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Antique Jewelry Addition: Best Way To Cure The Manhattan Cold

Sue Brown's Georgian Regard Heart

Sue Brown’s Georgian Regard Heart

Two antique shows in New York City last weekend. I could not think of any better way to spend Manhattan’s deep freeze (aside from catching up on old movies or seasonal series I’ve missed) than perusing and scouting out the best that the Winter Antiques Show (running January 24-February 2, 2014) at the Park Avenue and 67th Street Armory… and  the Armory Antique Show, 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th St had to offer.



As an avid antique collector, I was “browsing” for myself—Earlier Georgian pieces to Art Deco styles and I was awed by the vast selection, holding on to my credit card, which seemed to be as taken as I was. This  not  only provided shelter from the cold  but a peek at some jaw dropping pieces that I had to calculate over and over again in my head, why, I could not afford them—and if I could,  had no where to wear them, except on very special ocassions. My advice to friends is to buy jewelry you don’t have to “save” for some ocassion. Invest in ‘wear now” unless you plan on having a shop or a  museum showing of your own. I of course, do not take my own advice and have jewelry that sits waiting for the right ocassion to come along much in the way I approach dating.



But with that said, I  do have a jewelry collection, Estate of Grace Fine Jewelry so I had an excuse for at least scouring for iconic symbols, predominately Victorian that I could repurpose into modern looks.

Glorious Antique Jewelry Georgian emerald cluster ring (I now own)

Glorious Antique Jewelry Georgian emerald cluster ring (I now own)



    At the Amory Antique Show I did find some great deals on items, I have already sent to  my jeweler to incorporate into the collection, but, I also made a purchase for me– a Georgian ring that stole my heart and tugged at my purse strings at Glorious Antique Jewelry.



I refuled with hot chocolate and Early Grey tea and wore six layers on both Saturday and Sunday. I shuttled back and forth to both shows as well as a pit stop at the Manhattan Antiques Center to visit and check out  good friend, long time dealer Melody Rodgers, whose store I have never left without purchasing something (for 15 or so years) She is good at sales and there is always something that makes my heart flutter. Same with Gray and Davis on 47th Street. By Sunday evening, I was pooped and snuggled up with Dontown Abbey season 4.



Just FYI, the Winter Antiques Show, as you will see from my photos, is like entering a museum. Pieces are truly exceptional finds, many of them signed pieces at heady prices.  Sometimes I felt like I had to be quiet  or whisper, while eyeing at tiara or signed Falize, Lalique and Faberge pieces at Wartski or a  case full of various rare pieces at James Robinson or a the perfect pair of Art Deco black enamel and diamond earrings at Kentshire Gallery. I was awed by the Giuliano pieces at Shrubsole and mesmerized by the rest the show had to offer at Macklowe Gallery. All of these have shops in NYC but here you can see the selection under one roof and out of the cold.


Giuliano at Shrubsole at Winter Antiques Show, 67th Street and Park Ave Armory

Giuliano at Wartski at Winter Antique Show, 67th Street and Park Ave Armory

Shrubersole at Winter Antiques Show

James Robinson Selection

Lalique at Wartski at Winter Antiques Show

Lalique at Wartski at Winter Antiques Show

Boucheron at Kentshire at Winter Antiques Show, 67th Street and Park Ave Armory

Boucheron at Kentshire at Winter Antiques Show, 67th Street and Park Ave Armory




















If you are still in Manhattan or plan to be before heading off to the Miami  Antique shows this is a must see.



At the Armory Antiques Show—pieces were more affordable and finds abound


My favorite stops were Glorious Jewelry where owner Gloria Karp has a beautifully curated collection from the more and more rare cut steel through the Georgian period, VIcotrian , Edwardian, Deco –but all are pieces that she has hand picked based on her impeccable style.

Berlin Iron earrings at Glorious Antique Jewelry

Berlin Iron earrings at Glorious Antique Jewelry

Memorial Ring at Glorious Antique Jewelry

Memorial Ring at Glorious Antique Jewelry



Always a fan of  English dealer Sue Brown, whose early period pieces also carefully chosen for their time pieriod rariety and exception condition 

Sue Brown Brooch

Sue Brown Brooch

Sue Brown Lily Pad brooch with natural pearl and rose cut diamonds

Sue Brown Lily Pad brooch with natural pearl and rose cut diamonds



Linda Gump, another English dealer had an array of paste chandelier earrings, one unusual Georgian faith, hope and charity braclet with enamel motifs on a charms of an anchor cross and heart, as well as an assortment of lockets.



