Archive for Style
Have you ever seen antique or vintage jewellery with Egyptian motifs on it? If so there is a reasonable chance that the jewellery dates from one of the major Egyptian revivals.
Egyptian revivals were the times when all things Egyptian came into fashion. The first main Egyptian revival took place in circa 1870 following the opening of the Suez Canal. The second Egyptian revival occurred in the 1920s following the discoveries of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Often any jewellery you find with Egyptian symbols will date from one of these eras however you will need to look for other dating clues to confirm this . The second Egyptian Revival is often associated with the art deco era and you can see the Deco influences in many pieces.
The Egyptian symbols you can find in jewellery include Spinx, Scarabs, Cleopatra, Pharaohs, Obelisks, Pyramids, Mummy, and of course dog, cat and bull headed gods.
Egyptian revival jewellery can vary in quality from cheap costume jewellery through to excellent fine gold and silver. Much of the Egyptian revival jewellery from the 1920s is enamel on silver. Some Egyptian revival jewellery is set with real Scarab Beetles, these can be distinguished by their iridescent blue/ green colour. These scarabs are quite delicate so please do take great care of any you find. A good alternative is to find jewellery set with ceramic scarabs which are more durable.
I have several pieces of 1920s Egyptian revival jewellery available on antiquesavenue at the moment including some lovely little silver and enamel charms in the shape of Sarcophagus with mummies inside and a Moses basket with baby Moses inside. There are also a couple of pieces set with ceramic scarabs.
Are you intrested in Egyptian Revival antique jewellery? If so there is a great book you could look at; Egyptian Revival Jewelry & Design published by Schiffer Publishing ISBN 0-7643-2540-X. I’ve a copy here and its full of colourful pictures of genuine Egyptianesque antique and vintage jewellery as well as a bit about similar design on other objects.
Today’s additions to antiquesavenue.co.uk include two pieces of Scottish Vintage Jewellery dating about 100 years apart , a vintage Celtic brooch in the style popularised by Queen Victorian and a 1070s pendant set with a smokey quartz.
Scottish silver jewllery is a popular collectable and you can choose antique or vintage to suit your own tastes.
Antique Scottish Brooch
An antique Victorian Scottish Celtic brooch. This is set with hardstone panels and a real citrine. The detail on this brooch is excellent including a fixed buckle. This brooch would have been high fashion during the Victorian era when Queen Victorian popularised all things Scottish.
The brooch has a substantial C catch on the reverse and also a loop which could be used to hang this lovely piece of antique jewellery as a pendant. This brooch / pendant measures about 6 cms wide and just over 6 cms long including the citrine.
Please take a look at the second picture, if you see on the inside of the brooch where the citrine tab is added there is a small mark on the silver. This is where a very secure repair has been made at some tie in the brooches history. This will not show when the brooch is being worn, I have priced this piece of jewellery to take this into account.
Vintage Scottish Pendant
This Scottish silver pendant has hallmarks for Edinburgh which can be dated to 1975. This is made of silver and set with a lovely large smokey quartz gemstone. This pendant is a modern interpretation of the Celtic tradition with stylised birds flying round it. This pendant hangs on a silver chain. The pendant measures about 4.3 cms diameter .
The smokey quartz gemstone measures about 1.8 cms diameter and the silver chain measures about 54 cms long. This is a chunky pendant and a lovely piece of vintage jewellery. The makers marks are present but difficult to read
Collectable Scottish Jewellery
There are some special names and shapes associated with Scottish silver jewellery. For example Alexander Ritchie and silver in the Iona tradition this is very Celtic in style.
