Author Topic: The coyote's den  (Read 91200 times)

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #550 on: April 06, 2013, 08:49:23 AM »
Nope, it's not the ring. They are star sapphires, though they can look like moonstones - or blue chalcedony, which is the real reason I bought the ring: it goes really well with this


Offline djm195

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #551 on: April 06, 2013, 09:01:19 AM »
Do I get a second chance?  >:D

j/k

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #552 on: April 06, 2013, 09:07:09 AM »
Of course you do. Which one is the piece, you can work out just by logic. The material... well, there's a clue in the post too, but it's not an easy one to find.

Offline djm195

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #553 on: April 06, 2013, 09:10:16 AM »
Ummmm...porcupine quill? Is that a pin?

Offline saqsay1

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #554 on: April 06, 2013, 09:13:04 AM »
Is it bone or horn on the circle thingy with the point ( What the heck is that piece)?
"If the US government were placed in control of the Sahara Desert, it would run out of sand in 25 years."

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #555 on: April 06, 2013, 09:36:43 AM »
And the winner is...

Ummmm...porcupine quill? Is that a pin?

Absolutely right, DJM. It is a crested porcupine quill used as a part of a fibula-shape brooch. It's not from a hedgehog (which was the clue), but it looks similar to a hedgehog quill, though it's much larger.

Actually, the brooch is an interesting piece overall from a materials point of view: the metal is a 12k alloy of gold and silver called "electrum", which was much used in antiquity but is now almost unknown. The porcupine quill has an electrum wire inside, to reinforce it; the same wire is coiled inside the body to make the spring and goes out as the pin on the other side. One side of the body is decorated with black enamel and bone, and the other side (not visible in the photos) has white enamel and ebony.

The piece got an "Italian Jewel Design Award" in 2011, which is in a sense interesting, considering it's a design that is 2000 if not 3000 years old - though I doubt anyone has ever used a porcupine quill before.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 09:47:37 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline saqsay1

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #556 on: April 06, 2013, 09:45:02 AM »
Ummmm...porcupine quill? Is that a pin?

 :1237387oyy519k20r: :tantrum2: :violent1: :crybaby2:
"If the US government were placed in control of the Sahara Desert, it would run out of sand in 25 years."

Offline clgwli

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #557 on: April 06, 2013, 04:26:14 PM »
Wow that is a cool collection!  I guess what was "not like the others" but not what it was when I saw it earlier today.  I just had a kid bumping me a bunch so I couldn't type well (now I'm hiding upstairs LOL)

I love those sapphires on that ring though.  the "matching" bracelet (is it?) is even more beautiful.

I never tire of seeing your collection :)
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #558 on: April 06, 2013, 05:51:29 PM »
Yep. It's a bracelet by Suzanne Belperron, circa 1938.

Will post more detailed photos tomorrow, if there is a bit of light. Today was dreary; it felt like November!

Offline clgwli

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #559 on: April 06, 2013, 08:07:31 PM »
I cannot wait to see more.  I really love the way the sapphires look even in these photos (ring and bracelet).  I hope your weather is better tomorrow though.  We were supposed to feel spring today, but the clouds remained and it took until late afternoon to finally warm up.  I'm ready for sunny spring!
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #560 on: April 07, 2013, 09:11:58 PM »
OMC - That chalcedony bracelet still rocks my world.  It would even without that spectacular clasp.  The cubs take the cake, tho.   You certainly have a good looking family.  ...and some wonderful new additions to the collection.

Can you tell us a bit about the case with the bezel set mixed gems and diamond  clasps(?) please?  It seems a a bit extreme for a card case, but killer as a cigarette case, if of a comparable size.  I'd use it for Sobranie Cocktail cigs at a party in a heartbeat, especially if there was a cool holder and it was 1964.  Garp!  I've just had  a retro flashback of my mom.  (where's that Bill the Cat smiley when you need one?!?)
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #561 on: April 09, 2013, 04:28:19 PM »
It's not a cigarette case, actually. It's a beauty compact. Dug out of a single piece of onyx, it has a little mirror, a lipstick holder and a powder compartment - which still has some perfume of the powder it once contained.

Will post more photos at the weekend, if we can get some sunshine or at least a bright day. It was miserable and November-like last weekend.

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #562 on: September 15, 2013, 10:06:20 AM »
Well, a week or twenty-three later... here's some more photos, plus a few things that have joined in the meantime. So it's a rather long post; please bear with me.

The objects fall into three more-or-less homogeneous groupings: pieces from my favourite Art Deco period, and two modern groups which are the product of some of my favourite craftspeople/designers. Plus - I have  just noticed - one oddity.

Any pre-reading bets as to what the oddity is? (It is part of the group photos above, and it's not the porcupine quill pin).

