Q & A and Visit with Emily Stoehrer of MFA Boston

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

After a long and exciting week in Boston, I had a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts set up to feed my jewelry history cravings. One of my favorite things about my love and passion for jewelry is learning! Museum exhibits are such a great way to see and learn, often producing a lifelong impact or memory–especially for me. Whenever there is a headlining jewelry exhibit, I like to try to schedule trips in hopes of catching it before it ends. Lucky for Boston, the MFA has quite an extensive jewelry department that is constantly researching, collaborating, and creating new exhibits. I got to have a private tour with Emily Stoehrer who is not only a wealth of knowledge, but highly dedicated and involved in what she does for the museum. I was fascinated in so many ways, as she brought me through the MFA’s current exhibit Past is Present: Revival Jewelry.

Learn more about Emily as she answers my questions below and make sure you stop by the exhibit before it ends in August of 2018. Can’t wait to visit again!

qq11

I am the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry. It’s a unique role in an American fine art museum, which was established in 2006. I was appointed in 2014, and over the last three years have worked to develop the exhibition program; add extraordinary jewels to the collection; connect with jewelers, designers, and collectors; and collaborate with colleagues across the museum to plan programming and events

Spanning thousands of years of jewelry history, there are more than 20,000 objects in the jewelry collection. Highlights include our ancient collections and contemporary jewelry, but over the last decade have added to our holding of fine jewelry. A great example of this is a gift given by the Rothschild family a few years ago, which included an outstanding pearl and diamond necklace that dates to the late nineteenth century. With large, perfectly matched natural pearls, it’s an extraordinary treasure! Yvonne Markowitz (who is the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry Emerita) and I have worked to establish a jewelry resource center for anyone interested in the study of jewelry, and as part of that we have also worked with the Curator of Design to acquire jewelry with related design drawings. Studying drawings from firms like Trabert & Hoeffer Mauboussin, the manufacturer-jeweler Louis Ferón, and the artist-craftsman Frank Gardner Hale, alongside the jewelry they made, has greatly informed our understanding of jewelry and how the industry operated historically.

We have also worked to add strength to strength by filling in gaps in our historical collection. For example, until recently we did not have anything by Carlo Giuliano. But, this year we added two amazingly naturalistic gold and enamel butterflies to the collection—a Duke of Burgundy and Bath White butterfly, to be specific. They are impossibly thin, and enameled on both sides to show every detail of the butterfly’s body and wings. They are a stunning example of the goldsmith’s art. Another historically important and spectacular ornament that I recently acquired is the Apparitions brooch which was designed by Eugene Grasset and made by Henri Vever for the 1900 Paris Exposition. It’s hauntingly beautiful art nouveau aesthetic won them the Grand Prix.

My favorite part of the job is the research and planning that goes into creating an exhibition—doing research in libraries and archives and taking a deep dive into historical documents, publications, and material culture. Unfortunately, as I run from meeting to meeting, I don’t get to spend as much time doing this as I would like. So, I rely on some a team of volunteers and interns to help with some of it. Once the research has been done, and the objects have been selected, the real fun begins. I have learned so much about the storytelling capabilities of jewelry from working with the MFA’s remarkable exhibition designers, mountmakers, and conservators as we discuss and mock-up how each object will be displayed in the gallery.

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

qq22

As any lover of jewelry knows, the past has consistently inspired jewelers and designers. While interest in historicism was particularly strong during the nineteenth century, there were great revival jewels made before 1800 and after 1900. In the same way the Victorians struggled with the tension between mass-production and hand-craftsmanship, we grapple with digital design and the pace of modern life. So, I see this as a topic that is as relevant today as it was 150 years ago, and if you think about it that way you’ll notice many examples of twentieth and twenty-first century jewelry that engage with a historical narrative. I hope that visitors enjoy seeing traditional “revivalist” ornaments by outstanding jewelers like Castellani and Giuliano, Bapst and Falize and Boucheron, but also some unexpected surprises like a 9-foot titanium python necklace by Munich-based contemporary jeweler David Bielander, and that the juxtaposition makes them question their notion of revival jewelry.

The exhibition highlights four revival styles: Archeological, Classical, Renaissance, and Egyptian. Each case in the intimate space includes a choice group of jewelry aimed to tell a story – travel, nationalism, graduation, cameo, scarabs, and snakes are just a few of the themes explored. If you pay very close attention to the labels, visitors might also be delighted to learn how early some of these objects were added to the MFA collection. Like the Met, the MFA was founded in 1870, and some of these jewels were acquired in the subsequent decades, making them contemporary jewelry when they were donated. A neoclassical necklace and five brooches with mythological scenes in carved shell cameo, and a Castellani necklace, earrings, and brooch commissioned by the amber collector William Buffum are just two examples of the objects that have resided at the MFA for more than one hundred years. Newer acquisitions on view include: a tour-de-force bracelet by the Roman jeweler Ernesto Pierret that features a central bovine head, granulation, and two menacing faces that come together to form the clap; a spectacular early twentieth-century neck ornament by G. Paulding Farham for Tiffany & Co.; and a slithering silver snake belt/necklace, with sapphire eyes, that Elsa Peretti designed for the American fashion designer Halston in the 1970s.

While 80% of the works on view are from the MFA collection, there are also some noteworthy loans. From the collection of Susan B. Kaplan, a startlingly lifelike lion speaks to the genius of Castellani’s designers and craftsmen. Unlike other micromosaic workshops, Castellani left the surface of their work uneven to create a glittering effected. Wartski Ltd., of London, loaned a demi-parure (belt buckle, brooch, and bracelet) by Falize Frères. Enameled on both sides, the glorious ornaments use translucent enamel and foil to create a fantastical scene with birds, like those seen in illuminated manuscripts. Generously sponsored by Cartier, the exhibition includes four magnificent twentieth-century ornaments from the Cartier Collection. Made between 1906 and 1928, the garland style medusa necklace, winged scarab belt buckle, Eye of Horus bracelet (that once belonged to Linda Porter), and the diamond chimera bracelet are outstanding examples of French revival jewelry, and the depth of the MFAs ancient collection allows for these dazzling jewels to be exhibited alongside the ancient artifacts that inspired their design.

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

qq33

My path to jewelry was a crooked one. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and had plans to attend law school. But a few years working in the District Attorney’s office, I changed my mind and I began researching graduate programs in fashion. In 2005 I moved to New York City and enrolled in the two-year Fashion & Textile Studies program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Thanks to FIT’s remarkable alumni network I ended up back in my hometown with an internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As an intern I worked with conservators in the Textile Conservation department to relocate the fashion collection.

My first full-time position at the MFA was as a Collections Care Specialist and my responsibilities included preparing more than 10,000 objects from the Asian costume and textile collection for photography – everything from kimono to dragon robes and textile fragments to temple hangings. When that project ended, I became the Curatorial Research Associate reporting to Yvonne Markowitz (then curator of jewelry). For two years I worked with her on the inaugural exhibition in the jewelry gallery, and the book Artful Adornment. Both the exhibition and the book focused on highlights from the MFA’s jewelry collection. Yvonne quickly became a very important part of my life, and has been an extraordinary mentor. She encouraged me to think about a future as a jewelry curator, bringing my knowledge of fashion history to the understanding of jewelry. She enthusiastically introduced me to her contacts and colleagues, took me to conferences, and supported my own research in the field. She also told me to consider a PhD.

During my time at the MFA, I had been teaching courses in textiles and fashion history, and in 2010 I left the Museum and took a position at a small college in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. As Program Director and Assistant Professor, I managed three robust fashion programs with more than 100 students. At the same time I took PhD courses and exams, and began work on my dissertation. My doctoral work focused on the intersection of fashion, jewelry, and media. I examined the vintage jewelry on the red carpet from 1995-2010 using Neil Lane’s collection as a case study.

After nearly 30 years at the MFA, Yvonne retired in 2014 and I was appointed to replace her. Over the last three years, I curated the exhibitions Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen, Past is Present: Revival Jewelry, and smaller installations; planned jewelry related events and trips for the MFA’s Fashion Council; traveled extensively to lecture, visit art fairs and exhibitions, participated in educational opportunities organized by Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) and Art Jewelry Forum (AJF) trips, attend conferences, visited collectors, galleries, designers, and jewelers. It’s been a whirlwind. Recently I have taken on two leadership roles, joining the board of directors for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and the Boston chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA).

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

qq44

I am immersed in research for two forthcoming exhibitions, and a book related to my doctoral work.

Opening in September 2018, an exhibition of Boston arts and crafts jewelry and metalwork will replace Past is Present in the Stanley H. and Rita J. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery. From the establishment of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts to the disastrous 1929 stock market crash that crippled many artist craftsmen, this exhibition will be the first to focus solely on Boston jewelers, and will include design drawings, jewelry, and hollowware by artists like Frank Gardner Hale, Josephine Hartwell Shaw, Margaret Rogers, and Edward Everett Oakes.

That exhibition will be followed by one on Elsa Peretti, who will be celebrating 50 years as a designer in 2020. Beginning her design career making jewelry and accessories for Giorgio Sant’ Angelo and Halston before joining Tiffany & Co., Peretti has created timeless designs that continue to resonate with modern consumers. Her refined taste has focused, primarily, on silver but the exhibition will feature a diverse sample of her work, as well as her inspirations, and—of course—include a fashion element. An esteemed arbiter of style, fashion icon, and friend of many twentieth century notables, this exhibition will celebrate Peretti’s life and career.

My work at the MFA keeps me very busy, but I am also in the midst of writing a book titled Jewelry in Celebrity Culture: Glamour and the Hollywood Spectacle. It will be published as part of I.B. Taurus’s Dress Culture series (edited by Reina Lewis and Elizabeth Wilson). From the tour-de-force necklace that the American firm Trabert & Hoeffer loaned Colette Colbert to wear in the 1935 film The Gilded Lily to the impact of The Representation Project’s #askhermore campaign, the book will examine how jewelry aids in Hollywood’s production of glamour.

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

qq55

To be honest, the last three years have been a series of highlights. The people I have had the opportunity to meet have been the most memorable. The many conversations and meetings I had with Neil Lane as I conducted research on Hollywood jewelry and his private collection, having lunch with Elsa Peretti in Sant Marti Vell, Spain and discussing her incredible life and work, and spending two days in Wallace Chan’s Hong Kong atelier are at the top of the list!

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

qq66

I look forward to seeing the field grow in new and exciting ways. There are so many M.A. programs that embrace the study of jewelry history, and there remain extensive subjects awaiting scholarly work. Coupled with a G.G. I think there is extraordinary potential for research and writing. I was lucky to have a great mentor, who guided my career path, and if you can find an experienced curator or historian to play that role for you, it’s priceless. This field is so welcoming. I encourage anyone interested in jewelry to find others that share their passion, social media is a great place for this.

