Treasures for body and mind

05 May, 2013

Up For Auction

Here's a pretty thing for acution by Joseph DuMouchelle. 
It is made by David Webb of platinum, 18kt yellow gold, sapphire, emerald and diamond, has an oval blue sapphire cabochon weighing approx. 4.50ct and oval emerald cabochon weighing approx. 3.50ct., is signed "Webb 18k-Plat" inside the shank, and accented by approx. 28 round brilliant cut diamonds.  There is no word on when it was made, but it breathes 80s in a preppy sort of way.

23 April, 2013

More Tiffany Jewels

This necklace  of moonstones, gold, and enamel was auctioned at the recent Christie's auction, Magnificent Jewels and the Princie Diamond.  Other than being a fine example of art nouveau with gorgeous moonstones, this necklace was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself, the same who is famous for stained glass windows.  Son of the founder of Tiffany and Co., he became the jewelry company's first Design Director in 1902.
Suspending a pendant set with a drop-shaped cabochon moonstone within a blue enamel and sculpted gold surround, to the neckchain set with an alternating series of cabochon moonstones and blue enamel plaques, mounted in gold and platinum, circa 1910, 18 ins.  By Louis Comfort Tiffany, signed Tiffany & Co. Courtesy of

To quote Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland: “A major event took place in the global auction industry with the record breaking sale of The Princie Diamond at Christie’s New York. Aside from Christie’s sale of the legendary Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, this was the most successful jewelry auction ever held in the United States and Christie’s was proud to have orchestrated the sale of such an historic gemstone.”  The sale total, including Buyer’s Premium, was $81,358,700 (USD).

Yup- I'd say that's successful.  BTW- the necklace sold for $32,500. 

I was particularly interested in the necklace because I love Tiffany's stained glass, even though this necklace does not reflect his particular genius (get the joke- har har).  As examples of Tiffany's work go, I prefer this one, currently owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

To crib shamelssly from the museum's write up, "This necklace, composed of grape clusters and leaves, is one of the earliest known examples of jewelry designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiny black opals represent the clusters of fruit, and finely executed enameling in shades of green on gold forms the delicate leaves. Opals appealed to Tiffany for their fiery glow, reminiscent of his vases in Favrile glass. The asymmetry of the design and its organic shapes are entirely in keeping with his passion for natural forms. This necklace was among the twenty-seven pieces that Tiffany made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis in 1904. It has been altered twice since its original conception, first by the addition of grape clusters on either side of the central pendant and later by the addition of a double bar-link chain. These changes were probably overseen by Tiffany himself, who is believed to have presented the necklace to his nurse and later companion, Sarah E. Hanley."

22 April, 2013

Tiffany's Blue Book Green Diamond Ring

As rare and amazing as the natural green diamond in Tiffany's Rare, Vivid Green Diamond Ring is, the white diamonds' setting is what makes the ring noteworthy.  They bloom like petals around the 1.21 carat green stone. 

See how the diamonds are on edge in an almost invisible platinum setting?

This ring is all about trapping and reflecting light.  It will singularly blaze when it is worn.  Photographs do not do it justice.  Go to Tiffany's Facebook to see it in motion- prepare to be amazed by the facets on the diamonds' girdles and the diamond encrustation of the ring itself.  All pictures are courtesy of Tiffany and Co.

19 April, 2013

Black Friday- Spring!


 April showers bring April flowers here!  So here is another floral beauty for Friday.

Circa 1910, the filigree locket is pierced, diamond-set and done in the garland style, the design continuing down the center of the front of the locket set on a square of onyx. The back is composed of engraved platinum doors which open to reveal an oval glass covered section surrounded by engraved platinum, perfect for a picture or a lock of hair. The locket is suspended from a filigree diamond-set bale and an original oval filigree link platinum chain. Total weight of the 150 single and old European-cut diamonds is approximately 1.30 carats, locket and bale measure 2 3/8 inches long and chain measures 24 3/8 inches long. Available from Shiela Goldfinger at 1stdibs. 

The back is almost as pretty as the front.

Wouldn't it be perfect for a black and white photo?

18 April, 2013

A Gold Parure- Lot 22

I have never seen a set like this.  From the Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels and The Princie Diamond auction, April 16 2013. 

