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Taking all this into account, I have been spending countless hours, days, and nights thinking about how I could create strong and one of a kind vintage pieces. If you have been following Ledbelly, you might have seen this deranged transition over time as I am constantly beating my head about what to do next and how.
What keeps inspiring me?
The love and support from my family and friends. I am a full-time Director of Personal Finance and everyone's reaction toward working in finance vs. Ledbelly is pronounced. Everyone knows that I find much joy in designing and making jewelry. With your guidance, I will continue to take the time and opportunity to do exactly what I love.
What are the new Ledbelly designs?
As mentioned, I don't always feel comfortable altering what was once someone's precious jewel. I wanted to create something completely original. I evaluated each vintage era and what intrigues me the most are the roaring twenties through the sixties. The designs I love best are Art Deco, simple, and clean; such as, the products shown below. Each of these pieces are 1920's-1940's dress clips or belt buckles that have been converted into pendant necklaces.
While I love rhinestones and pearls, quality is of utmost importance and I found that pieces from the 1950's-1970's eventually lost a rhinestone or two and older jewelry is either hard to find or typically delayed to deliver. I tried all sorts of materials, starting with epoxy resin which appears closest to bakelite or celluloid but soon found that the drying process was a hit or miss. I wanted to find sturdy but slick materials and after many attempts, I found that vintage glass and soldered copper are by far the best for what I desired. By eliminating rhinestones, I no longer have issues with mid-century pieces and I couldn't be happier with how these Ledbelly pendant necklaces have transpired.
What else inspires me?
In conjunction with Art Deco vintage jewelry, I tend to get a lot of inspiration and ideas from architecture - Art Deco buildings and interior design. Below are just a few that I adore. See Pinterest Inspiration Board for more.
What other designs will I make?
With the right supplies, I will begin creating brooches, earrings, bracelets, and also, considering stained glass home decor. Like the necklaces, they will all be sleek conversational pieces. Stay tuned as we shape our Etsy shop into this new conception.
Where can you find Ledbelly products?
At this time, Ledbelly products are only sold online at Etsy and I welcome you to touch base with me if you would like to make an appointment.
With all this reported, I can't thank you enough. I very much appreciate your admiration and appreciation for Ledbelly and everything I do. I couldn't be where I am at without my family, friends, and fans. If ever you have a question regarding any of the products, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to provide as much details as possible. Thank you for all the love and support throughout these years!
Owner and Operator
Whiting and Davis are a favorite among collectors, and Ledbelly has a great and vast array of vintage bags and jewelry to choose from. This beautiful mesh clutch is from the 1970's, which marked the 100th year anniversary for the company. They released many new lines and did many collaborations with companies such as Vogue. That decade was huge for Whiting and Davis. It was the start of the disco age, so gleaming clothing and accessories were all the rage. Their patent mesh was perfect for the glitz and glam of the era. A resurgence of enthusiasm both for and from the company bag begun and new innovations and styles emerged. Gorgeous halter tops and gowns caught the light splendidly on the dance floors. Extravagant clothing needed to have extravagant accessories as well, as seen in this beautiful sparkly Whiting and Davis mesh clutch. The size would also make it perfect for a cute makeup bag!
This gorgeous micromosaic floral pendant shows great craftsmanship and character. Mosaics have been around for thousands of years, often adorning the insides of the most marvelous sites the world has to offer. Micromosaics gained popularity during the 18th century with the opening of the Vatican Mosaic Studio. Artists began using tesserae, tiny pieces of colored glass or enamel, to create small and portable versions of mosaics to sell. Making a mosaic is a painstaking process that takes a master's touch in order to get the desired image quality. They must be able to decide what colors go where and how large the pieces have to be precisely. This is even more tedious when you shrink it down dramatically. Micromosaics are simply small pieces of glass arranged in a tray, but when it all comes together, a beautiful image comes forth. The term "micromosaic" was first coined by the British collector Sir Arthur Gilbert (1913-2001). This beautiful pendant, formerly a brooch, showcases a beautiful micromosaic scene of flowers with multi-colored leaves. They are encased in an intricate tray that hangs from a rhodium plated chain.
Yet another piece from the 1970's, these beautiful half circle earrings are cool and unique. They feature gleaming faux pearls and pink and clear beads stacked on each other to make an interesting structured set of earrings. They are extremely versatile and can be worn for practically any outfit. This style of earring has also gained momentum recently and are an extremely desirable shape. It was especially popular in the 1950's and 60's with celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Jackie O., and Elizabeth Taylor rocking this bold jewelry look. A sleek or short hairstyle would look especially great with a pair of these. With these on, you could walk the world as if it was your runway!
