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Yale University Exhibition “Allegories, Renditions, and a Small Nation of Women Proclamation

Tanzy Ward

Yale University Exhibition “Allegories, Renditions, and a Small Nation of Women Proclamation

I am honored and excited to be a contributor in the upcoming Yale University/Yale Divinity School Fall exhibit: Small Nation Photographs: Allegories, Renditions, & A Small Nation of Women. The exhibit will emphasize Black Victorian women & the 19th century Black middle class through portraits, jewelry, antique clothing, collage artwork & other historical items. Zanathia Jewelry will have various antiques on display at the exhibit, which includes accessories that feature portraits of Black Victorians, original postcard photos from the 19th century, and other antiques. This exhibit is historically significant and the preservation of these items are important for retelling their stories.  (Collage...


Victorian Times: A Collector's Guide To 19th Century Enamel Designs & Techniques

Tanzy Ward

Victorian Times: A Collector's Guide To 19th Century Enamel Designs & Techniques

   The 19th century jewelry market saw an increase in mass produced designs due to the Industrial Revolution innovations that emerged. New improvements in metalwork techniques also meant improved enameling designs. It is common to see various 19th century Victorian pieces with enamel designs such as taille d'epargne and guilloché. Business firms and company manufacturers mass produced a large amount of Victorian jewelry with metalwork engravings. Intricate designs and new techniques were introduced to Victorians, and quality pieces became more accessible & worn with daytime casual looks.  Before the mid-19th century, elaborate and fashionable jewelry was often confined to the evening for special...


National Preservation Month: Treasure Hunting Black Victorian Antiques

Tanzy Ward

National Preservation Month: Treasure Hunting Black Victorian Antiques

This month for National Historic Preservation Month, it is important to highlight the growing market of highly sought after Black Victorian collectibles. When collecting Victorian antiques, it is rather rare to find sentimental mourning accessories that may feature woven hair strands belonging to a Black Victorian or an engraved locket with an African American portrait inside of its compartment. However, these historically significant items do exist, and are intricate artifacts that are important to preserve.  Victorian Portrait of An Unidentified African American Woman (Personal Collection). Antique Victorian Era Aventurine Beaded Necklace, From the Zanathia Jewelry Collection  History books have often excluded...


Signature Stories: The History of Victorian Monogrammed Jewelry

Tanzy Ward

Signature Stories: The History of Victorian Monogrammed Jewelry

 Originally, monogrammed signatures were reserved for royal coins that identified ancient Greek and Roman diplomats from various regions. However, by the 19th century, it was common for many Victorian citizens to own a sentimental memento with initials carved into gold- and silver-plated accessories. Beforehand, monogrammed items were used to identify the work of local artisans and organizations synonymous with regional kingdoms. However, initial engravings on necklaces were common, with the famous Anne Boleyn 'B' choker-style accessory seen in various paintings of the British Queen. The decorative trend of signature mementos became increasingly popular during the Victorian Era (1837-1901), and could...


Victorian Trend Highlight: Collecting Sweetheart Bracelets & Its Intriguing History

Tanzy Ward

Victorian Trend Highlight: Collecting Sweetheart Bracelets & Its Intriguing History

The 19th century Victorian Era (c.1837-1901) was an expansive period that emphasized various symbolic memento trends. Many Victorian accessories often feature designs that are sentimental in nature, which includes religious and mythological references. One accessory in particular, the sweetheart bracelet, has an intriguing history that is both sweet and immensely symbolic.   Victorian Sweetheart bracelets were very popular memento sentimental accessories during the Victorian Era and early 20th century.   Originally, sweetheart bracelets were gifted to children, many of which contained paste stones and engraved initials. The trend became rather popular among women as well, and soon adult sizes were being manufactured. After...