Joe’s Special Box – Volume 58

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

Not all the treasures at Joden are hidden in Joe’s Special Box, in fact, our crowning glory is in the store for all to see.  We have one of the largest collections of the work of Carlo Giuliano in the country.  Giuliano was the favored jeweler to Queen Victoria.  His elaborately enameled creations are widely considered to be some of the finest pieces in all of jewelry history.  At Joden, we are curators of the past – cultivating passion for this lost art.  

Most of the exceptional examples from the life and work of Carlo Giuliano feature striking enamel patterns – most notably crisp black and white designs like the one shown here.  Careful consideration should be given to how very precise the tiny dots are…  not once do they fade into the white background.  Never before and never again was this process able to be duplicated – it is exclusive to the Giuliano firm. 

When this bracelet made it’s way into our store last week, every one of us was certain it was Giuliano.  We searched every link for the classic Giuliano trademark…  never to find it.  There is not one single hallmark anywhere to be found on this Art Nouveau beauty.  Is it un-signed Giuliano?  Joe’s theory is that it was made by an apprentice…  a young artist learning the art of the master.  In any case, this bracelet is in pristine condition and is absolutely stunning.  It’s available now for $8800.00.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

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A Feather In Our Cap

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Commendable Things

For nearly twenty years we have traveled across the country to convene with more than 400 other dealers at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show, the largest trade only event servicing the antique jewelry industry.  The Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center will be bursting with leading experts from more than 25 countries and the absolute finest estate jewelry in the world – truly the best of the best. 

This is the banner that will be at the entrance to the show.  The necklace is ours – a stunning piece from our Carlo Giuliano collection.  This is not paid advertising – in fact, it’s more like the spoils at the end of a hard fought battle.  Each exhibitor submitted digital images from their stockpile.  The marketing team for the show poured through thousands of submissions searching for the perfect pieces to use in the artwork for the show.  We submitted over 50 breathtaking likenesses, including this one…  the chosen piece.

 

This is a multicolored enamel pendant from the heart of the Art Nouveau period (1890-1910).  Blue, white and translucent red enamel marry with pearls and Old Mine Cut diamonds on an elaborate frame of scrollwork and quatrefoil flowers… a masterpiece crafted by a master jeweler.  The price is available upon request.

We were thrilled to see our pendant on the banner – the first small victory.  The real prize came about a week later.  We were absolutely over the moon to discover that another one of our Giuliano gems will adorn the front cover of the brochure!  Again, this is not advertising that can be bought.  It is an honor bestowed upon the jeweler with the most magnificent piece in the show.  This is the fourth time that Joden has been recognized in this manner. 

 

This bangle bracelet (Art Nouveau, circa 1890) is signed C & AG.  It was a collaboration of Carlo Giuliano (the father) and Carlo and Arthur Giuliano (his two sons).  The center of the bracelet is an explosion of color featuring blue sapphire, peridot, tsavorite and diamonds while the rest of the piece is enameled in classic Giuliano style – blue and white opaque enamel done in both pique and champlevé styles.  It’s a real show stopper!

Many experts consider Giuliano to be the finest jeweler of all time.  One of his most famous patrons was Queen Victoria.  Rumor has it that his pieces were among her favorites.  We have been lucky enough to amass a 26 piece Giuliano collection – the largest assembly of his work in this part of the country.  All 26 pieces are on display every day in our museum case, and each one is highlighted on our site. 

There is no question,  you can go to a museum and look or you can come to Joden and touch.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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Now You See It…

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Missing Things

It was luck.  Being in the right place at the right time.  That is what initially spurred a younger Joe Murawski to begin collecting the rare works of renowned jeweler, Carlo Giuliano.  When a colleague passed up an opportunity to buy a tiny intricately enameled butterfly, Joe stepped in and purchased the lifelike gem.  The images below show the butterfly featured on an early piece of Joden advertising.

old-brochure

giuliano-butterfly

In the years since, Joe has collected and privately placed over forty pieces of the work of the Giuliano family; some from the father, and some from the sons, Carlo Joseph and Arthur.  The current collection features twenty three examples, each one a treasure in its own right.  The crown jewel, in Murawski’s eyes, is an extremely rare multicolored enamel cross (shown below).  Acquired from a private source, the cross is a true one of a kind.

Giuliano cross 8-24c.eps     Giuliano cross back 9-09.eps

In what can only be called a case of mysterious disappearance, eight Giuliano pieces vanished four years ago.  We had kept the rarest of the collection in one box in Joe’s office…  a gem-set bracelet worn by Queen Victoria (pictured below), an agate scarab and enamel pendant, a garnet-carved cameo of the Greek god Mercury, a multicolored sapphire and enamel bar pin, a moonstone cruciform pendant, a black and white enameled mourning locket, an oversize Lapis Lazuli cross, a heart-shaped pendant depicting a multicolored enamel cherub (shown below), and a fine carved opal cameo with rose cut diamond frame.  All of these were in a cardboard box, marked on one corner was the word “Giuliano” in Joe’s handwriting.

giuliano-victoria     cherub

It was a late summer day in August of 2012.  Joe had a client in the office, and as was his habit, he showed the Giuliano collection.  Playback of video surveillance shows him opening the butterfly-style box containing the Victoria bracelet, sharing it with the client, then placing it on the desk beside him.  This is the last tangible evidence of those pieces.  They were never seen again.  Several theories have been postulated – perhaps the box was knocked off the desk into the garbage can.  Perhaps they were stolen.  Perhaps the box is still here somewhere…  waiting to be found.  Four years have passed since that fateful day, without even a hint as to what may have transpired.

It was only in researching this post that I discovered that ours was not the first box of missing Giuliano jewelry.  After his death in 1895, Carlo the father bequeathed a selection of his enamels to the South Kensington Museum (Victoria & Albert Museum) to be displayed outside the tea room.  In 1899, the box that contained the pieces was stolen.  Experts theorized that the items were melted for scrap gold value.

For a collection that began with a stoke of luck, it nearly ended with a stroke of misfortune.  In the days and weeks after the loss, our passion for the collection waned.  However, as more time passed Joe added several newly acquired pieces to the collection (like the brooch pictured below).  Our original love was restored.  The Giuliano collection is once again in its place of honor, quietly gracing the top tier of our museum case.

black-and-white-giuliano-brooch

Written by Carrie Martin

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