Monday, November 27, 2017

Pottsgrove Manor, Pottstown, PA

     I'm excited to have my jewelry now in the Pottsgrove Manor gift shop!  

 Pottsgrove Manor Gift Shop

      Pottsgrove Manor was built in 1752 for John Potts, ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, the mansion was situated on a nearly 1,000 acre plantation, which by 1762 included the town of "Pottsgrove."  Although only four acres of original property remain today, Pottsgrove Manor has lost none of its original charm and architectural beauty. The sandstone exterior, elegant interior and fine furnishings reflect the eminence that the Potts family had attained before selling the property in 1783. The mansion has been restored to recreate the lifestyle and times of the Potts family. Pottsgrove Manor is open year-round for guided tours, as well as public programs, school tours, lectures, and workshops. Their museum shop on site offers a fine selection of 18th century reproduction items, books, toys, and more - including my jewelry!

     If you are in the area, please stop in and take a tour and check out the site.  A pair of my gold-filled hoops with red coral teardrops will be on display in the museum.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Georgian Collet Necklace Collaboration with Duchessa

     Duchessa and I have collaborated to offer amazingly accurate reproduction collet necklaces of a specific style from the 18th and 19th century.  From the settings, crystal, and pendant hook/pendant cross options, I am now offering these lovely necklaces in my Etsy shop!  Be on the lookout for more pendant options for these lovely and amazing necklaces.

Duchessa / Sign of the Gray Horse collaboration collet necklace in aquamarine
and silver - with a pendant loop and matching cross

     My observations on these style necklaces is that they have been worn on and off throughout the 18th and up into the 19th centuries (today too but my focus is on the historical aspects), and in different ways.  I have two Pinterest boards that I hoard portraits, prints, and pictures of original pieces.  You can find them here for 18th century and here for 19th century.  

Light Rose and Emerald necklaces with setting detail in gold

     In the 18th century, I see these necklaces worn as chokers in paintings.  Really kind of cool.  I also see jewels/paste were put onto black velvet or ribbons.  They were often made with a loop to add or remove a pendant.  I truly believe it was up to the wearer on how they put it on, and when they wore it (if in fashion or not).

Necklaces in Light Rose, Emerald, Bright Sapphire in gold and Light Rose in silver
with pendant loops

Emerald and gold necklace with a clear crystal teardrop pendant - added to it for a different look

Unknown Lady (Possibly Mrs. Fitzhugh Green) by  John Durant  circa 1768-1770
Visual Grace: Important American Folk Art from the Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian, Lot 606, January 25, 2014, Sotheby's, New York.

Lady Frances Montagu, 1734

Paula Melzi d'Eril, 9ª Condesa de Eril, G.E., 3ª Marquesa de Lazán, 4ª Marquesa de Cañizar y 10ª Marquesa de Navarrés by Francisco Bayeu, 1770-1775 (also notice her fan, miniature portrait bracelets, and amazing lace kerchief and flounces)

     In the 19th century, we see the necklaces worn lower.  They also include pendants as well.

Mrs Francis Johnston, Anne Barnes, by Thomas Clement Thompson circa 1820s

Topaz necklace belonging to First Lady Elizabeth Monroe, c. 1817-1825 
Museum of American History

Wilhelmina Jacoba van Pembroek by Charles Howard Hodges, circa 1820

Georgian Citrine Riviere Necklace with Pear Shape Drop, circa 1830

Queen Alexandra in 1883 (notice the pearls inbetween - so awesome)

     The Duchessa necklaces measure 16 inches long, but with the chain, you can extend it up to 20 inches.  You can add a pendant for evening or leave it off for daywear - just as they did in the time periods.  Find these amazing necklaces in my Etsy shop by clicking on this link, searching for SignoftheGrayHorse (all one word), or in the link here on my blog (top left hand side).

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Museum Reproductions Reseller

     I am pleased to announce that I am now a reseller for Museum Reproductions!  They are the supplier of authorized reproductions created under license for many museums around the world.  These are items that support the museums by their getting a percentage of sales when I purchase.  Many of these items are only available in museum and gift shops, and now you can also find it within my shop in Etsy, SignoftheGrayHorse.  So, when you purchase from me, it supports them and my horses.  Win-Win!

