Sunday 26 September 2010

24Th Wedding Anniversary

Most people get a bunch of flowers and a card for their anniversary from hubby. This year he gave me the flu! Have had a long weekend off together and he has been really ill - must have been for our teenage son to notice!! Now I feel achy and the start of a cold coming - the joy!!

The weather was glorious 24 years ago, looking back to the many memories of friends and family who unfortunately are no longer with us today. My only regret would be that I did not keep a diary (memory not as it should be) and took loads of photographs over the years. Especially of my teenage years and early twenties. Yes I did wear a mini dress - lets face it most of us did, but it does not stop her father looking at our daughter's attire and saying is that a t-shirt or what! go and put some clothes on! My daughter takes so many photographs at every opportunity and  makes collages of photographs in books with messages or frames for friends birthdays.
I like the idea of keeping a scrap book to record our family history but so far have just brought a scrap book. Just need to start - something for my children and hopefully grandchildren at some point in the future.

So for my anniversary here are a few pieces of floral and wedding jewellery

Something blue for luck vintage brooch

Vintage costume jewellery pearl earrings

 Antique rhinestone earrings

Silver red rose pendant necklace

Friday 24 September 2010

Washing and Rainy Days of long ago

 Jane Elizabeth Johnson (Ward) 1874 - 1950)

As I picked up the pile of washing to put away I could not help thinking on how lucky I was. What brought this on was 5 days without my tumble dryer. I do love technology unless it goes wrong!

In the late Victorian era and up to her death in 1950, my great grandmother was not so lucky. A day of washing per week. Living in back to back houses for most of her life with 8 children and a violent coal miner husband, who was either down the mine, drinking in the pub or beating the living daylights out of her. She would boil the water, wash all the clothing by hand, mangle the water out and dry. If the sun shone she would be able to dry them on the line otherwise it was on the dryer in front of the coal fire.

 Jane married Robert Ward - Stafford 6Th January 1902

Every time she became pregnant she left him and walked between Yorkshire, Shropshire, Stafford and Birmingham. Her children survived pregnancy and one day he arrived home from the pub intent on another argument. What he had not noticed was that his sons had grown up. Now able to fight back, they threw him from the house and my great nan lived her days in peace. There was no divorce in those days.

Blackpool with Jane Ward, Nell (Beatrice) Ward and my mom early 1940s

So the washing neatly stacked away and I counting my lucky stars that I was born almost a hundred years later. Here are a few jewels full of brightness and sunshine to drive away the rain and thunder storms that have made the last few days dark and dismal and an absolute pain to hang washing out to dry.

    Large angel brooch that was pre owned and modern - sorry now sold.

Above are a beautiful light blue diamante brooch, fried egg clip earrings and a real turquoise chip gemstone necklace.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Insect Jewellery - Love it or hate it?

The Victorians loved jewellery in an insect shape.During the period 1860 to 1885 the most typical motif used was the dragonfly, flies and other insects. Dragon flies continued into the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Colorful vintage insect jewellery was produced in the thirties mostly from Czechoslovakia. Butterflies were very popular with the craze of using the wings; to produce the iridescent backgrounds on brooches, pendants and rings made famous by Thomas Le Mott in the 1930s to 1960s.

Sunflower bright yellow with a bee in the middle photograph taken in our garden.   
During the Halloween period we see a range of spider brooches and ring in costume and novelty plastic jewellery.

But with bug jewellery you either love it or just hate it. Bright red butterfly brooches above.

I do like insect jewellery and have no problem with spiders or other creepy crawlies. Recently I was out with my mother and I was wearing a large dragonfly brooch. My mother had a large spider brooch almost fastened on her jackets shoulder. Thinks it runs in our family, my teenage daughter would like a small spider that's another story!

Insect photographs taken on 22nd September 2010 in our garden. All jewellery is available on Jewels and Finery

Saturday 18 September 2010

50th Birthday Celebrations

It was my 50Th birthday last week. When I was just a mere 21 year old I never thought I would be this age. Now I am I still feel 21!!

Received lots of lovely cards, presents and flowers. My daughter decorated the living room so that I came down to banners, photographs, glitter and lots of balloons. Our very large dog has the knack of walking through the room without bursting any - how he manages this I don't know.

 This card was sent by my son - a deliberate age chosen - I thanked him!!

Most of the family and friends that I know who are also the same age say they dread this half a century mark. But I didn't, just have a wish to see another half a century and reach the age of a hundred.

Upper card made by my daughter with an eighties photograph but the one below is closer

Getting away from vintage jewellery and vintage glass beads, this week I managed to make two apple pies. Apples from my moms garden trees, Brambly I think. Also made several batches of tomato sauce for pasta and pizza using the red tomatoes from the garden. Now want to make chutney from the yellow tomatoes, because didn't have that many green ones left! Finding ways to get round not being able to stand or use arms for very long. Now if I could just get rid of this awful exhaustion when I do too much - then I will be happier.

Sad I know to take photographs of pies but it is the first time in 4 years I have managed to bake!

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Online safety when buying old jewellery

With the count down to Christmas just started. Today thought I would have a quick look at online safety when buying old jewellery - In fact any type of online purchase. Here's what rules I follow to make sure that I buy safely online

Computer care

Safety starts with the computer you are using.

