18 December 2014

Holiday Wishlists 2014: Chopard

Holiday Wishlist: Chopard

Founded in Switzerland in 1860, Chopard has become one of the most well-known names around the world for fine jewelry and timepieces. With boutiques around the globe, the company is still producing amazing watches and jewels for their clientele. Here are five of my favorite pieces from their current collections...

Floral and feminine, the Imperiale Pendant is a rose gold and amethyst beauty. ($4,160)

Jewel History: Egyptian Jewels in Art Museum (1919)

Gold, carnelian, and turquoise broad bracelet of Sithathoriunet from the Met collection [1]

"Egyptian Jewels in Art Museum"
(originally appeared in the New York Times, 19 Dec 1919)

There was placed on exhibition in the Recent Accessions Room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday one of the greatest finds of Egyptian antiquities that has ever come out of that country [2] -- magnificent jewelry of a princess of the Twelfth Dynasty, dating back nearly as many years B.C. as the present century is after Christ. Archaeologists have been searching for treasure of this period for many years, and this wonderful collection was found in a concealed niche in a tomb which had been robbed some hundreds of years before, and even the mummy taken from the great stone sarcophagus.

Diadem of Sithathoriunut from the Cairo Museum collection (source)

It was from the tomb of the Princess Sithathoriunut, supposed to be the daughter of King Senusret II of the Twelfth Dynasty, who reigned from 1906 to 1887 B.C. [3] and near whose pyramid at Lahun she was buried. Two wonderful pieces, a diadem and a mirror, were taken by the Cairo Museum in the customary practice with that museum of division of articles found in excavation. All the jewels are made of gold of the greatest purity, with almost no alloy, combined with stones -- carnelian, turquoise, green feldspar -- and two necklaces are of amethyst beads. In one of these, to clasp closely around the throat, the amethysts are combined with gold beads, and there are two lion-claw pendants of gold. The other is much longer, and the beads of both are of a deep shade of amethyst.

17 December 2014

Holiday Wishlists 2014: Heavenly Necklaces

Holiday Wishlist: Heavenly Necklaces

While we've spotlighted some truly magnificent jewelry here in the past few weeks -- and will showcase more in the coming days -- let's face it: most of us are never going to be able to afford such incredible splendor. For us, the "fab fakes" made by Belinda Hadden's Heavenly Necklaces provide sparkle at a much more affordable price point. And it's not as if we mere mortals are the only ones wearing these costume pieces, as both the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Cambridge have been spotted in Heavenly Necklaces pieces. Here are five of my favorite items from their current collections...

The Solitaire Drop Earrings have enough sparkle for an evening out, but they'd also be perfect for adding an extra bit of glamour to your everyday ensembles. (£46)

The Order of the Seraphim

Each time the Swedish royals have appeared this month in their glittering finery, they've also been wearing the light blue sash of the nation's highest-ranking order of chivalry, the Royal Order of the Seraphim.

King Fredrik I of Sweden (source)

The current incarnation of the order was established in 1748 by King Fredrik I of Sweden. The announcement of the order declared that it was a revival of an older order of chivalry using the same name, but to my knowledge, there's never been a clear connection to any earlier order of Swedish chivalry called the "Order of the Seraphim," so that may have simply been a way to try to assert the order's historical legitimacy. Either way, King Fredrik is still remembered on the insignia of the order used today, which bears the initials FRS, for "Frederik, King (Rex) of Sweden" on the reverse side of the medallion.