Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Building a Wardrobe of Jewels

Since as far back as the 17th century, a "lady of quality" would own at least one suite of matching jewelry called a parure, which would tell the world of exactly how much "quality" the lady was made. These precious gems would have been passed down over the years for generations to enjoy.

As a modern day quaintrelle and the Duchess of Fancy, I felt it was time I acquired a stately parure for myself! Of course I didn't have a suite of family jewels coming to me, so no diamonds here, but some dazzling paste! (even Marie Antoinette wore paste)

My first parure here consists of a pair of earrings, necklace, a hair pin (which can transform into a brooch), and of course a custom satin lined box fashioned after the style the old Georgian parures would have been kept in.

The design was inspired by a 1770's necklace and grew out from there.This set was started in the middle of last year and only just finished this weekend

One of the best finds for this project was the vintage drops in a mock alexandrite. The colors is a lovely delicate lavender in the daylight, but under florescent light the color turns a bright apple green!

As well as the changing colors of the stone, just like in the parures of old the aigrette is modular so that it can be worn as either a hair ornament, or as a slightly smaller brooch.

I've been wearing this set lately for dressed up occasions, but even for those jeans and a pretty top days, to give an other wise boring outfit just enough history for it to be something fit for a quaintrelle to be seen in!

As for whats next? I'm already working on my second parure which has many more pieces, and will soon be available for sale in my Candy Violet shop as a set or as separate pieces (as well as being open for custom work)! This months Quaintrelle life article will be all about parures too, so keep an eye out over the next few weeks for those!


  1. Oh wow that really is a beautiful set, made all the more beautiful by the fact that you made it yourself. You're a lady of many talents xoxo

  2. Oh, and the box too! Double wow!!!! Stupendous!

  3. It never ceases to amaze me the things you create. I think my favorite part is the color-changing gems as well :D

  4. Oh yay and wow, I say! I remember seeing you mention this last year and I was intrigued: so pleased to see this finished - it was well worth the wait! Congratulations on such an achievement!

  5. Very beautiful. Extremely well done.

  6. Woah! That is amazing!

  7. Alexandrite is my favorite jewel and can be so hard to find - even the mock variety. Very beautiful!

  8. Wow. I love it! I have just one question, where did you get that jewellery box? I've been looking for something like this for ages :)

  9. what i want to know is how on earth did you make this? i would love to see/hear about it :o



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