NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane Past Times Newsletter for May 2004
Past Times We at Ruby Lane, are proud to announce that May 17th, there will __________________________________________________________________ Adornment is a way of life for me, whether it be decorating my __________________________________________________________________ Every miniature portrait has a story behind it. Discovering it __________________________________________________________________ Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Jewelry
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o Pssst.... Exciting New Improvements Coming To The Ruby Lane
o May HOT SHOP: Pilula Jula Artisan Handcrafted Jewelry
o The Story Behind Miniature Portraits By Ruth Kelly of
Amunategui Art & Antiques
o Share Past Times with A Friend
PSSST.... EXCITING NEW IMPROVEMENTS COMING TO THE
RUBY LANE WEBSITE!
be some new, clearly groundbreaking changes and improvements to
our site! We're very excited and we can't wait for you to see
them. As a subscriber to this list, we will send you an
announcement when these changes officially take place. Stay
surroundings with meaningful beautiful things or designing
jewelry for others with the same passion.
Pilula Jula Artisan Handcrafted Jewelry is one of my contributions to the
further embellishment of today's woman. Yet just another way to set you
apart and be noticed is to wear meticulously designed and
All of the jewelry at Pilula Jula Handcrafted Jewelry is composed in one of
my favorite places in the world, my very modest studio which is brimming
over with gems and rocks, and charms and silver. If it weren't
for the fact I have a family I would probably never leave my
little sanctuary, rather remain buried in beauty and thoughts of
future trinkets and baubles. My designs typically start with a
drawing; I jot down notes and quick sketches of ideas as they
come to me often setting them aside for weeks only to come back
and add or change to them before they actual come to fruition.
Being my full time profession, I spend as much time searching
for the perfect gems and components as I do actually designing.
Striving to use only top quality gemstones and components is my
goal and obligation.
I love all gemstones, the unusual and rare obviously fascinate
me but I enjoy bringing style and new life to more common stones
also. Rarely do I add a stone to my collection with the specific
intent of a particular design, I usually wait for it to inspire
me and that is why my style evolves around unusual combinations
of gems and textures.
My inspiration initially came from the incredible jewelry of the
past. Two of my favorite designers being Cini and Peruzzi, I
still collect their pieces today. The very first piece of
jewelry I ever assembled was an ankle bracelet. The year was
1975, I fashioned an old Sterling chain with a handmade black
enameled stylized heart charm and embellished it with seed
pearls, and I still have that piece today.
I went on to actually designing and cast my first piece in 1977,
a Sterling ring with a long green malachite cabochon that I hand
mounted and then embellished with silver granulation. Being new
to silversmithing the casting was rather crude but the design
was original, hand formed and true to the trend of the 70's. My
mother is the proud owner of that piece, the first Pi Rocks.
Even back then I was drawn to mixing old and new, creating very
detailed, unusual and eclectic pieces that combine bits of our
past with new modern aspects.
I believe jewelry should be so intriguing and melodic you can't
help but become memorized in its creation, rhythm and
brilliance. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I am motivated
and satisfied by such a wonderful profession, one that has never
been just what I do, but is who I am.
Traci makes designer studio jewelry handcrafted with sterling
silver, semiprecious stones and vintage charms. Make sure to
stop by her shop, at Pilula Jula Artisan Handcrafted Jewelry.
KELLY OF AMUNATEGUI ART & ANTIQUES
makes the miniature more interesting and valuable.†The
investigative work involved is fascinating and educational.†In
sum, the†effort is rewarding--your miniature is now also a
conversation piece. Recently a collection of miniature portraits
fell into our hands. It had been acquired over a period of
thirty years at antique stores and auctions. At first glance
there was little information about each piece. A closer
inspection†proved just the opposite.†A signature, an
inscription, the sitter, costume, hair style, frame, and
technique†were all starting points to uncover unexpected and
often captivating stories. Following are three examples:
Madame Sans GÍne A cursory look showed an oval-shaped, enamel on
ceramic portrait of a plain woman with a large yellow bow on her
hair. The ceramic back had a hard-to-read text written faintly
in pencil that seemed to say: ÑMme. Jan Geneâ, a name that meant
nothing to us. After struggling unsuccessfully for a couple of
hours, we looked up ÑSan Geneâ and bingo! It turned out to be
ÑMadame Sans Gene,â the nickname of the wife of MarÈchal
LefÈbvre, a distinguished officer in Napoleonic times. A play of
the same name, by playwright Victorien Sardou, is full of
anecdotes of this former laundress who rose to unexpected
heights and alternately amused and irritated†Napoleon with her
unpolished language and demeanor.
Pre-French Revolution Lady Another unexpected story is the one
behind a portrait of a lady dressed in red, white and blue. Her
attire placed her in the Pre-French Revolution period, a time
when†costumes and hair styles†were often designed to make
political and current event statements. The signature,
Kirwan,†gave us another†clue. William Burke Kirwan was an Irish
miniaturist who exhibited his work in the Dublin Royal Academy
in the 1836-46 period. In 1852 he was condemned to death for the
murder of his wife. The sentence was commuted, thanks to
influential friends, to prison in the island of Bermuda and
later in Spike Island, near Cork. Twenty seven years later he
was released on the condition that he emigrated. He was
scheduled to leave for America from Queenstown but the ship was
not ready so, he returned to prison and begged to be allowed to
stay in his old cell until the ship sailed. When he arrived in
New York he reunited with the woman who had motivated him to
commit his crime many years before.
Madame de Maintenon An outstanding portrait in this collection
is that of a young Madame de Maintenon in a gilt, table top
frame. The inscription on the back says: "Madame de Maintenon,
cour de Louis XVI (sic) de France. E. Rouland, 38 Ave. Duquesne
Paris, Prix. Deux cents cinquante francs pour les deux." From
this we know that it was part of a set of two (the other, most
likely, of Louis XIV). Madame de Maintenon (1635-1719) nÈe
FranÁoise AubignÈ, was born in prison, where her mother
accompanied her father who was retained there by Richeliu. The
family later lived in Martinique where her father was sent as
Governor. Upon his death, FranÁoise and her mother returned to
France where they struggled--at one point FranÁoise worked as a
servant, herding turkeys. When she turned sixteen, her marriage
to an older and infirm poet was arranged. Nine years later she
was an impoverished widow, having inherited nothing but debts.
In 1669 she was†employed†to look after the illegitimate children
of Madame de Montespan and King Louis XIV. FranÁoiseÇs wisdom
and high standards earned her the KingÇs esteem and the title of
Marquise de Maintenon. Many years later, three months after the
death of his first wife Maria Theresa, Louis XIV married Madame
de Maintenon in a secret ceremony.
We invite you to see the miniature portraits described above and
much more in our shop: Amun·tegui Art & Antiques.
others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you forward this
issue on to others. Happy reading!
We at Ruby Lane, are proud to announce that May 17th, there will
Adornment is a way of life for me, whether it be decorating my
Every miniature portrait has a story behind it. Discovering it
Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
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