Lover’s Eyes

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.

I’ve found that, once you start digging, it seems as though lover’s eyes are everywhere you look. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see one in person. Philadelphia, I’m coming for you!


Alison: things i like right now

i’m so excited to share the list of alison aka teenangster, who i have been blog stalking for ages – in a totally creepy way. her blog has a completely unique & beautiful aesthetic that i can’t seem to get enough of (and she’s also one of those smart & funny gals who i wish i knew in real life.) she blogs at etsy too – so go ahead & stalk her there as well.

things i like right now by alison of teenangster

  1. I’ve recently been revisiting the campy awesomeness of Death Becomes Her. Death humor, an undead Meryl Streep and Isabella Rossellini: yes, please! The scene where Goldie Hawn is in giant sweatpants (with forty cats) and eating a steady diet of frosting out of the can — well, it haunts me.
  2. I love me a good interiors blog, and The Brick House is my new favorite. Her recent reupholstery of a monstrous velvet couch (ew) is the stuff dreams are made of. That red!
  3. David Neale of the Golden Smith creates jewelry like no one else out there. I love anything with eyes, so this cuff was an obvious choice, but his rye bread badge also has my heart.
  4. What I wouldn’t do for some fancy latkes. Smoked trout mousse!
  5. I’ve been seriously digging on Neil Diamond lately. “Solitary Man,” I could never tire of you! And you’ve got to check out Neil Diamond Parking Lot, a remake of Heavy Metal Parking Lot with all the big-haired, sweater wearing ladies that kneel at the altar of the Diamond. A must-see.
  6. Furry jackets are my Achilles heel. Can’t resist ’em! Modeled here by the lovely Jeana Sohn.
  7. …And the same goes for big ol’ beads. This Mociun necklace is on my wish list.
  8. Design Observer’s intrepid Accidental Mysteries series surfaces all kinds of provocative images and artwork, including a collection of masks from around the world.
  9. I love ambling over to Folk Streams and watching a short or three. This national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films highlights the wonder of American folk and roots cultures, free and streaming for the public. After taking in a lovely piece about cowgirls I stumbled upon a documentary about “Grandma’s Bottle Village.” The grandma in question, Tressa Prisbrey, created her first house (composed of bottles found at the dump) to hold her 17,00 pencils. From there her empire grew and grew, and at 84 she was still spritely and creating. Read more about Tressa’s life and work here.
  10. Butch Anthony’s cabin — full of recycled bits, white cotton and beautiful bone chandeliers — is simplicity and art and goodness. Get the video tour of all this, and his Museum of Wonder, here.