A Commentary on Antique Paste Jewelry
Antique paste jewelry has always had a dedicated following of collectors. It is only recently that the art form has started to reach a much broader audience. Paste jewelry was always made to satisfy a specific aesthetic and never to counterfeit its precious counterpart.
In the aristocratic classes of 17th century Europe, particularly the taste-making rococo Parisians, fine jewelry made of precious gemstones like diamonds and emeralds was flaunted and coveted. These stones were treasured for their beauty as much as their relative rarity—it was this rarity that prompted jewelers to seek out an equally beautiful, but less expensive, alternative material for their creations. In 1724, French jewel designer Georges Frédéric Strass came up with “paste,” a kind of leaded glass that he cut and polished with metal powder until it appeared to shimmer like a diamond in the light. These white “diamante” or “strass” were a hit with glamorous European high society. As the century progressed color was introduced in reds, blues and greens but was much more unusual.
Paste, by definition, are glass stones and not natural gems, but its manufacture over the centuries became more sophisticated culminating in a true technical achievement in the early- to mid-eighteenth century. The techniques used were every bit as skillful as those used with diamonds and precious stones; creations were considered fine jewelry in their own right.
To understand early paste jewelry, one must be able to identify it correctly and not confuse it with pieces made in vast quantity in the late nineteenth century and beyond. This appreciation involves recognizing a combination of the cut of the stones, the overall design, and the metals used, including the ageing process which gives antique paste its wonderful patina.
When looking at jewelry, the eye is drawn to stone, color, and scale and in today’s fashion world these stunning pieces have a place every bit as relevant as any precious jewel ever created.
Currently Available in the Shop
Simon discusses one of the highlights on display at TEFAF:
A diamond and enamel “Serpenti” watch, the coiled sprung yellow enamel scaled body with circular and nanette cut diamond detail with diamond set tail and head, the hinged mask with ruby eyes revealing a circular dialed watch, movement by Jaeger le Coultre. Circa 1965
We have limited tickets available for the fair. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested.
Holly Fowler is an English fashion designer based between London and New York specializing in hand painted fashion. Treating the silhouette as a canvas, her paintings play on the body’s contours to produce three dimensional works of art that are adorned with stunning jewelry, flowers and rose covered sashes.
Graduating from Central Saint Martins her graduate collection was bought exclusively by Browns in London and received critical acclaim from fashion press. Her collections are now stocked internationally with exclusive dress lines at Bergdorf Goodman and hand painted shoes and accessories at Browns as well as creating bespoke pieces to order. Her clients include Lady Gaga and Jeff and Justine Koons.
Alongside painting and designing her own label, Holly has worked for Louis Vuitton, Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg, Chloe and John Galliano and continues to freelance and consult for various clients
Simon Teakle Fine Jewelry & Objects will exhibit for the first time in New York City at Spring Masters, a fair that brings together leading International galleries from US and Europe, exhibiting art and design from Antiquity through the 21st Century. The fair will be held at the Park Avenue Armory. For further details regarding directions, parking and fair hours, please visit springmastersny.com. We also will have complimentary tickets available for the fair. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Holly Fowler is a young English designer establishing herself cult status. Her extraordinary painting on exquisite fabrics are stunning, unique and outstandingly elegant. With a passion for jewelry, many designs revolve around luxurious gems and jewels that make the collaboration with Simon Teakle a fascinating combination of rare and cool couture. Holly will be at Simon Teakle Fine Jewelry creating new designs and will also be available to work on unique custom creations on Saturday, September 13th. Please join us from 10 - 6 pm, 4 Grigg Street, Greenwich, CT
April 29th, 2014 Simon was invited to be the auctioneer for an intimate dinner among friends celebrating the brilliance of Landmark's students and the power of innovative eduction.
Simon Teakle is excited to be taking part in the Greenwich Holiday Stroll for the second year. This year we will be donating to the very unique and special San Miguel Academy based in Newburgh, NY. San Miguel provides free high quality education for young people growing up in Newburgh, which is ranked as being one of the most violent cities in America.
