of as 19th century (despite including very early 20th century examples that continued the neoclassical or Art Nouveau style) and those that are decidedly 20th century, featuring the thoroughly modern, short-haired flapper girls of the 1920s and their successors.

Cameos of course mirror our changing standards of beauty and this particular design perfectly illustrates the spirit of the transitional period between Edwardian and Art Deco design eras. The young lady pictured here presents an entirely new vision of elegance. Her hair, while on the long side, is quite a lot shorter than was seen before the World War I, during which large numbers of women worked for the first time in roles other than domestic service. Hairstyles thus had to become more practical. Her attire also isn't idealized; it's no toga or fairy-like wisp, but quite easily recognizable as an evening gown, accented by an orchid corsage. And her face is that of a real person -- not just pretty, but strong and poised. There are no frou-frous in the background, either. Capping off the design breakthrough of the cameo is that it appears to be of carved shell, but is actually Bakelite, the thermoplastic that overcame celluloid's disadvantages (mainly fragility and flammability).

I saw this cameo once before - in celluloid, with more detailed features - so I'm inclined to date the Bakelite one a little later: to the 1920s, rather than slightly before. The gilt metal frame, however, is pure Edwardiana, dainty and graceful, with an old open "C" clasp right for the period. Framed size is about 2 inches by 1.5 inches and both cameo and frame are in lovely condition.

As a sort of fascinating side note, this jewel came from a collector in Budapest. She said she managed to make out a badly faded Czecho signature on the back. I haven't taken time to search for it, feeling no cause to doubt its origin, with a provenance like that.

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



Spectacular Large Gilt Bronze Suffragette Ring

Catalogue: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1920   item# 1214003

Spectacular Large Gilt Bronze Suffragette Ring
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$185
(Free U.S. shipping
& Gift-Wrap, if desired) 

As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, rings are the holy grail. Of the relatively few made, most are very fine and 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. Because Suffragette jewels of all types were worn typically for meetings and marches, not on an everyday basis, they've often survived looking nearly new, assuming careful storage.

This ring isn't far from flawless. Only under high magnification can surface wear be noticed on its stones or the highly detailed mounting that seems, by its weight, to be gilt bronze. Adorning the oval face, which measures a whopping 1.5 inches tall by about an inch wide, are two richly colored faux amethysts, four pretend pearls and a stunning cabochon of glass jade marbled with white.

The unusual color combination held deep meaning among 19th century and early 20th century 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.

This is is a jewel that simply can't be overlooked, and its shank is adjustable to fit any finger. The Art Nouveau styling would lead me to call it Victorian -- and it may be -- but the sensational condition suggests a more conservative circa 1920 dating. As you know, American women attained the vote in 1920, but it took until 1928 for all women in England to be included.

Probable origin is Czech (or Bohemian, if made before WWI dissolved the old Austro-Hungarian Empire). The ring reached us from 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!


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