Ginny R. Dawes

Ginny R. Dawes

Ginny Reddington Dawes, formerly a singer with a rock and roll band, is an accomplished songwriter and the composer of many well-known advertising jingles. 

Victorian Jewelry

Unexplored Treasures

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An authoritative and gorgeously illustrated survey of Victorian jewelry that focuses on the recently popularized “secondary” jewelry, characterized by bold, playful, romantic and modern designs.

For more than half a century, during the reign of Queen Victoria, England and Europe produced some of the most delightful flights of fancy that jewelry has ever taken. Long ignored because of the intrinsic worthlessness of its various materials, today these pieces are increasingly prized for their beauty and workmanship. Surprisingly, this period in jewelry-making did not follow the fussy, overly ornate style that characterized the Victorian era, but rather promoted bold, playful, romantic and “modern” styles. Some of the most unusual pieces were constructed with materials including hair, lava, coal iron, and aluminum. The text gives authoritative and fascinating historical context to the uses of these materials and designs. Many of the most sought-after pieces are made of silver, and popular designs include stars, anchors, hearts, bows and outstretched hands.

The many styles of Victorian jewelry presented in this volume are selected from the best collections in the United States and abroad, and shown here in specially commissioned, exclusive color photographs. The photographs showcase the glorious color and style of the rich variety of materials, including Scottish Agate, malachite, and granite, the amazingly modern niello, and the stark black beauty of Whitby jet.

In tune with the current trend of mixing antique styles with modern fashion, the book places emphasis on wearable pieces that add a unique touch or timeless beauty to contemporary styles. These Victorian pieces are too delightful to gather dust in a drawer.

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The Bakelite Jewelry Book

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During recent years, the Bakelite jewelry of the 1930s has become a trendy and popular fashion accessory and much-valued collectible. Emblematic of a unique culture that only could have blossomed between a depression and a world war, this cheeky costume jewelry is beautifully shown here in its amazing range, humor, high style, good-hearted silliness, streamlined chic, and daring inventiveness.

Bakelite, the first thermosetting plastic, formed the basis for a Depression-era fashion trend that began, spread like wildfire, and died away, all within a few short years—between 1933 and 1941. Two generations later, there is an astounding resurgence of interest in Bakelite jewelry. Among fashion trendsetters, there is growing infatuation with these playful and very wearable baubles. Among serious collectors, there is fierce competition for the rare, quality pieces that were made in limited numbers under such evocative brand names as Marblette, Gemstone, Prystal, Agtine, and Catalin. Bakelite seems to be everywhere, and prices are rising. The authors have assembled for this book—from many sources—the greatest array ever seen of Bakelite jewelry. They have also appended a very useful guide to prices.

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