Friday 30 July 2010

Jewellery Glossary Part D

Been another busy week. My mother had her birthday this week. We all went for a meal to a place in Worcester.
Then this morning our son gets up and said he was going to the Global gathering Festival. His friend was picking him up in about 15 minutes and could I find him a tent! Now my son is absolutely useless at organizing himself.
So within those minutes he eventually left with a 2 man tent for the 3 of them. Bag packed for a couple of days and a sleeping bag courtesy of mom. The whole family still haven't got over the shock that he passed his driving test last week first time.

Back to the antique jewellery and vintage jewellery glossary part D

Damascene - To in crust metals with other metals. An art first practiced in Damascus. Now many souvenir mock Damascene jewellery comes from Spain.

 Vintage Damascene swallow brooch
Did you know that the swallow was used in the first world war in jewellery, because the swallow always returns home. The jewellery was given to their loved ones going to war

Demi Parure - A small parure or matching jewellery set. A demi - parure may be a brooch and earrings, necklace and earrings, brooch with one or two bracelets, etc

 Vintage demi parure of a necklace and bracelet

Diamante - term used when a stone is used as a diamond substitute made from crystal, glass or acrylic. Usually unfoiled and has a flat back. Can also be used to adore fabric.
Diamond - Originally diamonds were found amongst river and beach gravel.

 Vintage star leaf brooch

Just one of the lovely vintage brooches added this week. Have a good weekend  

Thursday 29 July 2010

More on visit to Jewellery Quarter Birmingham

Just a few more antique and vintage jewellery photographs from our visit to the Jewellery Quarter Museum in Birmingham

Antique pendant and earrings set

Bit blurred but a tortoise shell and pique (gold inlay) cross

Both photographs above are of carved bone of a cross pendant and floral brooch.

  Coral and pinch beck tiaras
Well worth a visit to the museum. Wish they had the description of the jewellery a bit more in depth and below the actual pieces rather than trying to find them on the wall charts though!

Latest additions to Jewels and Finery

 Vintage jewellery from Exquisite

Contemporary jewellery in the design of an octopus

 Vintage key ring from Avon in the initial A

Sunday 25 July 2010

Sarah Coventry Brochure 1976. Part 3 Dating Vintage Jewellery

This is part 3 of Jewels and Finery's third blog part in our 1976 Sarah Coventry's brochure. Ideal for helping to date your Sarah Coventry vintage jewellery in the 1970s and also looking at what the style of costume jewellery was for that decade.

If you click on all our photographs they will enlarge
Page 12

Polonaise set with Austrian crystals

A = pendant 24"
B = earrings
C = Ring
D = Pierced earrings with the dangle removable

Sparkle By The Yard Set (Jet)

E = pierced earrings
F = necklace 49"

Page 13

Sparkle By The Yard (Ice)

G = necklace 49"
H = pierced earrings

Mirage Set

I = pierced earrings
J = choker 16"

Page 14

Autumn Trio pendant 24"
Autumn Trio Earrings (clip)

Colourful pendants may be worn separately or inside the filigree frame

Page 15

A = Nature's Treasure necklace (19 & 34" chains)
B = Three Timer necklace 24"
C = Fashion Flip earrings (pierced) reversible
D = Fashion Flip bracelet (reversible)
E = Fashion Flip pendant 21" (reversible)

Vintage jewellery from Sarah Coventry showcased.

Vintage pinwheel brooch from the 1970s. This is a large brooch with a faux pearl centre

Vintage brooch called Satin Petals 1960s. This one is signed Canada as well as the Sarah Coventry signature

More in the next blogs on our visit to the Jewellery Quarter museum including some antique and vintage jewellery pictures.

Friday 23 July 2010

Visit to The jewellery Quarter Birmingham Museum

Recently we went to visit the museum at the Jewellery Quarter. Been loads of times to the Quarter but never got round to looking at the museum. Well worth a visit, especially if you are interested in how antique gold jewellery was made.

