Shells, Stones, and Sometimes Bones

Joden Girl

 Baubles, Bling, and Sculpted Things

Thoughts of antique jewelry often evoke images of carved cameo brooches and vintage lace collars.  As far back as the 3rd century B.C., artisans have been etching faces and figures onto the surface of an abundance of materials – shell, agate, coral, lava, gemstones, bone or ivory, and even glass.  At Joden, we have an extensive collection of fine cameos…  we recently added this rare beauty.

It’s an intricate miniature sculpture of Cupid, complete with his bow and quiver.  The cameo is fully surrounded by a coiled snake frame.  Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction, and affection…  while a coiled snake is a symbol of eternity.  The brooch clearly embodies everlasting love.  

Many people mistakenly believe that cameos are made in two separate pieces, a carved figure adhered to the surface of a contrasting colored shell or stone.  Actually, they are carved from one singular stone that grows in layers of color like the ones shown here.  The artisan exploits the variances in color to create visual interest.

 

It is perhaps the most rare shell cameo we have ever owned.  Not only is it rich with symbolism, but the carving itself is quite remarkable.  Seen in profile, the cameo measures nearly 1.5 inches from the base of the shell to the expanse of Cupid’s forehead.  

  

Look at it side by side with a more ordinary shell cameo – the Cupid piece displays ultra high relief.  The shell used to carve this extraordinary piece would have had to be incredibly large as well as thick to achieve this level of height in the sculpture itself.  Truly remarkable.  It’s available in our showroom for just $2500.00.

Come to Joden, where after 48 years, our motto continues to hold true…

“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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Words to Live By

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Amazing Accessories

Keep calm and carry a fabulous bag!  These are words to live by.  Honestly, a great handbag is like balm for a fashionista’s soul; it’s full of promise and possibility, it always fits, and like all classics – it never goes out of style. 

Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Kate Spade, and Chanel – just to name a few.  The mention of these names evokes extravagant imagery and often inspires retail therapy in today’s woman.  But luxury handbags are not a new trend, in fact, they’ve been fashionable for over 200 years. 

 

It often took weeks to make just one purse like this.  Crafted from hundreds of tiny gold links, each one was made individually then riveted together to form the silky mesh.  It glides across your skin like satin…  truly incredible.  The process was perfected in the Middle Ages when making chain mail armor. 

This lovely bag (pictured above) was handmade in the early 1900’s.  Made entirely of 14 karat yellow gold, it features a cabochon garnet thumbpiece (the button used to open it), a carrying chain, and a small matching change purse suspended from a shepherd’s hook (small curled wire) soldered inside the frame.  Scripted onto the change purse is the year “1909”. 

Flappers went crazy for these golden beauties in the 1920’s…  especially those with decorative patterns woven into the mesh and the ones decorated with precious stone trim, like these.  Rich blue sapphires are spaced by dazzling diamonds across the framework of each gold clutch. 

Whiting and Davis is perhaps the most famous maker of mesh handbags of various metals from yellow gold (like those shown here) to German silver, sterling silver, and gunmetal.  When the automatic mesh machine was invented in 1912, Whiting and Davis purchased the patent.  They dominated the market for nearly a century.

At Joden, we have many of these unique bags in stock, in both gold and silver.  This weekend and for the next few weeks, they will be on display in our front window.  Come visit me!  I promise you that this is a bag you have to feel to believe.  For now, check out our video to see some additional unique features of this dazzling arm candy…  I am crazy over the diagonal line pattern and the “squeeze” clasp!  You must come try it for yourself…

As always, go to our site and look, then come to Joden and touch.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos and video by Shelly Isacco

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Joe’s Special Box – Volume 2

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

Simply stunning.  Truly.  This ring, hand-fabricated in the 1870’s, is a classic example of a Mid Victorian engagement ring.  It features all the ear-marks of the Grand Period…

  • Silver was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada in 1860.  It was very popular during the mid-1800’s and was often combined with low karat gold.  Here, the darkened silver overlays a 14 karat gold base. 
  • Two of the most utilized diamond cuts were Old Mine Cuts and Rose Cuts – this beauty has both.  Three Old Mine Cut diamonds (.50 carat total) create the center.  They are surrounded by a scalloped halo of twenty-four rose cut diamonds (.25 carat total).  These bright white sparklers twinkle with every turn of your hand.
  • The Old Mine Cut diamonds are held in place with “claw” prongs – a new style for the period.

My favorite detail of this ring has taken nearly 150 years to develop.  Just look at the gorgeous patina on the band of the ring!  The oxidation of this piece brings it to life, showcasing each design element – from the split shoulder to thehand-carved lines.  It’s absolute Victorian perfection. 

Priced at just $2000, this ring is a steal – a true antique in pristine condition.  Take our heirloom and make it yours.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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