Until the next time I am out scouting the antique haunts (perhaps this weekend when my good friend and another antique afficianado, Sofia Kaman/Kamofie is in town).



In the meantime, if you are an antique jewelry addict like me, head down to the Miami and Palm Beach antique shows, where it is also warm and if you are lucky you can scour, shop and find and then get some downtime in the sunshine while you make your escape to the beach.













Golden Globes- Time to Shine

Cate Blanchett in Chopard

Cate Blanchett in Chopard

The celebrities at the 2014 71st Golden Globes Awards gave us our first glimpse into the jewelry trends for the year—Antique looks, white diamonds, statement rings (most direction when worn on the pinky), stacks of bracelets both Art Deco flexible styles and wand the warmth of textured gold in bracelets and earrings as well. Big names graced the necks, ears and encircled the wrists and fingers of both small and silver screen actresses—names such as Neil Lane and Fred Leighton for antique jewels, Lorraine Schwartz for statement pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Chopard for signed collectibles. As an equal opportunity jewelry addict, hare are few of my picks for the season. My advice is to either to invest in one piece that you will find joy in wearing and that goes with your own style or find versions of the looks that hit a responsive and emotional chord and that fit your budget and go with your wardrobe and then add them in. Either way, it’s time shine in the New Year.




Cate Blanchett is flawless in Chopard green diamond earrings



Zooey Deschanel in Neil Lane

Zooey Deschanel offers a youthful spirit in antique Neil Lane jewelry

Margo Bobbie in Van Cleef & Arpels

Margo Robbie plays up Old Hollywood glamour in these Van Cleef & Arpels earrings


Kerry Washington in Fred Leighton

Kerry Washington does Deco Fred Leighton earrings


Jennifer Lawrence in Neil Lane

Golden Globe recipient Jennifer Lawrence stacks the wrist in Neil Lane bracelets


Jessica Chastain in rows of diamonds

Jessica Chastain rocks rows of diamonds




Naomi Watts in Bulgari

Naomi Watts goes bold yet feminine in a statement necklace and Bulgari bracelet


Amy Adams in Lorraine Schwartz

Golden Globe recipient Amy Adams rocks Lorraine Schwartz gold and diamond ultra long chain with pendant


Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Fred Leighton

Julia Louis-Dreyfus basks in golden antique earrings and bracelet from Fred Leighton


Julianna Margulies accessories her gold accented dress with earrings and a delicate tassle bracelet



Golden Globe recipient Amy Poehler wore gold bracelets, one on each wrist.







There Are No Jewels Like JAR



1. Poppy Brooch 1982_JAR

Poppy Brooch 1982_JAR


Back on September 12, 2013, I wrote an advance blog about the Jewels by JAR exhibition, to offer a glimpse of the first time that the magnificent jewelry house would not only have a retrospective in the US but also the first time Metropolitan Museum would devote an exhibit to a contemporary artist of gems.

And it is well deserved. At the press preview yesterday, for Jewels by JAR, which opens to the public today (November 19, 2013) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I expected to be overcome with awe, swept away by the magic of the splendor, opulence and the wit in which Bronx born and Harvard educated Joel Rosenthal imbues his pieces. But I was more than that—I was transfixed—and rendered speechless, which is not a usual occurrence for me. In my previous blog, I wrote that, although,I have been to many of the ateliers of Place Vendome and the workshops and studios of many famous jewelers, I have never had the excitement of pressing the bronze camellia doorbell to enter the secret and hidden shop of JAR which Joel Rosenthal opened in 1978 with his partner Pierre Jeannet. This is the place, where Rosenthal’s opulent and fantastical, sometimes whimsical and always meticulously crafted jewels are presented and captivate and possess even the most discriminating of collector.





JAR Butterflies from ’80s through present

9. Bracelet 2010_JAR

Bracelet 2010_JA













Yesterday, I too was possessed. I have to admit that I am blind in the dark–not able to see or get my bearings and and need more than a flash light or nigh light,  even at night  in my own house. But, in the dramatic darkened room, I was guided by the twinkle of fluttering butterflies(designed in the 1980s through the present) dancing brilliantly in fearless gemstone combinations and pave settings—the stuff that Rosenthal’s jewelry is made. The jeweler, who is acclaimed for his vivid and boundless imagination, the painterly color combinations and the articulated shapes is equally notorious for keeping to himself. Some say he is shy, others say arrogant, but who really cares except for the fact that he is also quite discriminatory when it come to the press and gives interviews only to very few, hence his absence from the preview. But his essence was all around us.