Here we have another absolutely beautiful pink marble lucite repurposed hair comb that would be perfect for many occasions including weddings. The gorgeous leaf pendant was formerly a Sarah Coventry brooch. Sarah Coventry was manufactured from 1949 through 1984 and is still coveted by collectors to this very day. Their jewelry was never sold in retail stores, so they are harder to come by than many other brands. This hair comb features a beautiful swooping leaf design on top of a gold plated comb. It would look stunning on hair styled both up and down. For brides, it can either be dressed up for a more formal wedding or dressed down for a more laid back feel. It is even brighter out in the sunlight! It would be a gorgeous touch to your special day.
The 1920's was an extremely important decade when it comes to women's fashion. The previous decade was experimental and acted as a transition into the revolutionary Roaring Twenties. Women challenged societal norms by playing with hemlines, cutting their long hair, and most importantly fighting for their rights. They no longer hid behind layers of cotton and lace. They no longer had to be frail and dainty, and neither did their fashion choices. They could now wear daring colors and bold silhouettes. The emergence of Art Deco had an amazing impact on the jewelry industry. Art Deco was heavily influenced by culture and exploration, including avante-garde and African art and culture, most notably the discovery of King Tutankhamen's lavish tomb in 1922. Bold and contrasting colors took over fashion and images depicting hieroglyphs and other Egyptian imagery were seen often. Geometric shapes and clean lines became the norm in both jewelry and architecture. This new stylistic convention can be seen in this beautiful necklace. The pendant, which was once a dress clip, has now been repurposed into a piece more appropriate and practical for modern wear. It features the crisp lines and symmetry that mark 20's fashion. It is absolutely gorgeous and features three red rhinestones as its central focus. It is subtle enough to wear to work yet still bold enough for the night out. It would be a wonderful and unique piece to add to your collection.
This beautiful floral brooch was manufactured by Sarah Coventry, a prominent company among the vintage fashion jewelry collectors. Sarah Coventry was a line produced by Emmons Jewelry, Inc. from 1949 through 1984, the peak being the 50's and 60's. Emmons Jewelry, then known as Emmons Home Fashions, was founded in 1948 by Lyman K. Stewart in honor of his mother, Caroline. Their jewelry was sold at home parties, similar to Tupperware parties. The Sarah Coventry line, named after Lyman's granddaughter, Sarah Coventry Beale, was also sold in a similar fashion. Coventry jewelry was typically less expensive than their Emmons counterpart, so they are more plentiful in the vintage jewelry collectors market. Their success is astonishing considering they were never sold at retail stores. Because vintage Sarah Coventry jewelry is no longer being manufactured, each piece is rare and unique, which is why getting your hands on an item when you can is important for a collector. Even if you don't collect, the beauty and quality of their jewelry will still enchant you and those around you. Costume jewelry is known for using plated metals and imitation stones. This jewelry is unique in a sense that although they used more accessible materials, they didn't cut corners when it came to the intricacy of their designs. This is the finest quality costume jewelry anyone can get their hands on, so don't miss out on this chance to own a beautiful and sought-after collectors item.
This stunning bag features intricate petit point embroidery in a gorgeous antique floral design. Petit point stitching is similar to the more popular cross-stitching, however it is so complex due to its small scale. This stitching can be easily identified due to its hazy and squared outlines. They look like a series of tiny squares aligned to make a picture from a distance, similar to the modern 8-bit art. This form of art is intensely tedious and takes an expert hand. Petit Point embroidery was used widely in France in the 17th and early 18th century, hence its French name. It has been continued to be used in both home and wearable fashion to create lavish items. Some of these include large tapestries, handbags, pillows, makeup compacts, shoes, jewery, headpieces, and so much more. This small handbag is beautiful and extravagant. The tapestry can be seen on both the front and back of the bag and the inside is lined with nylon material. The bag also features an equally elaborate etched gold frame and chain with a large turquoise gemstone clasp. Its colors make it easy to pair with any outfit and can be used in any event. The size (7" W x 6.5" H) fits even the largest of smartphones easily, so you don't have to worry about fitting your valuables like you would have to with most vintage bags. The design and color palette fit many styles, so no matter what look you're going for today, you will have a trusty handbag to complete your outfit.
