I was recently referred to a new client (thank you, Diane!) who had a healthy stash of gorgeous jewelry from the Edwardian era / 1920s that had belonged to her husband's grandmother.
Upon meeting for coffee, she revealed her lucky inheritance to me, one by one. Needless to say, I was both honoured and delighted at the prospect of 'upcycling' these family heirlooms into necklaces she could wear and enjoy today.
Just look at these rich gold watch chains, brilliant Czek glass, and lustrous enamel and mother of pearl! You just don't find jewelry like this these days, no ma'am!
So, what did I do with it all?
I really wanted to honour the integrity of the original pieces, while catering to my client's request for necklaces that would be whimsical yet wearable enough for every day.
I kept most of the festoon style of this green glass necklace intact, while switching out the focal pendant to this sweet locket. Inside is a photo of the grandmother (whom it belonged to orginally) and her brother as children.
Among the offerings was also this handsome gold pocket watch, and several watch chains and fobs. I decided to use them all in a slightly asymetrical design, and accented it with red Czek glass.
I love the fact that the family's monogram will be carried on in this piece for generations to come.
Finally, a tiny cameo takes center stage beneath a gold crown and enamel buckle. This open-back purple glass had so much lustre, I couldn't bear to break it up, so I just spliced the links into an elegant shape and accented the back of the necklace with repuosse chain and amethysts.
With the exception of a few stones and earring backs (below), I used almost exclusively my client's own jewels! It was a fun challenge, like trying to prepare a meal with a handful of random ingredients. I'm thrilled with the way everything turned out (the food always tastes good when the ingredients are great quality!), and hope my client will enjoy her renewed treasures for many years.
And now for the really big question... What is everyone planning to wear for tomorrow night's Season 3 premier of Downton Abbey? ;)