LOT 22 - An antique gold parure. Comprising a sculpted gold necklace of foliate motif; two bracelets, a brooch, a pair of ear pendants and a tiara en suite, circa 1830, necklace 17.5in, bracelets 7in, with French assay marks, French importation marks and maker's marks, in a red leather fitted case. Estimate: US$10,000-$15,000.  Thanks to Christie's for the original image and to The Jewelry Editor.

It's the whole set- the whole thing!  From tiara to belt buckle!  In the original box!  And if anyone made a snarky comment about "matchy-matchy," you know it would be their envy talking. 

Want another look?  You bet!  I could look at this all day.  (That's why I'll never win the lottery- I would blow it all on something like this and spend all of my time staring at it, calling it "my precious.")   [Update:  Sold for $13,750.]

15 April, 2013

Prayers for Boston

A horrific bombing in Boston....please pray for the victims and their families, as well as in gratitude for the heroism and assistance of those who rendered aid to strangers in crisis.

95% of the people in this world are wonderful, but 5% do a lot of damage.  Let's not let them make the world over in their image.  Let's fight back against hate and death with compassion and consideration.
Please, this week, do something dramatic or extravagant for life and beauty to support Boston and to tell the 5% they won't win.  If you wish, post what you've chosen to do here to inspire others. 

Lord Jesus, we are made in your image, and as such are all precious.  We ask for healing hands and  obedience to assist in your plans for making good from the evil in Boston.  We know you are with the victims and families; may they feel your presence personally and draw peace and strength from it.  Amen 

Purple Perfection

David Webb usually makes me feel "meh."  That is, until I saw this amethyst, diamond, and emerald bracelet up for auction at Christie's on the 16th.  Then I almost passed out.   

Everything about this is perfect- the colors, the manes becoming scales, the shapes of the eyes and ears, the ropes on the horses' harnesses- gorgeous.  Even the carved Indian emeralds on the harnesses are perfect, and I usually do not like those in high jewelry.  All of this shows that true artistry creates exceptions to everything.

Stand by for more Christie's gorgeousness this week...there are some jaw droppers on the block on Tuesday!  Thanks to From the Eyes of Purple who repinned

I hope whoever gets this beautiful thing will love it as much as I would have...

12 April, 2013

Ah-May-Zing Spring Jewels- on Friday

Today's art nouveau jewel honors the hot fecundity that has gripped the Mid Atlantic since we skipped spring and went straight to summer.  The blooming trees are playing catch up; you can imagine them panting as they strain to pop, pop, pop their blossoms. 

 A French Art Nouveau 18 karat gold brooch by Paul Lienard, with carved ivory bleeding heart flowers with 6 pear shape ruby centers (approx. .70 carats) and plique-a-jour enamel leaves. Found on 1st Dibs for Macklowe Gallery.
It is sweetly seditious, no?  Ah, were so cleverly naughty!  And because it is Black Friday, let's have another knee-weakening, floral beauty made by Lienard at the turn of the century...
Brooch designed as a carved moonstone female face, enhanced by an opalescent and pale green plique-a-jour enamel and green gold headdress, with old mine-cut diamond and matte-finished black enamel detail, suspending a freshwater pearl drop, mounted in 18k gold, from Christie's Important Jewels, December 1996.
The craftsmanship of the second outshines the first, but they are both compelling.  Which would you wear?  Why?

09 April, 2013

Portrait of Madame Bruyere- Jewelry in Art I

The rings, the necklaces, and the fascinating gold hoops suspending sparkling diamond loops...Madame Bruyere's jewelry made The Portrait of Madame Bruyere, painted by Antoine-Jean Gros in 1796, one of my favorite paintings.  Madame B clearly thought her jewelry was important although not ostentatious.  However, an argument can be made that Madame B is not just another jewelry fiend; her jewelry might have sent a coded message about what she thought was important- her past and those she lost. 

Madame B's long, black ring  indicated aristocratic connections.  The style was popular in 1785 in the French court after the birth of the dauphin.  It was called 'bagues a l'enfantement' because it showed the stars of the sky sprinkled around a central star- the new French heir to the throne. 
An earlier version of the ring, 'a firmament,' with diamonds evenly sprinkled on a black background was popular when Marie Antoinette became pregnant in 1774.  Thanks to Bell and Bird for the photo and history.
Both of her hands appear to wear mourning rings.  One ring is a buckle ring, common during this period, which sometimes contained braided hair from a deceased love one. 
This diamond and 18 kt ring from 1830 is engraved "Charlotte."  The hair disintegrated and was replaced with a silver band.  From Ruby Lane.
Her other pinkie finger wears a simpler black and gold ring.  Enamel and gold mourning rings were popular throughout the 1700s and 1800s.  

