My obsession with all things Art Nouveau is the likely culprit behind my love of peacocks. From the 1880’s to the 1901’s, Art Nouvveau was an attempt to redefine the meaning and nature of art (making the duty of art not to overlook any everyday object, no matter how utilitarian it might be). The result was a merging of fact and fiction, overlayed with impeccable attention to detail.
Jewelry of the Art Nouveau period revitalized the jeweler’s art, with nature as the principal source of inspiration, complemented by new levels of virtuosity in enameling and the introduction of new materials, such as opals and semi-precious stones. Principal subjects were lavish birds and flowers, insects and polyformic femme fatale. But, it’s the peacock that keeps my coming back for more.
Peacock Collection Ring by Barbara Bixby ~ Silver Peacock Branch Ring
Luck Be a Ladybug
If there was ever a bug that didn’t send my hands into a heightened state of panic, it would have to be the ladybug. In the springtime, they devote themselves to several days of eating and frenzied mating (the females sometimes feeding and breeding at the same time) only to die from exhaustion. Not until after they lay their eggs, of course (which would totally defeat the purpose of crazed sexual encounters). Who knew these delicate creatures were such little sluts?
Funny thing is, the ladybug got it’s name from it’s divine association with the Virgin Mary. During the Middle Ages, when swarms of insects were destroying entire crops, the farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon thereafter the Ladybugs came, devouring the plant-destroying pests and saving the crops. The farmers called these beautiful insects “The Beetles of Our Lady,” and over time, they eventually became known as Ladybugs.
White Gold & Sapphire Ladybug Pendant by Forzieri
Enamel Ladybug Charm by Thomas Sabo
Silver & Peridot Ladybug Ring by Zoli Jewelry
Ladybug Ring by Sevan Bicakci
Ladybug Evil Eye Charm by Aaron Basha
Flower & Ladybug Ring by Betsey Johnson
Two-Tone Ladybug Ring from Saint by Sarah Jane
Ladybug Ring by April Higashi
Currently Obsessed With: Claw Couture
Contrary to popular belief, Crocodile Dundee did not usher in the “claw as jewelry” trend. Tiger claw jewelry came into vogue with the British colonization of India from 1858 to 1947. This period, known as the British Raj (Hindi for ‘rule’), was a time when clever [scumbag] entrepreneurs created a market which catered to the tastes of souvenir collecting British Victorians. This style of jewelry, now referred to as “Raj” died out in the early 1900’s (and with it thousands of unsuspecting lions, tigers, and a myriad of other clawed creatures).
The claw is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity, with designers pushing the aesthetic of sophisticated savagery into uncharted territory. Thankfully, no animals were harmed in the making of these new pieces. (For those of you partial to birds, click here for last month’s bird claw feature.)
Pretty Young Thing Rings by Arlene Guerra
Alkemie Claw and Skull Necklace at econsciousmarket.com