Tag Archives: gold

U is for Unlucky (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 25, 2017

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The number thirteen produces strong reactions in people. Many believe the number is unlucky. Much to my surprise, I’ve discovered why many other people insist on believing thirteenth brings good luck. For excellent examples of both sides, click here.

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“Lucky” 13  heart charm. Silver and enamel. Germany circa 1900.

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18k gold decorated with papyrus leaves and platinum set with tiny rose-cut diamonds. France, circa 1900.

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Rose wreath charm with “lucky” 13 inside. Sterling silver, from France.

Sterling silver crescent moon “lucky” 13 charm. Victorian.

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18k gold with diamond, ruby, and aquamarine. Late 19th Century.

 

 

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T for Tiara (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 24, 2017

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A cyclamen tiara by Faberge. In the late 19th Century it was quite fashionable to have tiaras that could also be worn as necklaces.

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House/Maker Henri Sandoz Period Art Nouveau circa 1900. Origin Paris, France. Setting Yellow and green gold, unsigned.

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A belle epoque diamond and pearl aigrette, circa 1900, by Cartier. A tiara that can be hung with either sixteen pear-shaped diamonds and sixteen similarly shaped natural pearls. Though the diamond version does have an extra pear-shaped diamond that hangs down to rest on the forehead. (Don’t you just love having that kind of flexibility in your bling?)

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A unusual belle epoque tiara, 1900, by Boucheron. In some ways a very Art Nouveau design, with large diamond leaves intertwining sinuously with diamond berries.

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Gold, enamel, and mother of pearl. Made by A & J Smith, United Kingdom, circa 1900.

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Gold, enamel, pearls and diamonds. Rene Lalique, France, circa 1900.

 

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S is for Snakes (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 22, 2017

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Gold, enamel, emerald, and diamond. French, 1900.

Art Nouveau 18kt Gold, Opal, and Demantoid Garnet Necklace, designed as writhing serpents with five bezel-set opals, the central opal with demantoid garnet accents.

Double snake belt buckle in sterling silver, set with a garnet.

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By Philippe Wolfers. Belgium, 1898.

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Snake hand bag. Chased silver, antelope skin, silk, and metallic thread. Rene Lalique, circa 1903.

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A serpent drinking from a basin. 18k gold, platinum, emerald, and diamond.

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A female profile bordered by serpents. Plique-a-jour enamel, gold, opal, and pearl. Rene Lalique, circa 1900.

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Art nouveau gold and enamel ear pendants by Rene Lalique, 1900-1902.

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Medusa paperweight. Rene Lalique.

 

 

 

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P is for Pocket Watch (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 19, 2017

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Swiss Gold Diamond and Pearl Pendant Watch circa 1905.

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Gold, cabochon emerald, diamond and green enamel lapel watch. Marcus & Co., circa 1900.

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Museum Quality Enamel and Gem set Lapel Watch by Haas Neveux. 18K Yellow Gold with Fine enamel, gold chasing and accented with numerous Rose cut Diamonds. Stem set Jeweled Nickel lever movement. Porcelain Dial with sunk seconds chapter and Gold hands. Matching case and Movement Numbers and also having the name of Boston Retailer Smith Patterson & co engraved on the movement.

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Gold and enamel lapel watch, circa 1900.

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Art Nouveau 18kt Gold, Enamel, and Diamond Open Face Pendant Watch, the case with enamel flowers and rose-cut diamonds, the cuvette with guilloche enamel, hammered gold accents, the white enamel dial with Arabic numeral indicators and subsidiary seconds dial, stem-wind and stem-set, 27 mm, and suspended from a conforming watch pin, total lg. 2 1/2 in.

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Antique art nouveau Moon Celestial Pocket Watch holder stand. Solid bronze.

 

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O is for Owl (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 18, 2017

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Owl pendant in gold, silver, and enamel, clutching a pearl. Faberge, Moscow, Russia, 1916-1917.

 

Green and rose enamel. The gemstone is likely amethyst.

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Ladies’ evening bag. Leather with textured detailing back and front. Banded agate eyes with rubies surrounding them. Diamond-set beak and claws.

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Hair comb by Paul and Henri Vever, circa 1900. Honey-colored horn embellished with jewels.

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Stomacher brooch by Cartier, 1907. Platinum, diamonds, eight sapphires.

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Art Nouveau owl bookends.

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French art nouveau brooch by Gautrait. Enameled gold, diamond, sapphire and opal.

 

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H is for Hair (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 10, 2017

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For those who don’t know me, I have long hair all the way down to my hips. My romance heroines have long hair. That’s appropriate to the time periods I prefer, plus there is a lot more romantic potential in grooming long hair, pinning it up, letting it tumble down, etc.

The jewelers who favored Art Nouveau designs enjoyed working with women’s hair, whether up, down, or something entirely different!

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Art Nouveau pendant “Poésie” by Paul and Henri Vever, Paris, circa 1900

Unger Bros., sterling silver brooch, circa 1900.

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Gold, enamel, diamond, emerald, pearl.

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Gilded silver locket with chalcedony. German, 1900.

Sterling silver brooch. Unger Bros.

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Gold, enamel, diamond, and pearl. French, 1900.

