Go Green

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling and Colorful Things

What’s the first thing that attracts you to a piece of jewelry?  Are you drawn to sparkle?  Is it design?  Some people love delicate jewels, while others go for physically large chunky pieces.  For me, it is almost always about color.  From the metal to the gems – I love vibrant, rich color!  

That’s what makes Art Nouveau my favorite period…  all those glorious enamels; color on color on color.  This bracelet is an unusual example from that time, dating near the end of the period…  circa 1910.  The two tone metal framework has an Edwardian feel while the Plique-À-Jour style of enameling is decidedly Art Nouveau. 

Shown here from behind, you can see the elaborate structure of the bracelet.  This series of nine identical square-shaped links was handmade…  like a stained glass window, each cell is specifically crafted to enhance the green and gold enamel held inside.

Carefully set on the front of each section are five bezel set diamonds, welded in an equal-armed cross formation.  This symbol is often thought to represent the four seasons…  nature in perfect balance.  Combined with the color green – the hue of life and renewal – this bracelet is truly harmonious.  

This piece is definitely a departure for me…  it’s not what I would call beautiful, but rather handsome.  Being over one hundred years old, this antique is in excellent condition.  From the spiderweb of 18 karat rosy gold underneath to the strong lines of white gold on top – this crossover bracelet is clearly a conversation starter.  Spark a discussion at your house for just $9500.

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

Writing and Photos by Carrie Martin

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Let Your Light Shine Down

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Illuminated Things

“In nature, light creates the color.”  – Hans Hoffman

Plique à Jour…  this French phrase loosely translates to “let the daylight in”.  In jewelry, it refers to a style of enameling akin to stained glass….  and like a finely stained glass window, it comes alive when you hold it up to the light.  The framework seems to disappear, leaving a shimmering rainbow glow. 

This piece has laid on the shelf behind Joe’s desk since the day he bought it… somehow it has managed to avoid being placed in with the regular inventory.  It’s been passed over 100 times or more – maybe even forgotten.  I think it’s because when it lays on the shelf, it doesn’t look like much.  Just metal and glass.  But the moment you pick it up and hold it to the light…  that’s when the magic happens.  

It’s a complete metamorphosis.  My eyes hardly know where to look first…  the blue, green, and purple hues are completely captivating.  Suddenly, I wanted to see more.

Symbolism abounds in this early Art Nouveau creation, and it’s all about an awakening – a resurgence of life…  Did you see the lotus blossom at the top?  The lotus has long been a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and rebirth.  Every night this resilient flower submerges itself beneath murky waters only to re-bloom the next morning without a single drop of residue on its petals, completely immaculate.

Now, feast your eyes on the brilliant blue butterfly at the center of the piece – perhaps a Blue Morpho.  Butterflies are thought to exemplify endurance, change, and hope.  They are the ultimate symbol of resurrection.  Notice that the face of the butterfly is a cherub.  Cherubs are thought to keep vigil over those in need of strength, faith, and renewal.  The hidden meaning knows no bounds.

Holding it to the light, I am bewitched…  and when it rests in my hand, I am beguiled and bewildered.  First, bewitched by the vast array of color (i.e. remember your first box of 64 Crayola’s?); then beguiled and bewildered by the complexity of the mind that was not only able to dream of this artistry, but also bring it to life.  

Call for special pricing and availability.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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Masriera Masterpieces

Joden Girl

Dragonflies, Florals and Earthly Things

“Every piece that comes out of workshops is intended to be an artistic expression stemming from the essence of our culture.

A culture with the Mediterranean as its backdrop. We seek perfection in everything we do and create our pieces, always under the rubric of their contemporary style. A philosophy borne out of our workshops, passed down from generation to generation that has continued up until today.”

These words have been taken directly from the Masriera site and highlight all that is desirable about their extraordinary jewels.  The name “Masriera” has become synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship and breathtaking creations that harken back to the late 19th century when Art Nouveau style reigned supreme.

One of the shorter periods in jewelry history, Art Nouveau began around 1890 and continued on for the next twenty years.  It was a celebration of the female form and all things found in nature – flowers, vines, insects, serpents, and leaves.  High karat yellow gold with a matte finish was often the backdrop for multicolored enamels, giving the pieces lifelike appeal.  Rene Lalique, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Lluis Masriera were connoisseurs of the craft.

At Joden, we have a handful of these whimsical wonders.  I love the delicacy of this sweet bee ring.  A rich purple amethyst and a tiny diamond make up the body of the insect while the wings are made from black and opalescent white plique a jour enameling.  It sits perfectly on the finger…  now just $1000.

The next tempting treat is a pendant/brooch combination.  A brightly colored dragonfly sips the nectar from the lotus blossom…  simply charming!  The chain is easily removed from the piece to convert it to a brooch.  This engaging enchantress is available on our site – $5000.

Finally, we have my favorite piece – a daisy chain style bracelet.  The buttery 18 karat yellow gold has a wonderful bisque finish that is the perfect compliment to the pastel colored enamel of each flower…  yellow, lavender, pink, and blue.  Each of the seventeen blossoms has a round brilliant diamond center.  It’s a happy bracelet – I smile every time I look at it.  Please call for additional details.

In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, it’s rare to find a company that honors their old world heritage with superior craftsmanship and a faithful expression of quality.  Over 178 years later, and Masriera is still doing it right.

Each piece is individually numbered and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and the original trademarked Masriera packaging.

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Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

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