Other Scottish jewellery worth looking for includes the Luckenbooth brooch:
The Luckenbooth design is probably the most romantic in the history of Silver-smithing in Scotland. Said to have been designed as the betrothal brooch for Mary Queen of Scots from the Dauphin of France whom she married in 1558 hence the two hearts surmounted by the crown, the name derives from the “locked Booths” near St Giles in Edinburgh where the design was copied and sold for betrothal ( brooches were given instead of rings in those days) and later, when pinned to the baby’s shawl the Luckenbooth gave the child protection from Evil Spirits, Deamons and Wicked Faeries”
When looking at antique jewellery and vintage jewellery one of the things which help me to date a piece and place it in its original time frame is its style. This is a technique which helps with most other vintage and antique items as well. Before specialising in Jewellery I spent many years as antique dealer handling ceramics and glass from the last 200 years and the style of these antiques was just as important as it is with Jewellery. Learning to identify different styles is one of the key skills for any antique or vintage dealer or collector.
There are several ways you can learn about style, I spent many years doing courses about antiques and Jewellery, reading books and talking to antiques dealers. One great way to learn about style is to visit a real life auction house when there are having a catalogued sale devoted to one particular style. For example Art Deco and Art Nouveau are styles that often have specialist sales.
Which styles to learn
For anyone buying antique and vintage today there are several key styles which are essential to know and to learn how to differentiate the original from modern copies. There are several more styles, I would suggest you start with these:
Georgian,Victorian, Victorian Aesthetic, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
What do you need to know about style?
When it first became popular and when it had revivals
The colours and materials and manufacturing techniques used
The main influences
The important designers and artists
Some good books on Style
This list of books are one on my bookshelf which I have found useful:
The elements of Design Ed: N. Riley Pub: Mitchell Beazley
Arts & Crafts Style Ed: I. Anscombe Pub: Phaidon
A century of Design Ed: P Sparke Pub: Mitchell Beazley
The new Look Design in th Fifties L Jackson Pub Thames and Hudson
The Look of the century M. Tamblin Pub: Dorling Kindersley
Some of these may be out of print but I am sure you are resourceful enough to track down a copy on the Internet
A note of caution
When dating an antique style is not everything it is just one of several factors which help us. Once a style has first flourished it can be copied for many years later. There will be differences between the original style and the copies and copies do not have the same desirability as originals.
Looking for some vintage jewellery to go with your summer outfit? Silver looks good in the sun and because its cheaper than gold you can afford something much chunkier.
Some lovely pieces of vintage silver jewellery can be found from the 1970s which goes great with boho and rock chick fashions.
How about a silver bangle ? You can wear more than one at the same time – either one on each wrist or several on one wrist. This bangle is a cuff type silver bangle and is super stylish
A wonderful Modernist Silver Cuff type Bangle. This bangle is made of sterling silver and is fully hallmarked. It measures about 4 cms wide and can be adjusted slightly depending upon the size of your write although I would recommend this for a medium size wrist. This is quite a chunky piece of jewellery weighing about 50 grams
To go with the silver bangle a silver Torque . A Torque is a type of necklace made from a solid piece of metal rather than a chain. This type of necklace has been popular since Celtic times when they were worn as the sign of a chieftain or war lord.
A beautiful silver torque necklace with a hammered effect finish. This necklace is made of sterling silver You could hang a pendant from the lower loop if you wish or wear this stylish piece of jewellery on its own. The necklace is 4mm wide and is suitable for a medium sized neck
Vintage silver rings. What a wide variety there are available. You can have a plain silver ring or one set with a semi-precious stone such as rose quartz or marcasites.
What pretty pieces these are and sure to be admired wherever you go. These pieces of vintage silver jewellery would also make an excellent gift for someone with a summer birthday.
Pearls, popular in jewellery for centuries, come in many different types and kinds. You hear about natural pearls, faux pearls , cultured pearls, Akoya pearls, SouthSea pearls and Baroque pearls.
Do you know the difference between any other type of pearl and a baroque pearl? A Baroque pearl is a pearl which is not round, it has an irregular shape. Pearls are formed around a grain of sand or similar entering the shell of an oyster. If that grain is not round then the pearl formed will also be of irregular shape.
is a term referring to the irregular or asymmetrical shape of an item. There was a Baroque period during throughout the 1600s when pearls were very popular.