Make sure that you have anti virus software installed and that it is set to run regularly and updates. In fact I would suggest it should be activated daily.

Make sure that your firewall is switched on

For extra protection have anti - spyware installed and again use regular.   

If using a public computer ensure that all your information is deleted at the end of your session. Go into tools on the top of the web page to clear all data. Do not save any information if asked when browsing.


We receive hundreds of emails a day. A few of those are from scammers. I delete straight away those that tell me that I have won the lottery, have inherited a large sum of money or a bank want my details from a link in that email.

Online buying safety

With more and more people buying on the internet there will always be a huge choice available to you. Both from large established stores and smaller outlets.

With any website I look at the "About us" page. I want to see details of the company, not that they are the greatest, sell worldwide or have special offers but about who they really are. A bit about where they are based, an address, phone contact and email details. Not just a page with a form to contact - that does not tell me anything and if I need to contact them other than via email I can not. If you are not sure then contact the company and ask for more information and telephone/address details.

If I want further information I will undertake a search across the internet and look for information about the company. 

When making a purchase, check the form that takes any card details - it should be secure connection that sends information encrypted so that it can not be used by thieves 
On the search bar at the top of the page where the web address is there will be either a padlock symbol or the address starts with "HTTPS" This means the connection is secure.

When you have purchased an item and the page shows an order number. Either print this out or save. Normally a company will send an email to you that says that the order has been confirmed and that it has been dispatched. If you do not get either, then you have the date, time and order number to email or phone the company with to check your order status.

For further information see online safety

Now back to a few photographs of jewellery that we have for sale

 Vintage Sailing Ship Brooch

  Antique Agate brooch

Vintage tie clip mens jewellery

Monday 13 September 2010

Lots of Pre owned Jewellery added

We have had a few changes to Jewels and Finery. A whole new category with all the later jewellery from 1980s up to the present day called Pre Owned second hand jewellery. As well as continuing to add many more pieces of both antique and vintage jewellery
Soon we will add the Christmas jewellery that we have sourced, later than planned but should be this week. Below is a french jet necklace and vintage bow brooch with a blue faceted diamante.

Busy also with our other website Jewels and Finery craft adding daily vintage beads, buttons and craft supplies.
Each item is available mostly only once as such is the nature of the uniqueness, below are some unusual green marbled vintage beads and French souvenir charms.

Summer is over and Autumn approaches. Now have a glut of home grown tomatoes and will have to make a whole batch of tomato chutney this week. Can also feel apple pie beckoning as my mother has a bumper crop of apples again this year. Love growing our own food and cooking and just starting to get organized to find ways on how to do the things that I want to again. Any bar stools manufacturers out there - can you make a stool that has a cushioned back in and does not require mountaineering skills to sit down. So that I can sit to prepare food? Frustrating when you know what you want but can not find it. - story of my life really.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Sarah Coventry Brochure 1976 Dating information Part 5

A quick part 5 from the Spring 1976 Sarah Coventry brochure and update. This includes the tinsel twist pin and the beau time choker. Ideal to hep dating this time period now vintage jewellery of the mid seventies. So read on and see this fifth edition in our Sarah coventry series.

Page 18

A = Tinsel twist pin
B = Tinsel twist earrings
C = loop L Loop earrings in gold tone and silver tone
D = Golden Swirl ring
E = Golden Swirl earrings (pierced)
Golden Swirl bracelet

Page 19

A = Credo Cross 24"
B = Encounter pendant 21"
C = Autumn Splendor pin
D = Autumn Splendor earrings

Page 20

A = Beau Time choker 16" adjustable
B = Star Attraction bracelet
C = Flattery earrings gold tone
Silver tone - not shown

Page 21


A = Satin Glo earrings (pierced)
B = Satin Glo necklace 14 - 16" adjustable
C = Trapeze necklace 16 - 18 " adjustable
D = Night Time necklace 15 - 17" adjustable
E = Night Garden earrings
F = Night Garden earrings (pierced)

Sarah Coventry vintage jewellery

Pinwheel earrings

Sunday 5 September 2010

Dress Clips and Scarf Clips

I really like dress clips. they came into fashion around the 1920s up to about the 1950s when their popularity waned and changed to scarf clips.

The Art Deco clips in the 1920s are easy to find with their typical look.

Thirties clips are filigree with often beautiful colourful bohemia rhinestones. Imported from Czechoslovakia and other Bohemian countries.

Ideal for clipping to square or sweat heart necklines. Dress clips were often sold in pairs. But one can brighten up a round or lower/plunging neckline. Now most are found as one clip, fun to collect and see if you can find a partner or use on its own

This is the back of a dress clip, not to be confused with a fur clip that has two prongs.

When the fashion changed into scarf clips in the sixties and more so in the seventies, manufacturers used part of the dress clip plate (no waste then!) and added the circular clip. Which makes dating a bit easier for the scarf clips.

The scarf clip on the right in gold tone is an early clip 1960s/1970s as it has the part dress clip mechanism.
The one on the left is later at 1970s/1980s with a "made for" scarf clip mechanism.

Underrated vintage jewellery that can still be used today. Dress clips can be used on a hair band or as a necklace (see other blog post) Scarves are back in this year and there are so many ways to tie a scarf. If you can find it, there is a great book, now out of print called Living With Scarves by Lorraine Hammett.

About Me

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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.