By: Caroline Henney Vintage Costume Jewellery  10/11/2007
Keywords: earrings, beads, buttons

More than 60 guests attended a launch party for the new webshop this week in Oxford. The webshop is the latest business venture of established Oxford Antiques Dealer, Caroline Henney.With over 15 years' expertise in the Vintage Costume Jewellery business, Caroline has seen interest in what was once a niche market really soar! Essentially a collector and a jewellery historian, she personally selects every item offered for sale through this new webshop andherunits in Antiques on High, Oxford, The Antiques Centre, Yarnton and at London Vintage Fashion, isan online shop offering both vintage costume jewellery and a selection of contemporary and designer jewellery. Most of the items for sale are 'one-off' originals and all are offered at very fair prices. There is lots to choose from in the £10 - £50 bracket, (which is theaveragecost of 75 percent of the items offered) but there are some exceptionally special items within the £50 to £100 plus range.For the Launch night, a display of more than 1000 items of vintage jewellery was offered for sale. Included were pieces to represent every era from Victorian, through Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, Mod, Retro, 1970's, 1980's and some selected contemporary silver jewellery too.To focus on the display,here is more information about a selected item from each category along with the facts that Caroline told to the interested guests. Representing the Victorian erawas a wonderful carved Whitby Jet name brooch'FLORENCE' . This one was a correct spelling butrare carved name brooches exist with mis-spelt names because small children were employed in the Whitby Jet Industry and copied names froma board , being illiterate they didn't realise if the name was wrong!Beautiful buckles and buttonswith swirling foliate design and sinuous 'art nouveau' curves were great representatives of this period. For arts and crafts, some Ruskin brooches were offered. William Howson Taylor ran his Ruskin Art Pottery for a very short period ( 1898 - 1933) and was greatly admired for the superb glazes he achieved on his pots.Being an innovative man, he also made buttons and ceramic discs which were mounted in silver and pewter to produce brooches with a timeless quality which are affordable and wearable with today's fashions.The 1920's and 1930's produced amazing Art Deco designs and Jewellery was very important. Dress Clips, the invention of Louis Cartier, were not only made in diamonds they were produced in diamante and marcasite and pieces from this period represent amazing value for money and are incredibly versitile to wear. Bohemian jewellery was particularly fine at this time and on display was a jewelled tiara and a multicoloured jewelled mesh belt, both sourced recently in Prague.The 1940's really is the era for wonderful plastic jewellery, with deep carved Bakelite, Casein and Lucite jewels and chunky beadson display. Lucite ( acrylic perspex) was used for the gun turrets and windscreens on World War 2 aircraft and particularly poignant jewels included the sweetheart brooches whittled by aircrew from fragments of lucite. Caroline is a member of the Plastics Historical Society and has great interest in this particular subject.1950's was represented with American designer suites and parures. Signed diamante by designers like Trifari and Weiss really wowed the guests!1960's was the 'Flower Power' era and all manner of bold enamel flower brooches with matching earrrings in bright and cheerful colours were snapped up!In the 1970's Britain still had a steel industry and jewellery was forged from Stainless Steel. Big bold pendants, rings and cuffs set with shell and tumbled gemstones are reminders of that Industry.For the 1980's think 'Dallas' and Power Dressing, those enormous earrings are coming back in fashion and are really good value if you want to get noticed! Add to these lots of beads and bags and a really girly night was had by all!All guests attendinghad a common bond in their love and interest in Vintage Costume Jewellery and as well as other antiques dealers and loyal customers,Carolinewas particularly pleased to welcomecontemporary jewellery designer, Tamsin Howells,artist and designer,Lorraine Berkshire-Roe and Miss Tamar Nelson who travelled to Oxfordfrom Paris as she didn't want to miss the occassion!Everyone was delighted to see the three enormous cakes iced with the Bag the Jewels Lady Logo!The guests raised their glasses of bubbly and tucked into the celebration cakes and wished every success for the future!

Keywords: antique jewelry, art nouveau, beads, buttons, Cocktail Jewellery, Compact, earrings, Vintage Costume Jewellery, Vintage Fashion

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