Also from Bell and Bird, this ring remembers, "Kathleen Chambers, Died May, 16th 1758, aged 64."
Madame B's sweet face distanced her from the political statement her hands made- could it be that she mourns the king and those who died with him?   

04 April, 2013

Sizzlin' Hot Love

"You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride. 
You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes,
With a single strand of your necklace."  
                                                                     The Song of Songs 4:9

Pretty erotic, right? But the jewelry shows the groom's feelings are more than simple desire...  

Bulgari Mediterranean Eden necklace in 18 kt gold, diamonds, coral, and peridot- it is feminine and spring-like, bridal even though it isn't subtle.  It is Bulgari, after all.
Biblically, kings used necklaces as public demonstrations of trust and esteem when they elevated new counselors.  It is implied that the groom, King Solomon, gave the necklace to the bride, a poor shepherdess.  He is overjoyed that she wears the necklace and publicly acknowledges that she is his trusted and esteemed beloved.  The groom's captivation by "a single strand" of her necklace shows his dizzying joy in their acceptance of each other.  Their mutual love enthralls him. 
Love is miraculous, isn't it?  

01 April, 2013

Instant Jewelry Lust

14 kt rose gold
When Kismet by Milka made this ring, it was made for me.  Thank you Gem Gossip for my first look and to Caratime for the photo.    

22 March, 2013

Black Friday- Recycled

Photo from Style Outside the Box.

This bracelet would be appropriate for a New Year's post, but as cold as it has been here you could wear it and pretend...brrrrrrr.   

This is made of made from recycled corrugated tin and then plated in dark gunmetal.  The beads are topped off with vintage Swarovski hematite colored bicones and chained together in sterling silver. 

Other than it's obvious ebony delight, the noise this pretty bauble would make would be a lot of fun.

17 March, 2013


...taking my girl back to university after spring break and we are all blue...

Sapphire and blackened 18 kt gold

Platinum, black opal, and diamond

Both from the Stephen Russell Collection; photos courtesy of Stephen Russell and Jewels du Jour.

14 March, 2013

New Pope, New Ring

The Ring of the Fisherman is part of the papal regalia and has been so since at least 1265.  As a new pope is invested (this will take place on 19 March), the ring is slipped on his finger.  Originally used for signing official correspondence, every ex-pope's ring is destroyed before the cardinals to prevent forgery.  All rings have a bas relief of St. Peter fishing in a boat with the pope's Latin name across the top, making each one distinctly individual. 
Credit to Bill Casselman's Words of the World for the photo of Benedict XVI.   Benedict's ring was not smashed with a silver hammer, but was defaced on 28 February 2013 with two deep scratches "X-ing" across it's face.  
A sketch of Pope Leo XIII's ring.  While the elements are the same, Benedict's ring was different.  The Vatican announced that Pope Francis I's ring will be the same as Benedict XVI's, except the name.  Photo from Wikipedia.
See how worn it became with daily use and thousands of people kissing it?  Libutti Jeweler's Blog
While there is only one of these rings, they are not really personal.  Benedict wore his every day, but most popes didn't.  Like most people with heavy, expensive, historically important jewelry, they trotted it out for special occasions.  Popes' "daily wear" rings varied according to the style of their times, from simple gold bands (Pope John Paul I) to fancy diamond encrusted cameos (Pope Pius IX).  Pope John Paul II's ring was a horizontal gold cross, remarkably edgy and on-trend... if you aren't the pope.
Bless the man, I've had days like this but without an awesome ring like this.  Photo from ABC, although the article incorrectly implies that this ring is The Fisherman's Ring.

He's probably annoyed that The Gulf Daily News identified this ring as The Fisherman's Ring too.
Individual and impersonal, a signet ring for the electronic age that symbolizes princely power for a spiritual leader, the 35 gram gold ring for a pope named for a poor, humble saint is solid reminder of the pageantry of medieval papal power.       

09 March, 2013


The first daffodils of the season arrived today...just a few of them, but today's warm sun coaxed them open in a protected micro climate down the street.  Suddenly, there is hope! 
Made by Pragnell

This daffodil ring is more than a symbol of the hope for spring; in May 2012, this ring was auctioned for £50,000 to benefit Marie Curie Cancer Care (originally founded with money from an auctioned diamond engagement ring).  The Daffodil Ring was handcrafted by Stratford -upon-Avon based family jewellers George Pragnell, and designed by the founder's grandson Charlie Pragnell.  The ring is crafted in 18 karat yellow and white gold; the center piece is a rare oval Fancy Vivid Orange Yellow diamond weighing 0.82 carats and its petals are pave-set with near-colourless diamonds with subtle green peridots to the stem and leaf.