Being a museum curator is much more multi-faceted than I realized after leaving graduate school. Even after years working at the Museum, it wasn’t until I was a curator that I realized the diverse requirements of the job—a natural curiosity, a mastery of your subject area and how it connects to other types of art, a vision and strong ideas that you can translate into exhibitions, excellence in building and maintaining relationships with artists and collectors, as well as strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.

I am very lucky that the MFA has such a vibrant jewelry program. My position, the gallery, and the prominence of jewelry at the MFA is all thanks to tremendous generosity Susan B. Kaplan. It is our hope that other American fine art museums will expand their collection, exhibition, and publication related to jewelry. And, that similar positions will emerge at other American museums.

MFA Boston | Gem Gossip MFA Boston | Gem Gossip

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You can follow Emily on Instagram —> @jewelcurator

More GGem

Continue Reading

Jewelry Collection Stories: Emily of @GemCircus

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

We are kicking off July with an incredible jewelry collection story from Emily, also known as @GemCircus. If you’re a part of the jewelry Instagram community, you’ll easily recognize some of the jaw-dropping pieces in Emily’s personal collection. From the way she styles her necklace layers, to ring stacks, arm parties, and everything in between, we love her taste and enthusiasm for antique jewelry. I’m so excited she has agreed to share her story with us, so let’s sit back and enjoy:

My love for vintage and antique collecting started when I was a teenager, after my family moved to Vancouver, Canada, from Hong Kong in the early 1990s. I remember it was July when we arrived and I would walk to the nearby library every other day to borrow books to read (our container didn’t arrive almost a month later so all I have in my room were merely a bed, a built-in closet and my backpack). I started to notice our neighbours’ garage sales in my walks and I was amused at the things people were selling – from snow cone machines to music records, jewelry to stuff toys. That summer of looking through other people’s belongings and engaging in rapports gave me a sense of belonging and connection to the community. Ever since then I have become a frequent visitor to community flea markets, thrift shops and antique shows.

My jewelry obsession started around early twenties with vintage jewelry, in particular charms and silver filigree bracelets. I love to style them on mixed metal chains and I still love styling them now.

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

I wasn’t picky and didn’t have a favourite period at that time so I usually picked up quirky little things like brooches, pins, jewel “plaques” (which I found out they were called “clasps” later) etc. Even though my collecting seemed to be random at that time, I was already drawn to jewelry that have motifs, like this brass crescent with hand and arrow and the clasped hand ring that I found in a thrift store. Looking back, I believe my love for antique sentimental jewelry originates from this pair!

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

A lot of my Instagram followers already knew that I adore Georgian and Victorian sentimental and mourning jewelry, as well as portrait jewelry. This probably relates to my “innate sensitiveness” (as Carl Jung coined it) and the way I see jewelry as not merely an adornment but also a medium for expression, an art, an identity of who we are.

After I started reading books on lover’s eye, portrait miniature and mourning jewelry, I became obsessed with researching stories behind the jewelry that I collect. I realized that the brass crescent and the hand motif ring are not ‘funky little things’ as I thought in my teenage days, they actually carry specific meanings – love, new relationship and friendship – in the Victorian era. As my jewelry collection matures over time, I began to search for jewelry with motifs or meanings, like the urn, masquerade (masked lady), hand (figa, clasped hand, claddagh), heart (double-heart, flaming heart), star and crescent, buckle, swallow, snake, fern, acoutistic (“REGARD” and “DEAREST”) and Halley’s comet etc.

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

I like to think that every piece of antique jewelry carries its own story of those before us, and I’m a custodian carrying on its legacy while creating my story with my collection. I love styling and always try to mix and match, experiment with different stacking and mixed metal, and do simple conversions to make every piece wearable. You can see from my Instagram photos that I’ve worn a big opal crescent brooch with another monkey brooch in the middle, stacked seven Art Deco wedding bands to make a statement ring, wrapped my wrist with antique chains and added a micromosaic brooch on top, stacked an Art Deco paste bracelet with a Hermes red enamel bangle, wore brooches on hats, and layered antique gold chains with watch chains. The fun is endless!

I shop everywhere but recently it’s largely online as there aren’t any antique jewelry shops in Hong Kong. I love the Instagram community as I’ve met so many wonderful souls (many of whom have become friends for life) around the world that share my obsession in antique jewelry. I always visit antique and jewelry shops when I travel too. It has been a tradition to bring back a piece of jewelry from each city that I visit.

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

One of my obsession is Georgian masquerade jewelry: masked lady ring with ruby bonnet and rose cut diamonds from @karendeakin.antiques ; locket from @abrandtandson and the most recently acquired oval ring from @bijouxvictim

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

Ring stacking is a daily essential for me: Georgian blue enamel rose cut diamond urn ring from @lenoredailey ; the moonstone on the mourning ring was a gift from my jeweler in Vancouver (he has kept it for 40 years!) and it fits perfectly on the bezel of the once empty mourning ring; flat cut garnet band from @antiqueanimaljewelry

Gem Circus | Gem Gossip

Mourning rings and figas: these enamel mourning rings are too big to wear so I usually wear them on gold chains as pendants. The twin coral figas were acquired from different continents yet they look so much alike. The one with emerald and diamonds was found in a UK auction and the one with seed pearl top was found in an antique show in Vancouver.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Emily –> @GemCircus

Source: GossipGem.com

Continue Reading

Jewelry Collection Stories: Danielle of @jasmyntea

Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossop Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip

This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from a favorite Instagram collector of mine and it’s not because we share the same name, although that helps 😉 It is because Danielle’s style and curation of such a fine collection is unlike any other! She has a fierce eye for what she loves and I’ve been wanting to know her story for quite awhile now. We finally got her story (she is a busy San Francisco dweller, with a full-time job that doesn’t involve jewelry) and she has provided some amazing photos of her personal collection. Let’s dive into her story!

