Collectors Weekly: Was some supposedly romantic or “sentimental” jewelry more about asserting control?
McLaughlin: Lover’s eye jewelry, which literally features a miniature painting of the eye of one’s lover, is generally interpreted as an outward display of love, but I’ve also read that it could be seen as said lover never letting the wearer out of his (or her) sight. There are so many possible interpretations, though…. Some eye jewelry features pearl tears, which suggests mourning, while other pieces surround the eye miniature with gemstones that may have been chosen for the symbolism attached to them. A frame of coral, traditionally a stone meant to ward off the evil eye, [...]
Next week, London jewelers Symbolic & Chase will be showcasing an historic pearl at the Masterpiece London art and antiques fair.
The pearl, which they believe was owned by Mary Tudor (daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and Queen of England from 1553-1558), was put up for auction at Christie’s in 2004 by an anonymous family and bought by Symbolic & Chase for $282,090. Since then, the company has determined that this is the pearl depicted in various royal portraits of Mary Tudor, and not the famous “La Peregrina” pearl, which is probably best known for having been bought by Richard Burton as a [...]
This stunning choker features a central peacock-feather-inspired plaque of gold, enamel and rose-cut diamonds, supported by fourteen strands of pearls. It’s a close relative of this equally stunning piece in the Smithsonian, and was created by the one of the oldest jewelry houses in the world.
Mellerio dits Meller are currently into their fourteenth (!!!) generation as jewelers. Established in Paris in 1613, they moved to their current location on the rue de la Paix in 1815, and opened a branch in Madrid in 1850. They got their start when Jean-Marie Mellerio — a chimney sweep with good hearing — helped warn Marie de’ Medici of a [...]
Due to its fragility, this beautiful ring is also a rarity. Circa 1790, it features a tiny, hand-carved ivory ship set under crystal. A frame of garnets surrounds the crystal, and the waves beneath the ship are hand-painted. Popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, pieces like this were carved by specialists predominately located in Germany, Switzerland, and France.
Some European-trained craftsmen also set up shop in England, and this ring may have originated there; it’s similar to a ring in the collection of the British Museum that resembles the work of successful ivory sculptors G. Stephany and J. Dresch. (It’s difficult to tell for sure, as many ivory [...]