26 July 2013

New dealer: Kitty Verity in the spotlight

Our Dealer Spotlight for this month is shining bright on Kitty Verity who recently joined the pleiad of fantastic vintage jewellery dealers in Grays. Kitty, at the age of 22, has an eye trained for style. Her large shop downstairs in the Mews houses her bold collection of vintage costume jewellery.

You can find Kitty Verity downstairs in the Mews, unit C16/17 

Here is a great selection of carefully chosen items for sale including some of our favourites listed below:

A chunky bracelet by Acces Ocean Paris, made of resin
containing  layers of opaline foil to incredible effect. 1980s.

A beautiful bracelet made by Boucher in the 1950s, featuring
 faux sapphires cabochons and baguette white paste in rhodium.

Bracelet created from gilt chainmail studded with
large coloured pastes in bezel settings.1940s.

A rare pair of earrings designed by Diane Love for Trifari,
simulating ancient Japanese metal work technique. 1970s.

An unusual set of earrings and brooch by Kramer for Christian Dior
 made in the 1950s using white paste and grey marbled glass.

For more information visit Grays at: www.graysantiques.com

19 July 2013

Vintage Statement Jewellery

Bigger is better this summer, as statement jewellery is making a comeback. From big beaded tribal necklaces to colossal bangles and super-sized earrings. This summer it's all about making a bold fashion statement with over-sized jewellery. Here at Grays we've got some great vintage statement pieces to jazz up your summer outfit.

Enameled Egyptian Revival Style Necklace by Alice Caviness with gilt & glass stones from Unicorn

Gilt Bangle with Carnival Paste Stones and Carnival Green Beads from Gillian Horsup

1980s Green Paste Earrings from Linda Bee.

Mid 19th century Afghan Turkman Necklace from Tribal Tent.

Copper Bangle with Coloured Paste Stones from Gillian Horsup.

11 July 2013

Recognising Kashmiri Silver by Joseph Cohen Antiques

Kashmiri Colonial Silver was one of the most popular styles of Indian Silver.The ornamentation was influenced by the beautiful scenery that the Kashmiri region is well known for. Placed in the background were floral motifs of coriander leaf, poppy plant or chinar leaf, with combinations often applied. (Figures A, B)

A - Chinar leaf

B - Tray with chinar leaf motif
Usually, these motifs were amidst line work of arabesques or paisley patterns. The line work was often adorned with a simple circular pattern and gilded.  (C, D, E)

C - Notice the linework and ground
D - Paisley pattern motif

E - Goblet with paisley pattern
The ornamentation was rendered on a flat plain: the line work and background of floral motifs were on the same level. This created a smooth, intricate effect which reminds one of the artistry of the, well known, Kashmiri shawls. The paisley pattern can be seen on Kashmiri shawls, showing the further influence silversmiths had from the shawl makers. (E, F)

F - Kashmiri shawl courtesy of ULITA

Kashmiri ornamentation was applied to both European and Islamic forms. In Islamic style Kashkuls (begging bowls), kangri bowls, and surahi (water bottles) are seen, and in European style tea sets, goblets, and trays are seen. (E,G)

G - Silver kashkul or begging bowl

Watt, George. Indian Art at Delhi 1903. London: John Murray, 1904.
Wilkinson, Wynyard. Indian Silver 1858 - 1947. 1999.

About Joseph Cohen Antiques
Joseph Cohen specialises in Indian, Oriental and Islamic silver offering a stunning selection of unique and historic items.  He regularly sources important pieces for international museums and private collections. He also has specialist knowledge of Judaica and Oriental ceramics.

You can find a wide selection of silver pieces permanently available at his stand in Grays and on his new website josephcohenantiques.com.

See additional examples of Indian silver on Joseph Cohen's new website.

5 July 2013

Amazing Amber

We were lucky enough to be in Edinburgh last weekend and managed to see an exhibition about amber at the National Museum of Scotland.  It inspired us to write a blog post about amber pieces on offer at Grays.

Largest piece of amber in the world on display at the Amazing Amber Exhibition in Edinburgh
 Amber is an incredible natural material.  It is made from resin secreted by trees used to offer protection from damaging insects. The resin slowly oozes out from the bark and pieces fall to the ground and get lost in the soil and earth.  Millions of years pass and slowly the resin fossilizes and becomes stone-like, forming pieces of amber.  Sometimes the resin can trap insects or plant matter, these are known as inclusions.
Baltic amber ring with insect inclusion. Offered by Amber Fortuna
Amber can be found all over the world and the colour and consistency changes depending on the location and climate.  Most amber comes from the Baltic region in Northern Europe and can sometimes be found washed up on the beaches in the UK!
Variations in amber colours

Amber has been used in jewellery and decorative objects for thousands of years. For centuries amber was considered a expensive luxury commodity and available only to the very wealthy.  Many believed it to have medicinal properties and it was sometimes used in amulets to ward off illnesses and afflictions.
At Grays Amber can be found in a multitude of different types of objects and from a diverse range of cultures.  Here are some of our favourite pieces:
19th century Chinese amber carving of a man. Offered by Wheatley Antiques.

Victorian 18ct gold earrings mounted with amber. Offered by Michele Payne.

Hallmark Antiques offer a selection of antique amber beads.

 A Skonvirke silver brooch set with three red amber drops by Evald Nielsen. Offered by Van Den Bosch

Tibetan amber necklace. Offered by Tribal Tent
A Scandinavian Pewter Cup & Cover inset with Amber from the Baltic Region, c1900. Offered by Sheldon Shapiro.

 Many more stunning pieces are available at Grays.  Come and visit from Monday - Friday 10am-6pm.  Many dealers are also open on Saturdays from 11am-5pm.
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