Archive for M
Micromosaic jewellery ( or is it Micro Mosaic ?) is set with tiny coloured glass pieces to make up pictures and patterns. These tiny glass pieces are known as Tessarae.
Micromosaics have been a popular decorative art in Italy at least since the Roman era and have also been made in other countries. Micromosaics were popular souveniers brought back from the grand tour of Europe undertaken in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Micromosaic Jewellery often depicts classical places and scenes including Roman myths. Micoromosaic work from the Victorian era is likely to have smaller and more detailed pieces than that in the 20th century.
The value of Micromosaic jewellery is determined by the size, subject, delicacy of work and condition of the piece. Items with animals and people in are more in demand than floral subjects.
Cleaning micromosaic jewellery: You need to take great care when cleaning your micromosaic jewellery as any damp may well weaken the glue that holds the glass pieces in place. A soft dry toothbrush will remove dust. I would then put a light spray of glass cleaner onto a lint free cloth and with care remove any remaining dirt. After all the pieces are glass so this should work for your jewellery too.
AntiquesAvenue now has a section devoted to Micromosaics with more pieces to be added over the next week or two.
Monet jewellery has been made since the 1930s and it is still being made today. It is a high quality costume jewellery most normally it is gold or silver toned metal in bold shaped or with lots of chains. The aim of the Monet company was to produce pieces with a high quality fine jewellery finish and design at an affordable price The Monet jewellery company was originally American and the production of their jewellery was all in the USA until about 2000.
Whilst Monet jewellery is normally gold or silver tone metal in bold shapes occasionally you can find pieces with coloured enamel, pearls or glass stones set into it. Vintage Monet jewellery is still quite affordable compared with some other vintage designer jewellery
All Monet jewellery made ofter 1955 is stamped with the Monet trade mark.
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Marcasite Jewellery has been popular since the ancient Greeks who used Iron Sulphide crystal in its white form to add sparkle and shine. The Georgians set the black form of Marcasite into silver jewels. More recently, from the Victorian era onwards, Pyrite or Fools Gold is used as this mineral is hardier than true marcasites. The marcasites normally have a rose cut shape. Marcasites are highly polished and sparkle like diamonds under artificial light.
Very popular in Art Deco silver jewellery and during the 1950s marcasite set jewels can be found in a whole range of antique jewellery and vintage jewellery including buckles, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and charms.
Better quality marcasite jewellery has the stones held in with prongs and on cheaper jewellery they are glued in. Sometimes on the cheapest costume jewellery the marcasites are not real but imitated by stainless steel.
Marcasite jewellery varies in colour from bronze to the gun metal we normally see. Normally the jewellery is silver although other metals can also be found. The most common and beautiful form of marcasite jewellery is where the stones are set into silver. The silver is deliberately kept dull rather than shined up bright as this allows the sparkle of the marcasites to show off to its best advantage.
Care of Marcasite Jewellery
Marcasite jewellery can last a long time if handled with care and cleaned correctly. The stones can be fragile so never put them into an ultrasonic machine or treat them with harsh chemicals. Silver dip is definitely not recommended as the silver is meant to be dull and not bright, the dip is also too harsh for the marcasites.
Your marcasite jewellery is best cleaned with a dry jewellery polishing cloth and then stored separately from other pieces possibly wrapped in a little acid free tissue paper.
I’ve been finding out about Majorica pearls today as I came across this most beautiful faux pearl necklace and I thought they were worth researching.
Majorica pearls are made in Majorca, in fact I remember visiting the workshop where they are made about 30 years ago. At that time I thought they were truly wonderful but simply couldn’t afford the price tag. So how come man made or faux pearls are so expensive?
Apparently, according to the accompanying leaflet, each Majorica pearl is made to the same weight as real pearls and is indistinguishable from the real thing except by experts ( more on this later). These majorica pearls have a glass center and apparently are coated on the outside with real mother of pearl and other substances to give a natural pearl appearance. They certainly do have a much better lustre than most faux pearls. There is almost a rainbow effect to them.
Majorica pearls should be cared for in the same way as natural pearls that is wash them gently in lukewarm water with a little mild soap. rinse, pat dry and leave in the open for 48 hours to ensure all moisture has gone. They should be kept in their original case if possible and certainly separate from other jewellery so that the surface do not wear.
Majorica pearls claim to be indistinguishable from real pearls except by experts but I used the same test on them as for any other pearl. They may look and weigh the same as real pearls but are like other glass pearls in that the surface is completely smooth rather than having a slightly rough surface as in sea pearls and cultured pearls.
Majorica is not the only faux pearl company in Majorica but I think their products are the best quality. You can find necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Look out for vintage pearls made by Majorica as these do tend to have a special style of their own.