The museum is in an old terraced house that once was the working premises of the Smith & Pepper company, 75 to 79 Vyse Street, Hockley. The mark on their jewellery is S & P.
Uncle and nephew, Charles Smith and Edward Pepper, rented one house that Charles lived in and the one next door. Turning their home into a factory was not unusual in those times. In the late Victorian period many people in the Jewellery Quarter did this or rented the front room out for industry. Eventually building an extension workshop in the back garden. Edward Pepper's only son died in WW1 and 3 children of Charles took over the family firm. Eric, Tom and Olive, the three never married or had children to continue the family business and so in 1981 when gold was at an all time high they called it a day. Eric was 81, Olive 78 and Tom 74 giving the 11 remaining employees two weeks notice they closed shop. Literally just shut everything down and left. Ten years later Birmingham City Council acquired the premises and found tool covered benches and a gold making factory suspended in time. Many of the items used were used almost a hundred years before. Every time they had attempted to modernize the workers had rebelled preferring old tradition to mechanism that could have made their life a bit easier.

 This is how they made a cup of tea - in the eighties!! 

  Polishing benches occupied by women workers - one of the few jobs they were allowed to do!
Dangerous work as the belts rotated on a mechanism and could snap. It was not unknown to hit a woman in the eye and blinding her.

Stamping pit where one worker spent 60 years. As he became older and more fragile, the company tried to help him with a mechanism that took the weight of the pulley ropes. But he did not like it and continued to use his own strength. Pulling the rope activates the stamping machines seen behind the ropes and the weights stamp a sheet of gold.

As said earlier well worth a visit. My only regret is that the historian's of the Jewellery Quarter tend to totally focus on the fine jewellery produced in that area. But many of the factories produced costume jewellery, buttons, souvenir gifts and trinkets. In fact the vintage jewellery of W A P Watson and Miracle all originated in the Jewellery Quarter. Lambourne and Stratton were also located in the Quarter.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Update preview and new additions to websites

Just a quick blog again today. Have now managed to take lots of photographs of the antique, vintage and pre owned jewellery that we will be listing shortly. I do like to have the photographs taken in natural sunlight as the colours are truer and the condition is seen much clearer

So to Jewels and Finery we will be listing these shortly:

 Vintage clip earrings by Kigu

Vintage brooches by Corocraft

 Pre owned Hair accessories and vintage clips

Friday 16 July 2010

Art Deco Jewelry Jakob Bengel by Christianne Weber-Stober - Jewellery Book Review

One factory that imported jewellery into the UK up to the Second World War, in huge amounts selling in stores like Woolworths was in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Jakob Bengel produced large quantities of costume or fashion jewellery from metal and galalith. Extremely collectible now all over the world.

This large book has page after page of photographs of the Art Deco jewellery of the 1920s and 1930s from Bengel. Because at the onset of WW2 many Jewish workers downed tools and never returned. The factory retained its history, unfinished and finished jewellery with many order and pattern books, allowing identification and dates of manufacture.

For an introduction to Jakob Bengel's jewellery this book is invaluable. However the translation of German to English and the fact that half the book is in German and the other half the English translation makes the first few pages hard to read. But get past that and the full colour photographs are well worth it.

This is not the only book available on this subject but a worthy one to have in your collection.

Monday 12 July 2010

Ear Clip Cushions & Pads for Vintage Clip Earrings & Dating Clip On Earrings

After a lovely sunny and hot weekend, it is raining this morning. We did have plans to photograph some of the antique and vintage jewellery that we have this morning. The "to list" boxes are growing at about one a week at the moment. So that will have to wait!!

Over the weekend we managed to add the clip earring cushions and pads that help to grip and cushion the clip mechanism on all sorts of clip earrings both vintage and pre owned jewellery and of course any new ones! Still available in many different sizes and assorted packs.

 Clip Earring Cushion Sleeves or Slippers
Available in two sizes of small or large

 Rubber pads or plugs for clip on earrings 
Available in two sizes large and small

 Plastic cushion pads with grooves in a small

We have wanted to stock these for a while but have only just found a supplier.