If you're familiar with the Italian fashion jewelry scene, then you've probably heard of Panetta. Panetta was a company formed in New York in 1945 by Benedetto Panetta. He arrived in America in 1901 from Naples where he was a platinum jewelry maker and designer. He began designing for Trifari, an already well established jewelry maker mentioned in the previous blog. He ventured off on hihs own with a goal in mind: to blur the line between costume and fine jewelry. He wanted everyone to able to afford precious jewelry, so he created all his designs as if they were made of the finest materials. They are all intricate and made with care. Panetta was sold in some of the largest retail stores in America. After Benedetto's death in 1960, his sons, Amadeo and Armand took over the business. It eventually ceased to exist by the late 1980's, however their legacy still continues today among vintage jewelry collectors. These stamped Panetta clip on earrings are complex and stunning. They feature a never ending gold rope looped together with diamante stones embellished throughout. They are large and lightweight and would catch the light beautifully. They are in amazing condition and look like they were made yesterday. They would make anyone look gorgeous and feel confident.
Since 1876, Whiting and Davis have made beautiful metal accessories and clothing that have been favorites of the fashionistas. The mesh handbag is undeniably their most iconic item that put them on the map. The first mesh bag was created in 1892 by Charles Whiting using metal rings that were painstakingly joined by hand. Luckily by 1912, a machine was invented that automated the mesh making process, making them more accessible on the market. The ringed mesh was continued to be used through the 1920's until the flat armored mesh took off. The flat armor, seen in the purse above sold by Ledbelly, easily became the most popular and sought after design as it was easy to paint interesting designs on it. Each decade brought new and innovative structures and designs. They were especially popular in the 1970's. They caught the light beautifully as they danced under the disco ball. Whiting and Davis have managed to be a favorite of celebrities for over 140 years and are still being seen in magazines and on the runway today. Lady Gaga herself had a silver gate top Whiting and Davis handbag. These bags are strikingly gorgeous and make a perfect small purse for special occasions, especially weddings.
It is unfortunate to see so many accessories and clothing go into disrepair because they are no longer seen as fashionable. Every piece of jewelry still has the potential to be something beautiful for the modern woman. When this floral brooch seemed to be at the end of its wear life, it was given a boost by repurposing it into a gorgeous hair comb. Hair combs are most popularly used by beautiful brides on their special day either as a simple hair accessory or to secure their veil to their head. They do not have to be these big extravagant headpieces like Carrie Bradshaw's bold bird. Even the small and dainty combs pack a punch. This floral comb is gorgeous and versatile. It can be used with many themes and color schemes such as vintage weddings, romantic, rustic, bohemian, beach weddings, and so much more. The coral color is timeless and gorgeous. The symmetry of the design makes it look clean and modern while still managing to keep that traditional and vintage charm it has. The subtle pearls also adds that element of traditionalism that many brides try to achieve with their aesthetic. Jewelry and accessories is the easiest way to make the bride stand out amongst the crowd on her big day.
Whether its is because of your mom, grandma, aunt, or the ladies at work, odds are you know Avon for their makeup, brochures, and their use of Sales Representatives. The company, then called the California Perfume Company (CPC), was founded in 1886 by David H. McConnell, who sold perfume sets. The first of those famous brochures came a decade later in 1896. The name Avon was used to sell cosmetics in 1929 and the name of the entire company was officially changed in 1939. By 1957, there were over 100,000 Avon Representatives, the vast majority of them being women. Avon jewelry doesn't appear until 1971. They quickly became the largest jewelry manufacturer in the world. The following year, the number of Avon Representatives reaches 600,000 and by the end of the decade, the number surpasses one million. Avon has made it a point to empower women for the last 130 years, giving them opportunities before they were even allowed to vote. This vintage Avon bracelet is a remnant of the Avon boom of the 1970's. It sports a cool minimalist mesh design and is plated in 14k gold. Its design makes it easy to wear on a daily basis or to a formal occasion. It feels sleek and modern, yet it still holds that retro feel that is popular nowadays.
These gorgeous gold tone clip on earrings are signed with the iconic Trifari crown mark. In 1910, Gustavo Trifari founded Trifari and Trifari with his uncle. He made his way through the famous Ellis Island in 1904 from Napoli at the young age of 20. When his uncle left the company a few years later, the name was officially changed to Trifari. The company really took off in 1930 when they hired Alfred Philippe as their head designer. The signing of the jewelry is very important, especially for Trifari, claiming "If it isn't signed, it isn't Trifari." This design features faux pearls and Aurora Borealis beads. The beading gets its name from the varying colors that appear when the light hits them just right. The design is reminiscent of a leaf or a clam shell. They are very unique and artistic. They can also be compared to famous works of art, specifically The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). The famous painting depicts the Roman goddess Venus standing on a clam shell as wind blows through her hair. The earrings are beautiful and so unique and are definitely a conversation starter. Be prepared for compliments if you decide to pair these with your next stylish outfit.
