Joe’s Special Box – Volume 57

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

When you visit our showroom, often times you will be treated to a tour of the store…  it’s a visual feast for the eyes.  From pre-owned Rolex watches to fine Art Deco jewels, there is something for everyone.  Perhaps one of the most popular stops on the tour is the Victorian case featuring a vast array of late 19th century mourning jewelry.  Based on the broad range of reactions to some of the pieces available, we’ve dubbed it “creepy and cool”.  

This beauty from Joe’s Special Box would definitely fall into the cool category, not to mention beautiful.  Entirely constructed from 14 karat yellow gold, this elegant bangle is as lovely as it is wearable.  Winking from the center of the fluted buttercup setting is a .20 carat diamond.  It adds a hint of sparkle to an otherwise somber piece.  Sloping down from both sides of the center are black enameled shoulders artfully accented by a pattern of alternating diamond and clover shapes.  Don’t let the delicate appearance of this Victorian beauty fool you, it’s actually quite sturdy and able to be worn every day.  Make it yours for just $1,350.00.

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

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Windows to the Soul

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Lover’s Things

Called a lover’s eye, or an eye miniature, these are some of the rarest and highly collectible pieces of antique jewelry. Just as their name states, they are tiny watercolor paintings (most often done on ivory) of an eye… and nothing else.  The painting is usually surrounded by a decorative frame and covered with a piece of protective glass.  You may be wondering, “Why just an eye?”

Sources say that the eye belonged to a loved one, usually a forbidden love.  It was believed that if the painting only featured an eye, it would be nearly impossible to identify who is depicted.  Because in the case of a clandestine affair, anonymity is everything.  Only the person wearing the piece would know the secret identity.  Very romantic…

Most lover’s eyes were made from the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s.  Experts believe that fewer than 1000 of them are still in existence.  Here at Joden, we have three.  The one pictured above has already been purchased by a private collector, these two are available now. 

 

Near the end of the 1800’s, Queen Victoria revived the lover’s eye.  However, Victoria had them created of all of her loved ones:  her children, family, and friends.  Often, they became mourning jewelry, as many of them featured a hair receiver on the back.  The use of pearls often symbolized tears.  What a beautiful treasure!

 

Come to Joden to see these incredible love tokens,  and remember…

“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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Out of the Ashes

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Tuff Things

Nearly 2000 years ago, the city of Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius – burying it under twenty feet of volcanic ash.  The city was uncovered in 1748, and quickly became a popular stop on the Grand Tour of Europe (a “rite of passage”  for upper class young men and women that served as a liberal education).   Travelers were exposed to the cultural legacy of the Renaissance.  Most returned home with trunks overflowing with books, artwork, and small cultural artifacts like statues, paperweights, and jewelry. 

In the area around Pompeii, craftsmen utilized the lava rock, also known as tuff, and carved cameos from it.  Myriads of faces decorated rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  These lava trinkets became a sign of wealth, showing that the wearer was well-traveled and possessed discerning taste. 

This necklace and earring suite is an outstanding example of these works.  I am in awe of the intricacy of the carving…  from the individual strands of hair to the veins in the grape leaves.  Just think, this was sculpted using only a handheld tool called a graver or a burin.   Even after 200 years of technological development, the most highly skilled bench jewelers could not come close to this level of skill.  It’s exceptional and extremely rare.

The serene face, the grapevine headdress, and the urns – each of these elements play at symbolism.  Grapes often suggest bounty and abundance, and occasionally fertility while leaves stand for truth.  The hanging urns are a strong indicator that this was a very early piece of mourning jewelry.  When you begin to study each detail – the exquisite carving, the near perfect condition, and the abundance of symbolism, suddenly $12,800.00 sounds like real value. 

This suite is available exclusively at Joden Jewelers.  Go to our site and look, them come to us and touch. 

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Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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