Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cameos


I was asked today about Cameos in the 18th Century. I thought I'd put out a bit of information that I have compiled for those of you who want to wear your cameos...while I have personally not seen cameos worn as a pendant on a ribbon or on the front of a gown in portraiture at this time, I would not discount wearing them.  They were worn but how common were they to all?  The true heyday was in the mid to late 19th Century (then Limoges enameled jewelry became popular).

"In the salons of 18th-century Europe, carved gemstones were all the rage with high-society ladies. Cameo makers of the time would take Plaster of Paris molds of these carved gemstones as records of notable cameo collections. At the time, cameos were a sign of wealth and privilege, but glass paste brought cameos to the mainstream. In fine jewelry, the cameo is defined as an ornament carved in relief from a high-quality material such as stone, shell, coral, Gutta-percha, bog oak, ivory, lava, or mother-of-pearl. The most common cameo motif is the portrait. These bore the likeness of an actual person, usually a well-known person of the day which included a ruler, scholar, or philosopher. In the early 19th century, cameos started to feature an anonymous Roman woman wearing no jewelry.

Cameos gained steadily in popularity over the 18th century, as evidenced by their occurrence as motifs on objects of all sorts. The Staffordshire firm of Josiah Wedgwood sold innumerable copies and imitations. One of his more successful items was of the "Marlborough Cameo," a sardonyx cameo from the first century B.C. depicting the marriage of Cupid and Psyche that was owned by Peter Paul Rubens before it entered the collection of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, sometime before 1727.

As early as 1779, portraits were made in glass and ceramics particularly of Benjamin Franklin in France. These were seen generally in snuff box lids and rings. Wedgwood medallions were also manufactured as they were moulded or stamped out quickly eliminating time-consuming carving by hand. Artistic skill was needed only for making the initial master pattern.

The cameo really came into the height of fashion when Napoleon had an interest in Roman cameos after his campaign in Italy in 1796. The carving of shell cameos was then revived as well. This included in America as well as the rise of the professional sculptor who also augmented their major works with miniatures carved out of shell or stone.

Information from Collector's Weekly, "Antique and Vintage Cameos," "Jewelry from America" by Martha Gandy Fales, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Cameo Appearances," by James David Draper.

Photo is of the cameo with the wedding of Cupid and Psyche, or an initiation rite. Mid 1st–late 1st century B.C. Signed by Tryphon.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sign of the Gray Horse on Etsy

I am in the middle of transitioning my items to Etsy in order to make it easier for my customers to purchase from me inbetween events!  If you do not see something on Etsy, it is still shown on this website for sale.  Just e-mail me at kimberlywalters@comcast.net if ordering from this website until I get things moved over.  Thank you so much for your patience!

I will do my best to include a portrait, print, or photo of the item's inspiration or a photo of it being worn. 


Be on the lookout for coupon codes and other deals!!!!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Equipage and Watch Fobs

"An equipage consisted of a hook, which would have been invisible when worn....Attached to this hook were one or several, often highly ornamental, plaques, from which dangled not only watches, but also various trinkets or ‘toys’, such as containers for thimbles, scissors, bodkins and such like (tassels were also popular)..."

"The distinguished scholar and jewellery collector Dame Joan Evans (who donated part of her collection to the Museum) wrote in 1921: ‘Soon after 1770 the Macaronis [highly fashionable young men] introduced a chatelaine of a new kind. Instead of terminating in a hook, it ended in an ornamental medallion, from which hung tassels and charms, while the supporting chains were slightly longer. This must have been held in place by the waistbelt so that the watch and the tassels both hung down.  Fobs were also worn, one end hung with a watch and the other with a heavy seal, a dummy watch, or fausse montre’ [fake watch to you and me]." 
(Taken from "Equipages, Chatelaines, and Macaronis" The Working life of Museum of London)."

Lover's Eye Miniatures and Pendants

     The idea is that two lovers would commission miniature eye portraits to be made into...tokens they could wear as a symbol of their secret liaison. With only a portrait of one eye, only the wearer would know the identity of his/her lover. Sometimes the eye portrait had a compartment in the back of the locket, ring, or brooch containing a lock of hair.  The could then be worn without anyone knowing the identity of the giver.  These tokens were also done as memorial jewelry.  

     My pendants only hold a picture.  If you would like a special loved one's eye made into a pendant, please contact me for specifics as I can do special orders.  These would require high resolution photos directly of the face and/or eye.  I have many types of findings - either silver or gold/brass in which to use.

     Miniatures are fine small portraits given as love, non-romantic friendship, political allegiance, or memorial tokens between husbands, wives, parents, children, etc.  The quality of the settings reflected their importance and the wealth of their giver.  (Snipets taken from "Georgian Jewelry" by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collings.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stick Pins


"The wearing of stickpins began as a practical method of securing the voluminous neckwear, that was worn, both as a practical way of keeping warm and protecting the shirt from the debris of careless eaters, but also as part of the fine feathers of the strutting gentlemen peacocks of the eighteenth century.   The period from the late eighteenth century, when the wearing of stickpins became fashionable, to the beginning of the twentieth century was a period of great change and also of an enormous spread of wealth." 
(Taken from About Stickpins, A Brief History - http://www.fineperiodjewels.com/about_stickpins.php)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hat Pins - a short History

"We know that prior to 1832, small handmade pins with decorative heads were used as devices to secure lace caps, mob caps, veils, and other pinnings to head and body attire.  We also realize that it was not until the introduction of stringless "bonnets" that the PERIOD HATPIN entered the scene.  Both the transition from bonnet to hat, and the introduction of plentiful hatpins were due, in part, to the less expensive machine-made hatpins which were manufactured "by the ton."  
"Although bent wire hair pins were known as early as the 16th century, they were all hand wrought, as were the hatpins before the advent of the pin-making machine in 1832."
"As hats became wider and bolder, and hair was shown in more abundant quantities, the necessary securing implement, the hatpin, became longer and surely as opulent as the millinery itself." 

 ~ Taken from "Hatpins and hatpin holders," by Lillian Baker
  
Dressing Room a 'l'Anglaise, 1789, Lewis Walpole Collection



Detail of Dressing room a` l'Anglaise, 1789, Lewis Walpole Collection




Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Book of Cookery - Review by The Georgian Gentleman

Have you seen the blog posts by The Georgian Gentleman regarding my cookery book?  Check them out here!

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Blog Post by "The Georgian Gentleman" regarding my book can be seen on his Blog - Part I and Part II.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Schedule for 2015





15-16 August - Battles at Boone, Boone's Homestead, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania

19-20 September (9-5 pm) - Mount Vernon Colonial Market and Fair, George Washington's Mount Vernon, Virginia

10-11 October - (10-5 pm Sat, 12-5 pm Sun) 6th Annual Waterways Festival, Chesapeake, Virginia

18 October - Regency Society of Virginia and Southeastern Virginia Regional Chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America Presentation, Williamsburg, Virginia

5-6 December (9-5 pm Sat, 10-5 pm Sun) - 25th Annual William & Mary Trinkle Hall Art and Craft Show



Monday, March 17, 2014

"I've always wanted to do the right thing by a horse, that's never changed, its just that as my knowledge grew I've been able to offer the horse a better human being, as time has gone on."
- Buck Brannaman