“I have always been a collector. Whether it was collecting vintage jewelry, or vintage clothing, or books on costume and fashion. I’m always looking for unique items that speak to me in some way. I first fell in love with jewelry when I was about 12 and would ride my bike to the thrift store to look for treasures. I always liked vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Old pieces have stories within them. And I always liked to imagine the travels the pieces went through before I became their custodian.

My mother does not really wear much jewelry. Most of the jewelry she wears, except her wedding band, was probably given to her by her sisters or her daughters. She has very few pieces, so I didn’t really grow up surrounded by jewelry. I didn’t know one of my grandmothers as they both passed away before I was born. But I do wear her gold framed glasses from the 1940s every day as my own eyeglasses. I love this connection with my past. My other grandmother didn’t really have much affinity for jewelry either. So I’m not really sure where my love of jewelry and antiques comes from–but I can tell you that I’m obsessed 🙂

When I first started collecting jewelry in high school I liked vintage brooches and small enamel pins. This was what I could afford to purchase. From vintage pins, I branched out to vintage sterling. I always loved going to antique stores and hunting for unusual, inexpensive pieces. My early collection included David Anderson Norwegian pins and bracelets, sterling charm bracelets, bakelite bangles, and funky long beads to layer. I always liked layering, mixing and creating a story with my jewelry. As my style evolved I also liked to support local jewelry artists, so I would go to fairs and stores that sold the work of local jewelry artists and try to pick pieces I liked. My modern collection is made of up certain designers – Marla Aaron, Judy Geib, Gabriela Kiss, Louison Rare and Fine (GemstoneGypsy), Jean Jean Vintage, Gillian Conroy, Variance Objects, Dahlia Khanner, Alberian and Aulde, Amali Jewelry and local San Francisco artists Betsy Barron and Alix Bluh. I tend to gravitate towards jewelry artists versus major designer jewelry. Although one of the first pieces I completely coveted when I was 16 was Tiffany’s Elsa Perreti sterling bean necklace.

In the recent years I have gravitated towards building my antique collection. I love to go to antique fairs and shows, stop in small antique shops when I travel and I follow many antique jewelry sellers on IG. If you are curious, my first IG discovery was Erie Basin and my early purchases were a Toi et Moi Victorian diamond ring and a French link bracelet that many people have asked if they could purchase from me. Finding the antique jewelry community on IG has been very meaningful to me. I feel like I’ve found a crew of fellow jewelry enthusiasts that I can geek out about Georgian jewels, or old cut diamonds, or how to style antique and modern jewelry together. Before IG I never really participated in social media. Finding the IG community of jewelry lovers has been a nice addition in my life, so I don’t drive my husband and sons nuts with my jewelry interests. I’ve also enjoyed meeting fellow IG collectors on my travels.

I can’t really categorize what I collect, because I look for unusual pieces or pieces that resonate for me in some way. I feel like I am the custodian of the pieces I collect. I can’t always articulate why I fall in love with pieces. Sometimes the piece feels sentimental, sometimes the piece will fill an aspect of my collection that I need for a look I’m striving for. On a broad level, I like Georgian and Victorian jewelry. And then I like modern pieces that provide contrast for the more sweet/sentimental antique pieces. I love to mix antique and modern pieces together. Probably my favorite thing to mix are Marla Aaron locks with my antique necklaces, charms and brooches. Mixing and styling jewelry is a creative outlet for me. It’s self-expression—what I’m trying to put out there on a given day. I mix everything: yellow, rose, green gold, platinum and silver. On most days I have on five types of metal. I actually tend to prefer wearing mixed metals versus monochromatic styling. Although sometimes I like to do all gold or all silver or all one kind of gemstone.

I’m sentimental when it comes to jewelry. I always wear a Marla Aaron lock which to me symbolizes to hold fast to what’s important. I once did post on IG about how my modern jewelry spirit animal is my engraved Marla Aaron lock that has all family initials hidden within the engraved design. If I had to pick an antique spirit animal it would probably either be antique chains or signet rings. My thorn necklace (by Gillian Conroy) symbolizes that life has thorns to deal with but I am strong enough to weather the thorns. My hand bloodstone signet ring from Metier with the word “confido,” which means trust, reminds me to trust myself. And then on any given day, my other jewelry represents other items of importance to me or things I’m trying to stay centered about. My Mizpah ring from TheOneILoveNYC is for my husband and me, and my Souvenir bangle from Lucy Verity hasn’t left my wrist since I got it last year – I look down and remember. My Lenore heart rings: to remember love, my signets: to remember the people who are important to me, my memento mori ring from Nvitblanche: to remember to live in the moment, my ruby locket from Circa 1700 has diamonds in it from my mother-in-law in the amount of Pi carats (ok I’m a definite geek). Recently my husband and I gave each other Gabriela Kiss eye rings to symbolize us watching over each other.

You may wonder what pieces I am on the hunt for next. I try to keep an open mind when I am hunting for jewelry, because you never know what you might find. I always ask myself does this resonate for me, will I really wear it and reach for this piece everyday? I like to purchase pieces that I will wear, I don’t like for jewelry to just sit in my jewelry box. I don’t necessarily keep a running wish list. Although at the beginning of 2016 I did an IG jewelry wishlist post and when I look back on it now, I did end up collecting some of the items on my wishlist during 2016, (like my French cut eternity band from Platt Boutique Jewelry). Right now I’m coveting high carat gold items – 22K gold bands (I just got one from Metier) and poesy rings, a Georgian memento mori ring and chains, always more chains. Recently, I’ve been loving layering a lot of gold watch chains.