Hallelujah!  Bring on the daffodils!

07 March, 2013

Herpetological Beauties

Let us pause for a moment and appreciate green...
Tadema Gallery
As in green with envy...since I found this lovely serpent yesterday, some lucky someone has reserved it.  Isn't it one of the prettiest snake rings you have ever seen?  Paul Briancon made it of gold, diamonds, enamel, and emerald.  Tadema's listing says, "A Wonderful Serpent Ring embodying a very long cultural history of the snake in relation to danger, sexuality & eternity. The Serpent & Paradise, Minoan priestesses & Belle Epoque decadence. One can see why the Serpent was so beloved by Lalique & the Symbolists."  Indeed.

But since we are on the subject, there are two other lovely snake-related pieces I collected for your viewing pleasure as well. 
This gorgeous piece was auctioned by Sotheby's recently.  Made of turquoise, pearl, gold, and rubies, some lucky feme fatale scandalized and tittilated society by flaunting this around her ivory neck at the turn of the 1900s.  Can you imagine getting your Cleopatra on to go to a ball in this? 

Lastly, there is this brooch.  It would be the perfect piece for tea with people whom you find poisonous.

1st Dibs 
Another Tadema beauty, this is fine peridot, gold, diamond, and pearl made by Rothmuller at the turn of the 1900s.  Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. 

06 March, 2013

A Mystery

Available through 1st Dibs from Tadema Gallery
This is a gorgeous, provocative piece of German Symbolist Art jewelry by Karl Berthold and Maria Schmidt-Kugel.  A shell cameo framed in silver, it was made in Germany in 1919.  Art Symbolism used icons and symbols to communicate feelings and philosophy pertinent to the artist, resulting in highly personal art requiring knowledge of the artist for understanding the piece; would that I could figure out more about the two of them- what were they saying with this?  

This brooch is important enough to be featured in two German works, but, alas, my German barely got me through Wikipedia's entries featuring Karl and Maria.  If you read German, more information on this piece can be found in Schmuck in Deutschland und Osterreich 1895-1914, by Ulrike von Hase 1977, p. 172 and Schmuck der 20er und 30er Jahre in Deutschland by Christianne Weber, 1990, pp.134-136 & 368.

22 February, 2013

Black Friday- Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...I love Astley Clarke's Lucky Cat Friendship Bracelet...Wouldn't he be perfect for a Friday the 13th? 

Black rhodium friendship bracelet in 18 karat yellow gold vermeil on sterling silver with a black rhodium cat attached to the black rhodium faceted bead and gold vermeil double bracelet

He would also be perfect with any of Astley Clarke's 18 kt vermeil on sterling silver and enamel bracelets.
I LOVE how all of these colors come together- and still include black.  They definitely would elevate any stack to which they were added.  I think I would get a purple, red, or orange just because my wardrobe is desperately in need of a jolt- and because it would set off my turquoise.  Maybe even sunshine yellow...How about you?
Both of these, and many other fun, yummy things you cannot live without, are on Astley Clarke.
**This style of bracelet looks like a DIY begging to be made.  You could have one to match your favorite nail polish.  

21 February, 2013


I thought I would pass out and die when I saw this necklace.

Chiara Ferragne at New York Fashion Week

I scrambled to find who made it...and it's a wonderful store on Etsy!  Doloris Petunia has amazing, superlative inducing, vibrant, exciting, colorful pieces "because one of a kind is the new black."

I have to go take a cold shower.   

20 February, 2013

This pretty little thing swam over to Lang Antiques from Disney's Fantasia...

18 kt gold, enamel, rubies, and diamonds

17 February, 2013

What and Where Is Your Treasure?

Queen Alexandra's kokoshnik, owned by the British crown 
Fellow jewelry-fiends, does Matthew 6: 19-21 make you twitch?  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Wheat Tiara from the 1850s, found on Collecting Fine Jewels
This subversive verse is more universal and uplifting than a simple indictment of jewelry, wealth, or the wealthy.   

