A Talisman Treasure

 Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling and Remembered Things

I was at work.  I remember running back and forth across the street to Burdick’s (a local clothing store) because they had a television.  Joe and I stood side by side, staring at the screen – it’s one of the most surreal moments of my life.  It was September 11, 2001.  I’m certain that each of you knows where you were, too.

Nearly 3000 lives were lost that day, each one remembered in a million different ways.  My husband and I visited Ground Zero in the fall of 2002.  The fence surrounding it was covered with cards, photos and hand-written notes.  Children’s drawings, flowers and memorabilia were everywhere we looked.  To say it moved me to tears is accurate but so very inadequate.  I wanted some small thing to remember those moments, something tangible to hold in my hand.  Ultimately, I ended up with just a few tiny rocks that I gathered from the edge of the sidewalk.  I still have them.

Victorians had a better idea – mourning jewelry.  Rings, pendants, and bracelets were the most common types of this nostalgic artistry.  Memorial pieces had popped up here and there during the 1800’s, but the trend gained momentum with the death of Prince AlbertQueen Victoria vowed that she would wear nothing but black to express her deep bereavement.  Even her jewelry was black. The concept caught on with the rest of the country.  At Joden, we have quite a collection of these sentimental dedications.

This sweet little cameo ring may have been an early piece of mourning jewelry – crafted in the 1860’s.  Made from a rosy 14 karat yellow gold, this intricate ring centers on a hard stone cameo.  The figure depicted is of a woman carrying a vessel.  It’s carved from a singular piece of banded black and white agate.  The band portion of the ring is decorated with vines and blossoms.  Inside the band are three hand-engraved initials…  JLB.  It’s priced at $875.00.  

Through photographs, videos, and memories, our loved ones live on.  But imagine having a piece of jewelry, a talisman that will be handed down in your family year after year.  And every time you look at it and rub your fingers across the top of it (like a worry stone), you’ll remember and your heart will smile.  

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

Joe’s Special Box – Volume 103

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

For hundreds of years, we have sought solace after the loss of a loved one in a myriad of ways.  Often, a piece of jewelry was kept as a token to be worn and treasured… mourning jewelry.  In the Georgian era (the early 1800’s), the pieces were more macabre, focusing on the “Memento Mori” sentiment.  This phrase was a reminder that we are mortals and will all die.  Skulls, coffins, and shovels were popular and used frequently.

Later on, in Victorian times, mourning jewelry was much more personal, often memorializing a particular individual.  Tombs, angels, and urns were prominent motifs, like this one.  Made of 14 karat rosy gold and silver, this pendant is truly extraordinary.  Joe described it as very fine, one of the best he’s ever seen.  Depicting an urn, the surface is covered with a layer of black enamel, symbolic of the loss of light and life.  Hand wired handles are on each side, with additional wire detailing on the bail and body of the vase.  

Seventy-four natural seed pearls add a dimension of beauty and are thought to represent the tears shed by those left behind.  A singular rose cut diamond is set in the center, nearly fading into the background.  Another common element of mourning jewelry was a locket, or hair receiver.  Frequently these compartments featured a glass lid and provided a place to store a lock of hair.  

In near perfect condition, this pendant is tragically beautiful.  Perhaps even now, nearly 150 years after it’s creation, it can bring comfort to someone today.  Priced at $3,800.00 – this is one memento worth saving.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

His and Hers – Volume Four

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Twinning Things

One of my most beloved aspects of vintage jewelry is the symbolism.  Nearly everything had a deeper meaning – including the deceptively simple buckle ring.  This stylistically classic design has been a popular choice for centuries, dating back as far as the early 1800’s.  

Popularity of this significant piece of jewelry surged when Queen Victorian began wearing her own buckle ring.  Apparently, Victoria wore the ring to represent her membership in the Order of the Garter.  This organization was founded in 1348 and still exists today.  It is the most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain and the members are most often recognized for their public service.  This is the symbol of the order…

As you can see, the primary focus is a vibrant blue belt, solidly clasped through a golden buckle…  hence, Victoria’s public wearing of a buckle ring.  In typical Victorian fashion, there were multiple reasons to sport one of these iconic rings.  The belt and buckle has long been indicative of the binding love between the giver and receiver of the ring.  There is a continuous loop formed when the belt threads through the buckle – it’s eternal.  

Often the pair wearing the rings were said to be as well matched as a belt and it’s buckle.  This week, we have a pair of these beauties.  Ours date to the Retro period – the 1940’s.  This era is remembered as being a fusion of futuristic vision with the sentimentality of previous periods.  Both pieces feature a striking combination of a white gold buckle mated with a yellow gold belt, although the ladies band is 18 karat while the mens is 14 karat.  Further similarities include vivid ruby trim and a high polish finish.  

Sometimes, these rings also took the form of mourning jewelry, or more accurately, remembrance jewelry.  After the death of a loved one, often the remaining family would wear a buckle ring to symbolize the never-ending connection to the deceased.  The unbroken circle of the band provided a much needed visual reminder of the enduring memory.  

It’s impossible to say whether these two rings were worn by a husband and wife or by complete strangers.  And it doesn’t matter who will wear them now…  what really matters is what they will represent – an unbreakable bond of eternal love.  Make one or both of them yours now.  The ladies buckle ring is available for just $675, and the mens for $1,350.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

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