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G is for Goddess (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 8, 2017

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I’ve had a lifelong interest in mythology, and Greek mythology in particular. Another abundant theme in Art Nouveau is the female form, presented in profile, the face as centerpiece, a maiden in Nature, and of course, the main Goddesses.

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Antique sterling art nouveau locket — large size with repousse Greek Goddess of the Night Nyx. Depicts owl, moon, stars, torch.

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Nike, Goddess of Victory

Gold and enamel, diamond, ruby, pearl and carved opal.

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Zeus and Hera, in gold and sapphire.

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Diana, goddess of the hunt. Brass plated in antique gold. Fine bronze filigree encases the black and ivory cameo. The pendant is decorated with Swarovski opal stones and a black diamond Czech crystal drop.

The Goddess Ceres. Peachy-pink coral, 14k gold with thistle motif.

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Head of the Gorgon Medusa, late 19th Century, Czechoslovakia. The brooch is made of gold, jasper, and pearl. (I include Medusa here because A) some consider her the Goddess of PMS, and B) this is a singular piece.)

This piece of the “Sacred Fire Odyssey” collection represents Vesta, the Goddess of Fire. For me, this is one of Rene Lalique’s supreme creations. From Lalique:

“The majestic, Fine Jewellery Vesta necklace is a perfect demonstration of the House’s craftsmanship and its emblematic jeweller features: a piece that adapts to four different wearing styles, including necklace, brooch or pendant, and the famous mixed-materials technique introduced by René Lalique, in which the precious and non-precious combinations serve the beauty of the motif – a fusion of gold, sapphire, diamond, fire opal, moonstone, engraved mother-of-pearl, cloisonné enamel and crystal.”

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D is for Dragonflies (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 5, 2017

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Another common motif in Art Nouveau is the dragonfly, particularly in the creations of master jeweler Rene Lalique. His name is synonymous with all that is best in Art Nouveau.

From The Jewellry Editor:

The dragonfly embodied many of the themes that the Art Nouveau style evoked: nature; sensuality; metamorphosis from one physical form to another; and a more fantastical approach as in the case of Lalique’s dragonflies turning into women.

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Sterling silver art nouveau dragonfly ring.

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Gold and blue sapphires.

 

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A small, round, moulded-pressed opalescent glass box.

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Tiara: enameled dragonflies all flying toward a large aquamarine.

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Detailed view of the aquamarine and dragonfly tiara.

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Gold dragonfly pitcher by Emile Galle.

There are so many lovely examples of dragonfly art in the world of Art Nouveau. I have room to show only a few. I hope these will encourage you to explore the world of Lalique and his talented contemporaries!

 

 

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B is for Bat (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 3, 2017

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Of the many popular motifs in Art Nouveau jewelry, I have to say bats are among the strangest. Flowers? Sure. Insects? OK. Abstract geometric designs? No problem. But bats?

Thanks to the erudite Jewelry Nerd, you will find some possible answers here.

There are plenty of examples of this particular critter done in various precious metals and gems. I’ve included only a few. I guess the fashionable ladies of La Belle Epoque must have included some Goths!

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Bat pin of plique-a-jour enamel, pearl, diamond, with ruby eyes, 18k gold, 4″ wing span

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Bracelet by Philippe and Marcel Wolfers.

From 1stdibs.com: “A superb and iconic art nouveau portrayal of a Parisian goddess of the Demi-Monde. She has style roots going back to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The very revealing décolleté, flowing hair, bat wings and diamond Aurora head dress suggestively alludes to pagan pleasures and entertainments of the night, the practitioners only heading home with the dawn.”

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Art Nouveau Japanese Inlaid Damascene “Bat and Crescent” necklace in gold and silver.

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Art nouveau Czech bat pin with vaseline rhinestones.

Yes, that’s right. Vaseline rhinestones. Prior to the Cold War, jewelers could use uranium in the creation of certain types of art glass. The results resembled the appearance of the petroleum jelly as it was produced at that time.

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E is for Eiffel Tower


by Lillian Csernica on April 6, 2016

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The one weekend I spent in Paris included a trip to the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  Staring straight up through the tower to its very top was such a dizzying experience I didn’t dare ascend to view the City of Lights from that historic height.

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The bus tour of Paris I’d taken allowed us a chunk of time on Sunday afternoon to go shopping.  I wanted a gold pendant of the Eiffel Tower for my mother.  Off I went through a department store.  Mind you, I was 18 then, and the extent of my French was “Parlez-vous Anglais?”  More often than not, I got a curt “Non.”

When I finally found the jewelry department, I also found a sales woman who clearly did not like the sight of me nor the sound of my bad French accent.  At that point I’d had more than enough of being dismissed.   It is an unfortunate truth, but if there is one language universally spoken by salespeople, it is that of Money.   I took out my entire supply of traveler’s checks, fanned them out, held them up to Madame Francais, and asked, “Parlez-vous American Express?”

She was quickly replaced by Raoul, a charming young man who spoke perfect British English and was the soul of courtesy.  He showed me the range of pendants available, from one as tiny as my little fingernail to one big enough to land a swordfish!

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I exchanged the appropriate amount of traveler’s checks, made my purchase, and departed feeling victorious.  When it comes to making my mother happy, do not mess with me! 😀

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