Flowers are one of the most common motifs in jewelry, which is not surprising. It is our natural desire to replicate nature’s ephemeral beauty in enduring works of art.
Each piece of lovely, floral-themed jewelry from the antique heirloom collection at Isadoras is special – reflecting the spirit of the era in which it was created.
Fashionable flower motifs were common in the late Georgian Era, but jewelry designs became more realistic during the early Victorian Era.
These lovely 15KT gold Victorian pietra dura earrings utilized inlays of highly polished stone to create the flowers and leaves.
This sweet, seed pearl flower ring is saturated with sentiment. In the Victorian Era, lovers were obsessed with secret languages assigned to love tokens. Flowers were assigned specific meanings. For example, a daisy meant innocence, while a sunflower indicated adoration.
In the Art Nouveau Era, stylized flowers were once again popular; designs were curvaceous and whimsical. Flowers never used in jewelry before became the norm – water lilies, fuchsias, and poppies.
Simultaneously in the Edwardian Era, flower designs were used decoratively in garland necklaces.
Art Deco design decried flowing lines and adopted cubism. However, many motifs of the time still included flowers. Egyptian motif jewelry was popular and included figurative representations of lotus blossoms. Flowers were often carved in gemstones.
These striking pieces personify the geometry, symmetry, and boldness of Deco design, which is reflected even further in the carved, stylized flowers.
In the Retro Era, floral motifs flourished – but with a difference. Jewelers now incorporated movement. Big, chunky jewelry often featured articulated petals and leaves – though bolder and less realistic.
Movement was especially important, as embodied in the sway of the dangle earrings, and the lift of the watch’s articulated cover.
After WWII, fashion returned to femininity. Midcentury jewelry was open, airy, and textural. Flowers were a popular motif often emphasized by gemstones.
This beautiful midcentury necklace features three quartz flowers accented with sapphire pistils. Flower representation in jewelry during the mid-twentieth century evolved from the large, articulated Retro Era flowers to a more natural and realistic depiction.
All of these lovely pieces come from the heirloom collection at Isadoras. Please stop by and visit us in-store or online to see more of our amazing antique jewelry.
This entry was posted in Jewelry History, Inspiration and tagged flowers, carved, movement, festoon necklace, works of art, language of love, florals, floral motif, Georgian, Isadoras, Earrings, Victorian, Retro, Isadoras Antique Jewelry, Art Deco on February 3, 2017 by Jill Schoenleber.
Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. - Allen Ginsberg
I saw her on a Saturday afternoon, walking crisply through the park. Her muted face projected a stony solemnity. I would be unable to conjure the details of her nose or eyes, only seconds later. Rather, I was seized by the sun glinting off the long strands of gold wound in slim skeins around her neck - pouring down the front of her purple sweater. Each finger was adorned with gorgeous candy-colored gemstone rings – yet her hands did not harbor the weight; they fluttered at her sides with more emotion than her austere mouth, bangles sighing gently.
In that moment, I fell in love with the way she wore her jewelry.
How do you wear your antique jewelry?
Do you carefully wear one piece at-a-time?
Do you love to wear the same piece every day?
Do you wait until a special occasion to bring out your favorite piece?
Or, do you mix it up?
Whatever your style - follow your inner moonlight.
Allow the passion for your antique jewelry to guide you, portray you, emphasize your persona and your passion for life.
Instead of wearing one diamond eternity band, why not wear three? Instead of wearing a solo French chain, why not add a locket or a fob and add a shorter articulated niello chain for contrast?
Wear pearls and diamonds during the day; mix metals, and colors and eras.
I asked a friend what pushing the boundaries of personal expression meant to her in relation to her own jewelry collection. She told me that she tended to wear pieces that expressed her mood.
A sense of happiness spawned more gold and glamour than those days when she felt less than herself. And the pieces she gravitated towards more often were the pieces given to her with love.
Whatever your style - be true to who you are.
Marchesa Luisa Casati was known for saying that she wished to be considered a living work of art. She dressed over-the-top, threw lavish costume parties, and was partial to strings of pearls that fell to her feet. She followed her inner moonlight nearly all of her adult life.
Edith Sitwell was a poet famous for her strong personality punctuated by an acerbic wit, odd Elizabethan style of dress, and ornate rings.
Whatever your style – don’t hide the madness.
This entry was posted in Our Thoughts, Fashion Icons and tagged inner moonlight, heirloom collection, antique, Engagement Rings, non traditional engagement rings, alternative engagement rings, antique jewelry, Isadoras Antique Jewelry, Diamonds, Art Deco on October 19, 2016 by Jill Schoenleber.
The collection blossomed from a gift - an Art Deco platinum ring - a simple band from the 1930s, glowing with tiny diamonds. Soon after, she singled out a pair of cut steel earrings that swayed gently against the curve of her cheek when she laughed. Later, she resonated with a royal purple amethyst cocktail ring; she wore it on her thumb. The long French chain came next – the brilliance of the 22KT gold spoke to her, and the structure reminded her of her youth, when possibilities seemed endless.
In this moment, gazing at her growing heirloom collection of antique jewelry, she realized that possibilities are always there, simply waiting for a chance.
Whether consciously or not, we all externally project our own mythologies.
You might express yourself with bright blue tresses, a Japonisme-inspired tattoo, a pair of pink converse high tops, or your grandmother’s locket - which you vow to wear every day.
Jewelry is a key component of your visual identity, as both an expression of beauty and an acceptance of an artistic aesthetic that speaks to you on a deeply personal level.
It tells your story to a passerby, offers a piece of your psyche to someone who many never truly know you.
And the true beauty, is that you wear your jewelry the way you want to, the way that brings your story to life.
When you choose a one-of-a-kind antique piece to express yourself, you create a personal sensibility that is uniquely descriptive of your own expression.
You are curating a look that incorporates the jewelry of another’s past life, but in this moment, it is your individual story alone.
Your antique jewelry choices author your narrative – telling the story others will remember.
This entry was posted in Our Thoughts, Inspiration and tagged telling your story, Engagement Rings, Sapphires, Necklaces, antique jewelry, Diamonds, Art Deco, Rings on October 13, 2016 by Jill Schoenleber.
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