Sugar et Cie Logo
Antique Equestrian Jewelry & How to Wear it Now Part I
06 / 10

 

EQUESTRIAN JEWELRY

 

Equestrian jewelry never seems to go out of fashion and now more than ever, it’s in high demand. Who doesn’t love a lucky horseshoe pendant, a riding crop brooch, hounds of all sorts, and of course right in the middle stirring it all up – the fox! (See Part II to this blog, coming soon, THE FOX AND THE HOUND.)

 

ANTIQUE EQUESTRIAN JEWELRY & HOW TO WEAR IT NOW

 

For a variety of reasons, a good number of equestrian motif jewels happen to be in the form of a brooch. A category of jewelry that may be considered uninteresting or outdated by some, is now gaining in popularity as designers, celebrities and the trend setter in your office come up with new and fun ways to wear them.

 

Here are a few of our takes on how to incorporate the Equestrian Jewelry Trend into your wardrobe.

 

 

 

Clockwise from top left, Kendall Jenner courtesy of Vogue, Versace Safety Pin Dress courtesy of Richmond Classics, Versace Versus courtesy of Net-a-Porter, Vintage Tiffany Equestrian Stock Pins, Sugar et Cie

 

GROUP AND STACK

 

Start with a focus pin/brooch in a motif (Equestrian), gem/metal/color you love, or shape (linear or round), and work around it. Looking for something equestrian and love the combination of sparkling rubies and diamonds? Start with our latest addition, an antique riding crop brooch (pictured below). Pair it with our fox stick pin and a diamond bar brooch.

 

 

Our latest addition, Antique Equestrian Riding Crop Brooch with Rubies and Old European Cut Diamond © Copyright Sugar et Cie 2016

 

Some color consistency in you group, generally yields a more cohesive look. You may have to play around with your pins a bit before you get the look you want.

 

THE UNEXPECTED

 

Wear your brooches, bar pins, hunting stock pins, kilt pins, double clip brooch/dress pin in unexpected places. Pin them to straps of a cocktail dress, to the front vent of a blazer (Versace Versus), or to the top flap of a pocket.

 

On our last buying trip, we acquired a pair of vintage diamond, pearl, and platinum lingerie pins (coming soon). We think they will look amazing pinned vertically on the front cuffs (or in place of cufflinks) on a menswear inspired white shirt.

 

CONVERT IT

 

If all else fails convert it! We wouldn’t recommend touching something that is rare, but isn’t jewelry meant to be worn?

 

If it doesn’t work for you in its current form, you should feel free to change it. Some conversions are quite easy and some take a bit of advice and a good jeweler who knows how to work with antique jewelry. It’s happening all of the time. Stick pins converted to rings or single stud earrings, brooches to pendants or barrettes. We’ve been known to convert a few ourselves.

 

The latest craze in equestrian conversions: foxes and hounds from stick pins/brooches to rings, horseshoe brooches to pendants and rings. So if you fall in love with a brooch and none of our creative ideas on how to wear it spark your interest – convert it!

 

THE BROADER TREND: EQUESTRIAN INSPIRED FASHION ON OUR FALL FASHION SHOPPING LIST

 

Equestrian seems to be a key style inspiration for multiple fashion houses for the Fall (2016). I especially love Vouge’s Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis’ take on the trend seen in: Great Gatsby Meets Downton Abbey in Wales (great title!).

 

 

model wearing riding clothes, jacket, pants and riding boots

 

Courtesy of Vogue – Photograph by Jooney Woodward

 

Both Chanel and Ralph Lauren’s Ready-to-Wear runway shows have included a bit of equestrian style. Both paired multiple looks with riding boots: from hot pink tweed suits to long black coats piled with ropes of pearls.

 

long double breasted winter coat in black from Chanel's 2016 Fall Ready-to-Wear Collection

 

Chanel’s 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection courtesy of Vogue

 

 

hot pink tweed suit

 

Chanel’s 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection courtesy of Vogue

 

RALPH LAUREN (riding boots, jodhpur stye pants, and more) BUCKTROUT TAILORING (hacking jackets), LE CHEMAU (riding and hunting boots for the field and street wear), AIGLE (riding and hunting boots for the field and street wear), are all great sources for equestrian style.

 

The trick to this trend is in the contrast. Evening with day (Ralph Lauren’s silk brocade evening dress with riding boots), or frayed with traditional (Bucktrout hacking jacket with frayed jeans and stilettos). Avoid wearing it from head to toe, unless of course, you are about to go riding.

