Category Archives: Jewelry

The New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show

The New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show is one of the top shows in the United States for lovers of antique jewelry. Produced by US Antique Shows – the company that also produces the Pier Show in New York, the Miami Beach Antique Show, and the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show – this show attracts many of the finest dealers in the country and from around the world. I recently attended the show, which was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street from July 25-28, and it was terrific. Although most of the jewelry was high end, and some VERY high end, I’d still strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in vintage and antique jewelry attend shows of this caliber because there is so much to be learned. read more

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Report from Jewelry Camp

Last week I attended “Jewelry Camp” – the nickname for the annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference – for the first time.  Held from July 30-August 1st, Jewelry Camp began with tours of the Macklowe Gallery and Van Cleef and Arpels in New York City and continued in Westchester, about an hour north of the City, with two days of seminars on a variety of topics about antique jewelry.

I was lucky enough to attend the optional tour of the Macklowe Gallery where Ben Macklowe showed us around his gallery.  The Macklowe Gallery specializes in decorative arts of the Art Nouveau period and, among their riches, they have the largest collection of Tiffany light fixtures for sale in the world.  But our focus was on the jewelry, and Ben let us choose pieces and examine them while he answered our questions about the pieces.  Among my favorites were a large Marcus and Company boulder opal brooch/pendant and an Art Nouveau horn necklace. read more

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Vintage and Antiques 101 – Definitions

The terms “Vintage”, “Antique”, and “Estate” are frequently used describe second-hand merchandise. These terms are often used incorrectly, or with intent to deceive. Here are the definitions of these terms and a few caveats:

Antiques – Antiques are items that are 100 years old, and older. This definition is accepted in the trade, but also has important legal and financial implications.

In the United States (and some other countries) no import duty is paid on antiques so you can save a lot of money if you know that your purchases are antique. This applies to items acquired on a buying trip, vacation, or online purchase so get a receipt from the seller stating that it’s an antique or, if you buy an antique online from a foreign seller, make sure they describe it as an antique on the customs form. More information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19 Part 10, Section 10.53. read more

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Repairs Made Easy: Conversions of Screw-back Vintage Earrings to Posts

Those of us who love vintage earrings are often frustrated to find that a newly-acquired pair is unbearably uncomfortable because of its screw-back or clip-back fitting.   If this were an occasional issue it wouldn’t be a big deal; however for the first three-quarters of the 20th century pierced earrings were out of fashion in many parts of the world.  For me, this time period encompasses many of my favorite styles of earrings:  long, elegant Art Deco earrings; Mexican silver hoops and enameled earrings; sculptural Modernist earrings; and dangling 60’s mod earrings.  While a jeweler can convert almost any pair of earrings to pierced, the cost runs at least $20-50 and sometimes higher.  While this is worth doing on some earrings, it can get prohibitively expensive. read more

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Artfully Adorned: Jewelry from the Christie Romero Collection at FIDM in LA

Scottish Agate Brooch
Scottish Agate Brooch

A few weeks ago I was in Los Angeles to attend the Vintage Fashion Expo and was excited to learn that nearby, at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) museum, there was an exhibit of jewelry from the Christie Romero Collection.

The late Christie Romero was a renowned jewelry historian and author of Warman’s Jewelry, a guide to jewelry of the 18th through 20th centuries.   If I had to choose one jewelry book to recommend to a novice, out of the dozens I own, it would be Warman’s Jewelry 3rd edition because it is highly informative, covers all eras and genres in surprising detail, and contains a realistic range of prices; it also contains Romero’s invaluable timeline of jewelry history alongside landmarks of world history and industrial history.  This book is out of print but can be found on Amazon.  Warman’s Jewelry 5th Edition is also excellent and more widely available. read more

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