Friday, October 31, 2014

Annual Holiday Open House Saturday November 8th


Come join us for 
Vintages' Annual Holiday Open House
on Saturday November 8th (10am to 6pm).

Refreshments, prizes, special pricing!

Our complete Holiday collection of 
gifts, cards and decorations will be available.
Hope to see you there. 

Vintage Micromosaic Jewelry


Micromosaic Bracelet c1920
Micromosaics are an intriguing art form. I could not imagine handling these tiny blown glass pieces ... called tessarae ... and transforming them into an interesting image. The technique has been practiced since Byzantine times and was popularized by the Romans. The height of popularity was during the time of the Grand Tours ... when members of rich European (and later American) families would travel around Europe, taking in the sights and cultures of different countries. Italy was a very popular travel location for these rich tourists where they could immerse themselves in the long and prestigious history of Italian and Roman arts and culture. Italian craftsmen quickly turned their already renowned glass making skills to making stunning miniature micromosaic pictures for their rich visitors.
 
Detail of of a Link from a Micromosaic Bracelet c1920
Victorian micromosaics were very intricate and generally featured architectural scenes or famous people. By the 20th century, the focus of the designs became flowers and geometric patterns. Early examples have minute tessarae, so small and flat that the image looked like a painting. As time went by, the mosaics became less detailed, even a bit crude in appearance. Early 1900s pieces also featured embedded wires and tiles set at varying heights, giving a three-dimensional effect.

The tourist of today can still find micromosaics in Italy ... however truly fine contemporary examples are rare.

Detail of a Pietra Dura Brooch c1890
Another form of mosaics that has been around for centuries is called pietra dura ... basically images made using stone inlaid mosaics that are finely cut and polished flat. While the technique has been applied for a long time in "paintings" and furniture, the use of pietra dura in jewelry is as old as the use of micromosaics. 

We have a very nice selection of late 19th- and early-20th century micromosaics ... and a couple of pietra dura examples as well. These are available online or in our Los Gatos shop. Typical pricing ranges from $39 for mid-century pieces, to $95 for early examples.

Micromosaic Jewelry
Selection of Brooches L to R: Crescent Micromosaic c1900; Pietra Dura c1890; Combination Micromosaic and Pietra Dura c1890.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween is on its Way ... Be Prepared!

Black Scraggly Halloween Trees (from $27.95) with an Array of Ornaments (from $6.95)
We just loved Halloween when we were kids. For me it wasn't getting dressed up in weird costumes ... never cared for dressing up. It was the carousing and the candy ... what else?

Large Spider ($13.95) and Spider Web ($19.95)
Today the decorations are just as much fun as the many giddy kids who come out trick-or-teating dressed up in everything from store-bought costumes to creative masterpieces worthy of Hollywood ... and to the teenagers who just carouse and have fun!

Jack-O-Lantern Fence ($39.95)
As usual, Vintages has a fine array of scary and cute decorative goodies for you. Get 'em while you can.
YIKES! These Frightened Dolls just $94.95 each
Jack-O-Lanterns ($16.95)
Handcrafted Wooden Skeleton ($89.95) with Jack the Puppet ($38.95)
BOO! Boxes ($4.95 any size)
Witches ($29.95 each)

Skully and Jack ($24.95 each)
Spooky the Crow ($69.95)
Great selection of Holiday Ribbons and Trims
Halloween Magnets
Handmade Magnet Boards ($84.95) and Crow Magnet Sets in Black or Gray ($20.95 set)

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