In closing, almost every piece I wear holds meaning for me of something I want to remember or a story I want to tell that day with my jewelry. Jewelry wearing and styling is my personal storytelling.”

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Danielle –> @jasmyntea

Source: GossipGem.com

Continue Reading

Gem Gossip Visits J.S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA

JS Fearnley | Gem Gossip JS Fearnley | Gem Gossip JS Fearnley | Gem Gossip JS Fearnley | Gem Gossip

Continue Reading

Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @heartofsolidgold

HeartofSolidGold Collection HeartofSolidGold Collection

Kate is no stranger to my blog, in fact she was one of the first collections I documented on here back in January of 2013! Since then we’ve gotten the opportunity to meetup and spend a few days together in London along with our jewelry bff Jenn (@bellflowerbay) and Kate has gotten married! Her jewelry collection has grown since then and she has not only added some wedding jewels, but a whole lot more! If you haven’t read her interview/collection story from four years ago, I suggest you read that first, then check out her amazing collection:

I’ve been collecting jewellery for about eight years, although the passion for all things old and sparkly has been burning for much longer!

I think it all started with my Gran – she’s given me pieces from her jewellery collection over the years, as well as some things from my Great Aunt too. My Gran wasn’t really much of a collector, but the pieces she does have are sentimental and unique. When she was younger she had a real love for stopping and browsing the jewellers’ windows in our local town. She wasn’t able to splash out that much, so perusing these shop windows was often as good as it got. She often tells me the story of how she fell in love with a diamond solitaire ring around the time of her 21st birthday. She was given money by her family as a present which was enough to buy the ring, but she sensibly (she says!) decided on buying a good quality carpet for her living room instead. The carpet apparently lasted many, many years, but she does say to this day that she regrets not choosing the ring. What I’d give to know what it looked like!

(Left: all rings I’ve been given by my Gran. Right: my collection of Art Deco rings, some of the early additions to my collection, all presents from over the years from my parents and husband)

With her lovingly gifted antique pieces, little did my Gran know at the time that she would spark a real passion in me for collecting antique jewellery. As soon as I began working fulltime and had a little cash to spare, I moved quickly from buying sterling silver and vintage costume jewellery, and on to collecting gold and diamonds. It’s taken a few years to refine my knowledge and hunting skills, and my tastes do still vary week to week, but it’s a love affair that grows stronger for me every day – and one my husband has so lovingly accepted too.

I’m lucky that my mum also has a real love of antique jewellery – we often go shopping together for new pieces. We share similar tastes too, which means we pretty much have one large collection between us both.

HeartofSolidGold Collection HeartofSolidGold Collection

My jewellery collection spans from early Georgian right through to modern pieces, I definitely like to collect a variety of styles, stones and metals.

One of my favourite eras has to be Georgian – the passion they had for creating such beautiful, detailed jewellery and with minimal tools, it’s something that I think is truly hard to recreate these days. As the years pass, Georgian pieces are harder and harder to find, which makes the hunt even more fun!

(Left: some of my favourite diamond rings although one is an imposter, (L-R) Georgian table cut diamond flower ring, antique Victorian rose cut diamond fox ring, Victorian rock crystal five-stone ring, Art Deco diamond evil eye ring. Right: one of my most treasured pieces, a Victorian rose cut diamond pendant)

People who know me and my jewellery collection know that I have a slight addiction to rose cut diamonds. I think it’s something about their irregularity and one-of-a-kind nature that really draws me to them.

I also have a real thing for antique animal jewellery too. I think it’s one of those loves you don’t really know you have, until you take stock of your collection and realise you can fill a whole ring case with creature-themed jewels!

HeartofSolidGold Collection

(My animal themed rings – I think my love for this motif stems from my love of animals. One of the rings above is a close replica of my beloved German Shepherd, Cleo.)

Another love of mine has to be Georgian and Victorian mourning jewellery – the sentimentality behind each and every piece really moves me and I love the idea of having something beautiful made to represent your loved one. One of my most cherished pieces is a sepia mourning ring with a beautiful ruby halo. The words on the front read ‘Not lost but gone before’ and the reverse is engraved with the details of a precious 9 month old girl named Elizabeth who died in 1773 – I think this is actually one of the oldest pieces I own.

Continue Reading

Gem Gossip Visits Pippin Vintage Jewelry in NYC

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage Jewelry storefront — and off to the left, which you can almost see, Pippin Home which is their sister store, full of vintage decor, clothes and knick knacks

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

What you see as you walk in the doorway–just like rummaging through a treasure hunter’s best kept secret!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Some easy favorites from their fine jewelry case.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

A look into the jewelry case! Wow, so many treasures!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Besides the two large fine jewelry cases, the store is a mix of costume jewelry neatly displayed, vintage purses and other items, as you can see here.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage has some really gorgeous antique engagement rings; their price points are amazing too!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

A fun mix of vintage fine rings from Pippin Vintage–and look at that display! Such a cool idea!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Love these vintage purses!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Some more favorites currently available from Pippin Vintage!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

The costume jewelry displays on this side of the store are so fun!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

I’ve never loved a trio more than these three! That coral navette is so cool!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Two stunning antique diamond brooches from Pippin Vintage.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Another look into the fine jewelry case! See anything you like?!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

