Friday, July 8, 2016

Exquisite - Antique 14K Gold Handkerchief Holder on Long Chain With Coral Slide

My friend Hazel said it best. This is exquisite! Somewhat of a mystery piece. It is fairly easy to date just by the design, materials and construction elements. It is 14K yellow gold, coral and enamel. It weighs 34 grams. This antique Victorian beauty dates to the 1860s to 1870s. 

Here you can see this gorgeous tasseled clip. It hangs from a super long (60 inches from end to end) foxtail chain. The clip is 2 1/2 inches long and 5/8 of an inch in width. The tassels are made up of the same foxtail chain. Each tassel has a small gold ball at the end.

The clip is artfully hand chased, front and back, with black enamel in the hand chased recessed areas. This type of enamel is known as Taille d' Epergne. (You may also see this spelled Taille d' Epargne.) The person who made this, was most definitely a highly skilled jeweler and artist.

The clip opens and closes by sliding the little "doughnut" up and down. It holds quite well. 
In this photo you can see the coral slide that is fitted onto the foxtail chain. The slide is the same, front and back. The slide is 7/16 of an inch by 1/2 of an inch.

Here is another view of the slide. It is very detailed. Even the sides of the slide are beautifully done. The chain is also amazing. It feels so good in your hands. You can feel the quality of the piece. Just beautiful!

So there you have it. A gorgeous piece that I just wanted to share with you. I hope that you have enjoyed seeing it.

For more antique and vintage jewelry, stop by my shop. Wicked Darling.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Tulip

Sometimes I see something that just draws me in. This small Georgian tulip vinaigrette is one of them. Often antique jewelry is beautiful as well as utilitarian. This tulip vinaigrette fits into that category. It dates to the early 19th century and was considered, back then, a necessity.

In those days, the streets nice way to say this...the streets were cesspools. There is no way to get around that fact. Mud and muck, waste, all just dumped into the streets. Not to mention that people did not bathe on a regular basis. So the smells were deplorable. That is why the vinaigrette was considered a must have!

Vinaigrettes were worn to "override" the terrible smells of the day. It would have been worn on a ribbon, chain or chatelaine. The vinaigrette worked by placing a perfume soaked piece of sponge or fabric into the little hidden compartment. Some vinaigrettes had a grille that you could place the fabric beneath. When opened you could take a whiff of the beautiful smell of perfume. Vinaigrettes were also used for holding smelling salts.

Other vinagrettes had small holes in them that allowed the scent to naturally flow through at all times. I cannot say for sure, but I believe that this is one such vinaigrette.

There are some small holes in this piece. It looks as though someone tried to fill them with glue. Such a shame.

Here is another view of the tulip. I can only imagine how beautiful this was when it was new. Now, the enamel is quite worn and missing in places. The gold gilt is also very worn. The bale is loose and has been glued.

It would be wonderful if I could have this restored! Maybe someday. For now, I am content just to own this beauty. Yes, I said beauty. To me it is beautiful just the way it is. Can you imagine the stories this piece could tell! The history! Maybe someone like Jane Austen wore this. Who knows. Well a girl can dream.

Visit my shop, Wicked Darling, for more antique and vintage jewelry.

Thanks for stopping by!