Victorian Diamond and Ruby Snake Bracelet

… bracelet with gold scaled body, with an old-mine diamond and ruby head and tail set in silver.

English, ca. 1880

$42,000

Tags: diamond English gold ruby silver Victorian

Dorrie Nossiter Arts and Crafts Earrings

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Arts and Crafts flower petal cluster earrings set in silver with a large zircon, citrines, pearl and
pink tourmalines.

Dorrie Nossiter, English, ca. 1930.
Length: 1 ½ in.

Dorrie Nossiter (1893-1977) was an English jewelry designer working in the Arts and Crafts movement. Her work is characterized by floral motifs with curved lines and colorful gemstones. She studied at the Municipal School of Art in Birmingham from 1910-1914. She exhibited at London’s Walker Galleries from 1935-1939 and was among four women featured. For more info see our Dorrie Nossiter video on our videos page.

$8,500

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

side view, Dorrie Nossiter Arts and Crafts Earringsback view, Dorrie Nossiter Arts and Crafts Earrings

Antique Diamond Navette Ring

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Antique diamond navette ring with center demantoid garnet, set in yellow gold and platinum.

English, ca. 1900.

$6,200

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

other view, Antique Diamond Navette Ringextra view, Antique Diamond Navette Ring

Victorian Gold Bird Nest Earrings

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Antique 15k gold pendant earrings designed as birds in filigree nests with forget-me-nots, accented with natural pearls and cabochon rubies.

English, ca. 1870.
Length: 2 in.

$10,800

back view, Victorian Gold Bird Nest Earringsbottom detail, Victorian Gold Bird Nest Earringsdetail view, Victorian Gold Bird Nest Earrings

Georgian Diamond and Ruby Earrings

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Georgian pavé old mine diamond and ruby pendeloque earrings, set in silver and gold.

English, late 18th century.
Length: 1 1/2 in.

$48,000

side view, Georgian Diamond and Ruby Earringsback view, Georgian Diamond and Ruby Earrings

ALVR Blog:
Russian Teatime Traditions

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Russian Tea Drinkers from chatterbox magazine
From “Russian Tea-houses and Tea-drinkers” in Chatterbox, 1867

How greatly tea is used in England by every class of society, we all know… But greatly as tea is used in England, it is still in Russia more common. From the palaces of the great and wealthy nobles, down to the wretched hovels of the poor peasants, tea is the universal beverage. – James F. Cobb

James F. Cobb noted the significance of tea in Russian culture in his 1867 article “Russian Tea-houses and Tea-drinkers” for the English publication Chatterbox.  While Mr. Cobb noted that British tea culture has its own interesting history and customs, Russian culture is steeped in its own rich tea traditions.

Pictured right: Gilded silver teapot with the Imperial Eagle. St. Petersburg, ca. 1785Gilded Silver Imperial Teapot with Russian Imperial Eagle

Russian tea’s status as a national beverage was slow to brew. When it was first introduced in the seventeenth century, Russians were skeptical. This early tea was very different from the tea drunk today. The tea was in a brick form, which was smashed and mixed with grain and butter, and then consumed as both a meal and beverage.

In the eighteenth century, during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796), tea consumption increased slightly, but it remained expensive and rare, confining its consumption to the Russian aristocracy who used it primarily for medicinal purposes.

Russian Cloisonné Enamel Teapot and Silver Napkin Ring with Imperial MonogramIt was not until late in the nineteenth century that tea became a national beverage consumed by all classes. By this time, the cost of tea had decreased by half, and thus more widely accessible. Also by this time, Russian tea, and its customs and material culture, became associated with national identity thanks to the work of the country’s most revered writers. Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Checkov wrote about tea as a part of everyday life, celebrating the samovar in particular as a symbol of Russianness.

