Category: Vintage Jewelry

Three Art Deco Bakelite and Enamel Bracelets

black bakelite bangle with blue on silver tabs 1930s art deco bracelet

As promised far too long ago within the first section of my Chains of Evidence post, here are the Art Deco era bracelets that match two of the necklaces shown there. The combination of Bakelite, enamel paint accents and (in one example) embossed metal is quite dramatic. All three are bangle bracelets (one being hinged)…

Chains of Evidence

When attempting to identify unsigned vintage necklaces, the chain can be a useful tool. Not only can certain chain styles help to date a piece as to era, but subtle differences between them can sometimes differentiate one anonymous manufacturer from another. A great example of this can be seen in necklaces from the Art Deco…

Nautical Essex Crystal Antique Jewelry

Essex crystal and enamel Victorian yacht brooch

The fourth popular motif in Victorian era Essex crystal jewelry was the nautical theme, particularly that of pennants which denoted specific yacht clubs or even spelled out words using the nautical alphabet. Boats and ships themselves were also represented.   This pair of flag (I’ll use the word “flag” here even though some of them…

Flower Designs in Antique Essex Crystal

antique Essex crystal lily of the valley pendant

Having spent some time among the animals and birds, why don’t we stroll through an Essex crystal flower garden?     This charming Victorian piece is actually a parasol handle! Made of gold and accented with diamonds, it is mounted so as to display six different flowers. We can see a daisy, an iris, and…

Antique and Vintage Essex Crystal: Birds

Essex crystal European goldfinch and thistle diamond ring

Birds were another favorite subject for reverse carved Essex crystal jewelry. The Victorian pieces in particular portrayed game birds, hunting being a popular sport of the times (as seen in the Essex crystal Animals post.) Although not all of the examples below are antique, all are undoubtedly attractive!              …

Antique Essex Crystal Jewelry: Animals

One of the most unique types of Victorian era jewelry must surely be the genre known as “Essex crystal”. The name does not refer to a brand, nor to geography (like Vauxhall glass jewelry), but to a mistaken identity! All Essex crystal jewelry began life as a piece of clear rock crystal (not glass, but…

Unusual Operculum Jewelry

Some operculum jewelry pieces simply don’t fit neatly into any of the more popular design categories such as filigree, tortoise shell, etc. This isn’t too surprising, considering that opercula are rather unusual themselves! So here are a few that defied description and/or approximate dating, although in some cases I’ve included my personal “guesstimate” of age.…

Silver Filigree Operculum Jewelry

Another popular style for operculum jewelry was to set the shells into ornate filigree necklaces and bracelets. The word “filigree” derives from filigrana meaning a wire thread (filum in Latin) and granum meaning grain or small bead. Very intricate and delicate openwork patterns can be created in this way, much like lace but using metal…