Loyal readers of this blog know that I LOVE things that are old and precious. So I’m very excited about the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show coming up October 27-30! This is exactly the kind of event that I trolled western Europe for when I was living abroad and I haven’t gone to any since moving to California. Part of that has to do with the fact that I’m new here and still getting my bearings and part of that is due my 2-year old.
For the SF show this fall, I got a sneak-peak at some of the jewelry and WOW – it’s going to be fun – whether you’re in the market to buy or just to admire. Many of the exhibitors have shops in the San Francisco area, but there are also plenty from the East Coast and beyond, so this is a great “one-stop-shop” for all of your antique and vintage jewelry needs ;)
I’ve selected my favorite pieces to show you, starting with the serpent ring at the top of the post (caught your eye, didn’t it?). It’s an antique Victorian “Old Mine” diamond ring of vintage 14k yellow gold set with a .12 carat diamond from 66Mint Fine Estate Jewelry. There’s incredible detail – notice the delicate scales on the snake’s body. And the serpent is a symbol of eternal love. And who wouldn’t want to own that?
Moving along to the next piece, I give you an opal and diamond bejeweled frog brooch from Lang Antiques. It’s the youngest of the bunch, dating from the late 20th century, but I love the juxtaposition of fine gemstones adorning a swamp creature. And oh, those ruby eyes!
My next pick, featured below, is truly a wearable piece of history. A Etruscan Revival bracelet, this piece from Lawrence Jeffrey Estate Jewelers originates from Italy between the 1820s and 1840s. The beguiling figures are actually carved out of lava! After Pompeii was discovered in 1748, local stone cutters began crafting figures out of the lava in order to be set in jewelry pieces, and then sold to tourists on their “grand tour” of Europe. 200 years later, you only have to travel to San Francisco to get your hands on one!
This next piece is from Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh and caught my attention as a lover and avid collector of “ethnic” jewelry. Made from rare Ainu glass beads complimenting a copper plate, this necklace originates from 19th century Hokkaido Island, Japan. I always find it fascinating when pieces of jewelry more than a hundred years old feature such brilliantly-colored beads. In my “modern” mind, I tend to visual everything from those times in black and white. But of course they weren’t.
And to round out my top 5, another piece from 66Mint Fine Estate Jewelry. This gorgeous Art Deco bracelet doesn’t fit the animal/earthy theme I’ve got going here, but I couldn’t resist it! As a keen observer of architectural trends, I appreciate jewelry that so clearly represents the zeitgeist of its time. And it doesn’t hurt that this platinum bracelet is embellished with marquise and round cut diamonds as well as 24 stunning emeralds! I would pair this piece with the emerald-colored gown that Kiera Knightley wore in Atonement. Remember that? <Sigh.>
And if you’re really into antiques (if you’ve read this far you are, am I right?), there are also opportunities to do a deeper dive with the show’s lecture series. Interior design fans will appreciate a talk with Alexa Hampton. And there are plenty of other great speakers, too.
If you live in/near San Francisco, get on down next weekend! And if you’re not, consider making the trip – SF is a lively to celebrate the pre-Halloween weekend!
Wishing you fun & adventure,