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The earring that started it all !

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Arts and Crafts Jewelry36 of 295Wager opal broochArts and crafts brooch to necklace
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    Posted 3 years ago

    (18 items)

    I visited my family in the UK last September/October. During my time there I went to a lovely antique fair on the meadow in Stamford. It was the most beautiful day, sun shining and ducks on the water around the meadow. I found a stall with hundreds of pairs of earrings for sale, literally this lady had two whole trestles of earrings. Browsing through I came across a single earring sitting on it’s own. “ do you have the other earring to this I asked “? “ if it’s not with it there no” she replied. For some reason this earring felt special to me the stones looked real , it really appealed to me and when I asked how much is it the trader said “ oh one pound for that “ I couldn’t get my pound out quick enough !!! at home inspecting this treasure because I had already decided it was a treasure I started to wonder who had made the earring and who would use such beautiful stones in a silver earring ? ....... so my interest in arts and crafts jewellery began . I know that it is only a single earring but to me it is so valuable as it lit a flame of interest leading me to research and study some of the arts and crafts artists of the Birmingham school. I am having so much pleasure and fun learning about this movement and group, I will move on to others but for now I am besotted with the likes of Nossiter, Sandheim, Instone, Dunlop, linnell ect. I am thinking of having this earring turned into a ring so that I can wear it but am unsure if that is the right thing to do. Another arts and crafts trader kindly told me that she thought the earring might be the work of Edith Linnell ? The white looking stone is actually a very pale aqua blue colour. I have clipped the earring over my wedding ring to get an idea of what it might look like as a ring. What do you think ?

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    1. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 3 years ago
      I think you have a great idea in turning it into a ring! With some cleverness, you might even make it detachable from the ring so it could be a pendant also.
    2. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 3 years ago
      Could it be possible to have a good look at them silver leaves, Sue.
    3. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 3 years ago
      Also a photo of the back please.
    4. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 3 years ago
      Do they look like these leaves.
    5. kyratango kyratango, 3 years ago
      Absolutely superb! It seems for most of us and specially for me, interest for a new collecting area begins with a super piece at bargain price!
      Great idea to wear it as a ring, the effect is gorgeous :-)
    6. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Hello Watchsearcher, thanks for taking a look at this and for your great comments. I know a really good jeweller who could do a very sympathetic job on this to convert to a ring so I think I will go ahead and send it to him.
    7. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Hi jean I have uploaded pics of the leaves and back. Not great quality as I am using my phone also the leaves turn over quite a bit so it’s hard to get a clear shot. The link you sent me was so helpful and yes the leaves are very similar, as I said the ones on mine are curled over but basically they are the same shape. So perhaps a attribution of Edith Linnell could be a possibility. It’s so strange how attached I feel to this single earring ! Do you think it is ok to make a ring out of it ? Thanks so much again for your input, always appreciated.
    8. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Hello Kyratango , oh great I think it’s superb too ! Glad that you think so too. On the day I purchased this I also purchased other lovely items but this really stood out and it felt so precious. At that point I knew little to nothing about British arts and crafts jewellery apart from the fact I had seen some in books and thought how lovely it was. I couldn’t stop looking at this for days!! I am pretty sure I will get it converted to a ring. My husband has looked at the bands on such rings and has drawn up a little sketch of a simple arts and crafts style band for our jeweler to follow. When it is done I will post a pic here. I know what you mean about finding an initial really cheap piece and that piece setting you off ! I am loving it and the pieces I am buying. Beauty in a worrying and uncertain world is a great therapy indeed.
    9. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 3 years ago
      Right period and stone arrangement for Linnell, but she tended to use a flat leaf, and her work, in general, is quite flat. Having said that, Linnell is tricky because often pieces of Instone are misattributed to her so there are not a lot of actual examples of her work to compare it to.

      To take a good photo with your phone, get a nice crisp photo of it at a reasonable distance, then enlarge the photo. You'll find that works better than trying for a close up.

      Finally, yes, make it into a ring. Otherwise what purpose will it serve? You want to wear it and making it into a ring will give it another 100 years of life. They will probably need to take the stones out which is always a risk but the claw settings should be easier. Find a good jeweller though, preferably one who handles antiques so they are sympathetic.
    10. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Hello Jewels1900 , thanks so much for that sound advice on a ring being made. I do know a really good jeweller so I am going to go ahead with this. Thanks also for the tips re phone photography, yes I was trying to get too close and the view became muzzy, I will try taking the pics as you suggested.

      The work and setting on the single earring is such super quality, as far as my inexperienced eyes can tell. Now I have a small handful of pieces I am comparing the workmanship on them. I have one brooch that almost looks like a child has made it but it is completely charming and has that ' feel ' to it that's hard to put words to.

      Really appreciate your commenting on this ( and others ) as I realise knowledge is hard earned !
    11. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 3 years ago
      Your rustic piece is probably what I'd call a 'night school project'. There were lots of local classes run for amateurs so you can get some very wobbly bits. Some might be students just started at Art School, some might be hobbyists. I tend to be quite fond of them, they have charm.

      The next level up I call 'Dear Emilies' In England during this period there's a shortage of men. So a large group of women were needing to be self sufficient in a way they'd never been before. Going to art school and having a small studio with an enamel kiln at home was considered a suitable occupation for a women so we seen lots of anonymous women (and men) going to art school, learning their trade and producing quite proficient work. Ashbee (from The Guild of Handicraft) complained about the competition of the Guild's work by what he termed 'Dear Emily'.

      Then you get your established and documented small studios (Gaskins, Dawsons, Mary Thew, Rhoda Wager, Ernestine Mills, Dorrie Nossitor etc). Then your more serious businesses and workshops (Guild of Handicrafts, Artificers Guild, Sybil Dunlop). Then you get your fully commercial production which might be half hand made and half machine made (Liberty).

      Amy Saindheim advertised her work as peasant jewellery. Even as a well established maker, she liked to get her rustic on.
    12. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Oh that’s a great message from you. You know I could just be the proud owner of a ‘ Dear Emily’ what a charming term ! I had no idea that there was such a pyramid of workshops working at different levels. Gosh the whole topic is even more interesting and involved than I ever thought.

      Many many thanks again I drank this message up like a thirty camel !
    13. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 3 years ago
      That's just my take based my experience. It's not 'official' or anything. And sometimes things don't necessarily fit within that. I also tend to think of Arts & Crafts jewellery in two phases or generations. Roughly pre-war & inter-war. Pre-war tends to be smaller & finer, inter-war bigger & bolder. Again things don't necessarily fit perfectly, but on balance.
    14. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks, 3 years ago
      Thanks Jewels 1900. Yes I see there are always exceptions to the rule, but your explanation above helped me to understand the tiers of workers undertaking arts and crafts jewellery making / designing . I would not be at all adverse to buying a student’s work if it appealed to me . I can now look at my rustic piece as possibly by someone learning their trade and not an experienced worker having a very dodgy day ????

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