Pick of the Week – Volume 31

Joden Girl

Baubles and Bling with Unbelievable Pricing

A tiny miniature painting…  what could be more endearing?  Or perhaps more scandalous!  In the late 18th century, these small depictions also known as lover’s eyes began popping up in Britain.  Sometimes these gems featured the eye of a child or family member…  however, sometimes the eye belonged to a forbidden lover!  

Lover’s eyes centered on a small painting of an eye, and perhaps an eyebrow…  but nothing more.  This was to keep the identity of the person secret.  Many of these pieces were surrounded by a halo of natural pearls or sparkling gemstones.  This incredibly intimate jewel brought to life the intense gaze of adoration.  Often, a look can convey so much more than words could ever say.  

These treasures are rare – it is believed that fewer than 1000 of them remain.  Many of these unusual pieces are brooches…  allowing them to be pinned and worn close to the heart.  This particular one is a pin and a pendant; it showcases a blue iris with a strong arched brow.  Twenty-six faceted black onyx stones surround the eye.

A hair receiver on the back of the piece is filled with an entwined lock of brown hair.  These two details – the black stones and the hair receiver – make me wonder if perhaps this lover’s eye is an early piece of mourning jewelry.  The pendant is accompanied by a yellow gold y-chain.  Once it is clasped around the neck, the piece itself rests lower on the neck, allowing it to be concealed underneath clothing should you so desire.

This unique gem has been a part of our inventory for more than a year.  Originally, it was on our site for $5,000.00.  We are now offering it as a Pick of the Week – which means it will be available with new and unbelievable pricing.  Now – this rare bit of history can be yours for just $2,500.00!

If you’re a collector of distinct finds, this lover’s eye is the piece for you.  Click the link to make it yours today.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe and Shelly Isacco

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

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