11. Multicolored Handkerchief Earrings 2011_JAR

There are over 400 of his works on view from his earliest ring—to pieces that he has created just in time for the show. Most of the pieces were lent by private collectors. His range is boundless, his inspirations far reaching from fruits and vegetables to animals to my all time favorites the JAR flowers—which he creates with such precision that it will be difficult to look at a lilac, poppy, camellia, rose or lily of the valley again without thinking of it in a sparkling mix of gemstones and metals that bring these botanicals to life.

But I also can’t resist the folded handkerchief pieces, the emerald and diamond earrings, the majestic crowns and well, just about everything in the show.

The exhibition curator Jane Adlin said the concept of a JAR retrospective was brought to the Costume Institute more than four years ago by a friend of the jeweler’s, but was turned down as the Institute focuses solely on costume jewelry The idea was then brought to the museum’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, who jumped at the opportunity. Adlin explains, “I think Joel is best known for his technique of pavé. He’s discriminating but indiscriminate in his use of gemstones,” Adlin said. “So he’ll mix very, very fine perfectly cut, perfectly flawless gemstones with some that are not. He will use lesser quality stones. He will use lesser-known stones. But the outcome is this extraordinary piece of jewelry, which if you just put it on your dresser or your coffee table it would in fact be a piece of sculpture.”

The exhibit runs through March 9th, 2014

And, like in OZ, I might never get to meet “the man behind the curtain” but after first seeing a few pieces of his jewelry at a time at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, it was awe inspiring to see the breadth and life of Rosenthal’s 35 years in one place.

Two days before the show, I also read Cathy Horn’s article in The New York Times Fashion and Style section in which she asks Rosenthal whether if he ever thought of selling his company.
“To sell the company would be to betray all the people who have ever come to us,” he said, “because I’m then giving the right to the buyer to sign JAR on a piece that has nothing to do with JAR.”
He added: “People have said to me, ‘Ah, you could buy a palazzo.’ I don’t want a palazzo. I don’t want anything domestic. I like hotels. Leave me alone!”
He laughed with delight and then reflected: “It took me 20 years to convince my friends that JAR would never be for sale. Over my dead rubies, honey.”

And with that classic line—I have to just say—there are no jewels like JAR.

Also please see my previous post



Over the Moon Earrings-JAR 2010

10. Camellia Brooch 2010_JAR

Camellia Brooch 2010_JAR

65th Prime Time Emmy Trends- The Statement Spoken Softly


Allison Williams in Fred Leighton

It has become a tradition among friends and colleagues –editors, bloggers, publicists and other jewelry industry professionals to sound off, converse and have some fun together by live tweeting about the jewelry at the red carpet arrivals at awards shows. Tonight it was the 65th Prime Time Emmy’s and it was unanimous on our hashtag #emmyjewelry that “less was definitely not more” –there was a obvious lack of sparkle in the spotlight and I read a lot of snooze comments, gentle and not so gentle sarcasm and some hilarious remarks all in 140 characters. Despite the lack of bling on bare necks and the tiny studs that could hardly be seen in HD on large movie style screens—certain trends did emerge. Personally I prefer a more subtle style in which the jewelry bespeaks the look or style the actress or her stylist is going for and I found quite a few items I coveted as I watched the arrivals, listened for who was wearing who, while typing away on my laptop.

Here are some of my favorite looks of the evening—and those I thought made up the most alluring trends for women like me who are passionate about jewelry, indulge in self purchasing and but whose lives are spent dashing for a cab on concrete pavement or scooting down steps to various subway lines rather than walking the red carpet. Those of us who occasionally get out for a cocktail or black tie event when we aren’t at our desks, computers, walking our dogs or getting the kids off to school.

I have an advantage since I peek or perhaps peer in the Fred Leighton windows on my way home from where ever I am –but tonight’s showing of the renowned jewels offered up some of my favorite looks

-Gold cuff bracelets, one on each wrist on Allison Williams who gave a shout out to “Old and Beautiful” for her antique styles.

