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Our Latest Obsession: The Enamel Flower Ring, Part 2
07 / 22

 

TRENDING – A RING FOR EVERY FINGER

 

On Saturday, we shared with you the latest addition to our Ring Collection: an Enamel Flower Ring with a European Cut Diamond, “Wild Violet” – See more at: Part 1 of Our Latest Obsession. At Sugar et Cie, we love to mix the antique, vintage & modern. Two of the jewelry trends that were big last year and that continue to stay strong are “a ring for every finger” (or at least multiple fingers) and stacking rings.

 

We’ve paired our latest creation featuring an antique enameled violet, with a stack of modern (new and can be ordered) micro-pave diamond eternity bands. They come in 18 Kt. white gold, white gold with rhodium detailing, yellow gold and rose gold.

 

Micro Pave Diamond Eternity Rings

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

You can create a number of different looks with these diamond stacking rings. Create a statement ring by stacking five or six together. Or, provide a little sparkle to any finger by wearing a single.

 

Micro Pave Diamond Eternity Rings

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

Annabelle Fleur, Viva Luxury and Blair Eadie, Atlantic – Pacific, are two of our favorite fashion bloggers that also favor these trends. I love Annabelle’s ability to mix, stack, and layer jewelry. Her looks are always cohesive and polished.

 

 

Antique Enamel Flower Ring

 

Annabelle, Viva Luxury

 

 

Eadie Blair, Director at Tory Burch by day, and Fashion blogger by night, has the enviable ability to create looks that are fashion mag worthy, but not staged or over-styled.

 

Antique Enamel Flower Ring

 

Atlantic-Pacific

 

The color you pick for your nails can also make your jewelry pop! There are so many great options out there that sometimes I find it hard to choose.

 

Blue is a great pick for summer. It looks fresh, and of course it always pairs well with diamonds. Two of our favorites, periwinkle and deep violet, look great on a variety of skin tones and colors. From Essie: Lapiz of Luxury and No More Film.

 

Blue Nail Polish from Essie

 

Essie

 

07 / 19

 

ANTIQUE ENAMEL FLOWER JEWELRY

Antique Enamel Flower Ring

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

Just a month or two ago, I came across an old article about jeweled orchid brooches made by Tiffany & Co. for the Exposition Universelle in Paris 1889. They were designed by Paulding Farnham to represent 24 actual orchid species.

 

They looked so realistic that several people thought they were real. According to Sotheyby’s, a Jeweler’s Weekly article from June of 1889 described the phenomenon: “so perfectly copied after nature as to inspire unqualified admiration … to deceive the observer into a belief that real flowers have been placed in the showcases with the jewelry.” Farnham won the gold medal in jewelry for Tiffany, and catapulted his reputation and career.

 

TIFFANY’S ORCHID BROOCHES

 

Just like the orchid themselves, these jeweled, enamel over gold brooches and hair ornaments, were created in a range of colors from the palest of pastels to the most deeply saturated of jewel tones. Since each orchid represented a different orchid species, each had a unique color scheme.

 

Visions of sugar plums, or rather delicate candy-colored flowers, began to dance in my head. Unfortunately, Tiffany’s orchids are hard to find and command steep prices at auction. A lemon yellow, chartreuse, orange, and cream colored example sold last year at Sotheby’s for $173,00, 44% over the high estimate.

 

HAND CANDY

 

I knew I wanted to have an enameled flower ring for Sugar et Cie and modern day versions just didn’t fit with my vision. They were either too shiny (the antique ones I favor have a velvety matte finish). Or they looked like they belonged on a greeting card instead of freshly plucked from a garden.

 

Antique Enamel Flower Ring

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

As it turns out, enameled pansies and violets from the Victorian and Edwardian period were the answer. More plentiful (made by a variety of jewelers from the period), less elaborate, and less expensive than the Tiffany’s gem, they make the perfect flower for the finger. The only downside is that the more unusual the color and the better the condition, the harder they are too find (and the higher the price).

 

This wild violet (circa 1910) in enamel over 14 Kt., flower ring is the first in what I hope is a series for Sugar et Cie.

 

Antique Enamel Flower Ring

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

… more to come in our second installment on Tuesday, so check back!

06 / 10

 

VICTORIAN DIAMOND STAR BROOCH: A LUST HAVE!

 

We just got back from a buying trip and picked-up a lot of great things which you will be seeing on our site this week and next. One item in particular has been on our must have list for a while: an antique star brooch set with old mine cut diamonds in silver over gold from the Victorian Period. 

Antique Diamond Star Brooch

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

 

A Close-Up of Old Mine Cut Diamonds

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014

 

ROYAL TRENDSETTERS

 

The minute I saw this portrait of Empress Elisabeth (“Sisi”) of Austria (1837-1898) wearing diamond stars pinned into her hair, I was hooked.

 

Empress Elisabeth of Austria bry Franz Xaver Winterhalter

 

Attributed to Franz Xaver Winterhalter (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

 

According to the Schloss Schönbrunn palace and the Sisi Museum, the Empress commissioned Rozet & Fischmeister and other court jewelers to have multiple stars made. Some were 8 points, some were 10 points, and some had a pearl at the center.

