IntoTemptation…..jewellery musings

Thoughts on jewelry, accessories and whatever else takes my fancy

Archive for the month “July, 2009”

Jewel of the day: Christian Dior 1964 rhinestone pin

This pin is BIG – four inches long. And intriguing. I don’t know if it was made for wear during Christmas, because those are certainly holiday colours. But the different mix of stones is fascinating to me – the top features rhinestone cabochons and clear rounds. The “tail” is set with opaque glass jade colourd stones, and fuchsia and clear rhinestones, all marquise shaped. At first I wondered if it was a marriage of two different pieces but the back shows no signs that after market soldering might have occurred. I think it was just the firm’s very creative use of stones and colour. Signed Chr. Dior 1964 Germany on the reverse. I believe that this was made for Dior by the German firm of Henkel and Grosse.



Jewel of the day: German silver, marcasite and semi-precious stone bracelet

I saw this online and fell in love. I prefer paste/rhinestones to marcasite, but this was special. The carved semi-precious stones, the nouveau verging on deco design… all of it. The carved stones are influenced by the fine jewellery trend of “tutti frutti”, or the fruit salad stones first popularized by Cartier. This fits very closely to the wrist, which is a plus, as it won’t easily bang against other things and potentially cause stones to fall out.


Jewel of the day: Verdura heart

I have always loved this heart made of cabochon rubies and wrapped with diamond ribbons by Fulco de Verdura. He began his career making jewelry for Coco Chanel and designed the Maltese cross cuffs she is well known for. The heart was first made in 1941 and I believe remains available. Though Verdura died in 1978, his designs can be purchased at the company’s boutique in NY. Bring a lot of money or your Amex black card. 


Jewel of the day: Iradj Moini ivy leaf brooch

This is a huge piece, about six inches long, and really needs sturdy fabric to stay upright. Perfect pin for a winter coat. I love Iradj Moini pieces, particularly some of the earlier ones.


Jewel of the day: Antonio Pineda wing bracelet

I wrote about this briefly earlier in my blog but wanted to include a full picture of the front and back.

I went to the Pineda exhibit at UCLA earlier this year hoping to see another one like this but there was nothing similar. Pineda’s bracelets tend to be almost mechanical looking in design, with interlocking pieces that move like machinery, so to me, this is a departure for him and I haven’t seen anything that looks like it. I would guess that it’s late 50s but don’t know for certain.

I’ve included a picture of both the front and back so you can see how it truly does look like a wing. It has to be worn carefully to keep the three and half inches that juts out from the wrist from knocking into things and being potentially damaged.

Antonio bracelet

Antonio bracelet back

Jewel of the day: Robert Sorrell jewelled buddha pin

This pin is a definite eye catcher. It’s quite large so I usually wear it on a coat or blazer. I initially thought it was, well, an odd juxtaposition but have since discovered that jewelled buddhas are not uncommon.

I love Robert Sorrell’s work … very graceful and he often uses unusual combinations of materials.


Jewel of the day: basket of aces fur clip

I love the wit in this piece, a small basket upended with a pile of aces tumbling out. Interestingly, the patent for this can be found at the US Patent Office (although you may need to install an ActiveX control to view the TIFF file) here 

(I’ve tried to do this as HTML code but for some reason, WordPress is fighting me on this – sorry for the long link!)

The patent dates the piece to September 17, 1949 and describes the company as “Charms by Marchal”. The clip, with two prongs on the back, is not signed.


Jewel of the day: Avon of Belleville sterling pin

Not to be confused with Avon the door to door makeup company, Avon of Belleville was started in Belleville, Ontario by the Mazer brothers, also known for jewellery signed under their own names. (Confused yet?)

Backs are marked Avon in script, quite different from the jewellery Avon did produce. This piece is unusual in that the stones are unfoiled and that it is gold washed sterling. Very Marie Antoinette in appearance to me, though on a much smaller scale!


Jewel of the day: Staret feather pin

Staret was an American jewellery company active for only a few years at the beginning of the 1940s. They are best known  for their figurals, especially an enamelled and rhinestone pin of a hand holding a torch, a la Statue of Liberty. (I have a copy of this, since the original is quite scarce and very expensive…)

This feather is made, like most of their pieces, of pot metal and rhinestones. The flow is lovely and at nearly sixty years old, it still sparkles brightly.


Chatting with the Sherman family

Sandra and I have been fortunate to have had several discussions with Gus Sherman’s children about our book. We have been very gratified by the kind comments they have made and, since the family does not own a lot of their father’s work, pleased to have been able to provide a visual record of some of his rarest and most stunning designs.

Just being able to hear more about his work philosophy, how he committed to quality throughout his career, and left behind an enormous design legacy, has been wonderful. They are immensely proud of their father as a businessman and a designer and it is, frankly, an honour to be able to talk to them about his work.

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