Tag Archives: 19th century

Met Costume Institute Gala

SJP copy Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a Philip Treacy ( mohawk headpiece and Fred Leighton ( jewels

Every May the Glitterati converge on the Metropolitan Museum of Art to benefit and celebrate the museum’s Costume Institute. The Who’s Who of fashion, entertainment and design all stalk the red carpet. Designers attend with their muses, dressing them in elaborate and sometimes over the top, trend setting creations.

It’s got to be one of the hottest tickets of the year in New York, and all of the fun and festivities took place this past Monday night. Can you believe my invite got lost in the mail again??

Everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal,”Girls” star Lena Dunham, Beyonce, Sienna Miller, Nicki Minaj and many other stars and starlets alike all gathered to turn the 5th avenue shrine to art into a mecca for fashion and all that is fabulous.

Every year the gala focuses around a different theme and this year it is, PUNK: Chaos to Couture and it will be on exhibit from May 9th – August 14, 2013 (

Stars went all out to pay homage to punk style, but one of the standouts was Sarah Jessica Parker. SJP wore a jeweled Mohawk headpiece by the London milliner Philip Treacy ( and a suite of 19th century diamond jewelry from the eponymous upper eastside estate jeweler Fred Leighton (

Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. SJP in the fabulous Philip Treacy scene stealing jeweled mohawk headpiece!

I’ve been out of commission for the past few days. My pup Julio passed away earlier in the week and  that’s why this blog is so late. He was a great little guy and I’m going to miss him everyday.


Check out new pieces just added to the website!!  WWW.FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS.COM

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Next time you’re in Williamsburg Brooklyn, stop by Eight of Swords Tattoo ( to check out their exclusive collection of my jewelry.


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Game of Jewels

got 3     got 9 Striped agate 19th century pendant

Every time I tune into Game of Thrones, I’m struck by a few things, the sheer brutal, barbaric nature of it, the brilliant conniving manipulative characters and…the jewelry!

The show takes place in a fantasy world with no direct correlation to any one particular time in history. Instead it is more of an amalgam of elements from different periods. George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, on which Game of Thrones is based, has admitted to reading everything he can find about medieval history. However, along with Medeival influences, there are also Victorian and Gothic touches in the costumes and jewelry.

got 7  got 8 Multicolor 19th century agate bracelet

One particular style of Victorian jewelry that seems very Game of Thrones to me is, Scottish Agate jewelry.  “Gothic and Celtic Revivals were already well under way when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. Her own romantic attachment to ancient and medieval history was certainly influential in furthering the public’s preoccupation of the past.

got 4   got 11  Scottish agate 19th brooch

In 1848, after Queen Victoria purchased Balmoral , a castle in Scotland, everyone became enamored of Scottish motifs. Circular Scottish plaid pins, heraldic crests, dirks and claymores (knives and swords), thistles and St. Andrew’s crosses (Scottish national emblems), were all made into jewelry.” (1)  These jewels  we’re most often set with opaque stones in earth tone colors, such as red and orange jasper, bloodstone, striped agate, malachite, as well as citrine and amethyst.

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(1) Christie Romero, Warman’s Jewelry, Identification and Price Guide (Iola: Krause, 2002), 47

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Jewelry


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Porcelain Complexion

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA Devotional Earrings –

As a kid I was a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie. Now, of course I loved Laura Ingalls and the idea of roughing it on the Prairie and all that, but come on who didn’t secretly want to be Nelly Olsen?

When I saw these floral painted beads they reminded me of the porcelain hurricane lamps that the Olsen’s had! I coupled the painted porcelain looking beads with carved wooden skulls and iridescent pink glass beads in an oxidized setting, for a vintage look.

Beautiful hand painted porcelain was popular in decorative arts as well as jewelry in the mid 19th to early 20th century. Everything from porcelain door knobs and pitchers for the home to personal adornments such as brooches are still sought after by collectors.

porcelian pendant Vintage painted porcelain pendant

“Way back in the late 1800s through about 1915, porcelain painting was a great fad for ladies throughout the nation. Thousands of American women purchased inexpensive materials and turned them into unique works of art, including jewelry and buttons. One reason jewelry of this nature is still plentiful may be the plain oval and round shapes and rather generic floral painting that oftentimes covers them.

They don’t have a really distinctive Victorian look, with the exception of pieces sporting ornate gold work along the outer edges or an occasional portrait piece featuring an Art Nouveau styled beauty. Those portrait pieces are generally priced higher than the floral pieces when in good condition.”(1)

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Stop by to say hi this Sunday April 7th, I’ll be at Artists and Fleas ( in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with the whole collection!!!

And while you’re there check out Eight of Swords Tattoo ( also in Williamsburg, to see their exclusive collection of my Good n’ Evil Protection Pendants

(1)Pamela Wiggins, “Painted Porcelain Jewelry and Buttons, A Book on a Fad Dating Back To the Late 1800’s” n.d. , <; (accessed April 3,2013).

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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Jewelry


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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!

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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

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