 

Empress Elisabeth was not the only royal to favor wearing diamond stars. Queen Alexandra of England (1844-1925) had a set. There are numerous pictures of her wearing her stars pinned across the bodice of her dress. Just like Sisi, she was also a royal fashion trend-setter. Everything she did and wore was copied by society’s elite. The collier de chien (multiple strands of pearls and diamonds in the form of a collar necklace) is still associated with Alexandra to this day.

 

HAIR JEWELS ARE HAVING A MOMENT – OKAY, MAYBE MORE THAN A MOMENT

 

Once worn only for special events (wedding e.g. bridal jewelry), you can now find more and more women with a bit of sparkle in their hair. It’s hard to pick up a copy of Vogue, ELLE, Lucky, etc. and not find a feature or story about something jeweled for one’s tresses.

 

Believe it or not jeweled hair pins can be worn with jeans and a Tee, think a single tiny diamond star pin. Or with a cocktail dress: try two Art Deco Diamond Barrettes just above the ear to pull back your waves (e.g. channeling Veronica Lake). It’s all in how you style it. The below is from backstage at Valentino…

 

Antique Diamond Star Brooch

 

Valentino Show Autumn/Winter 2011-12, courtesy of Vogue

 

For more ideas, take a look at our Pinterest Board: She Had Diamonds on the Crown of Her Head, peruse our website for diamond barrettes, or ask us if we can convert one of our vintage or antique brooches to a barrette.

 

04 / 02

 

THE LOOK OF LOVE

 

Maybe the “Look of Love, Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection” can help answer the question. Written by by Graham C. Boettcher, Elle Shushan, and Jo Manning, it is part exhibition catalog and part romantic tale.

 

Not to be confused with the “Evil Eye” or “Tiger’s Eye”, or any other “Eye” jewelry, a Lover’s Eye is a miniature portrait of a loved one’s eye set into a piece of jewelry: brooch, ring, locket, pendent, stick-pin etc.

A picture of the book

I have purchased it for my collection (see pictures of the book purchased from the Birmingham Museum of Art, above and below) and can personally recommend it. If you are a collector of antique jewelry or books on antique jewelry, the 97 color images justify the investment. It is a great reference book for your collection or library. The book also includes a well-researched account of the origin and history of the eye-miniature, a chapter on the language of sentiment expressed through gemstones, and six very entertaining short stories inspired by various Lover’s Eyes. At this time, the book is currently available through the The Winterthur Museum Bookstore, the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Bookstore, and on Amazon.

ROYAL TRENDSETTERS AND EYE MINIATURES

 

Lover’s eye jewelry was supposedly popularized by King George the IV (at that time, the Prince of Wales). He had one of his favorite artists of the day, paint his eye hoping to use it as a romantic gesture to win over the woman who had previously rebuffed him. He had the miniature portrait set into a locket and shipped it off, hoping to persuade her (Maria Fitzherbert) to marry him. As the story goes, the gift, or the letter that went with it worked and she eventually gave in. They married in secrecy, due to the King’s (George III) disapproval, in December of 1785.

 

SENTIMENTAL JEWELRY

 

The Lover’s Eye is merely a single chapter, lasting only 50 years (1780 – 1830), in the voluminous novel of Sentimental Jewelry of the 18th and 19th century. Not many were created to begin with, they were often painted on delicate mediums (e.g. ivory), and the ones that still exist are now approaching or have past the bicentennial mark. All reasons why these miniature works of art are relatively scarce and tend to command a pretty penny when they come to market. If you are a fan of Sentimental Jewelry, check back, as will be sharing more on this topic in our next blog.

 

 

02 / 28

 

IS PINK THE NEW BLACK?

 

Icy pastels, usually reserved for Spring, were part of the color palette this past Fall/Winter. Well, Spring is approaching and pink is still here. Models pranced down the runway at Spring Fashion Week covered in pink from head to toe (Alexander Wang, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Balenciaga). All shades were present from sugary bubble gum to fuchsia to the palest of pales. Not a big fan of all over pink? Add hints and pops of the color through your accessories: shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. Here are some of our top picks.

 

Satin strappy sandals in hot pink

 

 

Sergio Rossi satin pink strappy sandals

 

 

A new discovery, for me anyway. Julep nail polish seems to be free of nasty chemicals. They call it 4-Free. It doesn’t contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, or toluene.

 

 

pale pink nail polish

 

 

 

Julep nail polish in Emanuelle

 

 

At first glance this looks like mother of pearl, but as it turns out it’s plastic.

oval pink and black striped purse

 

Striped oval clutch from Edie Parker

 

 

pale pink mule with gold embellishments

 

Pale pink and gold mule from Oscar De La Renta

 

 

pale pink pearls  with rose gold shield locket embellishments

Cultured pearls with rose gold shield locket from Sugar et Cie

 

 

bubblegum pink peep toe pumps with skulls

 

Bubblegum pink pumps with jeweled skull detail from Alexander McQueen

 

 

pink cashmere and silk scarf

 

 

Chan Luu silk cashmere scarf

 

 

hot pink flat sandlas

 

 

Fuchsia leather embellished t-bar sandals from DSQUARED2

 

 

vintage buckle on blush glazed alligator cuff

 

 

Antique buckle on blush pink glazed alligator cuff from Sugar et Cie

 

 

hot pink lip gloss

 

 

Marc Jacobs Lip Vinyl lip gloss in “Boom Boom” fuchsia