From Tuesday 15th - Saturday 19th October Simon Teakle will host an exhibition of exceptional fine jewelry and objects presented by Hancocks of London. Hancocks is one of London's oldest and finest jewelry dealers specializing in exquisite and collectible jewelry. Established in 1849 it quickly became well known after receiving a warrant of appointment from Queen Victoria after only a year since opening. Owner and dealer Stephen Burton is a friend of Simon's and we are delighted to announce that this specially curated collection will feature over 30 pieces and include spectacular Art Nouveau Jewelry as well as luxurious jeweled objects from the Deco period.
"Hancocks has always been known for their superb quality of jewelry and I am excited to have the opportunity to showcase them in my shop in Greenwich. The objects and jewelry that will be a part of the exhibition are unique and extremely rare. Stephen has been a friend and associate for many years and I am thrilled to be a part of this great event." - Simon Teakle
We are very excited to be exhibiting at Fine Arts Asia in Hong Kong from 4th – 7th this October. This Art Fair, now in its 9th year is fast becoming known for its importance in the world of art and antiques in Asia. Representing dealers from the East and West, the fair is predominantly focused on Art and so we are delighted to be taking part with a small select number of jewelry dealers. We shall be unveiling a wide gathering of pieces that span 200 years with an emphasis on beauty and quality, and some of important historical significance. Come pay us a visit at booth J3 if you are attending, otherwise the shop will be open as normal at 4 Grigg Street.
We are excited to welcome jewelry historian and author Ruth Peltason to 4 Grigg street on Saturday 28th September for a book signing to launch her newest book: David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler. Ruth Peltason has written a number of books focusing on jewelry, including most recently Living Jewels: Masterpieces from Nature, and Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry. She also lectures on jewelry around the country.
David Webb is undoubtedly one of the 20th Century’s iconic American jewelers. From the time he opened his shop in 1948 at the age of 21, the self-taught jeweler was influenced by a passion for art and ancient cultures. Today the David Webb archives include over 40,000 original drawings, sketches, and production records.
This striking book, three years in the making and with specially commissioned photography of 300 pieces of jewelry details Webb’s evolution as an artist and identifies his major collections. All the jewelry has been carefully authenticated, described in detail, and is accompanied by Webb’s drawings. In addition, editorial from leading fashion magazines, photographs of the many women who adored his jewelry and an assortment of ephemera are also included.
in anticipation of this event, we have organized a selection of David Webb pieces from their collection. Both Simon and Ruth will be available to discuss David Webb and his iconic jewelry.
We have collaborated with our lovely neighbor Diane’s Books for this special event. All sales of the book will be made at Diane’s books, next door at 8 Grigg Street.
Saturday 28 September - Book signing 12-3
Simon Teakle will host a unique Exhibition of TAFFIN jewelry, designed by James de Givenchy at his gallery off Greenwich Avenue. Simon and James are old friends and colleagues. Simon has always had a great appreciation for James’s contemporary and exquisite designs, which he creates under the brand TAFFIN. “James has always had a fabulous sense of color and design. He has the gift of combining an alternate point of view but still keeping a classical sense of beauty, not easy!” - Simon Teakle
We are also thrilled to be unveiling a number of new TAFFIN pieces at this exhibition, in particular a 60ct Imperial topaz, diamond and spinel ring created in collaboration by James and Simon. Never before has such a large number of James’s pieces been on view to the public. We hope you are able to enjoy this rare opportunity to view the Taffin collection in its entirety.
Thursday 6 - Saturday 8 June, from 10 - 6
Simon recently took part in an auction for the 2013 Glimmerglass Festival Gala at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan which raised over $500,000 to benefit young musical artists. Glimmerglass is an Opera company based in Cooperstown on Lake Otsego in New York. They focus on developing young talent and are renowned for their inspiring productions and theatre during the Summer season.
Stacey Bewkes of Quintessenceblog.com recently visited us to view our shop and discuss our jewelry collections. She has written a lovely piece which we feel very accurately describes the shop, the jewelry and our concept - thank you Stacey.