Treasures for body and mind

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.