After almost three decades in the jewelry business, I’m still learning. In fact, not a day goes by that I don’t discover something fascinating. Here are a few fun facts I gleaned from recent publications in 2019:
Did you know that …
In the 1660s London was the leading diamond cutting center in the world?
Open-backed mounts for diamonds originated well before the 19th century? They were actually widespread in the late 17th century and some even dated back to Roman times.
Source: Diamonds: An Early History of the King of Gems by Jack Ogden
Did you know that in Imperial Russia …
It was Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (r 1741-61), not Catherine the Great, who set the trend of wearing jewels sewn directly onto court dresses-she of the thousand gowns?!
Emeralds in Russia were only first discovered in 1831 near Ekaterineburg in the Urals?
Source: Jewels! The Glitter of the Russian Court from the exhibition catalogue Hermitage Amsterdam
And, finally, did you know that …
French jeweler Théodule Bourdier created an enamelled egg containing a surprise of diamond violets for the Russian empress Maria Feodorovna in 1891?
Source: The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire by Francesca Cartier Brickell
On the Storefront:
I’ll continue to buy intriguing jewels in 2020, so please stay in touch. In the meantime, here are a few of my recent acquisitions:
English Gold Charm Bracelet, Birmingham, 1950s. Comprising a single die, thimble, pistol, horseshoe, key stamped apre il tuo cuore (open your heart) and a figure of Mr. Magoo. Intrigued by its history? Take a closer look.
Russian Nicholas I Silver Creamer, Moscow, 1840. Handsome Russian silver cream jug, from the era of the first tsar Nicholas (1825-1855), it measures almost 6 inches long and 5 inches high. Russian silver from this period is rare. Try it for your afternoon tea!
English Gold Enamel Pearl Daisy Mourning Ring. The clear hallmarks give you the precise date of 1858 – three years before the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, after which mourning jewelry would become popular throughout the land. See it from various angles and in its original box.
Now, onto the exciting events we have planned for you in 2020:
We’ll be leading two extraordinary tours – Paris in April 2020 and to both St. Petersburg AND Moscow in October 2020. Thank you for being such delightful companions in 2019. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy hearing about all our adventures in the new year – and, of course, we hope you’ll join us in Paris and St. Petersburg/Moscow.
And finally our book Beyond Fabergé: Imperial Russian Jewelry will be released this coming year! We’ll let you know when it’s out, and you can also join our book updates list to be among the first to know.
Yours in treasuring all that is rare, historic and exquisitely made,