Wednesday, May 30, 2012

June Is The Month For Pearls

Vintage 1940s Cultured Pearl Set Imperial Pearl Service
I adore pearls!! You can wear them with jeans or a ball gown...not that I get the chance to wear a ball gown these days. Pearls are always in style, but this year they seem to really be in. Pearls are the traditional birthstone for the month of June. What a perfect month for pearls! June is such a huge month for weddings and what better jewel for weddings than the pearl!

Georgian Natural Baroque Pearls Crescent Moon Pin
This beautiful tiny antique crescent moon pin would have originally been part of a more elaborate piece of jewelry. Jewelry that would have been specifically made for a bride in or around the 1820s to 1850s. (Late Georgian into the early Victorian era.) The natural baroque pearls were sewn onto a mother of pearl template using horse hair. This is a piece that was repurposed during the mid to late Victorian era. Made into a tiny pin. The setting is 14K gold.

Art Nouveau 14K Gold Enamel Seed Pearl Pin C1910
This is a beautiful example of an antique Art Nouveau seed pearl pin. It is done in 14K yellow gold with baby blue enamel. It dates to around 1910.

Victorian Natural Baroque Pearl Pin C1880
This is a gorgeous antique Victorian pearl pin. It features seven natural baroque pearls, set in a beautiful buttercup setting. It dates to around 1880.

Now you do not have to be born in the month of June to wear pearls. You don't even have to have a wedding or special occasion to wear pearls. When properly cared for, a strand of pearls gets more beautiful with age. Put your pearl jewelry on after you have applied makeup, hair spray, lotion or perfume. Never clean pearls with harsh chemicals! You can wipe them off with a damp cloth and let them air dry. If you must use a cleaning solution, use a very mild soap such as Ivory. No ammonia or acidic cleaners. Store your pearls in a soft dry cloth. (Not next to other jewelry that may scratch the pearls.) Also when storing antique and vintage jewelry of any kind, it is best never to store pieces in plastic bags. Moisture can accumulate in plastic bags and damage the pieces.

I hope that you will wear and enjoy your pearls! During the entire month of June, for 10% off of any pearl jewelry in my shop, Wicked Darling, just use coupon code: JUNEPEARL10

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day...A Time For Remembrance

Friendship Cemetery, Columbus, Ms.
 While Memorial Day is a holiday often associated with the beginning of summer fun, it is meant to be a day of remembrance. (Originally called Decoration Day because the graves of the fallen were decorated with flowers.) It is a day to stop and remember all of those men and women who gave everything for their country and beliefs. Sometimes fighting by choice and sometimes fighting because it was someone else's choice. Young and old. All races. Lives lost for a cause. For freedom.

Antique Victorian Mourning Locket From The 1860s
 April 25, 1866, in my hometown, Columbus, Ms., the women of the town gathered on the front porch or a neighbor's home. Friendship Cemetery was full of fresh graves, all a sad reminder of the Civil war. These woman made it their duty to honor these men and boys. (Yes, boys. Sadly you hear of teenagers who fought.) Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers. Many of them buried as "Unknown", but they were not always unknown. They were everyday people. Men and boys with families...wives, children, mothers, fathers...Men who fought for a cause. Right or wrong no longer mattered. Their families would never know the fate of their loved ones or where they were laid to rest. 

Unknown Soldiers Grave At Friendship Cemetery, Columbus, Ms.
The women of Columbus started a yearly tradition of laying flowers at the graves of all of these soldiers. There are hundreds of these "Unknown" graves at Friendship Cemetery. Whenever my sister and I go back home, we always make a trip to this cemetery. It is very sobering when you see so many of these graves in one place. You cannot help but think of the families who never knew what happened to their loved ones. Sad, but for every war...their is the "Unknown" soldier grave site.

My Nephew, Ben Schaffer
Ben is a reenactor. He actually reenacts as a Confederate and a Union soldier. (Oh and as a Revolutionary War soldier.) History should be remembered so that does not repeat itself. I just pray that he never has to see a real battle. That war will one day be a thing of the past. But until war is no more. Whether you are for or against it. Let us remember those who lost everything while serving for their country.

Have a safe Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Buckle Up...Antique and Vintage Buckle Motif Jewelry

Art Deco Buckle Bracelet From Pinguim on Etsy
With this weekend being a holiday weekend here in the U.S., I keep hearing commercials saying..."Drive safely! Buckle up!". It brings to mind the fabulous buckle motif pieces of antique and vintage jewelry that my friend has in her Etsy shops. Hazel, owner and curator of the shops The Deeps and Pinguim, has the most stunning collections of jewelry! I am in awe of her shops! So I thought that I would bring you a peek at some of her fabulous jewelry! Enjoy!

Antique Victorian Mourning Locket From The Deeps on Etsy
This is just one of the amazing lockets that Hazel has in her shops!! 

