As I learn about the history of jewelry, the more I understand how people in the past related to death in different ways.
Now Halloween comes closer. Traditionally this is the time to celebrate the death of summer, the season of light, and transition to our season of dark (and for us Seattleites, rain). Halloween is said to be the time when the spirits come closest to our world, hence the masquerading and candle lighting traditions.
Georgian Mourning Ring c. 1810
I see this same other worldly transition between the land of the living and the dead in hair jewelry also known as memento mori jewelry. Here, we see how traces of the dead are carried on and immortalized in the form of precious adornment. There is a certain intimacy and acceptance of death that simultaneously is intriguing and strange, as it brings ideas about mortality much closer to the surface than we are accustomed.
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This entry was posted in Jewelry History and tagged halloween, mourning jewels, Victorian mourning jewelry, Memento Mori Jewelry on October 29, 2013 by Isadoras.
Sometimes we come across the Green Man in antique jewelry.
He is one of our favorite mythical creatures, an ancient and multicultural symbol of fruitfulness and rebirth.
Often, he is seen with leaves growing out of his face and beard. He manifests in many forms of decorative arts throughout history including architectural details, carvings, paintings, and of course jewelry.
Byzantine Green Man Mosaic, 5th century AD
This brilliant early Victorian green man chain naturally left Isadoras as quickly as it arrived, but please enjoy this unique and rare piece regardless!
Check out our RARE AND BEAUTIFUL section for more amazing pieces.
This entry was posted in Jewelry History and tagged antique jewelry history, green man antiques, green man jewelry, unusual antique chains on October 28, 2013 by Isadoras.
Like a little intrigue with your jewelry . . . I do. Our store currently has three exquisite locket rings. Beautiful and fascinating, each ring dates from the Victorian era. Initially each ring looks like a traditional ring, but if you look closer you see a small hinge that opens to reveal a compartment within.
I was so compelled by these secret rings I hit the books (or The World War Web) to see what more I could learn about these compartment rings.
One of the most famous dates from the Renaissance era and belonged to Elizabeth I. It was titled "The Chequers Locket Ring" and it was removed from her finger upon her death.
And it contains a mystery to this day. On one side of the interior of the locket is a painting of Elizabeth but on the other side is the painting of a second woman. And while there is speculation, to this day, no one knows for certain who this second woman is.
Elizabeth I's locket ring may be the most famous but each compartment or locket ring has its own secret, often holding paintings or photos, locks of hair, a devotional relic, or a private message.
Please Visit Our Website For More Beautiful Lockets!
This entry was posted in Jewelry History on October 24, 2013 by Isadoras.
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