Romance is in the air this month and Valentine's Day soon approaching. It's time to get out your V-day gift wish list. Send your sweetie on over to Larkspur & Hawk post haste! It's the insider's source for exquisite antique jewelry as well as original one-of-a-kind designs. Larkspur & Hawk curator, Emily Satloff one of New York's most trusted authorities on period antique jewelry shares her insight into the secrets Georgian women used to seduce a man.
What is the best way to add romance to one’s look with jewelry?
Women should use jewelry to call attention to the physical attributes that they like the most. We all know that when you feel great in what you are wearing, you are going to be more confident, which will definitely be attractive to others. So, if you think your eyes are sexy, focus on earrings; if it is your long neck, then pendant earrings are great or if it is your cleavage, a cascading necklace would be an ideal choice. Above all, women should pick pieces that are mysterious and have a great play of light and color because this will draw people to those attributes you want noticed.
How did the women of the Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian eras attract the opposite sex during courtship in terms of jewelry?
While those eras span over 150 years, the women from those times did have some commonalities. For example, they were extremely skilled at combining showmanship with mystery. They understood that jewelry was very seductive and had a keen sense of how to play it up. For example, in the Georgian era, secret messages exchanged between lovers were the rage. These messages were most romantically played out in jewels-- "DEAREST" spelled out in gemstones (diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, sapphire, topaz); forget-me-not flowers made of turquoise; an esclavage given to a bride by a groom to symbolize the "chains of love"; a ring engraved inside the band with love poems i.e. "I Do Rejoice in Thee My Choice". Additionally, people understood that fashionable clothing came and went, but jewelry was forever and could be used to immortalize love. All of which I try and impart in my designs.
Do you have any tips on shopping for a piece of antique/vintage jewelry?
- Before shopping for antique jewelry set your budget and don't be pushed to spend more than you are comfortable with.
- If a dealer pressures you to buy, move onto another dealer.
- Always feel comfortable asking questions, this is how people learn. The best dealers are the ones who want to share their passions with you by teaching.
- Follow your gut--deep down people always know when they have to have it and when they can walk away. Sometimes when I am unsure, I walk away and see if my mind keeps racing back to the jewel in question. More often than not, it doesn't!
What are your favorite places to shop in NY? What makes them special and inspirational?
Barney's-- I love to see who their latest jewelry designers are. Also, their antique jewelry is fantastic!!
De Vera-- While very pricey, I think they have a wonderful display of fascinating objects and jewels that are displayed in a wonderfully aesthetic way.
Any favorite fashion designers?
Morgane LeFay-- I am drawn to their clothing because of jewelry. Their designs are wonderfully timeless-- the closest thing to wearing antique clothing and still being modern. When I shop her line I chose pieces that will highlight my jewelry. It is kind of a backwards approach for many, but since I believe that jewelry is the big investment, it should be properly displayed. Their clothing is the perfect backdrop for almost any jewel-- antique or modern.