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Vintage Hair Combs – Hair Jewelry

Vintage Hair Combs

Hair combs have been around for centuries and have been used in all parts of the world. The earliest hair combs were made of bone, ivory and wood. Eventually materials such as silver, tin and brass were also used.

Later in time, during the 19th century, tortoise shell and bone hair combs came into favor. Besides their inherent beauty, they were also easy materials to heat and could be bent into any desired shape.

Then, in the late 1860’s, a new material was discovered. The material was called Celluloid and was essentially one of the first man made plastics. This discovery changed the whole dynamic of the hair comb industry. Celluloid was cheaper and easier to use then horn, ivory or tortoise shell. It could also be made to look like any of the fore mentioned natural materials. A happy day indeed for the beleaguered turtle and elephant populations.

During the 1920’s and 30’s the celluloid hair comb experienced its golden age. Fanciful designs in faux ivory or tortoise were adorned with all manner of gem stones and rhinestones. These beautiful objects were the height of fashion and a few survive to this day thanks to the efforts of diligent collectors who have taken it upon themselves to care for these delicate objects.

Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase a partial collection of vintage hair combs. They date from the 1920’s and 30’s and are wonderful examples of the style and design of that period.

Here are some images…………..please enjoy viewing them and let me know what you think.

Make sure to click on the picture to view the enlargement.

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Men’s Hats – Revived Fashion Statement

Straw Hat

Men’s hats have been around since pre history although it wasn’t until the 19th century that most modern hat forms originated. The top hat and bowler tended to represent the authority of the aristocracy while the softer informal felt and straw hats  were usually associated with artists, intellectuals and country folk. Most of these hats exist to his day. During our recent modern history the hat seems to have been retired as a fashion accessory but more recently they seem to be coming back. More and more gentlemen are discovering the value of this wonderful accessory and the sense of style it can convey.

I’ll be listing two hats tomorrow on my Etsy site. The first is a collapsible top hat, probably originally worn for a formal event. The second is a straw boater or skimmer, some 75 to 80 years old, just perfect for a summer outing.

Click on image to enlarge.

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Elizabeth’s Vintage Shop. Vintage Clothing, Vintage Holiday and so much more.

Elizabeth's Shop

Let me tell you about the best kept secret in New Jersey.

Have you ever been to Elizabeth’s Vintage Shop at the flea market on rt. 29 about a mile south of Lambertville? If not then you’ve missed a delightful treasure trove of pure vintage. Go up the small hill at the top of the market and enter a shop like no other. You’ll find racks bursting with vintage clothing from the Victorian era to the 1980’s. Each garment is presented in pristine condition – washed and neatly pressed.

Her selection includes vintage gloves, purses, lace trims, appliques, millinery details and her specialty – vintage hats. It’s spring now and the shop is filled to the brim with floral hats in bright summer colors. White Victorian blouses, floral summer dresses, neat linen frocks, cool silk and rayon lingerie, light spring sweaters, really so much to take in and so many wonderful choices.

Elizabeth also carries a large collection of vintage perfume related items along side showcases packed with vintage holiday memorabilia. If you’re looking for that special 1950’s stuffed rabbit for your Easter celebration you’re sure to find it here. Are you still searching for that Santa Claus ornament you remember since childhood? Elizabeth probably has it tucked away in a corner shelf.

There aren’t many shops like Elizabeth’s left and entering it is really like taking a trip back in time.

Shop is open Wed/ Sat and Sunday.

Here are some very recent pictures of the shop. Hope you enjoy.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Ethnic Jewelry as Fashion

Ethnic Jewelry

Not a new trend, by any means, the wearing of ethnic jewelry has always added a unique perspective to all aspects of fashion. The appreciation of artistry from different cultures, in my humble opinion, shows a high level of sophistication and an understanding of the value that fine traditional crafts have for many around the globe. By adorning yourself with ethnic jewelry you are embracing the culture and traditions of the various regions of the world. You are also recognizing the artists that created it as well as defining you own unique personal style.

I have a few exceptional examples of antique and vintage ethnic jewelry that I would like to share with you.

The first two pieces pictured are Turkoman pendants. These necklaces were crafted by the nomadic peoples of central Asia and date from the 19th century. Notice the elegant and intricate designs made with gilded silver and adorned with Carnelian cabochons.

[Click on image to enlarge]

The next picture presents a vintage or antique necklace from Yemen. This necklace displays gorgeous and richly detailed silver work adorned with carnelian stones and small glass beads on the prayer box. An interesting note about silver jewelry from Yemen is that much of it was made by Jewish artisans from a community that was established there at the time of King Solomon.

The following item is truly amazing and refined. This bracelet is done in fine silver on wool and every small puzzle piece in the bracelet is held by the wool. Most definitely of middle eastern origin.

The last item is a cuff bracelet from Yemen which features an inlaid silver design with set carnelian stones.

We’ve only scratched the surface of ethnic and tribal jewelry but maybe you’ve been a little inspired to collect a piece or two along the way.

Let me know what you think.

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Organic Artisan Jewelry at The Philadelphia International Flower Show

Flower Show

Nowadays it seems to be the fashion to go “green”. What could be more in keeping with this trend than making sure your jewelry is organic and all natural. If this concept piques your interest you would have been delighted to view the exhibition at The Philadelphia International Flower Show this past weekend.

The jewelry design competition is featured each year at the show. Floral and jewelry designers create fantastic necklaces, bracelets, brooches and tiaras, with international themes. All are made using natural flora and plant materials. I look forward to viewing the designs each year and this year, through this blog thingy, I can share them with you.

Please enjoy the picture gallery where I’ve listed the jewelry pieces with their component elements below.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and please feel free to leave your comments.