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Category Archives: 19 century

Spring Flowers

krementz-pansy-pin-4069 Late 19th c. pansy from Ameican jeweler Krementz, once based in Newark, NJ

Happy spring! I woke up this morning expecting to step outside into a Disney woodland fantasy of flowers and bluebirds flying around with ribbons in their beaks. Not quite.

It’s finally here, and even though it’s still cold and windy, today is the first day of spring and I couldn’t be happier! So, since there are no flowers outside yet (at least in New York) I figured I’d write about some!

Flowers have been a popular motif in design and jewelry in particular for centuries. Different flowers symbolize different things, but to me they all mean beautiful weather and new beginnings. And that’s what spring is all about, no? In addition to relegating your winter coat to the back of your closet and getting to wear your strappy heels again! Woo hoo!

pansy pearl

Late 19th c. example with enamel and seed pearls

Pansies have been a favorite in jewelry since the late 19th century, predominately in the form of brooches. During the Art Nouveau period, which dates from approximately 1890-1910, artists we’re inspired by nature, leaves, flowers and flowing organic lines. A lot of the pansy brooches created during this period we’re enamel over yellow gold, sometimes accented with seed pearls or diamonds. You also find gem set pansy brooches from the early 20th century. A notable creator of these flowers was American jeweler Oscar Heyman. They still produce these pieces today and they feature invisibly set sapphires, amethyst and yellow diamonds, all evoking the trademark purple and yellow of the pansy.

heyman2  heyman pansy

Two gorgeous examples from American jeweler Oscar Heyman

So, what are you waiting for? Throw on a new outfit, go out and grab spring by the pansies! Enjoy the day and happy spring!

Check me out at – http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

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And don’t forget to stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) next time you’re in Brooklyn – now carrying the collection!!

 

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Land of Make Believe

So, this will be the first installment (of many) of my dream personal jewelry wish list.  Now, I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way. I’m generally a fortunate person, I don’t “need” anything and I’m grateful for everything that I do have. I’m not disgruntled because I can’t shop like a trust fund baby, but it’s always fun to play make believe!

My Have to Have “Classics” Jewelry Wish list

1 – A pair of 1960’s David Webb rock crystal quartz and diamond cuff bracelets – Yes, they weigh a ton and you could probably knock yourself out with them if you aren’t careful, but my god they’re so much fun!

webb cuff

2 – A giant radiant cut canary diamond ring with white trilliant cut diamond sides, need I say more? Oh, and I’m a size five in case anyone is wondering.

canary diamond

3 – 18k yellow gold Cartier Tank Francaise watch – Cartier’s signature Tank timepiece debuted in 1917, and was inspired by the world’s first armored tank.

cartier watch

4 – A killer 19 century old mine diamond necklace in an oxidized silver topped yellow gold setting – Because you’ll be the only bitch in the room wearing it.

19c necklace

And if you want to fufill some of your jewelry fantasies check out the website – http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

And follow me on Facebook & Twitter –

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*****Eight of Swords(www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is now carrying my line, stop in and try it on!!!*****

 

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Greek Dressing

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a new addition to my collection. The Romanesque necklace is inspired by 19th century Greco – Roman Revival jewelry. “Victorians we’re fascinated with ancient history. For them history meant revivals. Archeological discoveries and published accounts of ancient historical events and epics prompted revivals of jewelry styles from ancient and medieval cultures.” (1) There we’re other styles of revivalist jewelry as well during the 19th century, such as Etruscan, Archaeological and  Renaissance Revival.

The centerpiece of the necklace is a vintage green glass intaglio pendant depicting a warrior in profile. This was a typical motif in Greco-Roman Revivalist jewelry, which remained a popular movement in design from the mid 19 century onward.

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The intaglio pendant is suspended from a vintage, antique gold tone chain in a swag style, accented with tiny textured, antique silver toned cross charms.

But don’t let all of this historical crap scare you off. The Romanesque necklace is an easy to wear piece with plenty of casual cool, that looks great with jeans and a T shirt!

There are new pieces on the website!! Take a peek!!!

http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

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1. Christie Romero, Warman’s Jewelry, Identification and Price Guide (Iola, WI: Krause, 2002),55.