Art Deco Buckle Bracelet from the 1933 Chicago's World Fair from the Deeps on Etsy
Such a fabulous bracelet!! For the steampunk collector, this bracelet features a skyline of Chicago with zeppelins!!!

Vintage Rhinestone Buckle Choker from Pinguim on Etsy
Chokers are one the hottest things showing on the runways for fall! You might want to swoop down on this one before it is gone! Remember with antique and vintage jewelry, buy it when you see it. You may not get a second chance!

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these beautiful pieces of antique and vintage jewelry from The Deeps and Pinguim shops on Etsy. You simply must check out Hazel's shops! You will be amazed!!!! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Color Purple....Antique and Vintage Jewelry

Antique Victorian Purple Glass Pin Etruscan Revival C1860s
The color purple is so magnificent! You either love it or hate it. I happen to love it! Purple has long been thought of as a sign of royalty and wealth. The saying "born to the purple", refers to someone who was born into royalty. In ancient times, purple dyes were often more expensive than gold! Purple also is thought of as a mystic color. 

It is said that if you surround yourself with the color purple, you will have peace of mind. Maybe I need to make a trip to the hardware store for some paint! Purple is a combination of red and blue. Warm and cool colors. It is perfect to wear in any season! So being in a purple kind of mood today...I am showing off some of my purple antique and vintage jewelry. 

Gorgeous Purple Art Deco Era Czech Glass Earrings Vintage 1920s

Beautiful Art Deco Purple Rhinestone Ring Uncas Vintage 1920s

Vintage Purple Celluloid Button Earrings C1930
Just wanted to say that these purple celluloid earrings remind me of purple Chiclets gum! Don't they? :) I hope that you have enjoyed today's post. 

For a 10% discount on anything purple in my shop, Wicked Darling, just use the coupon code: BRN2PURPLE

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marked...British Registry Marks

Victorian Scottish Luckenbooth Pin
Learning about silver hallmarks, particularly on antique jewelry, can be quite confusing. Especially when you don’t know where to start. This is an article that I wrote several years ago. I hope that you will find it useful in your research.

Looking through my collection of antique jewelry, I ran across a Scottish Luckenbooth pin. The history and lore behind Luckenbooth pins is quite fascinating on it’s own. My sister has traced our family roots back to Scotland. So I thought this pin would make a great gift for her. 

The pin does not have any of the usual hallmarks that I had seen on British silver jewelry. So after a lot of researching (years)…I was at a loss. I did an image search on Google for antique Luckenbooth pins. (I have found the Google image search to be a great research tool.) Of the few pins that looked similar to mine, and were hallmarked, I ran across the words “diamond mark” and “British Registry”. I did a search on these terms and low and behold ...there was my answer. The marks on my pin are not silver hallmarks. They are British registry marks! I was so excited! (OK…It does not take much for me!)

The marks on the back of the pin are kind of like early design copyrights. So I found out that the design of my pin was registered on February 22, 1866. That does not mean that my pin was actually made on that date. It could have been produced a few years earlier or many years later. But that date was the date that the design was officially registered with the British government. I had already formed an opinion as to the age of the pin from it‘s style and construction, and I was pretty close. The British Registry is not only for jewelry, but for all types of items that would need protection for their designs. For example: metal items, furniture, ceramics…etc.

Registry mark on the back of the Luckenbooth pin.

Here is the link to the site that explains the British Registry.
It has a great chart that is easy to use. This site is also a wealth of information for silver hallmarks! I hope that my findings will save you some time. Maybe this is what you have been searching for as well! I think it is information worth sharing. This is a wonderful site that I use and refer people to often. 

I hope that this has helped someone out there! Looking for some really interesting pieces of antique and vintage jewelry? Visit my shop, Wicked Darling.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Locket Love...Antique Victorian Lockets

Antique Victorian Locket C1870s
It's Friday and I just feel like showing off a bit! So please indulge me. I have a passion for antique Victorian jewelry...especially lockets. So I just wanted to share three of them with you. They all have different styles, but were made around the same time. All from the 1870s. On the first locket (above), the hand engraved design is so beautiful! It is different on both sides. Above you can see the flowerpot framed with a checkerboard design.

Other side of the Victorian locket.
On this side, the details continue. A beautiful encircled swallow. Scrolls. A boat on a lake. Forget-Me-Nots. It is just amazing!

The inside of the locket.
It would have held tintypes and or a memento of a loved one. 

Antique Victorian Book Locket C1870s
Here we have a small Victorian book locket from the 1870s. It also has beautifully hand engraved designs, front and back. On this side we have the designs highlighted with black enamel.

The reverse side of the locket.
Here we have the reverse side of the locket. With the highlights done in white and black enamel. To open this locket, you gently pull it open from the top. It opens by sliding or pivoting on a tiny screw. Even the spine of the book is very detailed!

Inside view of locket.
Here you can see the inside with it's hidden compartment. You can also see from this view, how the locket slides open. It is a small treasure!

