IntoTemptation…..jewellery musings

Thoughts on jewelry, accessories and whatever else takes my fancy

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Jewel of the day: Schreiner Necklace/Pin

Though there are many vintage designers I have a soft spot for, perhaps Schreiner is the one for which I have the most admiration. Long out of business, the designs are still sharp and bold and so wearable today. The designs don’t mimic trends popular from the late 30s through the 70s, so I can only imagine how eye catching they looked when first worn.

Henry Schreiner, who got his start making belts, buckles and buttons, innovated with specially cut stones, often reverse set with their points facing out, fabulous settings, much of it f japanned (or blackened) or gunmetal.

This necklace has gunmetal base metal, and is set with open backed clear, grey and pale yellow stones. The centre piece detaches and can be worn as a brooch. It’s a very large necklace but because the colours are muted it has a quiet elegance. I bought this with only a single earring … would love someday to have its mate.  There are a lot of great Schreiner pieces still out there, and considering the fine workmanship and materials, they can be had for very reasonable prices.

Schreiner necklace



Jewel of the day: Swarovski Volupt Brooch

I find this Volupt brooch from Swarovski intriguing. I was told it’s meant to be worn at the collar, presumably with one piece on either side. They don’t show a photo of the reverse, so I am assuming there is a pin back on each of the elements. (I think a clip mechanism probably would have been easier to use …)

It’s available from Swarovski for USD $100.

I’m dubious that this is the start of a new trend. It actually reminds me of the sweater clips so popular in the 1950s, and the cloak clasps used in the 1800 and early 1900s. What do you think – cool vintage look or a retro fad that needs more time to pass by before it makes a reapperance?

Swarovski Volupt brooch

Jewel of the Day: Christian Dior Vintage Brooches

These Christian Dior brooches incorporate a few of my favourite things: they have pearls, rhinestones, drops, size, and they are vintage. And fifty plus years after they were made, they still wow.

Despite the fact that the pearls are peeling on the one on the left, I still wear and love them. Dior worked with many manufacturers but these, marked Made in Germany, were likely produced for the firm by Henkell & Grosse. They used high quality plating, rhinestones and glass pearls.  And the earlier pieces are mostly dated on the reverse, which is incredibly helpful to collectors. Too often, costume jewellery was seen as cheap and disposable and higher end manufacturers who signed and dated their work showed their pride in their designs.

I fell in love with the one on the left when I saw it in a book years ago and finally tracked it down on Ebay. Interestingly, it is dated 1961 and the one on the right, so similar in style and materials, was dated 1966. On the cusp of the flower power revolution, it must have looked extremely ladylike and, well fusty. Now, I think it just looks glorious.

Dior drops

Jewel of the day: Delfina Delettrez Addolorata Ring

Delfina Delettrez has a bit of an obsession with lips, eyes, hearts and arrows. These motifs recur repeatedly in her jewellery.

In this ring for Latest Revival, she manages to work a few of these in. The piece is made with 9-karat gold-plated silver set with 60 black diamonds (0.70-carat) and three ruby tear drops (0.90-carat). It sells for USD $2,750 on Latest Revival’s site. They also have some limited edition pieces by Delettrez and other designers in costume and fine jewellery. Worth a look.

Delfina Delettrez Adolore ring

Jewel of the day: Metropolitan Museum of Art Deco Chinoiserie Pendant Necklace

It is something of a joke among my friends that I love museums or, more accurately, their gift shops. On my last several trips to New York, I spent hours in the gift shops and saw not a single exhibit.

Sue me. I think the gift shops offer a really fabulous array of interesting pieces often drawn from the museum’s own collection or period influences. And so it is here, with this great Chinoiserie pendant necklace (and it has matching earrings and a cuff – be still my heart) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Museum explains, “Our splendid pendant necklace is based on a necklace pictured in a rare catalogue in the Museum’s collection, which was issued about 1920 by Dreicer & Co. of New York (1868–1927). In its day, the firm rivaled Cartier, and was noted for its fine adornments in platinum, diamonds, and pearls. Dreicer & Co.’s necklace illustrates the popularity of Chinese motifs in Art Deco jewelry designs of the 1920s.

