Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lockets: Repositories of Memories, Photographs and Relics

A selection of pendant lockets, mostly Victorian, ranging in price from $55 to $95, except for the pearl and gold locket on the bottom left which is priced at $395.
 Of all the types of jewelry, lockets are by far the most versatile and personal form. Lockets go back in history a long way. In the earliest of times they served as containers for important items, like medicines, and deadly potions, like poison! In Georgian days, lockets were often part of the cadre of accoutrements known as mourning jewelry. These were often black (vulcanite or jet) or black enamel on gold. The motifs were very mystical and dark.
This onyx and carnelian Victorian locket contains a memorial relic, probably ashes ($195)
Religious uses were common, such as reliquaries, prayer books and saintly images. The Spanish had a tradition of petitioning the saints for miracles using milagros, or trinkets of significance about their particular need. The milagros locket was used in the most special of requests to enclose the item to be placed at the feet of the saint.
This enameled locket has a complete Stations of the Cross inside. (Not for sale)
The mourning and memorial jewelry of the Victorian era included lockets of hair, ashes, personal items and images. Photography was relatively common by the second half of the 1800s and miniature hand painted portraits were done by fine artists as well as itinerant folk artists.
The locket on the left is a reliquary; the one on the right contains a lock of hair. Photos courtesy of Perfect Likeness, Julie Aronson and Marjorie E. Wieseman. (Not for sale)
By the end of the Victorian era, lockets had become a very romantic symbol. Many were in the shape of hearts. These were expected to be worn near the wearer's heart so that the lovers would be forever close.
Victorian gold-filled and silver lockets ($65-$85)
While lockets of gold and silver are most desirable, they have been made of many different materials, from brass and crystal to filigree and enamel, and encrusted with diamonds, pearls and precious stones as well as rhinestones. Many of the late-Victorian and Edwardian era lockets were gold-filled metal, with a base of either silver or brass. While most lockets are in the form of pendants and necklaces, they can also be found on bracelets, rings and brooches, as well as charms and watch fobs.
Victorian gold-filled watch fob locket ($65)
Early 1900s 14k gold and pearl locket ($395)
A pair of early- to mid-century locket brooches ($59 each)
Lovely enamel decorated and multi-colored gold lockets that show the range of materials and workmanship in lockets of the Arts & Crafts and Art Deco time frame. (Not for sale)
Early 1900s brooch locket, gold-filled with seed pearls. Note the multiple, spring loaded places to hold photos and locks of hair ($125)
Whenever you get an antique or vintage locket, the anticipation of what you will find inside is part of the intrigue. Photos are by far the most common, but finding a hand painted image, a lock of hair, a bit of a relic, or a poem inside is like WOW!
This locket has no photo, which is true of many that we find.
This spectacular leather covered locket has a hand painted miniature portrait inside. Photo courtesy of Perfect Likeness, Julie Aronson and Marjorie E. Wieseman. (Not for sale)
These are great to collect, as they require very little space, have a broad range of prices and the motifs are as varied as the pebbles in a stream. Most of the lockets shown above are available online. If one you like is not online, please contact us about it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Inspiration • Fresh Ideas • New Products

We are just back from Atlanta where we attended the second of the three January markets. After the Holidays, it's great to reload the creative energies and find new ideas for projects and products. And we found some wonderful new items for you ... and fresh, exciting inspiration for the new year. Here's a bit of what we found. Most of it will not ship for a few months, but the antique-vintage items are in the shop now. We will get them online soon. Enjoy ...
We have the Queen sign in stock • The wallpaper made from old book pages is great!
There are several vendors that we visit who just have that gift of style. They inspire us not only to place orders for their products, but also to think of how we can incorporate these ideas into our displays in Vintages and to give ideas to our customers as well.
This display of Santos figures is wonderful. Come see the selection we have at Vintages.
Millinery feathers, old paper, twigs ... create!
Just loved these old bicycle wheels and bottle lamps.
Makes you want to curl up with a book under that lamp.
Everything here is different ... yet they relate to each other within the space.
By now, you probably have figured out that we love Victorian-era jewelry. Well, we found a trove of early-1900s Victorian pendants, necklaces and earrings, most incorporating luscious Bohemian or Czech glass. We even found this beautiful Prussian enamel and turquoise pencil.
This is a novel way to use and display jewelry.
Victorian era silver jewelry.
Early 1900s jewelry • Bohemian/Czech glass, cameos, pearls, lockets.
This pendant is a sparkling array of amethysts, tourmaline and crystals all set in 14k gold.
This Prussian pencil is decorated in enamel and turquoise over a gold-filled base.
These three early-19th century bibles are magnificent. They are in pristine condition, have wonderful old pages and text. These are either German or Swedish.
Got some wonderful old pansy millinery flowers and ordered these whimsical scotty dogs and ribbon to match!
Vintage velveteen pansy flower bunches, still with original tags.
These doggies are too darn cute!
It's hard to get pumped up over items for the fall and holiday season, but now is the time we order for Halloween and Christmas. This is just a sample of the selection we will have later in the year.

Hand-made cards and tags always catch our attention.

We found several reproduction game boards, plus this one-of-a-kind art piece of a gaming wheel.
See you in the shop.

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Artful Journey • February 2011

The next Artful Journey retreat, presented by Cindy O'Leary, will take place February 17-21, at the Presentation Center in the redwoods above Los Gatos. You can spend 3 days with the instructor of your choice: Nina Bagley, Jesse Reno, Albie Smith, Orly Avineri or Stephanie Lee. Check out the retreat and registration information on the Artful Journey site. And when you are in town, be sure to stop in an tell us about your experience during the Journey.

Fantastic Folk Art Dolls and Figures

WOW! We found this marvelous collection of hand made, folk art figures. Talk about creativity! We do not know if these were all made by the same artist or if it was a collection accumulated over time. Many of the figures have similar construction, but not all.
Crepe paper Doggie is $39
These are mostly "stick figure" dolls. By that I mean that the core of most of them is either a pipe cleaner or wrapped metal wire, although one is built around a cardboard cone and the little dog has an old metal "clicker" as his body!  Most have crepe paper  wrapped bodies or dresses, some use cellophane, old tulle, ribbons and millinery flowers. The use of these novel materials and household items in creating these little masterpieces is an indication that whoever made these was a true folk artist.
The little girl in the yellow dress is $29; the Indian Princess is $39
The faces on these dolls are hand painted and have real character. How can anyone resist these cute little expressions? 
These bridesmaids are really decked out! $59 each
Several years ago, we had a bride and groom cake topper set made of pipe cleaners with ceramic faces just like these two bridesmaids. I think these came from a kit or pattern that was available in the 1950s.
Angel and Devil are $39 each
Devil or Angel, which one will it be ... reminds me of the old 1950s song by The Clovers (later by Bobby Vee).
The dancer is $49; Miss Muffet is $39
I especially love these two ladies. The dancer is filled with energy and movement, while Little Miss Muffet has just spotted that little spider on her dress.
This set, including the descriptive card, is $39
One set of figures comes with a story. These were made using tin foil taken off of flower pots by a 6th grader who was confined to the hospital for many months.

All of these are available both in our shop and online. Prices range from $29 to $59.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Antique Enamel Place Card Holders

We just unearthed these beautiful Victorian era place card holders. They are absolutely wonderful and I just had to share them with you right away. We have a set of six Victorian ladies and gentlemen, plus another three ladies.

These are listed on our antique shopping site, so click here to see more images and get more detail.
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