A stylish look is never complete without beautiful accessories to complement it. This mid-century gold and white Napier earring and brooch set may be the element you're missing in your outfit. Napier became famous for their fashion jewelry in the 1920's among the most stylish women. Fashion jewelry became especially important when people realized the impracticality of wearing fine jewelry on a daily basis. It was also difficult to afford precious metals and jewels, especially with the many wars that rampaged the early twentieth century. Fashion jewelry offered all women of all classes the chance to look and feel elegant. Extravagant jewelry was no longer only reserved for the wealthy. Now everyone is able to look chic. Piercing were still considered taboo in the early and mid century, so clip on earrings offered an easy and less permanent way to adorn your ears. This set offers beautiful white beaded flowers with gold plated abstract foliage. The design follows the shape of the ear, so they almost come across as cuffs. The shape is cool and modern, even by today's standards. Wearing a brooch that matches your earrings gives your outfit a sense of cohesiveness and regalness. This set would be a great addition to your jewelry collection.
By the latter part of the twentieth century the ear piercing market was growing, but it was still not entirely common, hence why these Roxanne Assoulin earrings still feature the clip on element. Roxanne Assoulin's designs are known to boost confidence in the wearer as well as conveying her confidence as an artist and designer. They show the creativity and individuality of those who seek to stand out and aren't afraid to be different. These gold tones earrings have an interesting woven design with scattered panels inlaid with clear rhinestones. They are versatile, which is a great asset to have in your jewelry box. They fit many age demographics and styles. I can easily see them being worn by a model on the runway or in a magazine photoshoot. They have a lot of character and retro charm. The teardrop shape is classic and timeless, so they can be worn for years to come. Roxanne Assoulin was able to create movement in a stagnant object with these earrings. The ridges in the gold braiding will catch the light in a way that makes them look alive. This is wearable art at its finest.
Here we have a gorgeous vintage Whiting and Davis bracelet with six luminous oval mother of pearl charms. Whiting and Davis is a well respected brand that has been making jewelry and handbags since 1876. They are most famously known for their brass metal mesh clothing and accessories. They were especially coveted by the glamorous flappers of the 1920's. In 1952, Jane Russell sported a stunning gold tone Whiting and Davis mesh gown for her movie Macao, which came in weighing at 21 pounds. In more recent years, celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton, Shakira, and, most notably, Lady Gaga can be seen gracing red carpets with their Whiting and Davis apparel. Finding a vintage item is such an amazing condition from an influential brand such as this one is extraordinary and shouldn't be passed up so easily. This bracelet has a beautiful charm to it. You can tell it is vintage, but that is most definitely not a bad thing. The oval shape of the nacre charms is not seen too often in today's jewelry stores, which is a shame seeing how beautiful it is. This can easily be paired with almost any style such as boho, casual, pinup, business attire, western, and even goth. It is a wonderful piece with exquisite workmanship that is looking for a new home.
If you're looking for something daring and one of a kind, look no further. These clip on earrings are hand etched and inlaid with niello. Hand etching on metal takes years of tedious practice. It is a form of art that has been around for thousands of years. The first example is believed to be from around 1800 B.C.E. (3,800 years ago). Niello is a black mixture of different metals that is spread across an etched surface, usually silver. It settles into the engraved or etched parts and leaves a dark and contrasting image on the surface. These dagger earrings feature a tiny intricate woven pattern throughout, which would've been extremely tedious for the artist, who would've had to use small tools and a delicate hand. The stamp on the back shows that these beauties were made in Siam, now known as Thailand. King Mongkut, who reigned from 1851 to 1868, gave Siam its name which remained until 1939 when it was officially changed to Thailand. The country was reverted back to Siam from 1946 to 1948 but was changed back to Thailand where it has stayed since. Thailand is known for its beautiful art, landscape, and history and has become a hot tourist destination in recent years. Its large and ornate temples may be the inspiration behind the image on the earrings, which shows a person wearing a headdress. They are perfect for the person who appreciates the beauty of different cultures around the world.
See more about these amazing products at ledbellyvintage.etsy.com!