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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Millenial Mavens

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and  Non-traditional Rings

In my work world, we talk engagement rings on the daily…  We’re a team.  We share stories, offer advice, and often dissect current trends.  This year has brought an entirely new engagement adventure…  millenials want to savor the experience (while simultaneously documenting it on social media, of course) and ultimately find a ring as unique as their relationship. 

Today’s couples are choosing vintage.  They want mixed metals, rose gold and yellow gold often paired with colored stones.  2018 is all about floral motifs, shapes, and distinctive rings. 

This pairing is the absolute limit of style and individuality!  First, from the estate of Tamara Toumanova, is this 14 karat gold flower ring.  The curved rose gold petals bloom on your finger while the stem and leaves wrap around to form the band.  Four round diamonds twinkle from inside.  Wear it alone, or stack it with this charming eternity band.  Crafted from 14 karat yellow gold, eleven tiny flowers circle the band, each with a single-cut diamond center.  Perfect for those with an eye for exceptional elegance.

Some couples are opting to forego the engagement ring altogether, preferring instead to celebrate their union with a singular band.  The antique and estate jewelry at Joden offers hundreds of choices…  whether you have a vintage vision in mind or something sleek and modern, our selection will not disappoint.  Here are a few of my favorites…  enamel flowers, matte-finish modernism, and fabled moonstones – each one a tiny treasure in its own right.  Stop in, drop me a line (carrie@joden.com), or call me for details and pricing! 

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

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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More than Black and White

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Enameled Things

Imagine, if you can, what you will look like when you’re 200 years old…  Will you be dust and ashes, scattered to the wind?  Or perhaps there’ll be nothing left but a hollow shape, a shell of your former self.  In any case, it’s certain that you won’t look as good as this stunning Swiss Enamel bangle.

Admit it, no matter how many trips to the gym you make, or how well you take care of yourself – as the years pass, time takes a toll.  Nothing could be farther from the truth in regard to this bracelet.  It’s in near perfect condition…  almost identical to the day it was made, nearly two centuries ago. 

The center section, a scalloped oval of buttery yellow gold was hand crafted in classic repousse style (a technique in which metal is hammered from behind in order to create shape and form).  Then this remarkably lightweight shell was painstakingly enameled from edge to edge in black and white patterns of flowers, leaves, and scrolls.  It’s a rare and beautiful thing, and in infinitely better condition than I will be in 150 years!

 

Here are two more examples of Swiss Enamel jewelry.  The brooch and earring suite is a more typical subject matter for the early 19th century.  Often, these elaborate enamel plaques featured grand landscapes paired with peasants garbed in regional attire.  More often than not, these scenic examples were sold as souvineers to wealthy travelers.  Rich black and white enamel patterns create a framework for these lovely maidens. 

If you look closely at the bottom of the earrings in the second photo, you’ll notice a quite remarkable thing.  Each one is accentuated by a tiny oval hair receiver.  These are a first for me – I’ve never seen an earring with a hair locket!  Even more unusual is that it’s on the front of the earring rather than the back.  It’s interesting to note that both pairs of earrings shown above are referred to as “day to night” earrings – meaning that the bottom section is removable.  You can wear the tops alone for a casual daytime look or add the dramatic bottom portion for more formal evening attire.

Last but not least is this stunning polychromatic enameled link bracelet.  It features a rare combination of champlevé  and basse-taille enamel.  These two old world techniques combine in an explosion of multicolored design.  From the alternating black and white floral links to the bright orange, red, green, and blue enameled plaques between…  it’s a veritable feast for the eyes.  These are true treasures; too good to miss.  And as always, you can go to a museum and look or you can come to us and touch. 

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Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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