Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Some rhinestone pieces are very valuable and worth the effort and cost of the restoration. There are several places that sell vintage rhinestones. One company that I have used and recommend is Matthew Ribarich's site called MrStones.
But what do you do when you have a vintage rhinestone piece that has badly damaged foil, you have searched high and low, and you still can't find a stone which will blend in well with the others?
Rhinestone foil backings such as those used by Swarovski and other rhinestone manufacturers involves a process similar to that used for the silvering of mirrors. The original process involves some tricky chemical processes. Actual silver is applied to the back of a mirror and then a paint-like coating is applied to protect the silver from oxidation and darkening. Re-silvering a mirror is a process often done and the end result is usually very satisfactory.
To duplicate the process with something as small as a rhinestone would take a miniature set up of the same process and would be quite specialized. You could contact a glass seller who resilvers mirros and ask them if they would undertake the job of resilvering your rhinestones. Don't be surprised if you are greeted with widened eyes and a dropped jaw at your request, since you may be the first person to ask them about this.
A curator at a nearby museum might be able to give you some names of those craftsmen that they use for preservation or restoration. These craftsmen who may know of some other techniques that will assist you. Obviously, this step would only be undertaken as a last resort and if the piece is particularly valuable and suitable for the expense of this type of repair.
If you have a piece which you adore which has damaged stones but it doesn't warrant the expensive of a professional repair, there are vintage rhinestone re-foil kits available. I have seen them on ebay, but haven't tried the product, so I can't guarantee that you will like the results.
Quite honestly, I would be surprised if there is a suitable paint easily applied which will blend well enough with the original silvering or golding. If you do decide to use this process, be sure to remove all of the old silver or gold coating first and then tackle the painting job.
If you do purchase this re-foil product and use it, please publish your results in the comments. I'd be interested to see how it works.
Friday, November 27, 2009
During the process, the metal is engraved deeply enough so that the enamel can be held when heated. It also has sides high enough to be sure that the colors of the enamel are kept separate. The addition of the translucent enamel allows light to reflect from the relief and creates a very artistic effect. The end result has a lovely play of light and shade and a brilliance of tone.
The process of basse-taille was first developed in Italy in the 13th century, and was especially popular in Europe during the Gothic and Renaissance periods. This technique was also very popular with mid 20th century Scandinavian silversmiths such as David Andersen, Hroar Prydz and Askel Holmsen. The technique has also been called "translucent enameling."
Here are some xxamples of basse-taille jewelry:
Her strapless gown was designed by Naeem Khan and featured hand cut sterling silver sequins which were sewn onto silk chiffon in a floral pattern. All hand made, the dress took 40 people three weeks to complete. It was made in India and is a one of a kind design. The sleeveless gown was gold and cream-coloured sheath dress and had a matching shawl.
The overall look was a departure from Ms. Obama's sometimes controversial style of fashion. Her whole look was fairly traditional and more conservative than normal and was slightly reminscent of her predecessors - although the jewelry was pure Mrs. O.
The first lady's accessories included elaborate chandelier dangle earrings with a fleur de lis pattern and large hoop dangle, and a huge stack of glittering gold and diamond bangle bracelets piled high on her left arm.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This year, I am most thankful for my health and that of my family and loved ones, and that my daughter is having a great year at university with roles in many of the college drama productions. It is nice to see her so happy and involved.
I hope that you also have much to be thankful for. With all the problems in our economy, it is nice to take the time to think of little things that are good in our lives.
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Christmas brooches come in a wide variety of designs and one of the most popular style is the candy cane. These are made in a myriad of designs and materials - with the most popular being enamel and rhinestone designs.
Most of the major vintage jewelry designers included them in their range of designs, and contemporary designers seem to come up with new ideas for the motif each year.
Here are a few for you to choose from. Each of my online stores also has a larger range of styles. One of them is sure to make a cute stocking stuffer or even a present to yourself! You can click the pictures for more details and additional photos. Prices range from $8.99 to $16.99.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thinking about buying jewelry for your Sagittarius friend and don't know where to start? Let's examine some of these zodiac facts for a bit of inspiration.