Antique Victorian 14K Locket with Seed Pearls and Cobalt Blue Enamel C1870s
This is a magnificent Victorian locket! Again, the same time frame as the other two, yet totally different. The front of this locket is so rich! Gorgeous natural pearls surrounded by deep cobalt blue enamel. All in 14K yellow gold. 

Various views of the locket.
Here you can see that this beautiful locket can be worn as a brooch or a pendant. The compartment in the back would have been used to hold a lock of hair from a loved one. You simply lift the glass frame up and out of the locket.

Front view of the Victorian locket.
Here you can see a straight on view of this incredible locket! It is so beautiful!

Thanks so much for letting me share these beautiful lockets with you! For more information on these antique lockets, or to see other antique lockets, visit my shop, Wicked Darling.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Old Time Religion...Antique and Vintage Cross Jewelry

Small 1870s Victorian Mother of Pearl Cross Pendant Brooch

Over the years, I have owned many beautiful antique and vintage crosses. Cross pendants, cross earrings, cross bracelets, cross brooches. For centuries, men and women alike, have been wearing crosses as an outward symbol of their beliefs. That being said, I know many people wear crosses simply because they often make a beautiful decorative accessory to add to almost any outfit. is both reasons for me. So I thought I would share just a few pieces of antique and vintage cross jewelry that I have in my shop, as well as pieces from my personal collection.

Back a view of the Victorian Mother of Pearl Cross
This beautiful antique Victorian mother of pearl cross, can be worn as a pendant or a brooch. It is it makes a great accessory.

C1860s Antique Victorian Etruscan Revival Cross
This cross is from my personal collection...although I may list it in the future. It dates to the mid 1860s to early 1870s. The granular work on this cross is exquisite! It is all about the details here.

Straight on view of the Victorian cross
You can really see the details here. The applied gold wire and gold flowers...just beautiful!

Huge C1900 Art Nouveau Cross Pendant
This antique Art Nouveau cross is stunning! It is huge and will certainly make a statement when worn!

Close up view to show details.

Vintage 1970s Opal Cross
This is another vintage cross from my personal collection. It dates to the 1970s. Genuine opals. Very much in the style of a Krementz piece. It is hallmarked, but I cannot make out the mark. I will be testing the metal for gold content, but must be very not to damage the opals.

Straight on look at the opal cross.

Small Vintage 1930s Gold Filled Cross Pendant with Seed Pearls
And finally...this very small and dainty vintage 1930s cross. It is gold filled and has tiny little seed pearls.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these antique and vintage crosses. Whether you are religious minded or will, no doubt, find the beauty of these pieces to be timeless. Stop by my shop, Wicked Darling, to see more antique and vintage jewelry.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dazzle Them With Deco...Vintage Art Deco Jewelry

1930s Vintage Art Deco Rhinestone Dress Clip
I absolutely love the Art Deco era! The 1920s into the 1930s. When you hear the words "Art Deco", most people think of bold color, geometric shapes and very clean lines. That is certainly one aspect of this era, but it was actually a very evolving style. Just after WWI, there was a shift in women's mindset. Women were looking for more freedom and rights, styles were changing along with the mood of the times.

Back of the Art Deco Rhinestone Dress Clip
Styles were blending from the Edwardian style into the new Art Deco style. If you watch Downton Abbey, you can follow this style change. Hemlines are becoming shorter as well as women's hairstyles. In the beginning of the Art Deco era, you see jewelry that has a lot of filigree. Lacy settings. A shift in materials to platinum, silver, and white gold. Brightly colored stones.

1920s Art Deco Brooch
With this brooch you can still see the influence of the Edwardian era. The filigree setting has floral and geometric patterns. The beginnings of Art Deco.

1920s Art Deco Micro Beaded Clutch Purse
With this Art Deco purse, you can see the geometric patterns becoming more prevalent. Notice the geometric shapes at the bottom of the purse. The transition into what most people know as Art Deco design, is starting to emerge. Bright colors and geometric patterns.

Late 1920s into 1930s Art Deco Brooch
With this brooch you get the full Art Deco style that most people think of for that era. Clear color stones. Bold geometric designs. Classic Art Deco!

Vintage 1930s Art Deco Man's Ring
Again. Straight on Art Deco style seen in this ring. The bold design continued into the early 1940s, but began to emerge into another style known as Art Moderne. Art Moderne still had the clean bold lines of the Art Deco era, but with added elements of swirls and curls. Smooth, shiny, high polished surfaces and gemstones. 
Styles in fashion and jewelry are ever evolving. When I think of The Art Deco era, silent movies stars, Clara Bow and  Louise Brooks come to mind. Art Moderne...I think of Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson...or Betty Davis. When dating vintage jewelry, there are not year to year timetables, but more of decade to decade timelines. A guide if you will. Because jewelry and fashion, just like real life, is ever evolving and blending into the future.

For more Art Deco jewelry, take a peek into my shop, Wicked Darling.

Thanks for stopping by! :)