These diamond earrings belong on a beautiful bride!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Was enchanted by this charm display–three tiers of charms and the best part, it closes, folding into a box.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pairing the onyx with the elongated sapphire and diamond ring is a match made in heaven! And that rose cut diamond cluster?! Yes!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

So many rings, so little time!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage is located on a cozy street in Chelsea, NYC

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

If you love vintage purses and handbags, like the one above, you gotta check out Pippin Vintage–they have quite a few stashed all around the store.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

With each season and holiday, Pippin Vintage changes their decor. I arrived just as the Autumn leaves were going up for their Fall displays.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Two very special pieces, this amethyst brooch and this bold quartz ring!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Lots of ladies in Pippin Vintage, makes the place even prettier!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

If you’re on the engagement ring hunt, be sure to stop by Pippin Vintage Jewelry.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

So much goodness in one photo!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

An extraordinary sapphire and diamond ring from Pippin Vintage.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

The girls of Pippin Vintage (not pictured, owners Stephen & Rachel)

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Just can’t get enough of this combo! If you see any here you like, contact Pippin Vintage!

I love finding hidden gems–those stores you might walk right by and never have known what treasures await inside. Pippin Vintage Jewelry is exactly one of those stores! Think of it like a long lost treasure trove or attic which once belonged to a group of the coolest, hippest girls of the past, now transformed into a store for all to rummage through! And that’s exactly what owners Rachel and Stephen set out to create, a space that inspires adornment, an eclectic collection for those who love jewelry and things of the past, right in the heart of Chelsea. You can tell from my photos that Pippin Vintage is one of those stores that you can spend quite some time in and not realize the hours slipping by, while at the same time you are transported back in time with every item you see. From the entire wall filled with vintage costume jewelry, to the antique clutches and purses, even fashionable hats from the bygone eras, the entire store is a whimsy.

Pippin Vintage Jewelry first began before it was an actual store. Back during the times of the old Chelsea Flea Markets, Stephen would sell his preloved treasures found at auctions in the Northeast, and when I say treasures, I mean a little bit of everything! Jewelry was a part of the equation, but a small part, and it needed more attention than what it was getting. Rachel noticed this right away, she always had a penchant for jewels, especially the antique kind. With some organization and a woman’s touch, jewelry soon became their best seller. Eventually the Chelsea Flea Markets closed down for good and the duo found themselves looking for a space to rent with a dream to open a store. In 2006 they happened upon the most ideal spot and in the spring of 2007, Pippin Vintage opened its doors for the first time.

One thing is for sure, Pippin Vintage Jewelry has thrived upon their enthusiastic and dedicated customers. They love their NYC people–to the owners, being a part of the city that never sleeps is their favorite part of this business. One thing I noticed is their approachable pricing. For many, buying things in the city is just so darn expensive. But not here. Pippin Vintage accounts value as one of their most important parts of their business model. They even encourage trades amongst their fine jewelry clients who may have some fine jewelry they don’t wear anymore, but may have found something they want amongst the cases. And yes, there are two whole cases within their fine jewelry selection. Lots of rings, charms, earrings, necklaces and bracelets from many different time periods. Their price points are great too; you can find items like small gold charms for a couple hundred dollars, while also displayed next to a diamond Art Deco bracelet for $25,000. That’s what I love about this shop, it is a true treasure hunt in the heart of NYC.

I’ve enjoyed my time while visiting and even more so while emailing with Rachel. Her stories intrigue me, like the one about her experience with an estate of a “hoarder” who lived in the Bronx. She was a seamstress during the 1920s/30s and had hoards of buttons, jewelry and collection of Bakelite jewelry. Rachel said you walked in the door and everything was jam packed from floor to ceiling of stuff! I’m sure it was an unforgettable experience.

If you get the chance to visit NYC, make sure to put Pippin Vintage Jewelry on your itinerary! The neighborhood that the store is located in is just the cutest and their home goods store is also a must see–Pippin Home–which sells vintage and antique furniture, home decor, trinkets and some clothes. It is just right next door. May I also suggest the Mexican restaurant across the street–Serenata. One of the best lunches I’ve ever had!

Thanks Pippin Vintage for having me! I will be back next time I’m in town!

Pippin Vintage

112 W 17th St.

New York, NY 10011

Follow on Facebook

Follow on Instagram

Continue Gossip Gem

Continue Reading

Four New Jewelry Trends You Need to Try with Fellows Auctions

lot 29 Lot 57 Lot 489 Lot 38 Lot 233 Lot 298 Lot 230 Lot 502 Lot 693 Lot 81 Lot 425 Lot 479

With the warmer season headed our way (thankfully!) it is time to break the mold and try some new jewelry styles! Just as any stylist would tell you, sift through your wardrobe and purge the tops and bottoms you haven’t worn in awhile, you must do the same with your jewelry wardrobe. My favorite thing to do if you’re not into letting pieces of your jewelry go is to simply adopt a new way of wearing jewelry which you haven’t done before! I’ve come up with FOUR new jewelry trends I will definitely be trying this season, in hopes you will do the same.

Lucky for us, Fellows Auction has an Antique & Modern Jewellery sale coming up May 12th that has pieces of jewelry which fit perfectly with my four trends. I love Fellows Auctions and their selection continues to be top notch! I sometimes wish I had the time and money to visit England again, but honestly bidding with Fellows and browsing through their catalogues is just as good and saves time/money 😉

Be sure to register to bid and let us know if you try any of these jewelry style suggestions:

MUST TRY: Bold Earrings + Slicked back hair (sans necklace!)

