Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Diamonds for the Birthday Babe's

Time to celebrate our April Birthday Babe's.

(Oh. Billy Holiday and your spectacular voice. She makes those diamonds shine!)

(Oh Queen Elizabeth the 2nd how you love your diamonds!)

And much more diamonds to find here!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Seattle’s Space Needle Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

This Saturday, the Space Needle and the Seattle World’s Fair celebrates its 50th Anniversary.  (Once in awhile we have to write a blog about our city, 'cause we love it.)

Vintage Image of the Seattle Space Needle
The 1962 World Fair was an exhilarating time for Seattle.  It lasted  six months and people from all across the United States, and in some cases the globe, flew to Seattle to spend time at the fair  (Elvis even filmed a movie, “It Happened at the World’s Fair”). 

Mid 20th Century Steig Sterling Cufflinks
The theme was “Century 21” and Seattle presented a view of the future, centered by the iconic Space Needle with its modernist lines.  Other cities may have built a taller tower but no one else built a building quite like ours.   It is what has visually put Seattle on the map.  

1962 Seattle Photograph

And I think it is probably why I have always had such an affinity for 60's modernist architecture, clothing and jewelry.  Some might call it kitsch, and it is that too, but it is also oddly wonderful. 

1960's Chrome Cuff

There is something compelling about the 60's conception of modernity and the future, or as Seattle columnist, Knute Berger, said a "futuristic utopianism" which was embodied by the Seattle's World Fair and it's theme Century 21.

World's Fair Science Arches

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Joys of Polishing Silver

I was recently feeling a little ungrounded in my life and not of the temperament to spend a long time on the computer.  So rather than spend the last several days working on our website, I took two days to polish all of the silver in our store. 

Beautiful Engraved Antique Silver Link Necklace

I haven’t done this in a long time. (This is probably true neglect on my part, because silver, while beautiful even without a polish, is deeply stunning with just a little care and attention.) 

Art Nouveau Silver Locket

And we at Isadora’s are very picky about how we polish our silver as part of the beauty of old pieces is the age they are imbued with represented by patina.  “Patina” is when the silver oxidizes and becomes darker with age. I always think silver is twice as pretty with patina.

Antique Silver Repousse Patch Box
                                                                             So when polishing I try to save the majority of the patina, while still shining the largest flat portions of the piece.  It is all about polishing with restraint.  (The reward for my effort is how incredibly beautiful the jewelry looks.)

Victorian Diamond Silver & Gold Earrings (In the Georgian & Victorian eras it was popular to set diamond in silver.)

There is something so lovely about polishing silver.  It is a task where I can really see a beautiful, immediate, positive result for my labors.

British Victorian Silver Bangle

And in this information age, where many of us spend the majority of our day on a computer, getting to touch beautiful pieces of jewelry, spend time with them and care for them in a way that has not changed in this century or the last, is truly rewarding.  Because today, like in yester years, the best way to polish silver is with a cloth and just a touch of elbow grease. 

- Miko

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Choker Necklace, Collar or “Collier de Chien”

We have this beautiful pearl choker necklace from the 1940’s and my love for that necklace urged me to research the collar more broadly. 

I remembered reading somewhere, that a British noble had popularized the choker to hide a blemish on her neck.  And my half remembrance was right, or so the rumor goes.  Queen Alexandria, wife to Edward the VII, popularized the wide collar to hide a neck scar from a childhood surgery. 

As I was attempting to prove myself right, which I always love to do, I learned more about Queen Alexandria and grew quite fond of her.  She was the daughter of a Danish prince.  She had a relatively modest childhood although she did on occasion have Hans Christian Anderson join the family for story time.

She married Edward VII shortly after Queen Victoria’s husband died.  With Victoria in mourning, Alexandra quickly became popular.  She was charming and nice and she loved to wear pretty things, popularizing the choker necklace. 

She also became active in her job. Taking over many of Victoria’s duties, opening ceremonies in her place.  In her time as princess, queen and dowager queen she gave birth to six sons, including the future king George V, became the first queen to enter the House of Commons and helped establish “Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corp”.