IntoTemptation…..jewellery musings

Thoughts on jewelry, accessories and whatever else takes my fancy

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

Jewel of the day: Georgian Mourning Ring

Happy Halloween! To keep the jewellery in the general them, here is a sweet mourning ring, made in 1780 of gold and platinum and what looks like black enamel surrounding an ivory engraving of an urn.

The motto is “J.L. Vivra Dans Mon Coeur”, presumably dedicated to the memory of the late J.L. and noting he or she will live on in the wearer’s heart.

Mourning was commemorated in dress and and jewellery, often using visuals of urns, weeping willow trees, hearts, and various mottos. Black was the favoured colour, using enamel, Whitby jet, glass and onyx. Hair was also used as a material, though hair jewellery became its own craze during the Victorian period, unrelated to mourning.

This piece is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, though not on view. The museum did just launch a small exhibit, entitled Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.

May your Halloween be more festive than mournful!

Met Museum Mourning Ring


Jewel of the day: Missoni Knit Earrings

Knitted fabric is certainly what comes to mind when thinking of Missoni, who use an almost bargello-like technique for their highly recognizable designs. I did not realize that they use knitted fabrics for complementary jewellery as well, but here you have these earrings as proof.

Made of green, black and white fabric, accented with grey and pink rings, they are a nice way to add colour to what can be a dark, monochromatic winter wardrobe. They sell for USD $240.

Missoni earrings

Jewel of the day: Paula Mendoza Nereus Bracelet

I love the striking form and fluidity of the bracelet, dubbed Nereus after the shapeshifting Greek god, by Paula Mendoza.

What I like less is the price point of USD $575 for silver plated brass. I am a huge collector and lover of costume jewellery, which this certainly is. But this is a price at which it may have been possible to consider using solid sterling silver instead of plating.

The piece is available at Net-A-Porter if price is no object (or you feel this object is worth the price).

Paula Mendoza Mereus bracelet1

Paula Mendoza Mereus bracelet 2


Jewel of the day: Sappho by Kim Smiley Metallic Lace Bracelet

On to other unconventional materials for jewellery (though not nearly as unconventional in use as yesterday’s post). Canada’s Kim Smiley makes lace pieces that can be worn (quite beautifully) as jewellery.

She notes, “Sapphô by Kim Smiley is dedicated to beauty for the public good. One recognizes a Sapphô creation in the blink of an eye. Each quintessentially feminine piece is handmade and one of a kind. Conceived as wearable works of art, the Collection marries antique and metallic lace; gems, vintage objects and precious metals. Sapphô is a platform for poetry and the public good. The company provides employment opportunities for marginalized women at a living wage. Every design in the Collection is inspired by a poet, famous or emerging, and accompanied by a poem. Taking its social mission to the street, Sapphô hosts “trunk shows” in the homes of patrons; a percentage of proceeds are then donated to charity. Think beauty for the public good. For further information or to purchase a custom made work of art from Sapphô, please email kim [!at]”

This metallic lace bracelet is available for Cdn $195 from Etsy.

Sappho metallic lace bracelet

Jewel of the day: Naomi Kihzner Energy Addicts Jewellery

Naomi Kihzner is an Israeli industrial designer, and her Energy Addicts jewellery is a statement on our use of energy, and a discussion about “about how far will we go to in order to ‘feed’ our addiction in the world of declining resources.” (It was also her final school design project.)

The jewellery operates on the wearer’s blood supply (to turn wheels and cogs inside) and is lightly embedded in the skin. It wouldn’t be the first time that jewellery was used for a specific purpose unrelated to adornment. I know it isn’t meant to be used to create meaningful energy, and is a statement more than anything, but it’s a very intriguing concept. I could see “jewellery” being used as a device to deliver medication or monitor vital signs in this way…

Naomi Kihzner Energy Addicts

Jewel of the day: Tiffany Victoria Diamond Earrings

I’ve long thought that these Tiffany Victoria earrings are something special. A very simple design – four marquise diamonds in a pinwheel shape, they are very striking when worn, provided you buy a large enough size. The issue with that – these medium sized Victorias, with a total weight of just over 1 carat – cost USD $8,200. Yes, whoever said simplicity is cheap?

So when I came across these cubic zirconia and sterling silver copies … well, you know what happened. If ever anyone wants to gift me with the real deal, I will be happy to accept. In the meantime, long live costume jewellery.

Tiffany Victoria Earrings

Tiffany Victoria copy

Jewel of the day: Nourbel & Le Cavelier Nada Roma Bluet Micromosaic Earrings

Nourbel & Le Cavelier is based in London; they sell beautiful jewels, judging from their web site. If you want detailed information, you will have to visit or contact them.

These delightfully mismatched earrings are, in their (succinct) words, “A pair of Micromosaics set with diamonds, Tourmalines and Tanzanites. One of a kind piece. Nada Roma exclusive design.”

Pretty. And no doubt pricey.

Nourbel LeCavelier Earrings

Jewel of the day: Patricia Locke Premiere Necklace

This necklace by Patricia Locke is made of silver (not sure if that means sterling) and …. mystery stones. I am never sure why websites (particularly good ones like The Giving Tree, where this can be purchased) don’t provide information on metal content, stones, weight, finish, length/size, etc. But …. they didn’t in this case.

It sells for USD $288 if you are inclined to contact them to find out more, or just prefer to be surprised.

Patricia Locke Premiere Necklace


Jewel of the day: Patricia von Musulin Four Strands Necklace

I don’t own anything by Patricia von Musulin, though I really feel I should remedy that. This necklace, new to the collection at the MOMA store in NY (and online) is clean and elegant, in keeping with her aesthetic.

The museum notes it “made of multicolored round and flat faceted natural stones—red and picture jasper, green aventurine, sodalite, rose quartz, yellow jade, and silver leaf agate—strung and hand-knotted on silk. Finished with a handmade sterling-silver clasp, a signature of notable jewelry designer and sculptor designer Patricia von Musulin, whose work is featured in museum collections nationwide. Comes with a black felt pouch for storage. Handmade in New York.”

It sells for USD $775, $620 for museum members.

Patricia von Musulin Four Strands Necklace

Jewel of the day: Coro Sterling Silver Jardiniere Pin

Coro was such a staple of costume jewellery, and there is so much of it out there in vintage land, that it’s easy to forget that the brand offered some really fine designs over its long lifespan – 1900-1979. (If you want to know more about the brand, I recommend this overview of the company and its marks, at Illusion Jewels.)

Though not a collector of Coro, I have had some finely made pieces over this years. This sterling silver jardiniere, set with coloured rhinestones, is a case in point. It’s heavy, and well made and has stood the test of time; it was likely made in the 1940s. It’s available from my vintage site, into, for USD $375.

Coro Jardiniere Pin

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