LOVE AND HIDDEN MEANINGS IN VINTAGE JEWELRY WITH SANDRA CRONAN
GEMOLOGUE and Sandra Cronan co-hosted a glamorous pre-Valentines Champagne Reception and Jewellery Talk about Love and Hidden Meanings in Jewellery at Sandra’s splendid showroom on Albermale street.
Many glamorous ladies and antique jewellery lovers attended and spent the evening admiring the dazzling jewels and learning all about love symbolism in antique jewels. At the same time delicious champagne was free-flowing, accompanied with a wonderful selection of canapés.
I met the fascinating Sandra Cronan during my collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar a while back when I was curating my selection of antique jewels at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair. This very elegant and charismatic antique jewellery dealer captured my heart and soul almost instantly with her fascinating stories about antique jewels and objets d’art.
Sandra Cronan’s luxurious showroom is one of Mayfair’s best-kept secrets. The space is inviting and cosy and is decorated with an emphasis on rich purple – very appropriate since it is the colour of royalty and opulence! Once you set your foot through the door, you feel like a princess! This opulent showroom is like a large treasure chest filled to the brim with magnificent and arresting jewels in gold and platinum, and as you look around your eye is caught by Burmese rubies, Colombian emeralds and Kashmiri sapphires. Personally, I found a large selection of pieces I would absolutely add to my personal jewellery box, and I shared my selection with all the attendees!
A Georgian target ring, comprising of a ring of rubies within an outer ring of rose cut diamonds and a Holland Rose diamond to the centre. Mounted in silver and gold, English, circa 1760. £3500
I have a penchant for antique jewellery – which must be at least 100 years old – because you can find special pieces with interesting stories and showcasing the best craftsmanship of days gone by. Carefully selected antique and vintage jewellery is often unbeatable in both price and quality, therefore a much better value for your money! The craftsmanship is usually top-notch: everything is handmade and created to last, which is something very refreshing in this day and age, especially even when the biggest jewellers have industrialised the process of jewellery design… Antique jewels are often unique and dazzling, and will certainly be the talking point when worn!
Celebration of love on Valentine’s is a more modern thing, and in the olden days one would gift or receive a sentimental jewel on other occasions, such as Birthdays or coming-of-age celebrations.
An Art Deco emerald and diamond set bracelet, decorated in the stones with a Greek key pattern. Mounted in platinum, American, circa 1920. £18,500
Sandra has been sourcing some of the finest and rarest jewels from the 17th century through to early 20th centuries for over 40 years, and her expertise and attention to detail is simply unbeatable!
A heart shaped amethyst pendant set with diamonds. Mounted in platinum and 18ct yellow gold. English, circa 1905. £5200
Several gems are widely believed to attract and accept love, and Sandra’s collection has a large selection of jewels incorporating many of them.
The luminous ruby is associated with love, said to strengthen both the emotional and physical heart. This precious stone brings integrity, devotion and happiness when worn. Green jade, one of the most precious stones in the East, strengthens love and happiness as well as fortifying the physical body. It is also said to fulfil dreams and encourage long life.
A natural Oriental pearl and diamond ring, with one golden pearl and one white pearl surrounded by a diamond set border. Mounted in platinum. American circa 1915. £7500
Pearl signifies purity, beauty, compassion and love, and it is believed to be more powerful if this living gem in natural rather than cultured.
A late Georgian necklace set with garnet trefoils, mounted in gold. English, circa 1830. £4600
Garnet is said to be symbolic of passion, love and romance, and it is known to improve feminine sensuality. Moonstone holds protective every and helps to balance out the emotions. So, make sure you pop into Sandra’s showroom in Mayfair if you are looking for antique jewellery for love! Sandra Cronan is a regular exhibitor at various fairs, including BADA (coming up in March) and LAPADA (every September).
A peacock feather brooch set with sapphires, diamonds and emeralds. French, circa 1883. By Boucheron. Believed to have been made for the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. POA
Throughout centuries, art and jewellery have expressed one’s individuality and emotions. Hearts in jewellery are, of course, obvious as far as sentiment.
It was an old-British tradition to spell out either REGARD or DEAREST or some other word equally appropriate with precious stones, the first letter of each stone standing for each letter of the word in questions: diamond for D, ruby for R, emerald for E, amethyst for A, garnet for G.
A Mississippi river pearl pearl brooch in the form of a chrysanthemum, with a tiny diamond set to one petal. Mounted in gold. American, circa 1900. £6750
Dainty jewels with Forget-me-nots were also very appropriate, since the name of the flower says exactly what one person is trying to convey to the other.
An Art Deco bracelet set with cabochon emeralds, diamonds and framed with calibre cut onyx. Mounted in platinum. Circa 1925. French, Signed Marcus. £88,500
A pair of diamond set scroll ear clips. Mounted in platinum. Circa 1930. £6850
An Edwardian sapphire and diamond ring of rectangular design, the central plaque with calibre set sapphires and two pear shape diamonds, with diamond surround. Mounted in platinum. American, circa 1915. £7600
A Belle Epoque diamond set hair clip. Mounted in platinum. Signed T.B. Starr. American, circa 1905. £7950
Three gem set bangles, mounted with rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Mounted in 18ct yellow gold. Circa 1880. (Emerald one not shown) £25,000
A pair of Belle Epoque diamond drop earrings, with 19th century carved coral faces, mounted in platinum. French or English, sold as a set with a matching jabot pin signed by Cartier. £75,000 for the set
An Art Deco diamond set tassel bracelet, mounted in platinum. Circa 1920. £38,500
A pair of diamond set fanned paisley shaped ear clips, mounted in 18ct yellow gold. French, circa 1940. POA
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
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