     Of particular interest to me is the Cheapside Hoard reproductions, and lovely Elizabethan style jewelry; however, they do also offer items of several centuries.  So be on the lookout for these lovely treasures, and add them to your order.    

Reproduction Cheapside Hoard Salamander

Elizabethan Style Earrings

Elizabethan Style Necklace

1860's Victorian Style Earrings

Elizabethan Style Earrings

Elizabethan Style Necklace

Georgian Crescent Brooch

Shell and Fresh Water Pearl Earrings (this also has a matching bracelet and necklace)

European Royal Amber and Fresh Water Pearl Earrings

Reproduction Dolley Madison Earrings

Catherine the Great Earrings

Reproduction Faberge Egg Brooch

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Charlotte Emerald and Clear Crystal 18th Century Reproduction Shoe Buckles

     When thinking of the holidays this year, I wanted to create a special buckle.  Now, this buckle isn't only for wear during the holidays, but they are festive and happy just like the originals that gave me inspiration for the colors.  They are dated as early as 1719 - which means someone loved the combination of colors.  

Charlotte Emerald and Clear 18th Century Shoes Buckles 
on a pair of American Duchess "Kensington" white shoes

Charlotte Emerald and Clear 18th Century Shoes Buckles 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

     The second weekend in a row that I was at it hearth cooking.  This was my sixth year at George Washington Birthplace National Monument very near Colonial Beach, Virginia.  It is a favorite historic site - but anything to do with George Washington is a favorite for me!

Kerry McClure as Mrs. Anne Aylette Washington in front of the house

Inside the House - so AWESOME
Photo by Robin Marie

Bedroom - Gorgeous
Photo by Robin Marie

View from the house - so amazing
Photo by Robin Marie

The Road coming into the site - they have animals on site from pigs, horses, sheep, and very large oxen.  Bald Eagles were also seen flying over wondering what the big noises were when the muskets fired.  I love sites with animals!!!!

Did I say they had horses?  And a Senior horse at that?

Krista and I helping him have some earlier to eat pieces of apple

     Gema Gonzalez and Krista Jasillo shared the kitchen with me, and we created an amazing meal for His Majesty's Marines.  

The Kitchen team 

Drying her shoes by the fire

The British Marine camp


Follower of the Army - Robin

     Now down to the actual cooking!  We created an ambitious meal, and the weather was amazing so we were cooking on a gorgeous and cool day.  The menu consisted of Beef Stakes, Fried Fish, Sausages and Apples, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots the Dutch Way, French Beans with Bacon, Bread Pudding, Bread, Stewed Mushrooms, and various items for dessert that included shortbread, dried strawberries, candied ginger, grapes, chocolate, and apple tarts!

Preparation is taking place!

Gema and Daniel

Gema finishing up the Stewed Mushrooms

Krista in CHARGE of the fire - her shoes are still drying by the fire.

Preparing the dough for the apples tarts (bottom) and 
the beef stakes (steaks) broth base ingredients

Amazing bread and butter made by Krista

Krista tending the fire - making some coals so we can bake

Casting a spell on the fire...Just Kidding

It is always fun to hang out in the kitchen - OH to know what they are laughing about!

Shenanigans with Robin, Krista, and Gema
So much happening in this fireplace to create the meal that we did - the bread pudding is done, getting ready to fry fish, apple tarts are baking in both tin ovens, and beans are boiling on the fire

French Beans with Bacon ready!

Our tables with the finish meal and desserts - we even had a table for drinks with punch, lemonade, and water

A Marine digging into the feast - you can see the Carrots the Dutch Way, Bread pudding, and Fried Fish (there is also a salt dish)

The Dessert Table

The Dinner table

Now for the clean-up with Mrs. Washington supervising

End of Day Selfie!  It was an excellent and fun day!  Yes, I'm exhausted...