Pictured left: Gilded silver and cloisonné enamel teapot. Moscow, ca. 1900

Some scholars speculate that the samovar is actually an English invention, as both the English and Dutch made the earliest vessels for brewing tea and coffee in the late seventeenth century. The first samovar likely came to Russia in the early eighteenth century, taken by Peter the Great as one of many aspects of western culture he hoped to emulate to modernize Russia. The technology of the samovar better suited a Russian home, which was heated with a large stove, instead of an open fireplace to easily boil water. It is not the samovar itself that makes Russian tea. Rather, the samovar dispenses boiled water for diluting the concentrated tea, which is brewed in a small teapot, or zavarka, as shown in the introductory illustration.

main view, Antique Russian Lacquer Tray

Pictured above: antique Russian lacquer tray depicting peasants drinking tea. By the Lukutin Factory, Moscow, 1888-1894.

By the turn-of-the-century, the invented tradition of Russian tea was an integral part of Russian identity. For Russians, the day began and ended with tea. In the morning it was enjoyed with sweet buns, plain rolls, or bread with butter and maybe a little cheese. A few hours after dinner was vecherny tchai, or evening tea consumed with various cold cuts, cheeses, small cakes and candied fruits.

Tea was enjoyed inside and out of the home. In the nineteenth century men congregated in teahouses according to their class – ones for wealthy merchants and others for their carriage drivers. The gendering of Russian tea culture was delineated by these establishments and also by objects. Men drank their tea from a glass set in an elaborately ornamented metal holder, like the one picture below, while women drank their tea from a cup.

Antique Russian Enamel Tea Glass Holder

Pictured: Gilded silver and cloisonné enamel tea glass holder. By the 11th Artel, Moscow, ca. 1910.

Regardless of how much Russian tea customs are the product of nineteenth-century nationalism, beautiful works of art, like the tea glass holder and teapots illustrated in this post, attest to the significance of tea in Russian culture, past and present…even if that past is not so long ago.

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References:

Cobb, James F.  “Russian Tea-houses and Tea-drinkers.” Chatterbox. London, 1867.

Hardie, Anne-Marie. “Exploring the Origins of Russian Tea Culture.” The Daily Tea. August 6, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015.

Jones, Catherine Cheremeteff. A Year of Russian Feasts. Bethesda, Md: Jellyroll Press, 2002.

Papashivily, Helen and George. The Cooking of Russia. New York: Time-Life Books, 1972.

Yoder, Audra Jo. “Myth and Memory in Russian Tea Culture.” Studies in Slavic Cultures. August 8, 2009.

Georgian Diamond Cluster Earrings

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Antique circular old mine diamond cluster earrings, set in silver and gold.

English, late 18th century
Width: 3/4 in.

$28,000

These are available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

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Antique Gold Automobile Pendant Earrings

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Pair of unusual 15k gold automobile pendant earrings.

English, ca. 1900.
Car width: 3/4 in.

$2,600

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

Model wearing antique gold automobile earrings

Vintage 1950s Aquamarine and Diamond Necklace

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Fancy-cut aquamarine and diamond necklace set in white gold.

English, ca. 1950.
Length: 16 1/2 inches

other view, 1950s Aquamarine and Diamond Necklace

Edwardian Carved Jade Pendant Earrings

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Carved jade, diamond, and enamel pendant earrings.
Length: 2 3/4 inches
English, ca. 1920.

$52,000

Edwardian Carved Jade Pendant Earrings Edwardian Carved Jade Pendant Earrings Edwardian Carved Jade Pendant Earrings

Sapphire and Diamond Heart Ring

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Heart shaped diamond and calibré sapphire cluster ring set in platinum with diamond shoulders.

English, ca. 1970.

$22,000

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

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Victorian Rock Crystal Jeweled Puffy Heart Brooch

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Victorian puffy rock crystal heart pendant surrounded by demantoid garnets and diamonds, set in gold. Can also be worn as a brooch.

English, ca. 1890.
Length: 2 inches

$12,500

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop.

Victorian Rock Crystal, Demantoid, and Diamond Puffy Heart PendantVictorian Rock Crystal, Demantoid, and Diamond Puffy Heart Pendant