Q & A with Jessica from Trademark Antiques
How did your passion for jewelry develop? Specifically estate/ period jewelry?
I am a lifelong antique enthusiast who grew up going to auctions and flea markets with my family. My parents fostered my interest in antiques and bought me books on everything from antique dolls to jewelry. While some kids were out playing kickball or video games, I was the kid struggling to get my paddle seen at auctions and buying tiny treasures to decorate my bedroom.
I’ve always had a lifelong appreciation for antiques in general, but jewelry holds a special place in my heart. My passion for antique and vintage jewelry began with my grandmother. My “Busha” (Polish for grandmother) had an extensive jewelry collection that she kept in a very long dresser drawer. When I was a young girl, she allowed me to visit her jewelry drawer and admire (and occasionally try on) her marvelous treasures. There were lots of figural pieces and big colorful crystal brooches that she kept in individual boxes.
I am drawn to estate and period jewelry for its history and craftsmanship, but also for the unique stories behind many of the pieces. Because of its value, antique and vintage jewelry was often given to commemorate special occasions or significant life events and treasured throughout the decades. Some of the most marvelous jewelry that I personally own are not those pieces of most monetary value; they are the pieces with sentimental value. My most treasured piece of jewelry is an antique opal lavaliere pendant that was gifted to me by my grandmother as she was dying of cancer.
Do you have a favorite period of jewelry?
I really love both Art Nouveau and Victorian jewelry, but if I had to choose a favorite period, it would probably be the Art Nouveau era. I am particularly drawn to the curvaceous lines and surrealism of this time period. Lalique is an obvious favorite maker of mine, but I also have a great appreciation for many of the extraordinary jewelry companies from Newark, New Jersey who produced marvelous Art Nouveau treasures. One thing that I can rarely pass up at an auction or show is a stunning Art Nouveau enamel piece.
Can you tell us about any jewelry finds you have kept for your personal collection?
One of my favorite pieces in my personal collection is an antique 18k gold and Persian turquoise necklace that I originally passed up while purchasing other fabulous items from an estate. It was early in my jewelry career and I was working with very limited financial resources. In fact, my husband and I spent nearly all of our wedding money purchasing a handful of fabulous items from this one estate. We didn’t have enough money left over to purchase the turquoise necklace in addition to the other pieces, so I begrudgingly left it behind. My husband knew how sad I was about leaving the turquoise necklace, so he called the owner of the estate back and arranged to purchase it without me knowing. He surprised me with it for our first wedding anniversary, and it is a necklace that I will always treasure.
What are a couple of your favorite pieces in the current collection?
I try to buy what I love, so I feel very connected to most of the items in the current collection. With that said, there are a few items that absolutely stand out as personal favorites:
|Antique Opal & Enamel Flower Necklace Earrings & Brooch Set|
|Antique Edwardian Platinum and 1.39ctw Diamond Necklace|
When purchasing pieces for the collection will you only buy pieces in good condition or will you restore/ modify a piece after purchasing?
We sell a combination of fine antique and vintage pieces as well as antique and vintage conversion jewelry. When purchasing fine antique and vintage jewelry, we always strive to source pieces that are in excellent or near excellent condition with an eye towards timeless wearability. Our antique and vintage conversion pieces on the other hand often begin as broken or miscellaneous parts or as more obsolete forms of jewelry like stick pins or bar pins. We feel that conversions offer us the opportunity to breathe fresh life into a piece of wearable art that would otherwise be relegated to the confines of a collectors jewelry box. With any of our modified or converted items, we try our best to create unique and stylish jewelry that appeals to a modern clientele while honoring the aesthetic and artistic vision of the original piece.
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Here are a couple of my current favorites:
Here are a couple of my current favorites: