Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Into the 1800's diamonds became more rounder and closer to what we consider the brilliant modern cut. This is my favorite cut. Having less cuts and the open culet really creates a deeper brilliance in my opinion.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The word filigree is derived from the Latin word filum (meaning thread). The art of filigree consists of twisting fine wire to create patterns. The majority of pieces that I see consist of silver or high grade gold. The image to the left shows a truly handmade silver filigree piece. Early examples can be found dating back to Etruscan and Greek times. I remember during my ancient studies course that the Walters Art Gallery had quite a few examples of Etruscan works in finer metals.
In regards to the cameo filigree ring that I purchased last Saturday, the filigree in this piece is not handmade but massed produced from a mold. It is pretty impossible to twist 14kt gold into the fine lacy patterns. When looking at more modern examples of filigree wear is an important consideration. The more crisp the filigree (detailed) the more the piece is worth.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Isn't she a pretty...14kt white gold cameo ring with diamond, just one of my finds at the auction last Saturday.
There was a fad in the 1930-40's where it just wasn't enough to wear a cameo....all of a sudden your cameo needed to wear a diamond necklace. Every now and then I have seen cameo pendants, pins and rings wearing diamond necklaces. I consider this "bling" during the art deco period.
I think this fad began due to women inheriting their mother or grandmother's jewelry and wanting to create something unique with the pieces. Somebody in the 1920's decided to take a cameo and use a diamond perhaps out of a old ring and make it into a necklace for the cameo......and the fad began. Jewelers caught on and mass produced the idea.
Next post I will fill you in on the origins of the filigree style of jewelry making. This setting is an excellent example. Off to research......
Sunday, January 25, 2009
First things you do at an auction-pull out your license, get in line and register. If they have a catalog grab it.
My auction process is to do the quick walk through....just glaze over everything and if something catches your eye make a notation on your catalog to come back and get a closer look.
At jewelry auctions everybody is in your way and crowding the cases. Grab the eye of the helpers and ask them to see the item you are interest in by giving them the lot # of the item. Take your time go over the piece--it is made well, any scratches/chips, has it been repaired? I have looked at items then bought them and found issues after taking them home....it is hard to concentrate at a loud auction so just take your time. Once you buy an item you can not return it unless it is a very unusal case where the auction company was way off their description.
Yesterday I found quite a few great antique/vintage pieces so I took notes on a lot of items. I write down the condition and most importantly how much I would pay. My gut told me that I probably would be out bid but I still took the time to look them over. This paid off as I was able to purchase all the rings and earrings that I liked at great prices.
After you looked at all the pieces you are interested in try to find a spot to sit in the front since it is so difficult to see what they are selling. Take time to listen to the auctioneer and try to figure out what the heck he is saying. Most auctioneers have a continuous cadence...after listening you get an idea if he increases his bids 5 dollars or 25 dollars...something that is important to know in the heat of bidding. For goodness sake don't scratch your nose looking at the auctioneer or you may just end up with a box lot of junk.
The auctioneer calls out the item number and quick description of the item. DO NOT BID ON THE FIRST PRICE HE CALLS OUT. Yesterday, the auctioneer kept starting at 200 he asks for that amount then drops down to 150, 100 then 50 and sometimes down to 20. Get in after someone else has bid. Raise that paddle high and once the auctioneer points to you put your hand down (you'll look like a pro). As the price increases just nod your head when the auctioneer asks you if you accept the higher price. If the bid goes over the amount you want to pay nod your head NO-don't get swept up in the moment! If you are under your amount have your bidder number handy and show it to the auctioneer.
Yesterday was the first time in quite awhile I got some really great deals at an auction....the economy must really be squeezing dealers......so this is the time to buy.