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Bridal Accessories: Antique, Vintage, and Modern
03 / 27

 

Bridal Accessories

 

Bridal accessories have always been an important part of the wedding day ensemble. Ok, maybe not quite as important as the dress, but still a lot of effort does go into selecting the right accessories either for fashion or sentimental reasons. The jewelry (brooches, pins, earrings, rings, bracelets, hair accessories, bouquet holders), the bouquet itself, shoes, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and the list goes on.

 

Lady Mary’s Wedding Day Accessories

 

If you are one of the many following Downton Abbey, you no doubt witnessed Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley in Season 3. The wedding dress, chosen for historical accuracy, is not something that most modern brides are likely to get excited about. What was however, very appealing (and said to be sought after), was her most noticeable accessory – the tiara. Here’s a smaller scale option if you’d like to add some sparkle to your hair, an Antique: 19th Century Rose Gold & Diamond Floral Spray Barrette (Converted Brooch) from our Bridal Hair Accessories Collection.

 

 

An Antique Diamond Flower Spray Barette

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

 

In the story, the tiara was portrayed as a family heirloom. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, it may have been a wedding gift from the Sassoon family to Princess Louise, the eldest daughter of King Edward the VII, in 1889. The piece worn by Lady Mary does look a bit different from the piece worn by Princess Louise (via an original photograph). The diamond tiara is comprised of a garland of leaves and flowers (Georgian circa 1800) silver over gold, that can be unjoined and worn as two brooches. The tiara worn by Lady Mary was loaned to the production company by Bentley and Skinner of Mayfair and is available for purchase (at today’s conversion rate) for approximately $188,000. What makes it so particularly appealing, besides the 45 carats of old-cut, collet-set diamonds, is the fact that it can be angled to sit more like a wreath of flowers, blending into the hair instead of sticking upwards.

 

Antique, Vintage, and Modern Inspiration

 

We’ve pulled some pieces to give you an idea or two of how you might add a few vintage inspired touches to your wedding day look.

 

 

Bridal Fashion & Accessories

If you don’t happen to have any family heirlooms to wear on the day, buy them! Be the one to create your family heirlooms by handing them down some day to the next generation. We love this amazing modified trumpet gown from Monique Lhuillier’s 2012 collection. It is the best of both worlds, part form fitting and part ball gown, all rolled into one. We’ve paired it with one of Sugar et Cie’s Georgian paste converted buckle brooches (from the same period as the Tiara) and a vintage diamond bracelet, also from our collections. Create an antique, vintage, and modern mix with the brooch pinned at your hip, the bracelet around your wrist, and Christian Louboutin’s sparkles on your toes.

 

More Bridal Accessories

 

 

More Wedding Dress Accessories

 

Sources:

 

Jewelry

As pictured: Antique: 19th Century Rose Gold & Diamond Floral Spray Barrette (Converted Brooch), by Sugar et Cie

As pictured: Antique: Georgian Paste Buckle in Silver with White Gold Brooch Fittings, by Sugar et Cie

As pictured: Vintage: White Gold Openwork Plaque Diamond Bracelet, by Sugar et Cie

 

Clothing

As pictured: Ivory Embossed Orchidea Satin V-Neck Asymetric Draped Modified Trumpet Gown, by Moniuqe Lhuillier

As pictured: Ivory Rex Rabbit Fur Boler, by Matthew Williamson from Montaigne Market

 

Shoes

As pictured: Au Hameau, by Christian Louboutin

As pictured: Minerva Lace and Satin Ankle Boot, by Charlotte Olympia at Net-a-Porter

As pictured: Skull Motif Sandal in Gold, by Alexander McQueen at FarFetch.com

As pictured: Decollete 554 Silver Strass, by Christian Louboutin

03 / 19

 

Our Latest Addition

 

We are pleased to announce that we are adding a new and unique product to our Spun Sugar collection. We have combined two of our loves: exotic skins (alligator, lizard, python, ostrich, stingray) and antique paste jewelry. We are kicking off the launch of this product with a pair of alligator and Georgian paste cuffs. The cuffs are custom made by one of the premier American alligator tanneries in the U.S. in a deep amethyst glaze specifically for this piece (see more on the Alligator skin used in a note at the bottom). The buckles are a matching pair of antique Georgian paste buckles (circa late 18th c to early 19th c). This pair can be found by visiting our Spun Sugar Collection.

 

Antique Georgian Paste and Alligator Cuff in Amethyst Glaze

 

Antique Georgian Paste and Alligator Cuff

A Pair of Antique Paste Buckles on Purple Alligator Cuffs

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

Each cuff or pair of cuffs are one of a kind. The pastes in this particular pair of buckles were individually hand cut by a single craftsman approximately two centuries ago. Future pieces will be made available as we acquire unique antique paste buckles that we love and can pair them beautiful exotic skins in either rich gem stone shades or bright candy colors for spring/summer.

 

If you are new to this topic, feel free to read more via the Resource page on our site or the first installment of this series, Antique Paste Jewelry Part 1: 3 Myth Busters, previously published.

 

How to Distinguish Victorian Paste from Georgian Paste, Part 2

 

Like many things in life, jewelry identification is part science and part art. In most cases, you cannot look at just one factor and definitively identify a piece as one period vs. another. You have to look at a number of factors and weigh them as a whole. The following are a just a few tips that can help you to begin to distinguish the differences in paste pieces from these two different periods. There are many more factors to consider, but they cannot fit into just one article. We will continue withe series and provide more information in future installments.

 

Shaped Stones

 

As mentioned in Part 1, paste jewelry created during the Georgian period was considered an art form in itself. One of the aesthetic objectives was to show off a sparkling expanse with minimal interruption from the setting. To achieve this, each stone was individually cut into shapes that would fit together. When you are looking at a piece, does it look like each stone is slightly different from the others? Compare the stone to its neighbor. Is it slightly shorter, perhaps a little narrower? Or does it look like an exact duplicate? Georgian paste tend to be hand cut, while Victorian tend to be from molds.

 

Black Dot or Black Spot

 

This one is a little harder to apply. In quality Georgian paste, with round or cushion shaped stones you will often (although not always) see a black painted dot at the center base of the stone. The fact that a piece does not have black dots, doesn’t mean that it is not from the Georgian period. The fact that the dots are present (as long as it has not been faked) is a strong positive indicator. Look closely and keep in mind that they do tend to fade over time.

 

When you are looking for paste jewelry, understand that these pieces while durable (many are still around), they are made from a type of glass and are antique. They may have discoloration due to age. In clear pastes some discoloration can add character. I have seen some beautiful shades of warm amber or some that have a slight blue or grey tint that I personally think adds to the character of the piece. They can also become less attractively clouded and somewhat yellowish. They are also likely to have nicks, bites, abrasions etc. If you are purchasing for investment purposes you will of course want them to be in mint condition, no discoloration, the original box etc. But along with this condition, comes an exponentially different purchase price. Not to mention they often get stuck on the shelf or in the safe instead of being worn and enjoyed!

 

 

Note – The skin used in the cuff is American Alligator in grade 1 & 2 obtained through conservation guided measures. The skins are thicker, more durable in comparison to the hides obtained from lower cost sources such as crocodiles from South America whose hides tend to be thinner, less durable, and with more imperfections.

03 / 12

 

Cleaning, Maintaining, and Storing Antique Silver Jewelry

 

We have learned a trick or two along the way about how to care for and store jewelry, especially antique silver jewelry. This is the first part of a series which will cover ways to maintain, care for, and store different types of antique and modern jewelry. If you’re looking for more information now (pearls, diamonds, gold, platinum, paste etc.) please visit the Jewelry Care page on our website. Check back soon, as we will be continuing the series and covering other gemstones and metals. We’ve also included our picks for this month’s jewelry box finds (from The Pullman Gallery, Aerin, Gramercy & Co., and Plantation): beautiful storage for your collections.

 

 

 

Jewelry Storage

 

There are several ways to clean silver. The end result (or the way you want the piece to look) can determine how you clean it. If you want to remove a little tarnish, but keep the piece looking much the way it currently does, then use a silver polishing cloth without any cleaner/treatment built in. If you want to remove more stubborn tarnish, you might consider using a treated cloth made for silver polishing to clean and buff away the tarnish. If you are unfamiliar with a product, try spot treating a small area prior to cleaning the entire piece. Be aware that if you want to keep the oxidation in the grooves of the piece (which typically gives the engraved portion visual depth) take special care in these areas. The goal is to clean the tarnish without leaving any cleaner behind, so avoid using paste or anything else that could get stuck in the crevices and become difficult to remove.

 

Additionally, do not use a treated cloth near or around gems, paste gems, or organic materials of any kind. We advise against the use of silver dip for vintage and antique jewelry pieces.

 

The following is a particularly easy way to maintain your silver for a piece that is 100% metal without any gems, especially those gems that need air circulation and moisture (such as pearls, opals coral, etc.). It works well with the antique Victorian silver bangles we’ve included from our Victoriana Collection (pictured above and below). If you want to keep your silver pieces in their current condition without having to polish them on a regular basis, pop them into individual Ziploc bags when you’re not wearing them. Consider including an anti-tarnish strip in the bag for good measure. These extra steps are not necessary, just helpful. If you leave the piece out, it will take some time for the oxidation to occur. And in any case, tarnish can always be wiped off with some effort and a polishing cloth. Keep in mind that silver is a relatively soft metal. So however you decide to store them, attempt to keep them separated so that you won’t wind up with any unnecessary dings or scratches.

 

More of this Month’s Jewelry Box Picks

 

 

 

 

Jewelry Storage 2

 

 

 

 

Jewelry Storage 2

 

Jewelry Boxes and Bangles from Top to Bottom

 

Original ‘Malle Fleurs’ (Flower Trunk) by Louis Vuitton, c. 1920, from the Pullman Gallery on 1stdibs

 

Antique: Silver Victorian Bangle Bracelet With Corset Design “The Corset Bangle,” from Sugar et Cie

 

Red Tulipwood and Black Lacquer Boxes from Gramercy & Co.

 

Small Turquoise Jewelry Box in embossed stingray from Aerin

 

Antique: Wide Victorian Silver Bangle Bracelet with Fern Pattern from Sugar et Cie

 

Large Cream Jewelry Box in embossed stingray from Aerin

 

Antique: Victorian Silver Buckle Bangle Bracelet from Sugar et Cie

 

Lacquered Boxes | Robin’s Egg Blue from Plantation

 

03 / 05

 

Antique & Modern: Double Strand of Pink Pearls with Antique Rose Gold Shield Locket

 

A Pink Pearl Necklace and Rose Gold Locket

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

It’s that time of year again! Soft iridescent shades reminiscent of pink pearls and warm neutrals in rose gold tones are starting to appear. Pink, blush and nudes are a big part of Spring’s fashion landscape for 2013. Louis Vuitton has added two new pinks to its handbag collection: Indian Rose, a candy-colored pink and Rose Velours, a pale pink-beige.

 

 

Spring Trends 2013

 

Tom Ford and Valentino both included shades of blush and beige in their spring collections. And even Pantone has jumped in declaring “Linen,” (a color that falls somewhere between buff and blush) one of the top 10 colors for the Season.

 

Our favorites in this lovely group of neutrals are: blush and rose gold. Jessica Chastain recently demonstrated the beauty of the color when she wore a Swarovksi beaded, rose gold stunner by Armani Privé to the Oscars last week.

 

Of course no look is truly complete without a few pieces of jewelry. The jewels that are part our Spun Sugar collection are not only one-of-a-kind, but also pair well with the blush, buff, and caramel colors that are part of this Spring Trend. The inspiration for this collection came from gems and precious metals that remind of us of the colors of spun sugar: pale cotton-candy pink, the warm rose-yellow gold of spun sugar and the sparkling white of granulated sugar.

 

Here are a few sweet treats from this collection:

 

Pink Pearl and Double Diamond Earrings in 18kt White Gold

 

Each pearl has a slightly different hue of pink. One is lavender-pink, with a blue iridescence and the other is a peach-pink with golden overtones.

A Pair of Pink Baroque Pearl Earrings with Two Brilliant Cut Diamonds

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

Edwardian Rose Gold, Twist Link, Albert Watch Chain Necklace

 

This Albert watch chain has a feminine oval link, but is still solid enough to be worn with larger pendants. The reason that so many covet antique rose gold, is the patina and color that develops over the years which is difficult to reproduce in a modern piece.

An Antique Albert Watch Chain in Rose Gold

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

Modern: 18kt White Gold Danglers with Baroque Pearls Topped with Diamonds

 

These two large baroque pearls shimmer in shades of silvery white and the palest of pinks. They are topped of by rose cut diamonds in a shade somewhere between cognac and rose. They hang from elongated, tear-drop shaped hoops of 18 kt white gold.

 

White Baroque Pearl Earrings with Rouse Cut, Cognac Diamonds in White Gold

© Copyright Sugar et Cie 2013

 

You can find the clothes and accessories from our “Spring Trends 2013: Blush” layout through the following:

 

Jewelry (from left to right)

 

As pictured: Antique: Victorian Etruscan Revival Gold Drop Earrings in 15 ct Gold

As pictured: Antique: Edwardian Rose Gold, Twist Link, Albert Watch Chain Necklace, by Sugar et Cie

As pictured: Modern: Pink Baroque Pearl and Double Diamond Earrings in 18kt White Gold, by Sugar et Cie

 

Clothing

 

As pictured: Hume Top in Sunset, by ALLSAINTS

As pictured: Leather Jacket with Ruffle Detail, by Zara

As pictured: Pencil Skirt, by Versace (now out of stock see alternative below)

Alternative: Silk Skirt, by Dolce & Gabbana

As pictured: Cole Ashby Jeans in Optic, by ALLSAINTS

As pictured: Vegan Leather Tank in Blush, by Sabine

 

Shoes

 

As pictured: Sierra Sandals, by Pour La Victoire

As pictured: Olympe, by Jean-Michel Cazabat

As pictured: Dolly Slingbacks in Blush Pink Suede, by Charlotte Olympia

03 / 01

 

Champagne Cocktail Glasses and Recipes

 

Champagne Glasses: Antique and Modern Jewels

 

It’s Friday and it’s time to think about champagne cocktails, what pretty glass jewel you might like to have in your hand this weekend and what could be a good pour. So in this spirit, we offer you nine glasses, two recipes, and a one set of sterling silver straws (you know, just in case).

 

Raspberry Champagne Cocktail – Modern

 

This happens to be a favorite. It is fruity, light, and definitely makes it feel like Spring is just around the corner.

  • 1 bottle of champagne – we like Shcramsberg Blanc de Noir, but let’s be honest, we are adding other ingredients so probably anything Brut will do
  • 2 cartons of fresh raspberries (approximately 2 cups), put a handful aside for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of sugar of granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 lemons

Chill your champagne in advance. We personally like it ice cold!

 

Wash the berries lightly and let the excess water drain out. Put the berries, a squeeze of lemon juice (about a quarter of a lemon), and 1/4 cup of sugar into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally, so that it doesn’t burn. You want it to boil down to about half of its original volume. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. As long as you don’t burn it, you can’t go wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is more like juice or syrup, either will do as long as you like the sweetness. You can experiment with the sugar, adding a little more or less, to get the flavor profile that you like.

 

After the mixture cools a bit, pour the contents through a strainer and place a bowl or small pitcher below to capture the syrup. The goal is to remove the seeds and push the liquid through. Place the syrup in the refrigerator, until chilled (an hour or two).

 

Take a lemon wedge and wipe it around the rim of the champagne glasses you plan to use. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar, or enough to create a small pool of sugar wide enough to dip your glasses into, onto a plate. One at a time, turn the glass upside down and twist back and forth into the pile of sugar so that when you lift it out, there is a small edge of sugar around the top of your glass.

 

When you are ready to serve, pour a small amount of the raspberry syrup into the glass (fill about the bottom inch of the glass), follow it with the champagne, and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with a lemon twist or drop in one of the fresh raspberries you put aside. Enjoy!

 

Champagne Cocktail (the original) – Vintage

 

This is for some, the one and only champagne cocktail. It is classic, simple, and conjures up thoughts of a chilled champagne coupe or saucer glass (See 4, 8, and 10 above), big colorful cocktail rings, and little black dresses.

 

Start by placing a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, drop a couple of drops of Peychaud’s Bitters directly on to the sugar cube, then slowly pour ice-cold champagne (the colder, the better) over the top. Float a twist of lemon peel. That’s it!

 

Champagne Glasses

 

Harriet by Juliska

Verve Sparkling Wine by Crate and Barrel

Hand Blown Venetian Glasses with Swan Detail, available on 1stdibs

Tuscany Champagne Saucer by Lenox

Aarne Champagne Glasses by iittala

19th c. Venetian Champagne Flutes with Gold, available on 1stdibs

Fidélio Champagne Straws by Christofle

Isabella Champagne Saucer by Juliska

John Rocha Muse by Waterford Crystal

Art Deco Sterling Champagne Coupes available on 1stdibs