Tuesday 30 July 2013

Like Ciro Jewels

The finest tribute to Ciro Pearls is paid by the women who wear them for that alone says more for their beauty than all the praise which language can bestow. This is the opening lines for page 7 of the Ciro pearls booklet which is now part 4 of our blog posts. The real and faux pearl necklaces were very popular with women in the fifties and had been for many years. It was then and still is an easy way to look elegant and well dressed. Just slip on a string of pearls and away you go.
Back in the 1950s, Ciro Pearls would clean, restring or remodel any of the pearl necklaces, chokers and necklets. You were expected to take care of your pearls but if not they would be able to bring them back to pristine condition for you. However they were guaranteed to last you years if you looked after them - and they did.

Ciro produced pearl necklaces in double and treble strings as well as single. They were also made in varying lengths. From the short choker style to either 15 and 17 inches (the most popular lengths). However from an extra 3/- per inch depending on the pearl bead quality, you could request extra lengths. Then you could have the strings knotted which increased the length of the pearl necklace by 10%. Each pearl bead was hand knotted in between each of them, which prevents the pearls from scattering if the string thread broke.

The pearl beads could be graduated in size and also could have gold clasps and safety chain, silver clasps or Ciro gem clasps.
Choker necklets were made to measure, so that they fitted snug to the lower part of the neck. they could also be in single, double, triple thread, four or in five rows.That and with every pearl necklace supplied in a presentation box.
The two women photographed in the above pages were Miss Esther Williams, actress wearing a single row necklet and matching ear drops. The other was Miss Ava Gardner who is shown wearing a double string choker.
The next blog post will look at the next pages that has the many different clasps Ciro used. We sometimes have Ciro vintage jewellery available but you can also visit the Ciro website as the company are still in continuing. 

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Sea side holiday at Eastbourne in the 1950s

Just enjoying the hot weather that is long overdue. So in the spirit that I should be on holiday sunbathing on a beach somewhere, instead of in front of this computer! I have found some photographs in the Illustrated from May 27th 1950. This was how a seaside holiday was really like back in 1950. So just to keep it jewellery related we have a new collection of 1950s jewellery for you also.

Arriving at your boarding house for the week, you would be greeted by the boarding's house owner.

Mrs Amy Chandler has run her boarding house Fairdene in Eastbourne for 15 years. She offered a warm reception and a home for your holidays. At 65, she was born and then married in Eastbourne. For the photograph she wore a black suit and white silk blouse.

No teas made or electric kettle in your room. Each morning a cup of tea was delivered to your door. Matching twin sets of a woollen top and cardigan was a fashion that lasted many years. Often hand knitted and usually dressed up with a string of pearls necklace. Is this someone who has been hired to bring around the tea? - no its Rene one of the guests just helping out.

Somethings don't change. Breakfast freshly cooked served in the breakfast room. Mmmm I can smell the bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes (in season) and sausage with buttered toast. No baked beans as standard though yet. Foreign muck my grandad used to say who wouldn't touch beans! How times have changed.

Following breakfast a brisk stroll along the cliffs and plenty of fresh sea air to work up an appetite for lunch. Every woman would wear a head scarf. She would probably buy a souvenir one from one of the many small souvenir shops along the beach front. Shops crammed with shell ornaments and other nick knacks.

Mrs Chandler working out her rations. Even in the mid 1950s rationing for goods was still in place. By the end of the week, she would often find that sugar was becoming low. Her fat rations she mixed with margarine to make it go further. I believe that she made some fabulous home cooked apple tart and Yorkshire puddings. Mr Chandler helped by working an allotment and supplementing their rations with seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Its no good living by the sea if you do not take full advantage of it yourself. I think that is Eastbourne promenade in the background and it has changed a bit in the last 60 years or so. Mrs Chandler walking at low tide along the beach then its back to work at her boarding house.

Now down to cooking the evening meal. Most boarded with breakfast and evening meal included. Peeling the spuds was a marathon peeling feat for 16 people. No electric potato peelers used in those days. Nor dish washers! Hair nets were a woman's staple hair accessory. Used at night to hold your rollers in place and during the day when working, then any other time to keep your hair in place. Straighteners - yes. Use the hot iron heated on the stove. Just be careful not to iron your ears and it did tend to sent the ends dry and a little burnt (if you had the iron too hot).

After your evening meal it was down to the evening's entertainment. A game of cards or a board game. No TV as many places did not have. In 1953 more houses owned a TV for watching the coronation but still not everyone.
Life was simple then, but would you go back to those days? 

Wednesday 3 July 2013

A 1940s wedding bride and bridesmaids

Just a couple of photographs of a 1940s wedding party. I do not know the happy couple and would like to find out. To know a little more visit our other blog Jewels Vintage Vibes. The bride has a traditional wedding dress and jewellery on with a long hem in lace. This would be about the end of the World War Two and rationing would still be in force.

She has a beautiful bouquet of flowers and appears to be wearing a pearl bead necklace.Her veil is very long and fits over a flowered crown style head dress. It has a square neckline and is fitted around her bust then it softly drapes to the floor. Note the assortment of wedding gifts of a lucky horseshoe and black cat on her arm. 

The three bridesmaids are probably sisters or friends and she does not have any younger girls as bridesmaids. Their long dresses appear to be in a silky cotton. They have cap sleeves, which go in and out of fashion. Round head bands of flowers are on their heads. Not sure whether they are real flowers or in material. All the bridesmaids are wearing double stranded pearl necklaces to match. As rationing was still on for luxury goods until the mid 1950s. The pearl necklaces would be their own.
Just a short blog today. Now to clean up the plant that my beloved cat has just knocked down. Both the two youngest cats have this thing about chasing flies and eating them! They are both sniffing the pot and flowers on the floor at the moment as if to say "how did that get there"!  

Tuesday 2 July 2013

We will have a summer sale when its summer

Because it does not seem as though its yet summer - even though its now July. We have decided to have a summer sale of vintage jewellery in August this year in the hope that it will actually feel like summer then. We can live in hope. So here are a few sun shaped pieces of jewellery to get that sun out and shinning.  No more rain or cold days during the months of July and August please.

So here is a vintage brooch in a golden colour covered in mock pearls. Wear this one on a jacket as at the moment its just too cold to go without!

One of my favourite a 1990s retro vintage scarf clip. I am not sure why this hasn't sold as yet, as scarf clips are now back in fashion. Made in that bronze coloured metal that has the vintage look.

Now this is so adorable a large sun vintage brooch in a gold tone. Fabulous 1990s vintage costume jewellery that will bring out a smile if not the sun.
A flower that turns towards the sun is the sunflower a great favourite with jewellery designers. Here the sun flower - in fact three are in this hair clip. Previously owned sunflower hair clip in a bright golden colour.
Then last but not least a pair of 1990s vintage clip earrings with that nineties favourite, the smiling sun depicted on each. So very retro and lets face it few others will be wearing something like this.
Now going out into the garden to shout at the sky "sun come out". See you next time hopefully as long as they haven't taken me away!

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.