 

tweed hacking jacket

 

Sarah Jacket, in lovat tweed courtesy of Bucktrout Tailoring

 

frayed jeans

 

Frayed Jeans, courtesy of Man Repeller

 

Three different black tall riding boots

 

Riding boots: Ralph Lauren, Venerie by Le Chameau, Steve Madden

 

You can find the Ralph Lauren’s riding boots on Ralph Lauren’s site. Unfortunately, finding Le Chameau boots in the U.S. is currently a bit difficult. At the time this post was written, their website was not set up for U.S. eCommerce.

 

Looking for the same luxe look for a little bit less? Steve Madden’s Lace Up Boots are a great option.

 

Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 model wearing long gold skirt with black riding boots

 

Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear, courtesy of Vogue

 

Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 model wearing long purple and gold brocade skirt with high slit and black riding boots

 

Ralph Lauren Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear, courtesy of Vogue

 

WE HAVE MORE EQUESTRIAN INSPIRED JEWELS AT SUGAR ET CIE – SO COME CHECK US OUT!

 

09 / 08

 

MRS. STANFORD’S JEWELS – NOW ON EXHIBIT AT STANFORD’S CANTOR MUSEUM

 

A little background…During the 19th century, Jane Lathrop Stanford, philanthropist and wife of Leland Stanford (attorney, Governor of California, Robber Baron, and founder of Stanford University), amassed an amazing collection of jewels.

 

Oil Painting Mrs. Stanford's Jewels

 

Photograph by Sugar et Cie of work by Astley D.M. Cooper “Mrs. Stanford Jewels,” Cantor Museum at Stanford University

 

After arranging her jewelry on red velvet in order to photograph and catalog her collection, Mrs. Stanford decided that she really liked the look of the photograph. She decided to commission, local artist, D.M. Cooper to create an oil painting of the collection (c. 1898).

 

It’s currently part of a small exhibition of Astley D.M. Cooper’s work on display at Stanford University’s Cantor Museum through November 16, 2015. Always looking for examples of 18th and 19th century jewels, I went down to take a look. The painting is visually stunning, but to me it is most interesting as a piece of design history.

 

My only wish is that Cooper had painted the jewels in greater detail. One reason for this might be that he painted the final touches from memory. Cooper, a drinker and lover of life, became irritated with Stanford’s demands for formal dress and temperance. “Irked by her pretensions, Cooper stormed out of the Stanford mansion before completing his work.” (A Painter Comes Home, Geoffry Dunn, Metro, March 7-16) The painting was finished later, in the peace, in his studio.

 

Close up view of a portion of the oil painting Mrs. Stanford's Jewels showing a six strand pearl necklace and other pieces of jewelry

 

Photograph by Sugar et Cie of work by Astley D.M. Cooper “Mrs. Stanford Jewels,” Cantor Museum at Stanford University

 

 

A CLASSIC COLLECTION OF VICTORIAN JEWELRY

 

I happened to find the following information regarding Mrs. Stanford’s collection in “Bejewelled by Tiffany,” (Clare Phillips). It might give you some insight into the quality of her collection. The Stanford name can be found multiple times in Tiffany & Co.’s surviving ledgers from the 1870’s and 1880’s. Her collection is also purported to include pieces from the Queen of Spain (Isabella II)’s collection.

 

Stanford’s collection includes many classic 19th century pieces, the kind you might see in the Victoria & Albert museum in London or at the Met in New York: bangle bracelets, a diamond arrow brooch, a diamond studded pocket watch, cameos, parures, jeweled hair combs, portrait brooches….

 

A close-up of Astley, D.M. Cooper's Jane Stanford's Jewels

 

Photograph by Sugar et Cie of work by Astley D.M. Cooper “Mrs. Stanford Jewels,” Cantor Museum at Stanford University

 

JEWELLERY IN 19TH CENTURY OIL PAINTINGS

 

Within the Cantor Museum, there were surprisingly few portraits of Mrs. Stanford wearing her jewels (especially ones including the details that I love). This was perhaps the best: Jane Lathrop Stanford, 1881, by Léon-Joseph-Florentin Bonnat (France) oil on canvas, Stanford Family Collection. The detail of the jewelry is not completely clear, but no one can mistake the lovely (and large) sapphire ring that she’s wearing on her index finger.

