...or tries to...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Collections: Vintage jewelry


I've never owned a piece of jewelry that had an ounce of worldly value.  I'll never have any stories about trading in the family jewels to save the house. But ask me about my all-time favorite necklace and I'll describe the plastic Oreo cookie with a bite taken out of it, on a leather string, a reward for a good third grade report card. Or the egg with a chick peeping out from the cracks, strung on chord, or the hand painted driftwood mouse. I barely remember anything else, anything bought in a jewelry store.

So maybe that's why I love thrift store jewelry, second-hand, or third, or fourth.  Things buried deep in yard sale bins, sealed up in baggies, in the back of the case near the cashier at Goodwill. It's almost as if you're adopting them, becoming part of their story. In one case, it's a story I know-the snake belt was my Mom's, her gift to me. The rest are anonymous, but make suggestions all the time, of seventies fondue parties, of a sweater-set teenager's high school graduation,  braless young women in  turtlenecks at a Women's Lib rally, long nailed fingers holding cigarettes at a Ladies Luncheon. Cliches, of course, as most suggestions are. Someday, maybe, someone will wear my own silver charm bracelet, read the charms, and make up a story of her own.












6 comments:

Sans! said...

Amy, it will be corny, won't it , if I tell you we share similar taste in jewellery. No gold or diamond for me either. Plastic, ethnic or kitsch. The older the better. And I think there are at least 50% of us who owned one of those serpent necklaces, belts, bracelets or rings in all sorts of twisted positions at one time or another :). You think it is a trait of the Generation X? Perhaps that's why goldsmiths are now extinct! My father thinks jewellers may be a thing of the past one day. Would you believe none of my siblings wanted mum's gold or diamonds? We all wanted her vintage costume jewellery from the 50s and 60s! Mum thinks we are nuts of course.

If you ever visit Chatuchak, I will show you where you can find some really cool pieces!

Amy said...

Sans, not corny at all, not one bit! We understand each other completely. I have not one, not two, but three 4 dollar rings made from seashells, and I would wear that cookie necklace today if I still had it. I must have known way back that the fancy stuff involves so much aspiration and competition and conspicuousness- maybe because I was such a goofy looking teenager I knew I shouldn't even try to compete with the cool girls, I had to find my own thing.

I think I would swoon in Chatuchak-so much to chose from! But I would absolutely love to go!

Christian Jewelry said...

Superb Vintage collections

Looks very beautiful and Antique
You proved that old is gold

I hope you will share more vintage collections from your side

Amy said...

Thank you so much-I definitely will!

Daydreamer said...

Amy, You not only have BEAUTIFUL Jewelry, but you Display it so Exquisitely! As if the dress form were dressed to go out for the evening... or the disembodied hand were testing the perfect choice to wear.... Your collection is more than just the jewelry... it is as if you are collecting the "looks" you are sensing as their "stories"....
I have to confess that I have a large collection of "costume" jewelry that I don't wear.... I never seem to have the right occasion..... but something about the piece made me WISH I had the occasion or the "Look" to carry off wearing it! Do we buy these things in the hopes that they will make us FEEL like that image we have? Like we have lived ..... or will live that image?

I gotta say I LOVE every single piece you have displayed..... and the displays too!

Amy said...

Thank you so much Betsey! When I started my freelance design business years ago I had to pledge one thing- always get dressed like I was leaving the house, or I would end up in pjs with witch hair everyday. It sounds tempting but I swear it's the slow road to depression. But I don't wear the jewelry I'm showing here-they knock over things, catch on yarn, drag needles onto the floor. And since I moved here, most of them just seem too hot and heavy. But they're like most collections-no good reason to have them, just a strange urgency, and kind of love!