Once upon a time irregular shaped pearls were highly prized and were used as the base for fantastical jewellery such as the body of a unicorn, merman or cockerel. Nowadays they are not often set into jewellery but ones that are not too far off round are made into necklaces which have all the lustre and sheen of a standard pearl necklace but at a much lower cost. Strangely although necklaces with baroque peals are normally cheaper , when set into jewellery such as pendants or brooches baroque pearl jewellery usually costs more as the work all needs to be done by hand due to the differing shapes and sizes.
Baroque pearls are so popular that you can even find costume jewellery set with man made baroque pearls.
Interested in buying some antique or vintage baroque pearl jewellery? AntiqueAvenue normally ahs a few nice pieces available.
vintage pendant pearl amethyst silver baroque
What an amazing vintage pendant and is in the antique baroque style although it actually dates from the early 1900s. This pendant is made of silver and set with a central real amethyst and baroque and round pearls (I am presuming the round pearls are cultured although I cannot test these without damaging them). The smaller “amethysts” are coloured glass. I have added a newer silver chain so that this pendant is ready to wear.
Material:Silver, amethyst and costume jewellerySize: Pendant is 4 cms long and 3.6 cms wide. The silver chain is 60 cms longAge:Early 1900s Condition: Excellent
Art Deco Costume Jewellery, part 4 of AntiquesAvenue’s guide to Costume Jewellery History.
In the 1920s and 193os Costume Jewellery was epitomised by the bold colours design and new materials which followed from the difficult times of the first world war.
The 1920′s saw a revolution in design, fashions changed dramatically after the first world war. Women had become far more independent, they had worked during the war and wanted clothing and fashion which supported their new lifestyle rather than keeping them in the past. As fashions in clothing changed so did fashions in costume jewellery, the style of the jewellery needed to match the style of the clothes. Shorter hair ( the bob) needed longer earrings. Short sleeves allowed bangles and bracelets to be seen. The flapper necklace which is very long went well with the straight dresses and dropped hemlines.
1920s shapes were angular, cubic, geometric and colours were bold shades of red, black, white, green and blue. Mixed in with this were style trends such as the Egyptian revival which followed the finding of King Tutankamens tomb in 1922 -scarabs, pyramids, palm trees were all popular – look at this original 1920s charm to see how the colours and angles of art deco mixed with Egyptian style.
Coco Chanel was possible The main designer of the 1920s – she added faux pearl necklaces by the yard to her designer outfits. Other costume jewellery designers started up in business during the 1920s include Miriam Haskell ( New York) and Monet
Materials from 1920s costume jewellery include glass, brass, plastics and faux pearls,
Massive technological and economic change during the 1920s led to an explosion of costume jewellery in the 1930s both in terms of the quantities available to be purchased, the design, manufacturing methods and materials used. As usual the costume jewellery introduced also followed the dress fashions of the day – the dress clip is a 1930s invention. These can be worn as a brooch or unclipped and worn either side of a square necklace ( more pictures of how this works at end of this blog entry):
Brooches and bracelets were worn more widely in the 1930s . Brooches were often figural in shape ( flowers or animals) and studded with diamante ( also known as Rhinestones in the USA). Fashion as in previous eras was still influenced by Royalty with Wallis Simpson ( the Duchess of Windsor) being one of the fashion icons of the day. The 1930s saw movie stars influencing fashion more and more – Think Joan Crawford.
Materials used in 1930s costume jewellery include bakelite ( still in the art deco geometric shapes and colours), marcasites, enamel and various non precious metals. “Pot Metal” is a silver tone metal which was widely used for setting with clear diamante.
Famous costume Jewellery designers starting in the 1930s include : Eisenberg, Joseff of Hollywood, Rebajes and De Rosa.
Next in this series on costume jewellery history is the 1940s and 1950s.