 

Close up of a portrait of Jane Stanford showing her jewelry

 

Photograph by Sugar et Cie of work by Léon-Joseph-Florentin Bonnat “Jane Lathrop Stanford,” Cantor Museum at Stanford University

 

Although it is well-documented, I’m not sure that today it is commonly known that Stanford University struggled financially after Leland Stanford’s death. Mrs. Stanford worked tirelessly to ensure its financial stability.

 

SELLING THE COLLECTION

 

Jane Stanford traveled to London during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in order to find a buyer for her jewelry collection, but was not successful. In her will, Mrs. Stanford provided for her collection to be sold and for the proceeds to fund museum acquisitions. According to the Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 1, 1906, “The world famous collection of precious stones and jewelry, the property of the late Mrs. Jane Stanford, will be sold by the Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University Association as soon as possible… Many offers from leading Eastern jewelers are already on file…”

 

 

06 / 08

 

XOXO VAMP! & OUR JEWEL OF THE WEEK

 

 

antique garnet cluster ring

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

Last year was the 20th anniversary of Chanel’s Vamp Nail Polish. It seemed that no one really made a fuss. There was no new version, no relaunch or 20th anniversary edition. As a lover of Vamp and all things Vamp colored, all I can say is – Big mistake Chanel!

 

The color launched in 1994, was made famous by Uma Thuman in pulp Fiction and Madonna in her music video, Take A Bow. By 1995, it was almost impossible to get your hands a bottle. It has been continuously knocked off ever since. It has quietly become, should I say it out loud? …A timeless classic.

 

Why is its appeal so everlasting? Maybe it’s not for everybody, but it is hard to resist its rich, deep, black-red color. It conjures up thoughts of so many lovely, mouthwatering things: The deep rich red of Cabernet, the purple-red of ripe summer blackberries and cherries, and another fashion favorite – LV’s Vernis in Amarante.

 

 

things that are the color of Vamp by Chanel

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

 

things that are the color of Vamp by Chanel

 

Elie Saab Fall/Winter 2014

 

ANTIQUE BOHEMIAN GARNET CLUSTER RING ON A GALLERY OF GLEAMING ROSE GOLD

 

It is also the inspiration for our jewel of the week, an Antique Garnet Cluster Statement Ring.

 

Previously a brooch (circa 1880/90), now in its second incarnation as a ring, it is comprised of concentric layers of rose cut garnets in round and pear shapes. Like most garnet jewelry from this period the cluster is set in what is called garnet gold, sterling silver or other base metal washed with gold. The gallery and band are made of solid 14 Kt rose gold, a weighty 9.3 grams.

 

Wear it as a cocktail ring on its own or add another cluster ring in a contrasting color: hot pink sapphires, diamonds, orange fire opals.

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

CREDITS

 

Liberty School Winery

Guide to picking blackberries, SFgate

Cassis Pearls

Oscar Tiye Shoes featured on Kayture

Chanel Vamp Nail Polish

Another favorite: Wicked by Essie

03 / 27

 

THE TRADITION

 

From the late 1800’s into the mid 20th century, when an engagement ring was purchased at a luxury jewelry store, a sterling silver ring box was included. Unfortunately, Tiffany’s, Birks, and others no longer offer this option. Your diamond ring is now most likely to be presented in a velvet or leather box, which of course is still nice. But somehow, its not quite the same as a velvet or silk lined sterling silver ring box that screams out – HEIRLOOM.

 

Why have these ring boxes become so highly sought after? Perhaps its the fact that silver can be engraved with initials or a special date or that as the styles changed (from time-to-time and by price point of the ring) they inspired collectors. Whatever the reason, women love these pretty sterling silver objects and men know their wife-to-be will appreciate having a special antique or vintage box to go with that special antique or vintage engagement ring. 

 

vintage sterling silver ring box

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

These boxes are a special way to display, store, or present a special ring (Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary) and we are always on the look out for ones to add to our online boutique. And of course, like many of you, like to know as much as we can about the details of the antiques that we buy. And as always, we are happy to share with those that are interested.

 

vintage sterling silver ring box

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

Over the years we have come across a few from the U.S., some from England, but the majority of the ones we have been interested in come from Canada. The English ones are relatively easy to research and date due to England’s system of hallmarking. Canadian ring boxes can be a bit trickier.

 

If you are interested in sterling silver rather than silver plate, just look for the mark that says sterling silver.

 

an example of a Canadian Sterling Silver Mark

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

Dating them is a bit harder. You can’t simply look at the hallmarks, look for the city mark and then look up the date letter to determine the year the piece was made. It was this quest that led us to do some research on a few of the premier Canadian firms. You won’t be able to pin down the year, but you will in some cases have a better chance of identifying the period.

 

the inside of a vintage sterling silver ring box

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

A LITTLE HISTORY

 

We have done a little research, tracing the histories of these firms, when they merged, when they changed their names and how their makers marks have changed over time. This, in conjunction, with the style of the box, the amount/type of wear, the materials used help us place determine the circa of the box.

 

Here is some of the information we compiled. It is a brief chronology (not an in depth study) that provides some clues via key dates in the history of these famous firms responsible for crafting these sterling silver gems.

vintage sterling silver ring box

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2015

 

RYRIE, ELLIS BROS. & BIRKS

 

Ryrie, Ellis Bros., and Birks were all premier jewelry companies in Canada during the 19th and 20th centuries. Birks is the only one that continues on today.

 

Birks or Henry (or Henri depending upon the reference) Birks & Sons was founded in 1879 by Henry Birks in Montreal. Ryrie was founded in 1879 by James Ryrie in Toronto (later becoming Ryrie Brothers in 1897). P.W. Ellis Jewellery Company was founded in 1872 by Philip William Ellis and brother Mathew C. Ellis in Torronto. It later became Ellis Bros. limited. The company is listed as PW Ellis & Co. Limited on a catalogue dated 1915/16 and Ellis Bros. Limited on a catalogue from 1922. While these dates do not point to the exact date of the name changes they are a good reference points, from primary sources, which you can use to when comparing the type of makers mark that is on your box (or piece of jewelry from these makers). Keep in mind that it is not an exact science and marks did not change overnight.

 

All three luxury jewelry companies have storied pasts that became intertwined during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Ryrie Bros. was an independent company until 1917 when it became part of Birks. It appears that fundamentally, Birks purchased Ryrie (some report it as an affiliation and others as an amalgamation). The Ryrie reputation must have been valuable, as the combined entity was then renamed with the Ryrie-Birks, with the Ryrie name in the first position.

 

Ellis Bros. also a successful jewelry business in Toronto. It was an independent jewelry company, acquiring others along the way until 1928, when the wholesale portion of the business folded. In 1933, the retail business was absorbed by Birks. This time the name was changed to Birks, Ellis, Ryrie, later becoming “just” Birks as it is known today.

 

 

01 / 08

 

JEWELRY AND NAIL COLOR: FAVORITE PAIRINGS

 

Nail color is a great way to try out the latest trend, get in the mood for a new season, or compliment your latest jewelry acquisition. Below is one of our favorite pairings.

 

antique gold bangle and gold glitter polish from Deborah Lippmann, Cleopatra in New York

 

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2014, and Courtesy of Deborah Lippmann

 

OUR ITEM OF THE WEEK: ANTIQUE GOLD BYPASS BANGLE

 

This pretty 14 ct gold bangle is a recent addition to our Victoriana collection and is available at Sugar et Cie. It is in the Etruscan Revival style from the Victorian period and is called a bypass bangle. You can see the lovely work in the details: the gold granulation, the fine wire work and the bloomed gold, all characteristics of the Etruscan Revival style.

 

We’ve paired this bangle with Deborah Lippmann’s Cleopatra in New York. It’s a black lacquer studded with gold which can be worn on its own or as a second coat over another color.

 

The bypass bangle has always been popular. The clean modern form of the body of the bangle is a nice contrast to the elaborate terminal on each end of the bracelet, which is similar in shape to a royal scepter.

 

DEBORAH LIPPMANN’S GLITTER COLLECTION

 

I haven’t always been a fan of glitter nail polish, but Deborah Lippmann has won me over with her sophisticated palette of glitter nail lacquers. What makes them different? The glitter components are octagonal in shape and made up of small and large pieces. The effect is chic, almost bespoke and doesn’t look like my six year old niece gave me a manicure.

 

Deborah Lippmann glitter nail polish, Cleopatra in New York, Ruby Red Slippers, Boom Pow Pow

 

Not quite ready for a black-based lacquer? Try Lippmann’s Ruby Red slippers, Boom Pow Pow, or any of the 23 polishes in her glitter collection.