A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Is this really Vintage?

Art by Tascha

Back to writing after all that has transpired over Christmas and the New Year. It is all about starting afresh whilst continuing on the same lines as yester...year! Still, the extended meetings with family and friends went well and contributed to feeling refreshed and ready to start over, especially after sleeping for 10+ hours solid. My goodness!!

Quite often I receive questions from Fairyfiligree readers and today I am going to start by answering one such question....

Jessica Williams wrote to me saying....

"I started being interested in vintage jewellery after my friend gave me an authentic 1960s pendant for my birthday last October..... the pendant is made of enamel and is really beautiful .... since I love pendants, I have decided to start collecting older rather than newer ones. But I have a problem - I have already bought something from ebay and the seller promised it was a 1970s pendant. When it arrived I found it was quite stylish but when I showed it to my friend, she said it was not 1970s but probably made later on. How can I know if a jewellery item is really vintage?"

Well Jessica, this calls for a detailed post and I will try my best to answer your question.
Learning how to recognise true vintage is not something which happens overnight. If you are in your 20s, you probably recognise something that was fashionable five, 10 or 15 years ago because you grew up seeing it regularly. You remember the colours, the designs, the styles, and can refer back to your own memory for reference.

However you will probably feel lost when you need to recognise earlier jewellery simply because you weren't around when this was in vogue. The older you become, the more you can appreciate, however, in the meantime, you can educate yourself in many ways.

- Books are a treasure trove where vintage jewellery is concerned. One of the first books I have for my own reference is Judith Millers's  'Costume Jewellery'. The book is especially detailed where illustrations are involved. The images are so very clear and sharp and this, coupled by the information about individual jewellery designers is a great benefit. You will become acquainted with the more popular names, the quirkier designers and distinguish what you like most. You refer to 60s and 70s jewellery so you seem concentrated on these periods. You will enjoy reading about the Flower Power era and all that surrounded it. Don't go away thinking that you should only get books about this period in time. Whilst these are extremely useful, having different periods of jewellery to compare with will help you recognise the differences between the jewellery and the epochs it was born in. 

- Websites are also full of information and images. Be sure to click only on websites that are evidently professional so that you benefit from the best sources of information.

- Ebay is a great source of inspiration for jewellery collectors. Seek to find some established vintage jewellery sellers, especially the ones which add lots of pictures and information to each of their listed items. You learn a lot that way - brand names, style names, periods..... it can be great fun. It does take up a lot of time, but researching properly is a great help. Be sure to skip those items which are listed as 'vintage style' or '60s style' which may mean they are not authentic vintage but just styled to seem like something out of the 60s.

- Fashion sites are also of great help and if you concentrate on the 60s and 70s fashion you will understand just why pendants were so popular, why they fitted so well with the fashions of the time. You will come to recognise the designs synonymous with particular periods.

- Visit specialised vintage jewellery shops which can allow you to touch, observe and ask questions. Ultimately you can only learn to appreciate things by handling them. On the other hand, if you wish to consult on any jewellery item about which you are unsure, simply send me a picture & I will try my best to help you.

Good luck in your hunt!

Before ending off this post, I must remind you that amintaonline is still offering Fairyfiligree readers and followers a discount on shoe purchases. Click on the notice on the sidebar or read this post for more details. You have until January 15 to enjoy the discount.

And... thanks to Tascha whose art is the first to grace FairyFiligree in 2012.


Fashionistable said...

Nice post and good advice. Happy 2012. Xxxx

tascha said...

Great post! Thank you so much for including my art.
Happy New Year!