Roman Revival Gold Fringe Necklace

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Gold fringe necklace in the archaeological revival style.

French, ca. 1885

Length: 14-3/4 inches

$62,000

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Tags: Antique Revival gold

Antique Egyptian Revival Necklace

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Egyptian Revival faience and hardstone necklace, strung on wire with gold fittings.

Circa 1870.
Diameter: 4 1/2 in.

Provenance: Retailed by A La Vieille Russie, ca. 1950.

This design takes inspiration from Egyptian “wesekh” style necklaces, a term meaning “broad one.” The necklace shape was inspired by ancient floral collars.

$22,000

neck block view, Antique Egyptian Revival Necklace

Georgian Revival Antique Diamond Necklace

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Georgian revival diamond necklace (approx. 34 cts total).

By Parkes of Vigo Street
English, ca. 1890
Length: 15 3/4 inches

In its original case.
Georgian Revival Antique Diamond NecklaceGeorgian Revival Antique Diamond Necklace

Antique Old Mine Diamond Drop Earrings

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Pair of old mine pavé diamond Georgian drop earrings with bow accent, set in silver.

English, ca. 1780.
Length: 2 1/16 inches

$40,000

These earrings are featured in our Georgian & Georgian Revival earrings video on our videos age.

Model wearing Antique Old Mine Diamond Drop EarringsAntique Old Mine Diamond Drop EarringsAntique Old Mine Diamond Drop Earrings

The Enduring Appeal of Antique Jewelry

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Fine antique jewelry is beautiful from all angles...

Fine antique jewelry is beautiful from all angles…

Not only is antique jewelry beautiful and fun to wear, but it also demonstrates a real marriage of artistry, craftsmanship, intrinsic value, and context.   Part of the beauty of antique jewelry is that it comes with stories, allowing one to touch the past.  Some pieces have incredible provenance, and many pieces have an interesting historical context, much of which we’ve been exploring on the blog. For example, nationalism and Berlin iron, Victorian revival styles, romanticism, science and insect jewelry, the rise of leisure and sporting jewelry, and so much more.  Antique jewelry is very much a reflection of time, and therefore needs to be appreciated the same way one appreciates works of art and paintings: you have to learn about it. Since people have been adorning themselves since the beginning of time, there is an antique style for everyone!

On a more personal level, there is an intimacy to antique jewelry. In some families, the only surviving heirlooms are jewelry. Jewelry is valuable and portable, making it more easily transferrable to future generations, and therefore carries irreplaceable sentimental value. There is real power in being able to connect with your ancestors by wearing a piece of jewelry that has been in your family for generations. It is a unique feeling when you slip on a ring and realize you have the same ring size as your great grandmother whom you never met.

Greater thought went into designing antique pieces. Unique stones, selected for their beauty, and symbolism inspired well thought out, one-of-a-kind compositions. Today, stones are often selected for their intrinsic value and standardized for mass produced mounts. That is not to say that there are not exceptions, but even people who do not have an academic knowledge of jewelry can visually understand the difference between antique and modern work. A quick quality test is to turn a piece over, a true work of art will be just as lovely on the reverse. While there are a handful of modern jewelers who are master craftsman, mass production has really replaced handcraft in the industry.

Many of our pieces come from a more formal era, a time very different from how we live today. It is fun to imagine how they were worn then, and even more fun to incorporate them into today’s fashions. The constant evolution of fashion breathes new life into antique jewelry. More often than not we find ourselves in jeans as opposed to ballgowns, but a great piece of jewelry and some confidence looks good with anything!

... including the reverse

… including the reverse

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Antique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits

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Finely and elaborately carved coconut mounted as a tankard with silver gilt mounts and gilded interior. Features the profiles of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Elizabeth

Russian, 19th Century
Height: 6-1/4 inches

$18,000

Antique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side bAntique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side cAntique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side d

Russian Antique 11th Artel Enamel Kovsh

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Gilded silver and shaded and cloisonné enamel kovsh with geometric and floral motifs on a blue ground. A kovsh is a traditional Russian drinking cup, originally carved out of wood in the form of a duck. In this decorative kovsh, the bird-like form is clearly evident.

By the 11th Artel, Moscow, ca. 1910
Length: 4-1/8 inches; height: 2 inches

$18,500

Russian Antique 11th Artel Enamel Kovsh

Russian Antique Decorative Arts and Jewelry

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The most noted Russian jeweler from the late 19th century to 1917, the year of the Revolution, was Carl Fabergé. He produced some of the world’s finest enamel work, featured on many different types of items, ranging from clocks to frames to jewelry.  Works of art included sculpture such as hardstone flower studies and miniature animals, and household items such as bellpushes, often made for the Tsar and other wealthy Russian families. Original Fabergé works of art have become some of the most coveted antique items on the market.  (More to come.)

Antique Russian Gold and Lacquer Charka

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Gold-mounted red lacquer charka, the handle set with an emerald.

By Carl Hahn, workmaster A. Treiden.
St. Petersburg, ca. 1890.
Length: 1 3/4

Austrian-born Carl August Ferdinand Hahn founded his company in 1873. He became an important supplier to the Imperial court and was awarded the distinction of purveyor to the court during the reign of Alexander III.

side and bottom view, Antique Russian Gold, Red Lacquer, and Emerald Charkatop view, Antique Russian Gold, Red Lacquer, and Emerald Charkamark detail, Antique Russian Gold, Red Lacquer, and Emerald Charka

Antique Green Paste Necklace

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Antique green paste necklace set in 15k gold. Green paste is among the rarer colors found in paste jewelry.

English, ca. 1890.
Length: 17 inches

$9,800

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

detail, Antique Green Paste Necklace

Antique Russian Niello Dessert Service

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Gilded silver and niello dessert service, each piece richly decorated with intricately designed illustrations of gun dogs, wild game, and game birds set against varying landscapes.  34 pieces, comprising two sugar tongs, two cake servers, six coffee spoons, six teaspoons, six dessert spoons, six knives, and six forks.

By Nicholls and Plincke, St. Petersburg ca. 1850.

Images celebrating the hunt were a common design motif in nineteenth century decorative arts. The St. Petersburg firm Nicholls and Plincke, also known as Magasin Anglais, was established by two Englishmen, Constantin Nicholls and William Plincke, in 1829. One of the most important retailers of luxury items in Imperial Russia, the firm initially imported English silverware and also later produced designs inspired by it, in addition to a wide range of important works of silver, and thereby catered to Russian aristocracy’s growing taste for western design.

Niello is a method of decorating metal using a metallic alloy composed of silver, copper (or zinc), lead, and sulphur, which produces a blackish hue.  Used by the ancient Egyptians and the Romans, the technique later spread throughout Europe. It is known to have existed in Russia since the tenth century, and figured prominently in Russian decorative arts over the centuries.

other view of cutlery selection of antique Russian niello dessert servicedetail view of game bird decoration on Antique Russian niello dessert servicebox view of Antique Russian Niello Dessert Service

Antique Miniature Shoe Charm Locket

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Antique miniature gold charm pendant locket with engraved decoration.

Length: 1 in.

$950

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

Antique gold miniature shoe charm pendant, the top open