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

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

Antique Russian Cloisonné Enamel Kovsh

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Antique Russian gilded silver and cloisonné enamel kovsh, in shades of blue and white. The interior of the kovsh is decorated with the double-headed Imperial eagle, a symbol of the Romanov dynasty. The body of the vessel is finished with a crown-like finial.

Moscow, ca. 1890
Length:  3-5/8 inches; height: 2-3/8 inches

$14,000

Russian Antique Cloisonné Enamel Kovsh, interiorAntique Russian Cloisonné Enamel Kovsh, mark

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 Swivel Seal Charm

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Antique charm pendant of a gold and chalcedony Keppel memorial swivel seal.

Width: 11/16 in.

$1,500

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

other view, Antique Swivel Seal Charmadditional view, Antique Swivel Seal Charmside view, Antique Swivel Seal Charm

Antique Gold Miniature Urn Charm

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Antique gold miniature charm pendant lidded urn with ram’s head decoration.

French
Height: 1 in.

$1,200

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

open view, Antique Gold Miniature Urn Charmother view, Antique Gold Miniature Urn Charm

Antique Gold Wine Basket Charm

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Antique gilt pendant pannier with miniature wine bottles.

Width: 3/8 in.

$1,500

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

additional view, antique gold wine bottle basket charm pendantadditional view, antique gold wine bottle basket charm pendant

Antique Gold Magnifier Charm

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Antique gold charm pendant unfolding to reveal a magnifier and palace view.

Diameter: 5/8 in.

$2,200

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

palace view close up, gold magnifier charm pendant with palace view side open view, gold magnifier charm pendant with palace view closed view, gold magnifier charm pendant with palace view palace view upright, gold magnifier charm pendant with palace view