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

Facebook
Facebook
INSTAGRAM
Pinterest
Pinterest

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

Facebook
Facebook
INSTAGRAM
Pinterest
Pinterest

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. 

Sign up for our newsletter today and have Joden Girl delivered right to your inbox.

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Shelly Isacco

Facebook
Facebook
INSTAGRAM
Pinterest
Pinterest