Let's give precedence to the older ladies (or gentlemen), and let's begin with this:



a platinum and diamonds bracelet by Maison René Boivin, original design dated 1920. Probably the first version of their noted Écailles collection. Another view, this time using a bit more sunlight and leaving the bracelet extended out:



And a detailed view of why this is known as "scales" - the combination of bright cutting, millegrain and the curved semi-irregular shapes, plus of course the magic of OMBs all contribute to the final effect. It really looks like a set of very bright fish scales when worn.



From one master to another - here is a Cartier (London) small diamonds, jade and coral clip, mounted in yellow gold and platinum, still from the early 1920s:



and an attempt - not too successful - at capturing the translucency of the jade



A detail photo showing two interesting things: the first one is the vicious steel spring characteristic of Cartier London's works (even without the signature your fingers will know when they meet one of these...). The other is the level of detail to which Cartier finished its pieces: the edge of the small jade plate is rounded to match the jade hemicylinder, rather than leaving a small air gap (or even more cheaply, skip the other jade piece(s), since they are not in view, and close the fitting with a metal plate).



Always from the 1920s, but probably a little later, given the use of fantasy (fancy) cut diamonds is this pair of jade and diamonds platinum ear pendants. Very flapper-ish, and you definitely need to have a rather short hair cut (or gather up) to show them to their best effect



The settings seem asymmetrical, but they are not - I have left one straight and put the other one on a curve to show the amount of articulation (and thus glitter and "movement") built into even a simple piece. A closer view of one earring revealing the use of half moons as well as baguettes and rounds:



And a detail of the sophisticated setting of the jade - no glue or other cheapskate methods: the drop is drilled, a pin passed through and a platinum collet reinforces the lot as well as hiding the pin articulation. Also note the full galleried work (look at the shadows), even on a small piece such as these settings. Ah, for the days when workmanship was cheap... ;)



Last piece from the 1920s, something for Mr Coyote - not that I would use a beauty compact (or minaudiére, if you speak Van Cleef), but nowadays there is no more use for this kind of things in ladies purses. So a lovely object to admire and touch it remains, but it no longer holds powder and lipstick (though a faint trace of the scent remains).



An interesting small box (about 3.5 x 2 inches) of black onyx, engraved on the cover with flowers and leaves in a Japonesque manner, with small cabochon rubies, sapphires and emeralds set in the centre of the flowers. Platinum hinges and latch decorated with rose-cut diamonds. Signed Strauss, Allard & Meyer, who specialised in making boxes like this one for the "big names" of French jewellery of the period (Lacloche Fréres, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mauboussin, Marchak, ...)



Interior all fitted in gold (including the mirror - notice the circular scratch left by the lid of the powder compartment):



Side view showing the thickness of the two pieces of onyx from which the box was carved. If you look carefully, you can actually see some trace of veining in lighter grey



Now decidedly into 1930s territory, a small pair of sapphire and diamond platinum clip, French. They have a very clear maker's mark (G B, a two-handled vase or amphora between the two letters), but I have no idea who made them. Whoever it was, he/she/they knew how to work platinum - look at the bezel setting on the sapphire scrolls.



And the two together with their original fitting for use as a single brooch:



The sapphire batons are a little too dark, but they work beautifully with the diamond batons and rounds to create a wonderful contrast. Like all double clips, it's very versatile: wear one or two, on the same or opposite sides, or wear them together. And they are small enough (about 1 inch/3 cm length each) for "everyday" wear.



One more piece from the mid 1930 - abandoned the rectilinear fashion from the 1920s, here is a stylised pair of diamond drapes in a circular opening contoured by emeralds. Curves everywhere, but still a fundamentally geometric appearance to the piece. Here in its pendant or brooch aspect:



and here separated as a pair of largish clips (about 2 inches/5 cm long):



or perhaps you'd prefer to wear them the other way:



This piece is extraordinarily well manufactured, even compared to the 1930s' very high standards. It is not signed or marked - quite common for American pieces of the period - but it is possibly the work of Oscar Heyman, given some of the details. For example: note the shaped decorative tabs to lift the clip backs; several signed/authenticated Heyman pieces have the same "lion's mane" shape. Also notice the honeycomb work for the pavé surface of the drapes.



A detail view of the undercut channel for the brooch fitting



And the small fitting together with the two clips - note the holes for the securing pins on the fitting. Once closed down, the object feels as solid as if it had been soldered together



One last technical detail - and apologies for boring you, but I really do think this piece is a totally exceptional tour de force in Deco jewellery making. The gallery work of the two drapes... revealing that the whole pavéd surface is curved!



