Saturday, March 8, 2008

Some Favorite Antique Jewelry

I thought I would occassionally share photos of some of my favorite antique jewelry pieces that we have sold. Some of these were really hard to let go of, but I know they have found good homes.

This is a Georgian era enameled mourning brooch framed in gold. It is just exquisite - done in beautiful, soft blues, greens and pinks. The scene depicted is so sad - a pair of doves, one dead on the ground, the other looking down from a tree branch. The banner above reads "Je pleure sa mort" - French for "I mourn his death". It is especially poignant because doves mate for life.

Death was all too common in the 19th century, and mourning jewelry will be the topic for a later blog.

This full face enameled tiger is done in 14K gold and sports a .12 point European cut diamond in his open mouth along with intense, natural green garnet eyes. He dates from the Edwardian era, circa 1915 and is a great example of both figural and enamel jewelry.

This is an exceptional French paste pin crafted from sterling silver and depicting an elegant floral arrangement in a vase. The blooms are white paste around blue cabochon paste centers. Sparkling baguettes form the vase, and the whole thing is finished with dramatic black enamel accents. It is a fine example of an early Art Deco transitional piece, c. 1920. It is hallmarked with a diamond shape, “Made in France” and a stamped mark too tiny to make out – possibly the French boar’s head for silver, but could also be a maker’s mark.

So there you are - just a couple of my favorite pieces - I will periodically add more to this blog. If YOU have a favorite piece, I would love to see it and can post it here if you like. Or, if you are a member of, I just started a new antique jewelry group there where you are welcome to post YOUR perfect jewels! : ) It is located HERE.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Researching Antique Jewelry

One of the things I really enjoy about the antique jewelry business is researching some of the pieces we get. Whether it is a mark I have not seen before, an unusual design or motif or a piece that has been personalized, I always try to find out as much as I can about each item and sometimes it is just fascinating! Our latest update contains just such a piece - a wonderful antique signed Tiffany & Co. 14K gold locket, engraved with the name "Margaret Lynch Conger", as a well as the monogram "CRC" and a series of dates August 3, 1867, Jan.1, 1872 and Oct. 4th, 1876. It also holds a curled lock of chestnut hair under a crystal.

So – who was Margaret Lynch Conger? I Google’d the name and really only came up with two possibles – in the first result, the name shows up in historical papers held by the New York Public Library. A Margaret Lynch Conger was the daughter-in-law of Abraham Bogart Conger (1814-1887), who evidently had quite the history and was, in addition to other things, a New York state senator. She was married to his son, Clarence R. Conger, which would fit the CRC monogram. It is an interesting read, and can be found HERE.

The other hit is for an author by the same name, her bibliography can be found HERE.

I don’t think this is the same person, because I also found an obituary for the first one dated Friday, March 29, 1912, making it unlikely to be the author, as two of the books listed are from the 1920’s. Maybe her daughter? So then I Google’d Margaret L. Conger – and SHE was a suffragette from Albany, according to a story HERE in the New York Times archives. She also showed up in the 1930 New York Blue Book, as did a Clarence C. Conger the Third, but at separate addresses, so maybe that was her brother? So there you go, probably more information than you wanted to know, but I always find it fascinating when I can at least attempt to find the provenance of a piece!

Here are some pictures of the locket in question -

Our First Blog Post - An Update to Perfect Jewels!

Decided it was time to get with the program and venture into the blogosphere. I am planning to use this to announce updates to our website, and to talk about antique jewelry and share pictures and interesting tidbits in general, but not sure how it will evolve. I guess I will see where it goes from here - it is kind of exciting! To start off, though, here is the first update announcement -

Well, it seems like forever since we last updated our site! Between shows, the holidays and some personal things to deal with, I was starting to worry we would never get it done. But we finally did and it is now live…

Start Here to find an eclectic assortment of goodies. Highlights include antique Tiffany and Cartier, some gorgeous antique enamels, moonstones, Victorian earrings with gemstones, a huge Art Nouveau cameo, some good collectible antique sterling and more.

Here are a couple of pictures from this update to tempt you -

Thank you, as always, for taking a moment to look!


Nora & Beverly
Finding YOU the Perfect Jewel!