Can't believe I haven't posted in 3 months. I do apologize. But I do have a good excuse too: I've been busy writing a book for the past 10 months and I finished it around June. Editing and looking for a printer and all that stuff was uppermost in my mind and while we were still busy buying and listing jewelry, blogging about jewelry took a back seat. But the book is out now and receiving excellent reviews. It's a very sensitive and important subject ... child sexual abuse ... but as it's not jewelry-related, that's all I'll say about it now, except that if you want to know more, CLICK HERE.
So, what's new at Divine Finds Jewelry? Well a few months ago, I discovered, and fell totally in love with jewelry by ERTE. Never heard of ERTE? Here's a post I wrote about ERTE for Ruby Lane.
Briefly, Erte, an artist, sculptor and painter, is considered by many to be "the father of Art Deco" and late in his life, he okayed the production of jewelry based on his serigraphs. This most unusual and magnificent jewelry was produced, at that time, only by The Circle of Fine Arts (CFA) gallery, and today, has become highly collectible and dare I say it, expensive! It is sought after by collectors worldwide, and only when one actually looks at, and holds a piece of jewelry signed Erte, can one see why: quality, intricacy, design, uniqueness ... that is Erte's "Art to Wear" jewelry.
That blog link I provided above tells you how I stumbled over my first piece of Erte. Since then, I've been on a mad hunt for it. I've collected some gorgeous pieces and you can see all of my collection in THIS IMAGE EVENT GALLERY. One of my favourites are these diamond and ruby dangling
earrings on the left. They are called "Fantasy" and reflect Erte's deep love of nature and fascination with birds' wings. There are 50 diamonds in these earrings, totalling about 0.40cts along with 33 round faceted deep red rubies, all set in 14k. When Erte's jewelry was being made, he was exceptionally fussy, not just about construction quality but also the quality of all gemstones and diamonds used in his jewelry. Those who hunted down the gemstones often had to travel to the far reaches of the earth to find quality good enough to be set in Erte's "Art to Wear".
I haven't yet listed all our Erte pieces in our Divine Finds Jewelry shop at Ruby Lane but I will be doing so over the coming weeks. A visit to the Image Event Gallery I posted above will give you a preview of what to expect. Erte collectors will be pleased with both the selection and the prices.
Speaking of collecting Erte, if I may offer a warning to anyone planning to buy some of this designer's pieces: be wary of what you find. I did a search on eBay and there's lots and lots of "Erte" there. But is what's there the original, authentic Erte of collectible value? What I found was a great deal of "new" Erte. These items look almost identical to the original pieces but they are made from silver and usually have rhinestones or swarovski crystals where Erte had genuine topaz, amethyst, citrine or rubies. They're very lovely, but they're not valuable, collectible Erte "Art to Wear" jewelry...and the instant giveaway will be the price! If it's cheap ie. easily affordable, it's not original Erte.
So what do you look for? Look at the asking price. Then read the description carefully. It should say the piece is stamped with Erte's script signature, even if it's worn thin. It should have ©CFA for Circle of Fine Arts on the back or side. It should have either 14k or SS for Sterling Silver or both i.e. 14k/SS as Erte was fond of using both precious metals in his jewelry. And if you're really lucky, you might find a piece in its original box ... even more valuable. We have a few of those. And now and then, you'll come across a piece with a certificate of authenticity from CFA. That's a bonus. And one more thing: Erte pieces were released in limited editions. So you will come across pieces marked e.g. 67/200. That piece was #67 of only 200 ever made. We have one piece, a large pin known as "The Plume":
(shown above) that is 1/50 ie.. #1 of only 50 released in that edition. This one is not yet in our shop but will be there within the next few weeks. The amethyst, sapphire and diamond stones in this pin are out of this world, just like so much of Erte's jewellery.
Well that's enough for tonight. I hope you've enjoyed meeting ERTE if you're not familiar with this marvellous artist of the Art Deco period. If you search his name on the net, lots of information comes up. Some sites will show you his fantastic illustrations which graced the pages of Harpers Bazaar for years and garnered ERTE such a devoted following. I love his work and his jewelry. I hope you will like it too. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter (see SUBSCRIBE at the top of our shop page) so you're the first to know when new items are added to our DIVINE FINDS JEWELRY line and when we're having our next sale. Cheers!