Joe’s Special Box – Volume 1

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and A Collector’s Things

Behind the golden oak door of Joe’s desk are three worn cardboard boxes.  Each is hand-inscribed with a thick, black Sharpie…  “Joe’s Special Box”.  The edges of the boxes have split apart and been repaired with clear tape.  Each one is filled to overflowing with delicious little treasures – the best of the best. 

For as long as I can remember, Joe has kept this small stash; a jewelry lover’s dream.  It all began with one small box for one small girl…  Joe’s daughter, Sara.  When Joe found a piece that was particularly sweet – he tucked it in the box with the intention of giving it to Sara someday.  None of the items were terribly expensive, but they were pristine.  Each one even more lovely than the last.  Did I mention that the items inside were not for sale?

As the years went by and the business grew, so did the box.  Now that it has expanded into three boxes, Joe is willing to make some of the items available to you.  Each week, I will be sharing an item from the box.

I adore these conversion earrings!  Originally they were cufflinks that graced the cuffs of a gentleman’s sleeves  – since then, they’ve been converted to the earrings you see here. 

The center of each one is a hand-carved piece of deep-sea red coral – cut into a Victorian square.  The coral is accented by four platinum marquises… each one set with three tiny rose cut diamonds.  The outer ring is created from a circular sculpted piece of black onyx.  The deceptively simple design is the epitome of Edwardian elegance.  Available now for just $800.

Don’t forget to tune in each Monday for the newest item from Joe’s Special Box.  Until then…

Go to our site and look, then 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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Be Still My Heart

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Classic Things

Looking out the front window from my desk, the sun is blazing in the November sky.  People are walking downtown in short sleeves, they’re riding in their cars with the windows down.  It’s almost impossible to believe that the holidays are right around the corner, but nevertheless – it’s true.  The Christmas shopping season is upon us.  Here, at Joden, the last week has been filled with early birds…  those customers who know exactly what they want and are here to get it.

The remaining four weeks will bring many more customers.  Most are hoping to be inspired by the unique treasures that Joden is known for – seed pearl trimmed Victorian rings, delicate lingerie necklaces, and Art Deco gems of every kind.

During the last couple days of shopping, customers will be here for the classics – diamond studs, gold necklaces, sapphire rings…  and the inevitable – hearts.  Diamond hearts, ruby hearts, and heart lockets.  Hearts, hearts, hearts!  Over the years, I have seen hundreds of pieces of heart jewelry; each time I am left with the same feeling.  Blah.  I don’t like hearts.  They just aren’t my thing.  Hearts strike me as ordinary.  Nothing special.

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Let me be the first to say it.  I love it when Joden proves me wrong!  Recently, we acquired this wonderful heart-shaped locket, circa 1830.

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This piece was handcrafted at the end of the Georgian Period and the beginning of the Victorian Period.  It’s encrusted with over one hundred rose cut garnets and is accented by a sixteen inch necklace that is comprised of fifty-six bezel set garnets.

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Opening the locket reveals a piece of yellowed silk still contained inside.

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I love every single aspect of this piece…  it is absolutely charming.  At nearly 200 years old, this necklace would be the perfect Christmas gift for anyone…  even a Joden Girl.

You can go to our website and look, or you can come to Joden and touch.

Written by Carrie Martin

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