Alison of Teenangster always discovers the most amazing jewellery, which she often shares on her blog, pinterest and twitter. so i was excited when she sent me this post about Lover’s Eyes. jewellery with a story, my favourite.
So, I’m a bit of an antique jewelry fiend. Ever since I got engaged, it’s only gotten worse; I now spend way too much time hovering on eBay and Etsy vintage, seeking out gray seed pearls, an engraved band from the 1930s, European-cut diamonds, mourning jewelry. You name it, I’m watching it.
And then I found out about lover’s eyes: hand-painted portraits on ivory which were popular in England between the 1780s and 1830s. What a game changer! My love of eyes, art and jewelry, united in one convenient, covetable form.
So, the history of this jewelry style is as juicy as the paintings are gorgeous. Since romantic love didn’t typically exist within the confines of a marriage at this point in history, affairs were pretty common. So how would you show your loyalty to your lover? By wearing a sentimental portrait of an unidentifiable part of their person, of course.
According to the Smithsonian, “One of the earliest known eye miniatures was painted in 1786 by the English artist Richard Cosway for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The miniature showed the eye of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the prince’s mistress.” And since just the eye of one’s lover was visible, the piece could be worn while your inamorata’s identify remained secret. It’s also been theorized that the “single eye also symbolized the watchful gaze of a jealous partner, who feared that his or her lover might stray.” Scandalous, juicy, royal and pretty: my kind of history.
Mariah is one of the guest bloggers who you can expect to see around here while i sort myself out come moving day, she is the lady behind the charming blog Quite Continental. i have really been enjoying her series that kicked off in february, the Quite Continental Charm School - where she and guest contributors provide daily tips on how to generate more class, and charm, into your everyday life. these are some of my favourites – click on them for the original posts.
as many of you know i love browsing through the life image archives. usually i have no real goal – just sniffing around, digging until i find something great to share with you. since it’s Valentine’s Day i thought this collection of photographs called Japanese Love Story by John Dominis was fitting. i don’t know what the photographs were taken for or if there is an actual love story behind any of them… perhaps just let your imagination fill in the blanks.
I sit at home
In our room
By our bed
Gazing at your pillow.
all images courtesy of the life image archives
all photographs courtesy of Crafty Dogma
Covers etc is one of my favourite flickr streams to browse as it combines my love for vintage, design and, occasionally, salaciousness all into one. there are some seriously saucy book covers over there (admittedly my favourites, most of which i won’t post here due to the boobs factor) – but also an array of beautiful illustrative work and good ol’ mid-century design.
all images courtesy of Covers etc
Marianne was a close friend of the Swiss writer and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, whom she photographed many times. She described Annemarie (who died at the young age of 34) as: “Neither a woman nor a man, but an angel, an archangel” * … From an early age she began to dress and act like a boy, a behaviour not discouraged by her parents, and which she retained all her life—in fact in later life she was often mistaken for a young man. *
Lisa von Cramm, Berlin, 1934
Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Zürich, 1934
Ruth von Morgen, Berlin, 1934
Ruth von Morgen
Ruth von Morgen, Berlin, 1933 & Jutta Zambona-Remarque
old love is a great tumblr for a quick and sometimes surprising browse (linda evangelista & kyle maclachlan? really?)
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