Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Curio Cabinet : Souvenir Jewelry



Before I visited Europe I was already considering the trip to the continent as my sort of Grand Tour as they used to do so very long ago. When the Georgians had their grand tours they would pick up the most luxurious of souvenirs like marble tabletops and renaissance paintings in Italy and though I wasn't traveling with such a grand bank account on my mini-grand tour I knew I had to find one thing in particular, micro mosaic jewelry. The Georgians and Victorians picked up parures of the stuff, as seen above in antique examples and I was determined to find the most traditional of souvenir jewelry from Italy. It was one of our last days in Florence when finally we ducked into an overstuffed, touristy beyond forgiveness shop full of Italia T-shirts and resin photo frames where I found the holy grail of micro mosaic jewelry!



I came away from that little shop with these three, a brooch, a pendant and a pair of earrings. It was so difficult to choose because all options were offered in different colors and patterns but I ended up with these. I love them and all are stamped Italy on the back! My 'grand tour' souvenirs had been found! They were super reasonably priced too, I think each were under 12 euros a piece.  As a huge jewelry collector (hoarder, magpie...) I try and buy a piece, none very fancy, from each country I visit in my travels.

I picked up this tiny tudor rose necklace at Heaver Castle in England, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn! again for under 20 dollars
I found these earrings in Rome at a store called The Cotton Club that is around the corner from the Pantheon and has a ton of beautiful stuff despite being just a tiny hole in the wall. I thought these looked rather antique in style and my parents bought them for me as a gift. I am a very lucky girl!
These earrings I also got on my trip but sadly I have completely forgotten where which defeats the purpose a bit! I think in Florence? I thought they looked rather Tudor/Renaissance and so couldn't pass them up for future costuming.
and finally these byzantine revival earrings I just got on my trip to Washington DC! The National Art Gallery had a small Byzantine exhibit and these were part of the gift shop offerings. I couldn't pass them up, they were too perfectly Victorian antiquity-revival!

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