Antonio Pineda (1919-2009), a modernist Mexican jewelry artist and designer, is renown for his daring approach to the use of silver and gems. He engineered his pieces to fit perfectly on the body.
He apprenticed with William Spratling at his Taxco studio Taller de las Delicias (Workshop of the Delights) and opened his own studio-workshop there in 1941. During his lifetime he received numerous prestigious awards and was featured in the [...] Click here to continue reading.
Scandal & the Story of Bakelite Bakelite hit the market in 1907, heralding the arrival of the modern plastics industry. Bakelite was the first completely man made plastic, as until then, plastics such as celluloid, casein, and Gutta-Percha all had as a base a natural material. It was developed by Belgian-born chemist Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland who started his firm General Bakelite Company to produce the phenolic resin type plastic. Bakelite was inexpensive [...] Click here to continue reading.
Cartouche – Definition
The decorative arts world has many â€œsquishyâ€ and vague vocabulary words, but few are â€œsquishierâ€ and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a personâ€™s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.
“Vermeil” is a French word co-opted by the English in the 19th century for a silver gilt process. Vermeil is a combination of silver and gold, although other precious metals are also occasionally added, that is then gilded onto a sterling silver object. The reddish (vermilion) hue of the addition of the gold gives the product its name. Vermeil is commonly found in jewelry, and a standard of quality (10 karat gold) and [...] Click here to continue reading.
Morse – Definition
We live in a rather disposable era just now, with plastic buttons popping off in the laundry and pants with broken zippers being discarded, but in the past, the medieval past, luxury goods like fabric and closure accessories like buttons and clasps were difficult to come by. Their expensive nature meant they needed to be easily salvageable and clothing was designed with this in mind. Take for instance a cope, which [...] Click here to continue reading.
Grisaille, from the French word gris meaning grey, is a term used to describe works of art painted entirely in a monochromatic palette. Technically speaking, there are other terms that apply when the monochromatic palette used is of a different color (brunaille for brown, verdaille for green, for instance), but grisaille is often misused to cover all monochrome works, regardless of hue. There are also plenty of works that are considered grisaille that [...] Click here to continue reading.
Lenticular means, “1. shaped like a biconvex lens; 2. of or relating to a lens; 3. convex on both sides; lentil-shaped.”
In the world of collectibles, “lenticular” usually refers to a type of printing that creates a three-dimensional image through the use of a lenticular lens. The resulting images reveal changes in depth or motion as the viewing angle changes. (“Lenticular” doesn’t refer, despite the frequent use, necessarily to the image, but to [...] Click here to continue reading.
European Cut Diamonds
The earliest known form of brilliant cut diamond, a European Cut or an Old European Cut is an old style of faceting in a round shape with a very small table, heavy crown and great overall depth. Because of the relatively simple hand tools employed by 19th century diamond cutters these stones are often cut in less than perfect fashion, but this advance from the earlier Mine Cut enabled the diamonds [...] Click here to continue reading.
Means round brilliant cut diamond.
Rene Lalique Glass
Lalique glass, characterized by its high quality lead crystal and frosted or enameled surface, has been made in France since the 1890′s. Rene Lalique (French 1860 to 1945) began as a jeweler making glass paste jewelry before being asked to design perfume bottles for the Coty Co. His designs were so successful and well received that he was quickly recognized as one of the country’s leading glass designers. Much of the [...] Click here to continue reading.