When we source vintage clip on earrings, many have the rubber type of pads inserted. They look a lot nicer than the bits of sticky cushion that some people use. We remove these before cleaning and throw away. Over time the rubber hardens and will often break when removed. The reason we do this is two fold. Firstly hygiene and then because they will no longer cushion the new owners ears. This is not only because the rubber is no longer soft but the pad side of the rubber pad plug will mould to the shape of the wearer's ear lobe over time.

If the earring paddle has round holes at the end then these plug pads are ideal for use.


If the paddle has no holes or non round holes then the cushions will just slip over the paddle. Just measure the paddles width and length with a ruler for size.  The earrings below have the imprint for holes but not actual holes on the finding paddles. These would probably be a large cushion size but would need to measure to be sure.

As for dating vintage clip earrings - the clip mechanism with the paddle was invented and patented in the 1930s. So earring have to date from then. Before the Victorians use hook findings and thicker posts on earrings for pierced ears. Usually pierced using a hot needle - no sterilized guns in those days. The screw mechanism for unpierced ears came out around the turn of the twentieth century

These are a pair of earrings from the 1950s at least. In marcasite with a gold plating to the front of the leaves. The plating has worn on the tips. But these are dainty vintage clip earrings that curve along your ear lobe shape. These can be worn with small sized ear clip cushions. 


 Vintage marcasite leaf clip on earrings from the 1950s

Another pair of vintage clip on earrings from the 1950s to the 1970s. They are in marcasite and enamel. Fabulous condition and probably have not been worn. Scottish thistles in vibrant purple and green. They are unmarked but may be from Exquisite as they are in their style. These can be worn with the rubber clip earring pads as they have the holes in the paddle. 

Vintage enamel marcasite thistle clip on earrings 

These are an early pair of clip earrings probably from Gablonz, Bohemia. The black glass beads have grooves where they have been gilded - probably by hand. Bohemia exported a huge amount of jewellery and jewellery components up until the second world war when the owners and factory workers who were Jews were forced to flee the country or were imprisoned by the Nazis.
These beads in the earrings are superb workmanship. The clip findings are able to be worn with ear clip cushion slippers   

Vintage beaded clip earrings 1930s - 1940s Bohemia
I will look at the distinct earring backs that were produced by certain designers/manufacturers in another blog to come

Saturday 10 July 2010

How Many Necklaces Can You Wear At The Same Time?

Another beautiful sunny day here in Solihull, UK. Had some new garden furniture delivered yesterday. Unfortunately the garden bench would not go through the door!! C'est La Vie

This weekend I am determined to catch up on our family history research. An ongoing and rewarding project.Started in earnest several years ago when unable to move far with vertigo, and there really is only so much day time TV that one can watch!!

Here is a photograph of my great grandmother

She came from Germany in the 1870s - 1880s. By Germany I mean - somewhere in Poland/Siberia as the region was called Germany then. In fact both great grandparents came from Germany - quite surprised as thought we were all English origin. She is Margaret Piske or Margaret Feege. I never knew her, she died in Canada before I was born. This photograph was sent to my grandmother. Just love the lace collar (wonder whether she made it herself?) but can not make out what jewellery she is wearing.

I will often pick a necklace and wear it for weeks before going onto another one. My favorite at the moment is a lovely purple beaded one that just matches my clothes and walking stick. Well a gal's got to accessorize!!

But you could always wear lots of necklaces

Queen Mary, consort  wife of George V -. Was an avid collector of antiques and jewellery. She loved to to bejewel herself at the many formal events that she and her husband attended. He was king from 1910 to 1936.

Here she is wearing at least 6 necklaces a mix of sparkling diamonds and pearls. Not really the attire to go shopping in, but if you can not decide on one necklace go for a combination of 2 or 3. More at an evening party or even for a wedding.

This is Princess Margaret at Queen Elizabeth's wedding. She was a bridesmaid. Just a double strand of pearls adds a touch of elegants.

Black bead necklace of a single strand ideal for layering.