Lot 29: This trend is all about the earrings, so the bolder they are, the better! These are intricate, special and made in the Victorian Era, so they won’t let you down. Perfecting the slicked back hair look may take a professional to do or if you want to try yourself go for it. It takes a little to get used to, especially if you’re keen on having hair flowing in your face at all times. These earrings are geometric and have the best gemstone combo.

Lot 57: These urn-inspired dangle earrings need to be shown off! You will love them even more after realizing the green urns are actually emeralds. The seed pearl details emitting a dainty vibe, that would stand out with hair totally slicked back and no other necklaces.

Lot 489: I have a thing for torpedo-like motif dangles of the Victorian Era and these earrings depict everything I’m loving about that! Set with pretty purple amethyst and seed pearls, these will be sure to stand out. I love how amethyst is having a huge comeback and if you’re not aware of that, here you go! 😉

MUST TRY: Black Velvet choker with brooch

Lot 38: I love the choker trend and it can be achieved easily with my own spin on it–changing out brooches by pinning them either directly in the middle of a piece of wide black velvet or toward the bottom so the brooch “dangles” downward. To accentuate the “dangle” vibe, pick a brooch that actually has a dangle feature. This turquoise and pearl brooch is perfect, as it has a boho feel and the colors scream summer.

Lot 233: Again, amethyst is hugely popular so adding this brooch to a black velvet choker will have you dominating jewelry trends. This brooch even has some “swag” chains hanging from it. I think it would look good with a thick or thin piece of black velvet–which can be secured with a safety pin or if you can sew, some velcro.

Lot 298: Everything you could ever want in a Victorian brooch–carbuncle garnet, tassles, torpedo-motif dangles…bold gold. This would look so stunning hanging close to the neck. Show it off even more by wearing no other jewelry with your hair pulled back–all eyes on this brooch!

MUST TRY: Statement Pinky Ring

Lot 230: Always wanted a pinky ring but never got around to finding something that fits your tiniest finger?! Well now is your chance! Statement pinky rings are huge for summer…in fact, it might be the only thing you can get away with wearing on your fingers during these hot months. I like something bold and colorful, this ring is a great option, using multiple gemstones–not one repeats itself!

Lot 502: A cluster ring can do wonders for a small, little pinky. This ring features an oval cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds–a classic, yes, but take a look at the etching along the band. Incredibly done! All signs point to YES you need this.

Lot 693: If you want more of an antique cluster ring for your statement pinky ring, look no further than this piece. Set with a stone cameo of a woman’s profile, surrounded by rose cut diamonds…and the best part–the shank and setting are so unique. Such a masterpiece. Your pinky will thank you!

MUST TRY: DIY Bolo Tie using pin to secure

Lot 81: If this isn’t the coolest Egyptian Revival piece, I don’t know what is! The bolo tie, often popular for men especially cowboys, found its height during the 80s and is having a comeback, but for women! Just get some braided black leather, usually they have metal on the ends that is pointed…and is cinched by a clip. I think changing out the clip with different pins would be so fun. This pin would be great, I love the lapis detail against the yellow gold.

Lot 425: Victorian swirls of seed pearls make this a great option for a bolo tie. Unique green enameling gives it a nature-inspired look, finished off with a diamond in the center. Place the pin at the highest it can go for a choker look with the bolo tie or loosely in the middle just above the heart.

Lot 479: Crescent moons are wildly popular and have been that way for centuries. This one–even more special than your average crescent moon, even though crescent moons are hardly average. Set with diamonds and bright blue turquoise, it has my stylish mind wandering. Totally up for the bolo tie challenge using this piece, it would look killer!

 

Continue Reading

Gem Gossip Visits Trademark Antiques in Pennsylvania

Trademark Antiques | Gem Gossip Trademark Antiques | Gem Gossip Trademark Antiques | Gem Gossip

Continue Reading

Alex Cooper’s March 3 & 5, 2016 Gallery Auction

Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip Alex Cooper Auction | Gem Gossip

Alex Cooper has an upcoming Gallery Auction set for March 3rd and 5th, 2016 that you won’t want to miss! Consisting of over 1,000 items–the first five pages of their catalogue online features all jewelry–with silver, household items, paintings, collectibles, coins, rugs, etc. making up the other portion of the sale. I’ve spent some time browsing their selection and found some top picks. If you are a collector, I highly suggest browsing their online catalogue yourself and seeing what strikes you! You can easily register to bid online or leave an abesentee bid–because you never know! Good luck!

Lot 11: Opal and diamond ring–a 14k yellow gold diamond and opal ring which just seems as if it were glowing! This ring stood out to me and I think the estimate is a really good price. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 21: Pair of diamond drop earrings–so much sparkle and fun with this pair of earrings. These are actually a two-in-one, where the dangle part is actually a jacket, so the main earrings are simple diamond studs and then you can add the jacket portion to change up the look entirely. Such a cool surprise. The earrings total nearly three carats and are set in 14k white gold. Estimate: $1,500-2,000

Lot 1: Enamel and sapphire bow brooch–this may look like a simple bow brooch, but it is actually Cartier and comes with its original box! The white enamel is in pristine condition and I love the cabochon sapphire dangles at the very bottom–such a fun detail! Estimate: $1,500-2,000

