Joe’s Special Box – Volume 12

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

Sometimes Joe’s treasures don’t make it to the “special box”.  Trinkets are stashed in a tiny wooden cabinet that sits on a shelf, curios and doodads are piled on ledges, and occasionally jewels are hidden in a desk drawer.  This bracelet is just one example of that…  and honestly, I didn’t really know what was so unique or special about it.

Then one day, I was doing some online research – Google is my friend.  I stumbled across a near twin to our bangle as well as several other similar pieces.  This bracelet is quite rare – an example of American Gypsy Jewelry.  

It features all the classic earmarks of Gypsy adornments…  the profile of a beautiful woman, raised star-like flowers, a bright synthetic gemstone, and a horseshoe.  Be sure to wear it with the ends of the shoe facing up… You don’t want your luck to run out!  It has a clear hallmark inside “14K” – most jewelry of this type is constructed from 14 karat gold – although it’s value far exceeds the gold weight.  Solid and sturdy – this is one piece of American history to be worn and enjoyed.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

And One for Luck

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Irish Things

Yesterday, people everywhere donned green shirts, green socks, even headbands with shamrocks bouncing on top.    Merrymaking ranged from parades to religious observances.  Even the Lenten fast has been known to be lifted in honor of  the day.  Perhaps you are also participated in the joviality of St. Patrick’s Day. 

Millions of green beers were raised in celebration of the heritage and history of Ireland.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. 

The shamrock became the symbol for this day when St. Patrick arrived in Ireland to share Christianity with the Irish people.  He used a young sprig of clover to explain the Holy Trinity.  The three leaves are also thought to symbolize faith, hope, and love. 

Occasionally, a clover will have a fourth leaf…  for luck.  The luck of the Irish. 

At Joden we have shamrocks with three leaves, and some with four.  These are just a few examples.  Be sure to stop by our showroom to see these little green beauties.  Until then…

May you always find blue skies above your head,

Shamrocks beneath your feet,

Laughter and joy aplenty,

Kindness from all you meet,

Good friends and kin to miss you if ever you choose to roam,

And a path that’s been cleared by angels themselves

To carry you safely home.

– An Irish Blessing

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Carla Leight

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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