From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings: Indulging Our Antique Jewelry Obsession


This poison ring doesn’t shine for me anymore
And this poison ring doesn’t mean what it did before

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I’m not usually prone to wearing jewelry of any kind. Not even a watch. But I would wear the shit out of the ring shown in the top of this post.

I suspect I am about to go down a tunnel of skeleton ring and momento mori ring searches. And throw money at someone… with any luck.

(Not as much as the Rowan & Rowan people want, though. Yikes…)

Yeah, I generally dislike jewellery, but the ring depicted is utterly droolworthy. Someone make a repro!

I was friends with Sandro Vendemmia, a very skillful jeweler. He was an older Italian gentleman who was not well known outside the industry, but he crafted pieces that were sold or rented out through Harry Winston. He also had his own business contacts with very wealthy people.

I used to go into his shop and he would bring out a bottle of champagne and let me try on all the rings and bobbles. He even let me wear a $42, 000 emerald and diamond necklace to my first wedding. When he showed it to me he told me he would have to attend the wedding if I were to wear it; I said he could walk me down the aisle if I could wear that!!! I disagree with the author of the piece about wearing the big jewels - it is very fun!!! Sadly, he was shot by a thief and went through a slow decline. The Washington Post put up a nice slideshow when he died:

I had started my interest in jewelry when I was younger and would drift around through juntique stores on lazy Saturday afternoons.The Victorian pieces are some of the most affordable to collect because the fashions have changed and their stuff was so dramatic - I think the article does a nice job of describing some of the weirder stuff but also some of the things that are so collectible and interesting. They also did a lot with relatively humble materials and there was a lot available, whereas the Art Nouveau stuff and Art Deco pieces are so high end that they are out of reach of most people.

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