• Fashion to Die For: Did an Addiction to Fads Lead Marie Antoinette to the Guillotine? Fast fashion might seem like a modern invention, but in the turbulent world of 18th-century France, when Marie Antoinette was calling the shots, fashion moved at light speed: In an era when several artisans would be called upon to labor over a single garment, styles shifted by the hour, rendering fashion magazines, which were printed every 10 days, outdated before their ink was even dry. "Fashi…
  • Ironclad Patriotism: When Germans Gave Up Their Gold Jewelry to Battle Napoleon During World War I and World War II, the mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends of Allied servicemen wore pendants and pins proclaiming their support for their loved ones fighting overseas. But as Netherlands-based Georgian- and Victorian-era jewelry collector Agram.m reminds us (that's her username on Show & Tell), these pieces of sweetheart jewelry, as they are called, were not the first e…
  • Colonial Americans and Their Jewelry Part I: "Deer's Foot — Lost on Tuesday last the 12 Instant at Boston, a small Guinea Deer's foot tipt with Gold." Boston News-Letter September 11, 1704. "Snuff Box — Dropt in Boston on Wednesday the last 12th Current, A Snuff Box almost square, the bottom and sides are of Silver, and the top steel, the Inside wash'd with Gold; Twelve Shillings Reward." Boston News-Letter, December 10, 17…
  • Washington Memorial Jewelry The fashion for personal adornment with memorials of recently deceased relatives or of persons held in particular esteem reached its height in the decade between 1795 and 1805. It was an age of exaggerated and often ridiculous sentimentality for which the display of mourning jewelry afforded an individual and apparently satisfactory form of expression. Therefore, in view of the reverential affecti…
  • Christie Romero on Differences Between Fine and Costume Jewelry Over the Decades I started out with general antiques and collectibles... I was a dealer for a while and bought and sold all kinds of things. Gradually jewelry became my focus. In the mid-1980s I started getting serious, and in 1988 I started teaching small classes, workshops, and seminars, primarily on costume jewelry but also some fine jewelry. Vintage costume jewelry was just beginning to take off as a collec…