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Original or Imitation? Tips For Identifying Authentic Antique Jewelry

Tanzy Ward

When I first started curating antique jewelry, sometimes it would be challenging trying to find authentic antique period era styles. There is nothing wrong with replica styles and paying homage to original pieces, but collectors like myself are in love with actual memory-filled historic jewelry from the past. Of course, there are true vintage jewelry styles that were inspired by earlier times, such as the Victorian-Revival era of the 1970's & 80's. These Victorian-Revival era pieces are at least 30-40 years old, and were designed to resemble jewelry from the original Victorian era (c.1837-1901). As the years and eras go...

Days of The Brooch Are Not Over: Modern Refreshing Ways to Use Brooches & Pins

Tanzy Ward

    The glory days of the brooch are not gone. In fact, there are new refreshing ways to wear them for endless inspiration. In ancient times, brooches were used as a functional item to hold pieces of cloth together, but by the 14th century many wealthy people wore them with gemstones as a social status statement. Eventually, brooches became a popular accessory created with imitation stones such as rhinestones. As time went on, the aesthetic of the brooch eventually included looks such as the black and gold engraved Victorian era mourning brooches and monogrammed c-clasp pins of the 1900's....

The Arts & Crafts Revival Movement: A Short Lived Era With An Ongoing Legacy

Tanzy Ward

  Although the first Arts & Crafts revival jewelry period was short lived (c.1890-c.1910), the era left an impressive mark that is still being celebrated today. The Arts and Crafts period emphasized the return to hand-crafted jewelry without the use of machinery. The jewelry designs often included natural semi precious stones, enameling, beading, or intricate metalwork as the focal point. In this era, nature and artistic merit were emphasized while mechanization was negatively critiqued. In the original Arts & Crafts Jewelry era, the philosophical viewpoints of the natural world from writers such as John Ruskin and Owen Jones inspired the...

Highlight: The Fascinating Victorian Jewelry Era History

Tanzy Ward

  The Victorian jewelry era (1837-1901), was named after Queen Victoria, whose reigned lasted from 1837-1901. Queen Victoria is the second longest ruling monarch, and there were three periods within the Victorian Jewelry era that were greatly inspired by her.  The Romantic Era (1837-60), celebrated the monarch's love with the love of her life, Prince Albert. This era of Victorian jewelry was full of sentimental and symbolic jewelry, such as the engagement ring Prince Albert gave his new bride. The serpent engagement ring symbolized eternity, and the simple yet romantic allure of this gesture greatly influenced the first period of...

The Choker: A Fascinating Retrospective & History

Tanzy Ward

    Far from a newer trend, the choker has went by many names and purposes for centuries. Women in both the ancient Sumer-Mesopotamia & Egypt empires layered chokers with other necklaces for protection and power. During the French Revolution in 1798, ribbons were worn around the necks to honor those who were killed by the guillotine. Anne Boleyn, King Henry VII of England's second wife, was portrayed in a painting wearing a pearl strand choker-like necklace with the letter 'B' pendant around her neck. The choker was not only a chic accessory for wealthy women belonging to a royal...

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