Thursday, 21 July 2011
Cherished Collections Blog Tour - Vintage Jewellery
This shell box was my Nan's. I remember when I was little, I would go to her house with my Mum and often one or two of my Aunts would be there. They'd sit in the kitchen drinking tea and talking grown-up talk, which, of course, I found terribly dull. So I'd go to Nan's room and play dress-up, which generally involved me putting on her jewellery and some heels. And by putting on her jewellery, I mean all of it. At once. Then I'd appear in the kitchen in all my regalia and Nanny would say "Ooh, here comes Lady Godiva!" or "Look at Fanny Adams here!" (She often called people Fanny Adams, though I only recently found out where that came from. Slightly macabre when you find out the origin!) This box was always on her dresser along with other trinket boxes and pots and perfume sprays and powder puffs and all those other obligatory old lady things. In it, I keep a few pieces of my most special jewellery, those things with the greatest sentimental value.
By no means do I have a massive collection of vintage costume jewellery, but because of those childhood memories and because I'm lucky enough to be left with a few items that were my Nan's, the pieces I do have include some that are very special to me. I'd like to share them with you as part of Casey's Cherished Collections 2011 Blog Tour. If you don't know anything about this fun venture: dozens of bloggers have been photographing and posting about their own collections, whatever they may be (and there are some amazing ones out there) and Casey has organised us into daily roundups. Check them out and be prepared to drool and squee!
Here is my little offering (not all of which fit in that box, of course - it's sadly not of Tardis proportions!) ...
I originally took lots of individual photos of the pieces, then took a couple of shots of them all jumbled together, but I decided the 'group shot' looked much better - it's like a jewellery party!
Some of these pieces used to be my Mum's and some were my Nan's (her Mum), others I got on Ebay or at charity shops (for a couple of quid here and there).
To the right you can see two small fake pearl necklaces - I love the clasps they used to put on jewellery, they're so pretty:
These were my Nan's and are probably from the 40s or 50s.
We always thought Nan's pearls were all fake, since our family is working class and was never exactly well-off (I remember whenever I moaned about not having this or that, my Mum would always tell me about how she and her brothers and sisters had to share a bed when she was a child, so I was bloody lucky. Fair point, Mum!). However, for my BA graduation, my Mum re-strung a particularly pretty set of pearls that used to be Nan's and discovered that they were, in fact, real! I should imagine they're cultured, but I don't care, they're lovely and I can remember these from my forays into Nan's jewellery boxes:
It was wonderful being able to wear these for my graduation, like Nan was there in some way.
They can be worn with the clasp at the back ...
... or at the front ...
(I look so pissed off, don't I?! Hahah! I don't mean to, I had just finished work and I was trying to get the photos while I still had some daylight and I was concentrating on getting the camera at the right angle into the mirror!)
My Mum's Dad used to buy her marcasite jewellery and I have a couple of pieces of that, my favourite of which is the matching snake brooch and necklace you can see in the jewellery party picture. My favourite bits are their green eyes:
My Nan and I shared the same initial, so another favourite for me is one of her brooches:
And it's got a bow - what's not to love? Despite missing a couple of rhinestones, this one looks great on a jacket lapel. The diamante necklace was also Nan's, though I worry about losing it, so I picked up another one at a charity shop that I can wear more often, though it's a bit more glitzy (it's at the bottom centre of the jewellery party pic).
Well, I think I've taken you through the key pieces - I don't want to bore you by going through each item, but I hope that's given you a taster of my little collection and I hope you enjoyed this one and the others on the tour. Do you have a collection, yourself? (Or maybe even a few!) I'd love to hear about your collections or jewellery-related memories - I think it's the stories that make objects special, not the carat of the diamond or the maker's mark.