-A demantoid lizard climbing up the back of Anne Feris’ dress , not to mention her Victorian bracelets of which I wish I could have gotten a good shot


Anna Feris in Fred Leighton

Gold also showed up in bold stacks of cuffs on Connie Britton who wore a long time favorite designer of mine-Cathy Waterman…any and all of these bracelets I would want to own


Connie Britton in Cathy Waterman

Padma Lakshmi who brought home the gold in sculptural earrings and an ultra modern wide cuff revealing the many incarnations that this metal can look current in.


Padma Lakshimi

Another favorite contemporary designer, Irene Neuwirth’s earrings graced the ears of Breaking Bad’s award winning Anna Dunn as well as a number of other celebrities but these pastel confections were by far my favorite Neuwirth designs this evening.


Anna Dunn in Irene Neuwirth

Two other red carpet favorites Neil Lane and Martin Katz did the celebs they bejeweled justice—

Taylor Schilling rocked her gemstone Lane and Julia Louis Dreyfus looked absolutely gorgeous in Katz’s moonstone drop earrings as she picked up her award for the evening.


Taylor Schilling in Neil Lane


Julia Louis Dreyfus in Martin Katz

Some other pieces worth a mention

Kerry Washington’s pink diamond earrings by Fred Leighton, Zooey Deschanel large tourmaline cocktail ring and January Jones’ cluster earrings which, with her hair and dress brought back a true feeling of old Hollywood.

Thank you to all who participated in #emmyjewelry tweeting tonight. If you search the hashtag, you will find some wonderful jewelry critics and enthusiasts! And, I suggest you follow them all!

A First for Everything: The Grand Jewels of JAR come to the Met


JAR White Lilac brooch 2001 Diamonds, garnets, aluminum, silver and gold Private Collection And Lilac brooch 2002 Violet, sapphires, garnets, aluminum, silver and gold Private Collection

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my move to the Upper East Side—where I now reside directly across from the entrance to Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a blog about my experience at the atelier and workshop of David Webb, I also wrote about being separated from the close community of Greenwich Village yet having the sheer rush that comes with being closer to the shops and studios of some of my favorite renowned jewelry houses Living in this tony land of Cartier Love bracelet clad wrists, retro Van Cleef and Arpels’ invisibly set baubles and Chanel’s modern shooting stars definitely does bespeak the passion for luxury of the women who are bedazzled in jewels to drop their children at elementary school.

It takes me exactly four minutes to walk the half a block to get to The MET, so you could imagine my delight when I discovered that, in a first of many firsts, my “neighborhood” museum is featuring a retrospective of the eponymous JAR in Jewelry By JAR. The will be the first exhibition of JAR in America (the only other major exhibition of Rosenthal’s work was held in 2002 at Somerset House in London). And it will be the first time that the MET will feature the pieces of a contemporary and still living and working jeweler. It will also, most likely, be the first time I don’t have to high tail it to make it to a press preview on time.


JAR Geranium brooch 2007 Diamonds, aluminum, silver, gold Private Collection

 I have been to  many of the famous ateliers of Place Vendome but have never  had the excitement of pressing the bronze camellia doorbell to enter the secret and hidden shop of JAR, which Bronx born and Harvard educated  Joel Rosenthal opened in 1978  with his partner Pierre Jeannet and where Rosenthal’s  opulent and fantastical, sometimes whimsical and always meticulously crafted  jewels are presented and captivate and possess even the most discriminating of collectors.


Collection JAR Butterfly Brooch 1994 Sapphires, fire opals, rubies, amethyst, green garnets, black diamonds, silver and gold Private Collection

The exhibition will feature a selection of over 300 works of Rosenthal’s finest pieces—from jewels in classical flower forms and organic shapes to witty objets d’art, which depict the vivid landscape of  his imagination, the fearless beauty of  pave settings and painterly color combinations and the articulated shapes in his work. These qualities have not just created a following among celebrities but has launched Rosenthal’s own star as one of the most acclaimed jewelers over the past 35 years, placing him among the ranks of history’s greatest jewelers.

Jewels by JAR is organized by Jane Adlin, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, to be published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.

The exhibition will be featured on the Metropolitan Museum’s website at



JAR Zebra Brooch 1987 Banded agate, diamonds, silver, and gold Collection of Ann Getty

A Tourist in Celebrity Land

Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie in "The Tourist"

Tonight I went to see The Tourist and while I was unmoved by the film’s plot line and many other aspects, the lavish jewelry and luxe costumes got me to start thinking about our desire to emulate celebrity style, whether it be on the big screen or the red carpet. For me, the suspension of disbelief in films was always much more magical, beginning when I was a young girl.