- Their special colors are yellow and orange
- The lucky numbers are 1,3,5, and 9
- The gemstones associated with this birth sign are Amethyst, and Turquoise
- Their animal symbol is the horse
- Flowers that Sagittarians love are pink flowers, carnations and thistles
This genuine turquoise necklace would be a lovely choice:
And for the horse lover Sagittarian, this lovely Gerry's Christmas horse drawn sleigh pin would be a perfect stocking stuffer:
This wonderful bakelite demi parure which combines yellow and orange into one pretty hue would also make a great choice:
Friday, November 20, 2009
The bracelet is set in silvertone metal and features three rows of clear diamanted rhinestones in prong settings. The bracelet is 1/2" wide and is an expansion style so it should fit most wrist sizes.
It is signed Made in Japan on the inside of the bracelet. The lovely piece is available from my Ruby Lane shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry for only $25.
Rhinestone expansion bracelets were all the rage between the 1930s and 1950s and they have recently had a resurgence in popularity. This lovely example is in gently used very fine condition with clear and bright rhinestones.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
You can view all the jewelry categories and vote on this page of the JCK website. Which piece is your favorite? Hurry...the voting is open until December 15th. Winners will be announed in March 2010.
Monday, November 16, 2009
A special type of jewelry item used as a mourning accessory during this time was a brooch or other style of jewelry made from the hair of a deceased friend or loved one. These were hugely popular in Victorian times. These jewelry designs were very complex and also often incorporated other materials such as black jet, gold and diamonds.
Photo credit hairarchives.com
The brooch featured here was made in the form of the Prince of Wales Feathers. It was adorned with seed pearls and also used gold thread.This "hair jewelry" was used as a reminder to the mourners that death was inevitable, and that the wearer should lead a good life, lest they be struck down without warning.
Hair jewelry was not always used just to mourn the dead. It was also made as a love token from a lover or cherished friend. Many jewelry pieces of the times had hidden compartments for the hair of another.
This use of hair jewelry was fashionable during the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. It faded from popularity during the roaring 20s.
Since human hair does not decay with the passing of times, it is still possible to get examples of Victorian hair jewelry in good condition. It is a highly collectible form of vintage jewelry.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Almost every lot in the auction sold for well over their low estimate. There were a few exceptions, though. One lot which went unsold was a man's vintage Rolex watch which had an estimate of $54,000. Another unsold item is the so-called "Prisoner Watch," a vintage yellow gold Rolex Monoblocco, which sold for $65,000 but did not reach its $75,000 low estimate.
The money from the auction will go toward repaying the victims of Mr. Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme, minus a fee by the auctioneer, Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers of course. Even though the proceeds made more than $1,000,000, it will be a drop in the bucket of the total amount lost.
The items which were auctioned off in last weekend's auction became government property last July when US Marshalls took custody of the Madoff's homes. There still remain more than 2,000 items to be auctioned. There will be three more auctions to sell the remaining items which include a Steinway piano, furniture and more jewelry. Three boats and a Mercedes are next on the auction block in Fort Lauderdale.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
If you are a fan of Elizabeth Taylor, you may be interested in the book Elizabeth Taylor’s Personal Jewelry Collection – My love affair with Jewelry. Known for her beauty, her seven marriages, and her stunning jewelry collection, screen star Elizabeth Taylor treats us to a first look at her jewelry, in gorgeous actual-size photos and in personal photos-some never before seen publicly-of herself wearing them. This book showcases many of the pieces from her collection with 125 stunning photographs.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Photo images credit: Getty Images
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Interestingly, Ms. Hepburn was only the third actor to receive $1,000,000 for a film roll. This amount seems paltry today with the millions awarded to other actors and actresses.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Art, also known as ModeArt, was founded in New York, New York by Arthur Pepper. The company manufactured reproductions of antique designs and sold them wholesale throughout the Rhinestone period after World War II. Other contemporary designers of the time in the same circle as Art were Florenza, Hollycraft and BSK.
Value of the pieces today - Art Jewelry is undervalued in today's market, mainly because of the quality and workmanship of the designs. The best pieces for investment are the figural pins, Glitzy rhinestone jewelry sets (some made by D & E), and Art Christmas jewelry. Enameled pieces will probably not increase in value as much as the previously mentioned pieces. Prices are steadily increasing, so now is the time to buy.
Here are a few designs from this popular designer: