Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Georgian Girandole Earrings

A Girandole is a type of earring that was common in the Georgian era, particularly in the 18th Century.  You may be more familiar with the term as it is used with candlesticks, candelabras, sconces, and chandeliers.  In those cases, it is a grouping of three candlesticks which are often ornamented with dangly bits and other decorative features.  They tend to be quite elaborate and heavily Rococo-inspired, but the style also carried over to the more austere Federal style.

But in my world, a Girandole refers to an earring (or brooch, or pendant) which features three dangling jewels hanging off a central piece.

I've been lately obsessed with this style ever since Kendra of Demode posted a picture of a pair of earrings that are in the collections of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.  These magnificent earrings feature removable stones in both rose pink and aquamarine blue, so that you can switch out the colors to coordinate with your outfit.  Y'all, those people back then were smart.   I won't steal the picture from Kendra, so head on over to flicker and take a looky loo!  Here's the picture from the museum, though you don't get a good sense of what they look like when put together:

Photo courtesy of the Nordiska Museet, who graciously has their images under Creative Commons!  Woo hoo!  Item is dated 1750-1799.  

I quickly started looking for other examples of these earrings and found several gorgeous examples (click pictures to link to source): 

Paste Opal Girandoles circa 1760 at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Emerald Paste Girandoles circa 1770-1780 

Diamond Girandoles circa 1800 via The Glorious Collection

You also see the style used in other ways, like this harlequin brooch:

Harlequin Brooch circa 1790

And occasionally they even make their way into parures, like this Amethyst set from Live Auctioneers:

Amethyst Parure circa 1840

I find this style to be so elegant and eye-catching!  One thing you notice about the extant earrings is that they are very fancy, with the chandelier piece often encrusted with diamonds or paste jewels.  I'm trying to find some high-quality rhinestone chandelier pieces to my jewelry, but to test out the style I've got a few pieces that are more basic.  

The above earrings (if they are still available!) are listed in my Etsy shop in the "Georgian Earrings" section.  I hope to add more styles soon!

A few of these also have coordinating collet necklaces available as well, so check those out if you are looking for a full set!

And if you would like to see a lot more original examples, I have quite a few on my Georgian-Era Jewelry Pinterest Board!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anna Wintour: The Patron Saint of Collet Necklaces

One of the best things about selling on Etsy is that it has a robust analytics system built into the seller tools.  I am able to see what terms people search for and what items they look at.  It’s really fascinating to see how people find my shop.  Sometimes the results are pretty funny (like the person who searched for “dog” and ended up in my paper flowers section), but mostly they are just a good way to see what people are looking for.

I assumed my top search terms would be something like “reproduction Georgian jewelry” or “collet necklaces” but it turns out that my most popular search term- by far- is “Anna Wintour Necklace” followed closely by “Wintour Necklace.”  I even get a lot of hits from people who search for “The September Issue” which is a documentary about an issue of Vogue being made.   I haven’t seen it, but Ms. Wintour is wearing a collet necklace in the movie, or so I’ve been told by a few of my customers.
Of course I knew that Anna Wintour (the iconoclastic long-term editor of Vogue and all around terrifying and inspiring woman of fashion) favored Georgian collet Necklaces.  She is often photographed wearing one or two (or three or four), but it wasn’t until I really started looking that I realized just how much she loves them!

Here are a few images of Anna Wintour wearing what has become her signature necklace:

Just in those 6 pictures I count at least 11 different collet necklaces, and I have no doubt that most of them are legitimate antique necklaces.  They have sparkle and shine that only comes from real gemstones and hand-cut faceted paste glass.  It is a shine that our vintage glass rhinestones just can’t compete with!  

It never occurred to me to layer the necklaces, but I can’t deny that the effect is really stunning.  It is almost absurdly luxurious, but paired with jeans and a simple t-shirt it works amazingly well.   I’ve even taken to wearing a few of mine to work on occasion, but I tend to prefer the more understated unfoiled collet necklaces like this:

At first I was a little annoyed that so many people associated these necklaces with her, since it is clearly a style that has existed for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.  I felt a little jealous on behalf of the Georgian Era, since it deserves the credit for rocketing these necklaces into jewelry history.  Admittedly, I know I’m a little crazy when it comes to history and most people don’t think in terms of historic eras having feelings like I do.  Maybe I’m a bit obsessed J.   But then I thought about it, and you know what?  I don’t really care how or why people appreciate these, and I hope that a few of the people who visit my Etsy shop follow the link to my Georgian Jewelry pinterest board and see the many extant examples of these fabulous jewels.   Mostly I’m just glad that a trendsetter and style icon plucked these glorious necklaces from the obscure world of reenactors and costumers and historians and is bringing them to the forefront of modern fashion, because if anything, they deserve another era in the center of style!

So whether you find my shop by searching for “Anna Wintour Necklace” or “Georgian collet necklace,” I hope you’ll agree that they have a place in both historic costuming and modern fabulousness! 

Here are a few more Wintour Inspired Collet Necklaces available in my Etsy shop (there are many more- my stock changes constantly!)

And here are a few pictures of me, wearing my own layered necklaces, Anna Wintour-Style!
Pink, White, and Green layered Anna Wintour Necklaces

Layered 18x13 Anna Wintour Style Collet Necklaces

The Anna Wintour Look!

Anna Wintour Style Necklaces- all available in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The fastest way to see what I'm working on!

Would you like to know when I have listed new collet necklaces or Georgian paste earrings?

I post everything on my pinterest page!

Reproduction Collet Necklaces and Historical Paste Glass Earrings

Bridal Earrings (these are earrings that I can make multiples of, especially great for bridal parties and bridesmaid gifts!)

And I have lots of other fun historical costuming related boards as well!  Here's my main Pinterest page.

And here are a few pretty pictures :)

Emerald Green Georgian Rivere Parure

Sapphire Georgian Riveire Parure

Pink Topaz Georgian Collet Necklace


Welcome to my blog!  I created this space to talk about the lovely Georgian-style collet necklaces that I create for my Etsy shop.

I've posted about them several times on my costuming blog, but I'm getting a little collet-obsessed lately so I didn't want to clog that space with my musings on these lovely necklaces.

I have an Etsy shop, Dames a la Mode, where I sell these collet necklaces, Georgian-style paste glass earrings, and historical ribbons, paper millinery flowers, and other goodies to use in historical costuming and millinery (also something I'm obsessed with!).

I have just opened a second shop, The Historical Bride, offering collet necklaces and historical earrings for brides, bridal parties, and other special occasions.

Dames a la Mode is a space for historically accurate reproduction jewelry, while The Historical Bride is allows me to play with jewelry design that is inspired by history.  I hope you'll visit both and see what I have to offer!

In the meantime, here's some images of collet necklaces that I have created for sale in my Etsy shop.

Rose Pink Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Light Sapphire Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Diamond Brilliant Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Ruby Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Pink Topaz Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Graduated Amethyst Paste Glass Collet necklace

Aquamarine Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Emerald Green Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Madeira Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Citrine Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Blue Topaz Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Brown Topaz Paste Glass Parure

Amethyst Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Aquamarine Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Citrine Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Sapphire Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Citrine Paste Glass Collet Necklace

Peridot Paste Glass Collet Necklace
Please take a look to see what offerings I have available now!  Cheers!