Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gifts from the Heart for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is just a couple of weeks away, on February 14th, so why not say Be My Valentine with a special treasure from Vintages?

Hanging Heart Ornaments ($7.95 each)
Handmade Cards & Tags (from $3.95) • Murano Glass Hearts (from $22.95) • Heart Photo Albums ($3.50 each)
Wrap it all up in this handmade heart paper ($4.95 per sheet)
Keys with Messages ($8.95 each) • Pewter Hearts (from $19.95)
Decorated Bottles (prices vary)
Fantastic Beaded Necklaces and Other Vintage Jewelry
Love Notes, Vintage Valentines and Celluloid Candy Bags
LOVE Magnets (from $10.95)
Heart and Music Ribbons with Tin Boxes
Gold and Pearl Necklaces
Love and Initial Stones ($15.95 each)
Handcrafted Solder Pendants and Charms (from $12.95 each)
Various Hearts, Valentines and Love Notes
Handmade Love Blocks ($9.95 each)
Handcrafted Hearts ($115.00 each) and Signs (39.00 each)
Give Your Valentine the Moon and the Stars with a Handcrafted Planter or Bowl from the Teyros Collection (starting at $75.00 each)

Valentine Cards
More Valentine Cards
Just remember to say I Love You

Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthstones & Anniversary Gifts

I found these charts in a little 1936 book titled The Good Fortune Birthday Book. Interesting, as these list the meanings and associations of gems, flowers, birthdays and anniversaries. Nice reference.

For an earlier discussion about birthstones, see this post. Also, these articles on birthstones were posted in 2011, one for each month.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Collecting Sentimental Jewelry

Sparkling gemstones have captured peoples imaginations from ancient times right up to the twenty-first century. From the earliest of times gems have been given special significance and powers. They have been associated with gods and planets, connections and emotions, human traits and animal instincts. The Georgians attached superstitions to certain gems, wore mourning and remembrance jewelry and expressed their feelings in gifts of flowers and gems that conveyed special meanings.
Georgian Heart Pins
The Victorians continued those traditions, most notably in the mourning jewelry that became the fashion after the death of Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Albert.
Victorian Mourning Brooch with Braided Hair
Sentimental jewelry has taken many forms over time. Lockets were a popular jewelry choice for centuries. 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. (See my earlier blog post about lockets.)
Beautiful Victorian Locket
While photography served to increase the popularity of lockets, all forms of portrait jewelry were wildly embraced by late-Victorian society. Miniature portraits and paintings on ceramic or ivory were special pieces, while photographs held in pins behind thin sheets of celluloid were abundant. Many times this portraiture was combined with lockets or remembrance jewelry with locks of hair.
Portrait Chatelaine Pin Hand Painted on Ivory
Georgian Era Remembrance Pendants
My favorite form of sentimental jewelry are the acrostic pieces, where the stones “speak” through their arrangement in the jewelry, with the first letter of the name of each stone spelling an acrostic motto. Acrostic jewelry appears to have begun in France around 1800, and its popularity spread to England and America. Acrostic jewelry spoke to a romantic sensibility reminding one to regard the giver through short phrases or words. Common sentiments were REGARD, LOVE, DEAREST, as well as names. For example, REGARD may be formed by these stones:
Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, Diamond
Regard Brooch
This ring spells ADORE Amethyst • Diamond • Opal • Ruby • Emerald

Acrostic Brooch spelling AGNES 
Aquamarine • Garnet • Natrolite • Emerald • Sapphire
The stones on this music box pendant spell out DEAREST
Diamond • Emerald • Amethyst • Ruby •
Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz
Chart Courtesy of Land Jewelers / American Jewelry University
Sentimental jewelry is something that we always look for, but due to the nature of items such as mourning or acrostic jewelry we do not always have them in stock. However, we do have quite a few lockets available in the shop. With Valentine's Day upon us, one of these might just be the perfect gift. It never hurts to say it with jewelry!
Beautiful Lockets
Visit our antique sales site online for a wonderful selection of vintage and antique jewelry. As usual, we have many more pieces in the shop, so contact us with requests.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Exciting New Finds

We got back from the big Atlanta Mart Gift Show a few days ago. Fifty-five floors of shopping in four days! Whew! We found a bunch of great new item and fresh inspiration. As usual, these items take awhile to arrive, so you'll be seeing them over the next few months. But here's a small sample.
Colorful, whimsical Wall Plaques (Made in the USA)

Framed bottle display ... perfect for using your imagination

A new line of decorative papers based on vintage documents (Made in the USA)

Vintage design paper packets with feather pens (Made in the USA)

Handcrafted pewter pendants (Made in the USA)

Handcrafted pewter "Blessing Rings" and key chains (Made in the USA)

New designs of metal letters

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Love Notes ... Perfect for Valentine's Day

We created these little Love Notes using our own Heartman design. Each notebook has 50 pages. The perfect way to say "I Love You"!
Love Notes • Just $3.50 each • Only available at Vintages of Los Gatos

Monday, January 7, 2013

Through the Lens of Shirlie Montgomery

If you have not checked out my blog about Shirlie Montgomery, please do. Shirlie passed away in November, at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy of photography virtually unmatched in Santa Clara Valley. She became a professional photographer in the 1930s, and subsequently photographed everyone and everything that mattered for the next forty years. In fact, she was actively taking snapshots right up to her 90s!

Shirlie was not a stand behind the camera in a studio type of photographer. She loved being out in the front lines of journalism, catching car crashes, politicians, celebrities and floods ... all in a days work. She also loved to go to wrestling matches. She took her trusty 5x7, captured real action, and then shared her images with the crowd at the Ringside Bar after the matches were over.

So, enjoy the blog. I will continue to post photos and stories until I run out of material ... which will take a lifetime. You might recognize some of the subjects in this tantalizing gallery of a fraction of her collection.

First Water over Lexington Dam

Lucille Ball

Wrestlers at the SJ Civic

Richard Nixon for Governor

Three Camera Shirlie

Max Baer, Boxing Champion at Lou's Village

Aerial Photo of Downtown San Jose

Taxi 88

The Dough Girls (L) Harriette & (R) Shirlie with Governor Merriam

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