Bohemian Romance Jewelry

lockets

Something Old, Something for Caroline

UncategorizedSamantha Extance

We all know the saying--a bride needs something borrowed, something blue, something old & something new-- When my friends Caroline and David announced that they were engaged, shortly thereafter Caroline asked me to make the jewelry for her bridesmaids & herself. I'm not sure I can ever quite express how deeply honored I feel when asked to make wedding jewelry. It's so important. It's in the pictures you'll have for years & for us gals, this is the outfit that we dream & scheme about for ages (more than half of the pins on Pinterest can attest to that!). The things I make come with little a lot of love--for the various pieces themselves and also for the enjoyment that afternoon (or more often, the wee hours of the night) have yielded. I truly enjoy what I do and on this occasion, it was pure bliss. I put more than a little love into this one--I put a piece of my heart. David & Caroline are both two good friends of mine and I wanted to make something special that she could have & wear long after their wedding. So I made her a necklace with a rare bit of Americana--an Art Deco W&H Co. Sweetheart Locket (which some of you may remember from a post from a few weeks ago).

Caroline's necklace is made entirely with vintage & antique pieces (her something old--apart from her stunning wedding dress & veil--her grandmother's). The chain is a combination of vintage brass chain & an antique gold watch chain. The button pictured in the middle of the above collage is also from that same watch chain. Above the locket rests the remnants of a clip-on pearl & rhinestone silver earring. The locket, I hope, will keep her loved ones & husband close to her heart.

I have a few more weddings coming up of friends & family (I know already that I am making more fabulous wedding accessories). And who knows, one day it might be my turn...I did catch the bouquet after all!

There's a Heart in Every Locket!

Flea Market FindsSamantha Extance

I love vintage & antique lockets! When I stumble across one at a flea market or estate sale I usually end up buying it. As jewelry, they are often intricate & beautiful and as nostalgic objects, they are both mysterious & romantic. I wonder what torrid love affairs the wearer had or unrequited loves they may have harbored. Lockets seem like they have secrets already inside. This particular locket came with a mystery--a trademark that eventually lead me to its history. I was able to track down information about W & H thanks to the New York Public Library's digital archives of advertisements and a few skilled Ebay auctioneers.

The trademark inside this locket, "W & H Co" (pictured below as 1) with a heart etched around it (pictured below as 2), belonged to Wightman & Hough Company who operated out of Providence, Rhode Island.

Wightman & Hough Company made sweetheart necklaces from 1856 until 1922. They were primarily renowned for their lockets. Their slogan, which I find to be quite amusing & sweet, was "There's a heart in every locket!" How true! Below are 3 of their advertisements:

Though I do not know the exact date of this locket as of yet (sadly, I must wait a long while for an inter-library loan to come through for a jewelry catalog from 1910 to verify thestyle & date of this locket)--I believe it is from the latter period of W & H Co.'s production. The design on the locket is an Art Deco pattern and the stones (which are all in tact) are sapphires which were popular at that time.  For now I know the approximate value of the locket is between $65.00-$250.00 (I paid $12.00 which makes me feel a bit like a Robber Baron).  You never know what you will find & what it is worth until you do a little digging--sometimes you've gotta trust your gut! Happy Flea Marketing everyone!

Saturday in New York City

Flea Market FindsSamantha Extance

                            My mom and I, fabric shopping in Mood. I was pleasantly surprised by everyone’s sincere friendliness and helpfulness. I expected a cold shoulder since I am not a wholesale buyer or a designer, but was happily mistaken. I found exactly what I was looking for—a pale gray patterned cotton for a pair of Edwardian bloomers I am making from a Folkwear Pattern (the pattern is called Edwardian Underthings).

We also happened upon this stunning brocade fabric which we had to buy to fashion a Victorian style skirt. I am so excited! The fabric is stunning—the other side of it is completely covered with netting which ages the fabric’s look by 100 years

Our next stop was the Antique Garage Flea Market (on 24th Street by the Tish Building). We saw everything from antique writing desks, pornography from 1911-1941, vintage & junk jewelry, old books & vintage apparel, to WWII death announcement cards.

          

 

Here are my finds:

Three antique hat pins—so dainty & dangly!

Vintage chains—one with pearls! So delicate & feminine!

A child’s silver identification bracelet, engraved: “H.A. [worn too much o discern] Pinehurst Ave., Troy, NY”

Three vintage cuff links—can’t wait to Steampunk these!

A metal pill box, not vintage but beautiful. I am going to gut the plastic out of the inside and replace it with a very soft velvet.

                    

Two silver lockets—I have already begun collecting lockets for a collaborative project with Tara @ Plume Perfumery. We are going to make a line of Steampunk perfume lockets filled with Victorian scents!

I wish that every Saturday were filled with flea markets & fabric shopping!