Imitation rhodium overlay, with carved resin, Czech crystals, glass, and cultured freshwater pearls. Box-and-tongue closure. 32”L; pendant: 2 1/4”L.”

I learned something – imitation rhodium overlay?? I also can’t help wishing the carved resin was actually glass. Well, at least the pearls are real, and the price is great: USD $90, $81 for members. The matching earrings are USD $50 ($45 for members) and the cuff bracelet is USD $125 ($112. 50 for members). I know where I’ll be heading on my next visit….

MMA deco chinoiserie necklace

MMA deco chinoiserie set


Jewel of the day: Larry Vrba Elephant and Monkey Brooch

Yeah, I knew all that minimalism couldn’t last. But I am still on a found objects kick, hence, this fun (and huge) brooch by Larry Vrba. Huge as in 5 inches long by 4 inches wide

It’s definitely large and in charge and you won’t be missed wearing it. Made with a wooden centrepiece of a monkey riding an elephant, and set with coral glass stones and rhinestones. It has a fur clip mechanism. Available from yours truly and my web site IntoTemptation for USD $275.

Larry Vrba pin

Jewel of the day: Grainne Morton Daguerrotype Brooch

Early photography is so intriguing – how people had to sit still for so long to capture a sharp image. How those images usually show people in their finest clothing as, unlike today, having one’s photo taken was a special and rare event. The daguerrotype was one early photographic method, with the resulting image on a piece of glass that was encased in a velvet lined, leather or paper finished “frame”.

Here, Grainne Morton has taken the somewhat faded original image of a woman, and used the case to fashion a brooch with several found items and compartments. I love the way the tiny trinkets have been placed behind the image, almost as thoughts made concrete. The one-of-a-kind piece sells for £950.

Grainne Morton daguerrotype 1

Grainne Morton daguerrotype 2


Jewel of the day: Keith Lo Bue’s Sentiment and Action Pendant

I love that not only was this amazing piece crafted of found objects but that the pendant itself was rather misplaced at a gallery and only recently found and returned to artisan Keith Lo Bue.

In his own words, “Pendant adjustable along length of cord, bolo tie style

Bannister post fragment, steel wing nuts, king crab legs, copper, Sterling silver, Victorian photo-lithograph, opals, clock key, leather, paper, stainless steel bolo mechanism, soil.

Returned to me after a long stint hidden away and forgotten in a drawer at a gallery, this is a rare opportunity to own one of the last remaining pieces of my late-1990’s jewelry. Sentiment and Action can be adjusted up or down to sit at any point on the chest or neck.”

It is available from Lo Bue’ web site for USD $1,690.

Keith Lo Bue sentiment-and-action


Jewel of the day: mardecoLorrosa Abstract Necklace

I’m on a bit of a minimalist kick this week but I’m sure I will soon be distracted by glitter and glitz and glam overkill. In other words, it won’t last.

Montserrat Lacomba, designing under the name Mar de Color Rosa and selling on Etsy, offers a line of fun and sleek designs. Here, a one of a kind piece made of oxidized brass and oxidized and enameled copper. It sells for a very reasonable USD $53.42 through his shop.

Marco Delorrosa necklace

Jewel of the day: Shinji Nakaba Aluminum Hydrangea Brooch

Madonna famously dissed a fan who dared to give her a huge bouquet of hydrangeas (Madge hates ’em, wouldn’t you know) but I was enthralled wandering through the web site of Japanese artist Shinji Nakaba, So many amazing pieces from which to choose, and I settled on this huge and luscious hydrangea, made of aluminum, of all things.

It sells for 56,000 Japanese Yen (about USD $573 at the time of writing; Nakaba has thoughtfully provided a currency converter on each item’s page so you can check for yourself if interested).

Just don’t tell Madonna.

Shinji Nakaba aluminum hydrangea brooch


Shinji Nakaba aluminum hydrangea brooch2

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