In Black and White

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling and 1920’s Thing

It was an era that celebrated the beauty of black and white.  The 1920’s brought us some of the very best things in this classic color combination…  from the first electronic television to some of the finest jewelry that the Art Deco period had to offer.  Philo Farnsworth introduced a unique invention that scanned images with a beam of electrons…  the predecessor to modern television.  Albeit primitive, this 21-year old entrepreneur opened an entirely new world that most had never dreamed of.  American jewelers were also presenting a new style – one that balanced the elegance of the previous years with a whisper of the grandeur yet to come.

The Art Deco era was one of the few times that Americans produced jewelry that was among the finest in the world.  Although some characteristics of Edwardian jewelry were beginning to fade, some stayed strong in the early 1920’s.  Pre-1925, the trend remained feminine and graceful…  like this lovely bracelet. 

Black and white was a favorite color scheme of the era –  onyx combines perfectly with diamonds and/or crystal to achieve this timeless style.  Here, a 14 karat white gold frame is topped with a thin platinum layer.  Eight round links of alternating sizes create the subtle appeal of this beauty.  Frosted and carved rock crystal rotates with onyx centers; each is surrounded by intricately engraved bezels.  Beaded milgrain borders soften the look.  Four small diamonds add the tiniest hint of sparkle…  each one is set in the center of the crystal links.  

This early Art Deco bit of arm candy is in pristine condition.  It’s the ideal addition to your jewelry box..  it can be worn daily.  Strong enough to stand alone but still able to be stacked with one or two of your go-to bracelets, this classic beauty is too good to pass up.  It’s moderately priced at $2,840.00.  If you’re a fan of black and white pieces from the Art Deco era, you’re among the many.  As soon as we get one of these gems, it flies out the door!  Don’t let this one pass you by.

“You can go to a museum and look, or come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

More than Black and White

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Enameled Things

Imagine, if you can, what you will look like when you’re 200 years old…  Will you be dust and ashes, scattered to the wind?  Or perhaps there’ll be nothing left but a hollow shape, a shell of your former self.  In any case, it’s certain that you won’t look as good as this stunning Swiss Enamel bangle.

Admit it, no matter how many trips to the gym you make, or how well you take care of yourself – as the years pass, time takes a toll.  Nothing could be farther from the truth in regard to this bracelet.  It’s in near perfect condition…  almost identical to the day it was made, nearly two centuries ago. 

The center section, a scalloped oval of buttery yellow gold was hand crafted in classic repousse style (a technique in which metal is hammered from behind in order to create shape and form).  Then this remarkably lightweight shell was painstakingly enameled from edge to edge in black and white patterns of flowers, leaves, and scrolls.  It’s a rare and beautiful thing, and in infinitely better condition than I will be in 150 years!

 

Here are two more examples of Swiss Enamel jewelry.  The brooch and earring suite is a more typical subject matter for the early 19th century.  Often, these elaborate enamel plaques featured grand landscapes paired with peasants garbed in regional attire.  More often than not, these scenic examples were sold as souvineers to wealthy travelers.  Rich black and white enamel patterns create a framework for these lovely maidens. 

If you look closely at the bottom of the earrings in the second photo, you’ll notice a quite remarkable thing.  Each one is accentuated by a tiny oval hair receiver.  These are a first for me – I’ve never seen an earring with a hair locket!  Even more unusual is that it’s on the front of the earring rather than the back.  It’s interesting to note that both pairs of earrings shown above are referred to as “day to night” earrings – meaning that the bottom section is removable.  You can wear the tops alone for a casual daytime look or add the dramatic bottom portion for more formal evening attire.

Last but not least is this stunning polychromatic enameled link bracelet.  It features a rare combination of champlevé  and basse-taille enamel.  These two old world techniques combine in an explosion of multicolored design.  From the alternating black and white floral links to the bright orange, red, green, and blue enameled plaques between…  it’s a veritable feast for the eyes.  These are true treasures; too good to miss.  And as always, you can go to a museum and look or you can come to us and touch. 

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Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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