Fabulous multi layered necklace with three big bead strands.
So have a good weekend and get organizing your necklaces  

Friday 9 July 2010

Red Jewellery for that wow factor

Roses are in full bloom at this time of year and this year have been very good. These are just a few in our garden taken with the last batch of jewellery and bead photographs

Yesterday my long awaited book arrived Ethnic Jewellery From Africa, Europe and Asia by Sibylle Jargstorf - a must to read and all her books if you collect or have an interest in jewellery or glass beads.

Red features in many of the pieces of jewellery and in folk or national costume. It signifies coming of age, unmarried and so available to court - don't you love old fashion words "Are you courting?"
Somewhere in my badly functioning brain cells I remember that an experiment was done on colours and men do pay attention unknowingly to a woman wearing red much more than other colours. Wonder if it works the other way do, women feel an attraction to men wearing red? Red is also seen as the fallen or scarlet woman. Red light in a window, the old way of displaying what goods are available inside...

Incidentally blue is the colour for married women - a colour that I rarely wear. Green and purple colours - now what does that say about me....

So wear red or use red accessories, if you are single and looking for a partner and see what happens!

Red clip on button earrings which are faceted in plastic.

Red bead and silver wired jewellery set of a necklace and bracelet - very modern.

Father Christmas earrings of course in red and white.
As for men in red - the only men I can think of renowned for their red attire is Father Christmas and clowns!! Above red checkered cufflinks.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Is your eagle brooch peaceful or aggressive?

The summer is well underway. This year the weather has been warm and sunny. For the first time our cherry tree has produced more fruit that can be eaten by the squirrels

The 4Th July was American independence day and for that day a discussion on US patriotic jewellery was initiated at the Jewelry Ring forum. One member Julie Ann had written an article on the jewellery and I was interested to read about eagle brooches.

The way the eagle is facing denotes whether it is peaceful or aggressive. To the left facing usually towards leaves or a branch is the peaceful side. Where as the right is more aggressive, this was because the brooches were from World War Two era.

Jewels and Finery has just eagle brooches for sale

From the peaceful/aggressive stance - this marcasite eagle brooch is positively peaceful but just look at that beak!!

Sunday 4 July 2010

Jewellery Glossary - C

With the weather being so hot and sunny the last few days have flown by. That and setting up our second website

Today here is the third blog on the glossary. This time for the letter C

Cabochon - smooth stone not faceted, can be round, oval, square, etc

The round white stones are cabochon of plastic in this starfish brooch.
Cairngorm - A brownish/yellow variety of the smoky quartz, much favored in Scottish fine and costume jewellery

Cameo - Any stone carved in relief in any material

This is an antique cameo brooch

Chalcedony - A greyish blue quartz

Champleve - Enamel work on a metal piece, where an engraving tool has been used to engrave cuts/spaces that allow the enamel paste to lie.

Chateline - A brooch or clasp from which hangs short chains that have keys, scissors, watch, trinkets, another brooch

Chaton - The central ornament of a ring

Chrysoprase - Light green quartz, often used in the vintage seventies costume jewellery instead of jade.

Cinnabar - very soft and poisonous mercury sulphide with a rich red colour

Citrine - Quartz, combines the bright clarity of quartz with the warm tones of sunlight

Cloisonne - Enamel work in which applied fillets/borders of metal separate the enamels

Above is a Cloisonne swan brooch.

Cocktail rings - A name given to heavy elaborate rings of an unusual design in about 1925, thought suitable to wear at cocktail or dinner parties

Collier - A wide necklet which encircles the neck from throat to chin

Cornelian - A clear red chalcedony or more orange in colour with some banding. Also known as carnelian

Coral - Formed from the skeletal remains of small sea animals and polyps. Red, black, golden and blue colours

Costume jewellery - Ornaments made of non-precious metal made for the prevailing dress fashion of that time

Creole - A hoop on an earring where the metal is thicker at the bottom than the top

Crystal - Mineral, can also refer to some cut glass with a higher content of lead

Cubic Zircon - similar to diamonds in look but heavier.

Curb - The most common pattern for chain bracelets

About Me

My photo
Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.