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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Conversion Diversion

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Recreated Things

My mother’s jewelry box was always a mystery to me as a child.  I can see it in my mind so clearly…  a hinged lid that when opened, revealed two drawers of little square compartments overflowing with assorted trinkets and treasures.  I loved digging down into the layers, pulling out my favorite pieces…  a silver charm bracelet with mechanical charms (a tiny rotary telephone with a moving dial, a baby buggy with spinning wheels), a matching earring and necklace set comprised of a series of small wooden beads, and a Retro style ring with a synthetic ruby center.  Piece after piece, each one more intriguing than the next to my six-year-old eyes.  The box always sat on my mother’s dresser, neatly centered in front of the oversize mirror.  Unfortunately, she never wore the pieces inside. 

I know this resonates with many of you.  We all have those pieces that seem to float around the bottom of our jewelry box – getting pushed aside time and again as we sift through  searching for our favorites.  For many of us, the items that don’t get worn are pins…  circle pins, lapel pins, lingerie pins, and stick pins. 

At Joden, we have drawers full of stick pins…  hundreds of them.  We have enameled flowers, seed pearl accented love knots, hearts, and clovers, there are animals of every kind, sparkling gemstones, both silver and gold.  Stick pins are a great accessory and still look good threaded through a scarf or necktie – but if you’re just not a pin girl, here are some charming options. 

 

The photo on the left shows a sampling of former stick pins that have been converted to tiny charms.  The photo on the right showcases one of them on a delicate gold chain.  It’s a perfect pendant; able to be worn every day.  It’s a signature piece that can be worn alone or layered with another necklace or two. 

 

Maybe you have more than one stick pin, or perhaps you would like to start collecting them.  The bracelet on the left is a progression of cabochon gemstone charms- moonstone, amethyst, turquoise, jade, and opal.  The theme of the bracelet on the right is diamond trim – while each charm is uniquely different, the diamond accents bring it all together. 

Whether you have pins of your own or perhaps you need to check out the selection available at Joden, it’s all about conversion – giving new life to an old treasure.

“Go to our site and look, then come to Joden and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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