Back in France things kept moving, and the late 1930s saw the transition to somewhat softer forms, of which this boule gold ring with star sapphires and diamonds is a good example. It is signed, but alas the mark is unreadable thanks to the French custom of putting the maker's mark on the outside of the bottom of the shank, thus very exposed to bangs, bumps and resizing work.



It's a very nice three-dimensional object, and though it may look bulky it's actually very graceful when worn:



particularly if one can wear it with a near-matching bracelet... by none other than Madame Suzanne Belperron. Given the similarity in style (though the bracelet is chalcedony and platinum), I can't help wondering if the two go back to the same designer, or if someone saw one piece and was "inspired"... the Belperron bracelet design is datable to the early 1930s.




Quite a striking match, isn't it?

Final Deco piece, design dated 1937, is a pair of Groseiller (gooseberry) earrings in pearls and diamonds, mounted in white gold and platinum, (fittingly) from Maison René Boivin:



on black:



and in full light (with a little help from Mr. Flash):



This was my gift to Mrs Coyote for our 25th (or 29th, depending) anniversary together. The 25th (29th) anniversary will be on 25 November, but you try to keep a piece of jewellery off Mrs Coyote's hands for 6 months...

OK, here comes the oddity. It's a late 1950s necklace by Pierre Sterlé in gold wire, platinum and diamonds



Detail of the tassel and diamond decoration where you can see that, in characteristic Sterlé fashion, drops and navettes are still set with rounds (as they would have been in 1920), and not with pears and marquises as they would be in other 1950s pieces



The tassel detaches and is usable as a clip on its own:



leaving behind a simpler collier which is still perfectly wearable on its own even on a high neck sweater (believe me, it looks a lot better on!)



Back to the future, another small collection of objects from an exceptional family of artists of goldsmiths and jewellers. The Coyote family met them three years ago in Montepulciano: a family of two parents and a daughter who produce astoundingly beautiful pieces using ancient techniques from Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Byzantine times. They make everything the way it would have been done 2000 (or more) years ago - produce their own alloys, use bronze points to drill and carve stones, garnet powder to polish them and make most of their own findings and fittings. Here's an example of Alessandro's work (the father of the family): a 22kt gold necklace with jade beads from the Val di Susa (an Alpine valley near my birthplace in Italy - I could not let this one go!):



and a detail photo showing some interesting techniques: granulation (each sphere is attached individually using a special solution of copper salts that is then heated to generate a very localised soldering spot on the bottom of the sphere), wire decoration and cloisonné enamelling inside the wires (the greenish tinge). Bear in mind that the jade has been cut, drilled and polished completely by hand, using manufacturing methods available in Roman times, which means no steel... only bronze (and garnet/emery powder).



now a detail of the chain work:



each ring in the chain has been formed from wire, soldered and then bent into place. Four rings intersecting in different orientation make a step, and the feeling of this chain is quite unlike any modern machine-made chains. Note the even finer granulation on the terminals.

Manuela, Alessandro's wife, makes more sculptural pieces that join modern design to ancient techniques - here is her porcupine quill fibula brooch that I described above, front and back




Chiara, Manuela and Alessandro's 22 year-old daughter, has joined the family firm about a year ago, after finishing university. As you probably can tell she is rather talented... here is a demi-parure in carnelian, garnet and jade, set in 22 kt gold. The necklace:



and the earrings:



Notice the chatoyancy of the carnelians in the earrings? No, it's not a rare mineral species; the metal foil at the back of the stone has been finished with a brush giving this interesting optical effect. Apparently the technique was used often in Hellenistic times.

Details of the centre medallion from the necklace and a closer shot of the earrings. Again, wire work and granulation - note the different types of wires (smooth, textured and twisted square):




One more piece from Alessandro - this time in late Roman/Byzantine style opus interrasile, but containing two very non-Byzantine Australian opals from a now-exhausted seam in Coober Pedy:




Detail of the opus interrasile - note how starting from holes pierced into the foil the rest of the design is chiselled away. No saw is used.



And the opal cabs (about 5 carats each, and nicely translucent) aren't bad either! :)

Third lot... showing how modern jewellery doesn't always hark back to the past, and techniques are being invented or reused to good effect to create new looks and designs. This time from Germany, a pair of burnished silver earrings with 24k "splatter" gold and diamond decoration:



very simple but highly effective, and a unique look (that, interestingly enough, Alessandro liked a lot, even though it's totally off "his" path!)



Another piece by the same Atelier, this time in 22 kt gold, cast in sand and then finished, with a Tahitian pearl and a few diamonds. It can be used as a clasp or pendant for any necklace (the fittings are of the push-and-twist variety)



or on its own from a simple chain, such as this steel wire one, showing how even less "noble" materials have their place today - the texture is almost like silk. Every other steel wire has been gold plated to give a bit of contrast; the maker experimented with pure gold wires, but they didn't work as well, because the gold is so much heavier than steel that after a while wearing it all the gold wires bunched at the bottom of the bundle, losing the contrast effect.



Very Space Age for a 2012 design!

OK - that's it. I thought the other posts were long, but this one has beaten every record. I hope you still have enjoyed it despite its extreme lenght. Please post any request for hand/neck/ear/lapel shots or any further details!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 11:51:56 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Trinkette

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #563 on: September 15, 2013, 07:43:49 PM »
Bravo.  :notworthy: Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos and your comments. As always, a delight!

Offline clgwli

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #564 on: September 15, 2013, 08:37:13 PM »
I love this collection.  If you remember I have a weakness for 22K gold.  Those carnelian earrings are simply to die for!!!  Though I love everything else the family did as well.  The beauty compact also spoke to me.  I'd love to see that one in person.

The sapphire clips are lovely as well and that last necklace - that one is very cool yet quite chic.

Once again I am thrilled to see your collection and a bit jealous too ;)
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #565 on: September 16, 2013, 01:27:08 AM »
What wonderful additions!  I'm almost speechless.  ...but I did want to thank you for the shots of the chalcedony and sapphire pieces.   And the clips!  The modern/ancient pieces.   The compact.  Shutting up now, and rereading.  Again.
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline cherrypie

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #566 on: September 16, 2013, 02:07:41 AM »
Love the little compact.

Carol   8)

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #567 on: September 16, 2013, 02:25:25 AM »
Merci beaucoup, Mesdames.

If you ever are in Switzerland, you are all invited to play in the den.

BTW - I fixed a couple of images that were the wrong way up or distorted (photobucket seems to have a caching problem sometimes...).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 03:34:40 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline lovecolor

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #568 on: September 16, 2013, 07:46:38 AM »
AMAZING...SPECTACULAR...GENEROUS....just a few mere words to describe your post!  And I very much enjoyed the history and details of these pieces OMC.       :notworthy:

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #569 on: September 16, 2013, 11:06:01 AM »
I'm with you, LC.  The provenance of each piece is fascinating.  The background on the great jewellers and ataliers, construction identifiers  like the Oscar Heyman platinum honeycomb for the pave on the emerald clips, or the viciousness of a Cartier clip - where else would we be exposed to this information? 

Just knowing those carnelian earrings are modern, not ancient, and all hand done, amazes me.  Having dabbled in metalworking slightly, the intricacy and near  perfection of those and Chiara's pendant blow me away. (Dad's granulated and enameled beads, too!) Copper salts, huh? Way cool.

erm... what I'm trying to say(*gush*) is that I, too, love the history lessons.  I can't afford to indulge in museum quality art of any sort, and you share your pieces in such a personal and empathic manner.  I have learned so much from you, OMC, and it has enriched my daily life.  (Not unlike Mr. Koontz and his Chinese collection from my childhood   - and THAT ended up in a rather large dragon tattoo some thirty years later.)
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #570 on: September 16, 2013, 11:24:31 AM »
Way too kind, both of you!

Ah2bqat: actually, the honeycomb is a relatively widespread technique of French origin. The OH (possible) giveaway is the shape of the tabs to lift the clip backs. Uncommon to have tabs to start with, but even less common is this shape that - to me - looks like a horoscope's Leo sign (or a lion's mane - which is probably the same idea...). I have only seen it another two times, and both were on Heyman pieces from the 1920-30s.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 11:26:03 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #571 on: September 16, 2013, 11:40:45 AM »
Thanks for the clarification on the honeycomb and the tabs, OMC.  I wasn't able to identify the tabs on the original photo, and this one highlights them perfectly. (probably because I've coffeed up and am fully  conscious now the races are over)
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #572 on: September 16, 2013, 12:10:09 PM »
oh, I do have a request, or two, OMC. 

Could you please ask Mrs. Coyote to pose for a hand/wrist shot wearing the Belperron chalcedony bracelet with the star sapphire ring?  I love the shots of the ring strung on the bracelet, but their beauty needs to be set against the warmth of skin, and Mrs. C is such a good model for them.

and maybe one (by eom December or so - as a nod to your anniversary date) of Mrs. C in her Groseiller pearl earrings and her favorite necklace to wear with them?  I remember my mom having  costume earrings in a similar style - they were my favorite pair to borrow when we played dress-up. (that was back in the 50's, to keep things in perspective)
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #573 on: September 16, 2013, 12:17:21 PM »
Friday or Saturday... it's pouring down with rain at the moment, and it will continue to do so until Thursday.

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: The coyote's den
« Reply #574 on: September 16, 2013, 02:57:52 PM »
whenever it's convenient, OMC. The anticipation can only enhance the enjoyment.
...and thank you!   :cat:
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!