Young & Beautiful 👑✨

I was 21 when ‘young and beautiful’ by Lana Del Rey came out, and I listened to it late into the summer; something about the ‘decay’ of beauty addressed in the song, struck me then, and has been a constant companion of my interest in antique jewelry ever since. Wearers may change, but many antique jewels have remain ‘young and beautiful’ indefinitely. But can we still love them when they are no longer young, and ‘beautiful’? I think so. Herein you’ll find a massive 1860’s collar of jeweler’s brass with 18k gold over- a pair of sumptuous ‘orientalist’ drop earrings, a pair of kissing rams, and a little flourishing art nouveau chain. Many of these jewels join us from ‘golden ages’ of their centuries… but with a little darkness thrown in for good measure; don’t miss the barbed wire chain! And that poisonously good ruby and diamond daisy, in honor of Ms. Buchanan herself. There certainly is something for every summer lover in this selection. 

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This first piece is an Extremely Rare Sterling Ram Torque Bracelet. The jewelry designers of the Art Deco period embraced modernism and the advances in technological innovation and machinery. A new genre of design was born – bold, geometric shapes with clean lines and symmetry, providing a more industrial feel. The ram has always enjoyed favor as a potent symbol because of the animal's legendary strength and virility (and hence its creative powers), and its characteristics as a leader and protector of his flock. A wonderful example for the hinged bangle fan! Sterling hallmarked and possibly French, this gorgeous vintage example likely dates to the post-deco period (1930) and weighs in at a hefty 38.8g.

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Next, a Sumptuous 18k Gold Over Jeweler's Brass Archaeological Revival Collar. Brass has been an important metal throughout history. Known for its yellowish warm tones that can gleam as good as gold, brass is a versatile metal that has numerous applications, and is used in the making of musical instruments, decorative items, machinery, household items, and jewelry, like this out-of-this-world collar! Full 14.5” of drama, this collar is one of my favorite examples of ‘get-the-look-for-less;’ a function that been a fashion mainstay of design for centuries. Circa 1850-1870, this archaeological revival collar mimics both Etruscan and Byzantine designs.

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Following up with an Outrageous Art Nouveau Sterling Station Necklace. Like all art, the zeitgeist of a particular era is written in the design of its jewelry. It is said that Art Nouveau jewelry was a reaction to French society at the time, including women's fight to secure more rights for themselves outside of the home. The nation's loss in the Franco-Prussian War left the French worried about what would occur if women got jobs and education, and worried the birth rate would then drop, leaving the country with fewer men to support future armies. This explains the feminist flavor of Art Nouveau.  An extremely hard-to-find example in sterling, this early 20th-century necklace boasts 27” of length and no less than 4 different designs of stations including an Iris, a fleur-de-lyse, an end station, and a stylized floral cross.

Lastly, we have a Delicious American 14k Gold Archaeological Revival Drop Earrings. The Archaeological Revival period was major within both the Georgian and Victorian eras. An umbrella term for a myriad of different periods and styles, Archeological revival jewelry is essentially jewelry that was recreated in the style of ancient jewelry, modeled on pieces that were unearthed in archaeological excavations.   A delightful pair of 14k earrings with archaeological revival elements, as well as ‘orientalist’ features like the braided stations and decorated boule tops and bottoms!

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