Like most of my peers, I started out wanting to be Cinderella. But, I preferred a real live actress rather than the animated version and was entranced by Leslie Ann Warren in the 1965 made for TV film. In the movie, Warren had a killer body, twinkly tiara and sparkly jewels. She was my kind of girl.  At age five, when I watched in my living room with my mother, unwrapping Twinkies, I was not yet into the prince, or the love story, (that would come later). Nor did I care for the glass slippers– I was already embarrassed by my big feet–and really, why would I want to show them off through see through shoes? I wanted my accessories full of shimmer and glitter.

Later in my twenties, as a fashion editor, I was no different from everyone else I knew in magazines and tried endlessly to conjure up Audrey Hepburn in any movie she was featured in.  But mostly, we all wanted to be Holly Golightly.  I was determined to pull off a backless black gown, bib style choker, gingerly eating a croissant while wearing opera length gloves. Audrey had done this brilliantly in the opening scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Although I wasn’t there for the ‘takes’)   I became the fashion director of Accessories Magazine and wrote a first person piece about the perils of being invited to a black tie event and wondering if I could eat, drink, dance and keep my shoulder length gloves on all night. It was a feat but I pulled it off, ditto for my hair piled high in an up do, the jewels and even the backless back dress. God, I was young.

Then, last night when I saw The Tourist, I was transported back to my youth, trying to envision myself as stylish as Angelina Jolie’s character. Too bad the moments of fantasizing are much shorter lived when you get older. While bundled up in a blanket of a cashmere sweater and down parker,  I could, for a moment,  imagine myself in the enchanting jewels and sophisticated sumptuous clothes she wore in the film. The costumes were magnificent thanks to Colleen Atwood (of whom I’m a big fan) and who I interviewed about the costuming of Chicago and Memoirs of A Geisha, both films, which wound up landing her Oscars for Best Costume Design in 2002 and 2006 respectively.  As far as the jewelry for The Tourist, Atwood worked with Jolie’s personal jewelry designer, former Asprey CEO, Robert Procop, to create an extravagant ultra wide choker from an antique tiara, not to mention several other remarkable pieces for the film

But here is the truth of the matter. While I could play act in rhinestones and be swept away in the belief that I could pull off Leslie Anne Warren’s Cinderella at five. and that I could dash out of the house while putting on earrings and imitating some toned down attempts at Audrey’s iconic styles in my twenties, I know better now. It took a while, but I finally developed my own look and figured out what works to accentuate my best features and also my worst–and how to subtly introduced some of my favorite celebrity moments into my own wardrobe without looking like one of the don’ts in a fashion magazine.

That’s the rub when trying to emulate actresses on-screen or the red carpet.  You need to take a good look at yourself and see what you can pull off. I know that my neck, while still long, is starting to be, shall we say, less taut, therefore, I will never be as graceful in an ultra wide full on diamond choker. Instead I might opt for a more toned down style, some sort of pretty garland motif on grosgrain ribbon or a slightly more fluid and longer variation with more movement.

For the same reason, I cannot pull of shoulder length earrings, but can wear those that fall somewhere around my chin. I wear white and colored diamonds, all shades of sapphires, rubies and pretty much all tints of blues, particularly aquas and moonstones to detract from the crows feet, that seem to be branching out and instead, bring out the blue in my eyes and more pleasing tones in my complexion rather than my wintry shade of pasty gray.

There are a lot more tricks I’ve learned over the years about how to work in some styles from the silver screen, but for now, I will leave you with this:

I recommend The Tourist, ONLY to jewelry and fashion aficionados, who can watch a film and be swept away by creamy white gown and  black off the shoulder numbers,  sophisticated yet feminine natural colors in cashmere and silk, stark and sexy black fitted suits, accented by Asprey pearls– a ball scene, where even Johnny Depp fades into the background (okay well maybe I’m exaggerated just a tad) –but where you just might be swayed by the dazzling dance of the sparkling necklaces, pendants and earrings, all moving you to go out and take your own trip down movie lane–to re-discover your favorite style-setters again –and then down to your local jewelry store to try to find looks like the ones you most want to emulate, and most importantly, translate into pieces that are best suited to you.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Note:  Angelina Jolie is collaborating on a new jewelry collection with Robert Procop, who designed pieces for the actress to wear in several of her films, including The Tourist, as well as public appearances, including earrings from  the new collection for the NY premiere of The Tourist.