The Danish Ruby Tiara
Treasure is whatever you value most- it's where you put your heart and time...and it's a fact that every treasure will be consumed, lost, or become dust.* 

The Delhi Durbar Tiara, owned by the British Crown, is HUGE.

God isn't a killjoy, hating on or threatening His earthly creations.  He's asking us to acknowledge that all earthly things are transitory and mutable, and He gives us an otherwise impossible option-eternal treasure with the eternal Him if we treasure Him.    

The Naasut Tiara, was made in Greenland of recycled gold for Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
Me, I dig promised treasures in heaven.  A heavenly crown is the only way I'll ever get a tiara!

*Genesis 3:19 "For of dust you are made and to dust you will return." 

All tiaras except the Wheat Tiara,are from The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, a wonderful site for royal bling. 


13 February, 2013

Manufacturing Hype at the Grammys

Let's quickly get over the tacky part of the Grammys' jewelry coverage hype...cost.  Bleh...lots of chatter about Carrie Underwood's $31M, 381 carat Jonathon Arndt necklace...all of it about price.  Even she fretted about the cost and how the necklace made her feel like a target...

...Chatter about the $5M price tag on JLo's Norman Silverman diamond bracelets, rings, and 10 carats of diamond stud earrings... but nothing on that fabulous gold bangle.  Has anyone found anything about that unusual piece? 
LOVE the gold!

...More manufactured buzz, but by fans about Rihanna's supposed engagement ring... she wore a diamond Neil Lane ring on her left hand ring finger with her other Neil Lane rings, including a great snake.
LOVE the snake!
Doesn't look like an engagement ring to me; looks like an on-trend wearing of multiple rings.  If Chris Brown gives her an engagement ring, it will probably be blatant and lack class or originality.  

Of course, most manufactured buzz centered on CBS' dress code.  Nipples, "puffy areas," too much or too little leg- CBS should give the guy who wrote that memo a raise for the buzz it generated before and during the Grammys.  Entertainers had to think about being  scandalous this year...and viewers ogled and commented about women's bodies like they haven't in past years (pervs).  Katy Perry, who usually downplays her curves, demonstrated her rebelliousness and stuck it to the man with her beaded neckline.  
LOVE the ring!
Beaded necklines are gaining headway in fashion, and, and if you rock one like she did, it is wise to emulate her restraint with the rest of her jewels.  

But stacking jewelry is still here in a big way and was a norm at the 2013 Grammys.  Of interest is the ubiquity of the men stacking their necklaces, bracelets, and rings, too.  My favorite Grammy photo shows this.

LOVE the smiles!
Not Jay-Z and Beyonce, but the fella photo bombing them with the Mr. T. bling and stacked watch and bracelets.   

Isn't this a great picture ?  No one is posing, and the body language between Beyonce, wearing Lorraine Schwartz, and Jay-Z, with a Cartier Panther ring, is comfortably intimate.   They know who they are and don't need to be anyone else.  Everyone in the picture is happy, having a good time, and wearing jewelry that makes them look good and compliments their overall look.  That combination is so unusual in Grammy coverage that it is almost scandalous.   

12 February, 2013

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Whoot whoot- Fat Tuesday!  What a great day- and if you've never spent this Tuesday dancing with a stranger wearing a mink coat in the back of a pick up truck in the French Quarter watching the assistant DA proposition every woman who walked by, then add it to your bucket list.  It's a crazy day- until midnight.  

As long-time readers of this blog know, on Wednesday I will be gem-free for Lent so today I stack it on!  I wish I was wearing this Mardi Gras inspired collection of lovelies from

An exquisite and significant pendant by Boucheron in a delicious and compelling array of colors with a pristine faceted center deep purple amethyst surrounded by vibrant turquoise, chrysoprase and sparkling diamonds all set in striated 18k textured gold. A very eye-catching and beautiful piece. Measures 4.5" long and 2.75" wide. Amethyst measures 1 1/8" in diameter. Signed Boucheron Paris with French hallmarks and maker's mark. Circa 1970s.  Sold by Robin Katz.
Chandelier Earrings: Faceted vivid Amethyst set with Peridot Brillolettes and white Diamonds in 18K White Gold. Post with heavy friction earring back. One of a kind.  Sold by Emma Quist.

Oval-shaped bangle bracelet, set with three cabochon-cut oval amethysts and four cabochon-cut oval green tourmaline, accented by circular-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k yellow gold, with hinge on one side, medium to large-sized, signed Tiffany & Co.  Sold by Betterridge.