Thursday 27 June 2013

Jewellery book for Charles Horner by Tom J Lawson

The jewellery book that I use often is the Charles Horner of Halifax by Tom J Lawson. A celebration of his life and work. Not only does it have information on Charles Horner jewellery but also the hat pins, thimbles, silver jewellery and other items produced by the factory once found in the UK.

Charles Horner started his first family business as a watchmaker in about 1857 and the factory in Halifax closed its doors in 1984. This book was produced in 2002 and now rare is well worth its value for the information it contains. It is well written and contains original designs and letters from the Horner family as well as the designers that worked for the company over the years. It uses a wide range of sources to authenticate the items. Using trade magazines and cards and a huge collection of different silver and costume jewellery, hat pins, thimbles, boxes, photographs, ornaments, wicker ware, brass, Riplak ware (coloured metal) and silver trinkets to illustrate.

Many of the vintage jewellery items were so familiar and a delight for me to have the original source verified. Especially as very few items were signed. Silver is the exception and is fully hall marked or marked CH if under the required weight for marking.
This company actually produced beads, brooches, brush handles, buckles, buttons, cameos, candlesticks, chess sets, cigarette boxes and lighters, combs, crochet hooks, dress ornaments, dressing table ware, fruit boxes, hair slides, handles for knives and button hooks, manicure sets, needle cases, novelties, parasol handles, pens, shoe horns, small boxes in mock tortoiseshell and thimbles to name just a small section of their products.

Very few books have been produced that looks specifically at a UK manufacturer of vintage jewellery. So when I hear of one I buy it straight away. In 2002 I missed this and it took 3 attempts for me to buy this. the first two times I purchased my money was returned as not in stock. The third time I managed to source and eventually brought this one from Belgium.   

Monday 17 June 2013

Summer bead necklaces that do not date.

I am blogging today about summer bead necklaces that do not date. The one style that seems to be always fashionable is the long necklace of a single strand. These are so versatile and easy to throw on in the mornings when you are half asleep. Most do not have a clasp - an advantage if you are finding the small clasps manufactured today a bit fiddly and they do not move around and expose the clasp which is so annoying.

What sort of material is available in beads that are ideal for summer? Light weight plastic jewellery is so great if you do not want a long necklace that feels heavy in the heat of summer (that is if we in the UK ever get any heat!) Then bead necklaces of gemstones are also ideal. A bit heavier to wear. Cool to the touch and on the skin. These have added value with their supposed benefits.

But whether you choose plastic jewellery, glass, wood or shell. Bead necklaces either vintage, antique, pre owned or new will uplift any outfit each day. 

 You can of course layer bead necklaces wearing an assortment in different lengths or with a long necklace that is even versatile. You can knot the beads towards the end or wear one wrapped several times around your wrist.

Want an even more summer look then choose a shell or mother of pearl bead necklace. So many colours to choose from with white to abalone blue and green. Dyed shell has many colours and shapes now for matching with many outfits. So what bead necklace are you wearing today?

Wednesday 5 June 2013

So English bone china brooches for an English summer

I love the beautiful English bone china brooches that were produced in the 1930s to the 1980s. Mainly in the potteries of Stoke On Trent in the UK where bone china English jewellery had the same hand crafted care as the fine bone china plates and cups. Some are signed and some are not.  Here are just a small selection that we have at the moment.

This Aynsley vintage viola brooch is edged in a gold paint and has the delicate flower captured just perfectly. Aynesley produced plenty of different designs in this oval shape. Some are from popular designs and some capture the English countryside of days gone by. 

Pretty pink rose lapel pin of bone china. The bone china was hand crafted and just captures the beauty of roses and other popular flowers.

Pale lavender coloured frilled vintage carnation brooch. A superb corsage to wear this summer. The bone china was first fashioned by hand and then hand painted, which makes them all unique.

Lapel pins are just so easy to wear and with the addition of vintage bone china are very unique. For Get Me Not flowers has the sentimental message ideal to give as a gift.

A few nibbles to this one by Dorothy Ann. Made in England around the 1950s.

Another small vintage lapel pin with flowers of a pink rose, white daffodil and blue yellow viola. they are just so English and still wearable today and great fun to collect. 

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.