 

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Cuffs of Love

wedding bracelets

With Valentines Day this thursday, my mind is drifting off to more romantic times. No, not in my life, in history, of course!!

The Victorian period brought about many romantic and sentimental designs in jewelry. From “regard” jewelry, that spelled out the word using a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond, to “hair” brooches that would contain a lock of your loved ones hair (also, popular as a form of mourning jewelry), to portrait miniatures, which was a common way to keep the image of a loved one close to your heart before the advent of photography.

One of the most popular love tokens of the Victorian Era were “wedding bracelets”. These were a set of two bracelets that we’re given to the bride to be by her future husband. She would wear one bracelet during the engagement and the other on her wedding day. Which is why, when these bracelet sets are found today, one is usually in better shape than the other due to not being worn as often.

yg bracelet pair

It was also common for these bracelet sets to be broken up, when a mother would eventually give one away to her daughter or daughter in law. So, it is quite something to find a well preserved pair of wedding bracelets still in their original fitted box.

Matching pairs of bangles in different styles have become a popular look on the red carpet, Sometimes you see both layered together on one arm and others it’s one on either arm, which is more of a Wonder Woman, chick power, Clash of the Titans look. I prefer it the second way, but give it a shot and see what works best for you!

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Ship Ahoy

ships ahoy

Woo hoo!! The website is officially up & running as of today!!!!   Take a peek – www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

I built it myself. That’s right, rolled up my sleeves, put on the ol’ tool belt, hooked up my caffeine iv. Didn’t know I had it in me. Sure, I used an “easy” do – it – yourself website builder, but I’m a tech reject. Nothing is easy, and if you’ve ever attempted to use one of those things, you know what I mean. I’m a paper and pen kind of girl, I’ll take a notebook over the computer any day!!

So far, there are three categories – Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings. I’m working on some rings and I’ll be adding new pieces weekly. I can also do custom pieces, and customize a lot of the pieces that are already on the website. So, drop me a line if you have any questions or ideas –  Angela info@fromtheashesvintagejewels.com .

The pieces I create are heavily influenced by the jewelry of the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods, along with a rock n’ roll edge and tongue in cheek sensibility. Also inspired by the religious art and architecture of Europe I’ve experienced on my travels, I appreciate the beauty of religious icons.

I try to interpret my many influences in a casual, wearable way, to easily integrate my pieces with your unique style. The one of a kind jewels I create incorporate bits and pieces of vintage jewelry and findings. I believe in taking broken, discarded things from the ashes and giving them a new life. Reuse, recycle, repurpose.

From the Ashes Vintage Jewels Creating Modern Heirlooms With Edge – Antique and Vintage Inspired One of a Kind Creations

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Bad Gift On Board

3d 2 push_button_for babyl

“Push” presents, God how I hate that term. It just conjures up a horrendous series of images in my head. How about the old standby – baby gift, that still works.

Anyway, I have a friend who’s expecting her third child. Her husband recently called asking my opinion on the push baby gift he planned to give her. A locket. Really, for the third time? Who needs three floral engraved lockets, and why does every guy think once a woman gets knocked up she suddenly losses all sense of who she is and morphs into some kind of mindless mommy drone who thinks yellow gold heart shaped lockets are the absolute height of fashion?

If he still insists on giving her yet another locket, I suggested something a hell of a lot more interesting, like the piece below. Now that is pretty freaking fantastic. An antique, 19c. Victorian gold locket with fringe and seed pearls. You can still stick a pic of the kid inside, but it’s got a bit of rock n’ roll edge and none of the other mommies will have the same one!

FringeNecklace When I worked at a high end estate jeweler on Madison ave, I was constantly and usually pretty successfully pushing the Dads- to- be in a more diamondy direction than a gold locket. Because I know, if another human being came out of me, all Alien style, I’d need a diamond about the size of an old school crystal doorknob.

If you enjoy my blog follow it & “like” my Facebook page – From The Ashes Vintage Jewels – oh, and if you need any jewelry gift shopping advice drop me a line, I’d be more than happy to offer my opinion – info@fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

 

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