Lot 45: A trio of ladies wedding bands–I love a good antique wedding band and these three are just stunning. Such a great combo, featuring two platinum and diamond bands and one plain 14k yellow gold band. All three are dainty and fine. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 78: Enamel and pearl dangle brooch–as I’ve been drawn to brooches lately with this silhoette, I see here there is a name put to this type of brooch, peacock feathers! I never realized this, but yes it looks like peacock feathers. Navy blue enamel and diamonds always get me, so this brooch is immediately a favorite. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 81: Enamel portrait miniature brooch–ok, so I’ve been obsessing over portrait miniature brooches like this for awhile now, I just have never taken the plunge and purchased one. I love this one, especially the coloring and the features on the young woman’s face. So delicate and feminine. Estimate: $250-450

Lot 85: Garnet pendant and chain–something about the design and shape of this pendant makes it stand out to me. I love a good cluster and while most clusters have a round outline to them, this one is set within a drop, which makes it so unique. Also love the retro star set garnets throughout the piece. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 152: Large Old European diamond ring–wow, what a stunning diamond! This impressive piece features a 3.50 carat Old European cut diamond set within this unique, chunky setting. The approximate clarity and color grade of the stone is SI-2/I-1, JKL which provides a great price point for such a large stone! Starting bid: $3,000

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Alex Cooper Auctions.

Continue Reading

A Rainbow of Jewels at Heritage Auctions December 7th Signature Sale

Lot 54058 Heritage Auction Lot 54360 Heritage Auction

Lot 54142 Heritage Auction Lot 55278 Heritage Auction

Lot 54269 Heritage Auction Lot 54743 Heritage Auction

Lot 54095 Heritage Auction Lot 54408 Heritage Auction

Lot 54138 Heritage Auction Lot 54278 Heritage Auction

Lot 54096 Heritage Auction Lot 54640 Heritage Auction

Swinging from deep cherry reds, to vibrant orange, on up through mossy green and the moody blues, where one finally lands at the end of the vibrant rainbow of color, this year’s December Sale from Heritage Auction takes you on a color-filled adventure with their offerings. Whether you’ve been searching for a specific color or certain tone or saturation of hue, the plethora of gemstones give you so many possibilities. If I wanted to search for an orange-colored jewel, I may not realize how many options there are from this December Signature Sale from Heritage–I could go with deep and vibrant coral, or light and citrus Topaz, or even a non-nacreous option of a melo melo pearl hanging from an orange-colored silk cord necklace! And to think, most would automatically assume citrine! So, open up your eyes to the rainbow of options from the December 7th Signature Sale from Heritage Auctions.

Let’s start with red and work our way down to violet!

Lot 54058: Most would think of ruby red, but these tourmalines exhibit the prettiest shades of red and dark pink, sprinkled with diamonds in a domed style. Set in 18k yellow gold, these earrings are made to flatter and contain an impressive carat weight of pink tourmaline–over 50 carats! Be a lady in red with these! Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 54360: An enticing and enchanting ruby ring, perfect in every way! Designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, featuring one cushion cut ruby weighing approximately 3.80 carats, surrounded by diamonds totaling six carats! The ring is set in platinum and 18k yellow gold, truly special. Estimate: $30,000-40,000

Lot 54142: One word in the notes section for this listing and sure sums up everything about these platinum and coral earrings–stunning! And we all can agree, if only to see these in person and try them on! The coral is precisely cut and the craftsmanship is high, marked with maker’s mark Cicada. Estimate: $8,000-10,000

Lot 55278: Bold carved coral creates this orange sensation for a jewelry suite–featuring a ring and pair of matching earrings. Very modern in style, maybe even slightly futuristic, this set includes some sparkle thanks to diamonds, a total of one carat all together. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Lot 54269: As bright as the sun, this gigantic yellow sapphire which weighs 20.56 carats, mounted in a fabulous platinum and diamond setting. The split-shank style of the ring offsets the boldness of the large gem, giving it a more dainty feel. Such a stunner. Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Lot 54743: The glowing orangey-yellow of Topaz makes these 18k white gold stud earrings shine. Set amongst round cut and baguette cut diamonds, the earrings have a fun style, and are great for any occasion! Very versatile! Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 54095: The color green of Tsavorite garnet is unlike any other green! It gives me holiday vibes and that is perfect this time of year. These hoops are something else–pave through and through, all set in 18k white gold with a black rhodium finish. Love them! Estimate: $3,500-4,500

Lot 54408: This necklace stopped me in my tracks. The beads are carved green beryl, dispersed with black onyx and diamond in 18k white gold. Such a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, destined to be treasured forever. Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Lot 54138: Navettes are nice, especially when they are set with a gorgeous 3.50 carat sapphire! This ring pulls out all the stops, from its platinum setting, to superbly matched and set diamonds, it has it all. I can picture this making someone very happy Christmas morning! Estimate: $5,000-7,000

Lot 54278: Another moody blue for our rainbow of gems is this lot, featuring a central pear-shaped sapphire surrounded by others in oval. The ring is all set in 14k white gold and is such a classy look. You can’t go wrong with sapphires, let’s be honest! Estimate: $5,000-7,000

Lot 54096: To represent our indigo color in this rainbow-filled blog post, a light-pastel colored sapphire with no heat treatment does the job! This beautiful ring features a 7.43 carat sapphire which comes with a certificate from GIA. The setting has a halo of diamonds and is a sizable 7, in 14k white gold. Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Lot 54640: Had to include the royal purple exemplified by amethyst and this pieces is my favorite from the sale. A round mixed cut amethyst set in a crowned garland platinum and white gold brooch. A relic from the early 1900s past, I love how stylish it can be in today’s time. Estimate: $1,800-2,400

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Heritage Auctions.

Heritage-Auctions-Appraisal-Weekend_075356.png

Source: GossipGem.com

Continue Reading