Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sepia Saturday - Jewels

This week's SEPIA SATURDAY suggestion is about JEWELS

Before I say anything else, I must comment that the example at the left makes me think of Alexander Calder. I can't imagine why.

Now, down to business.

The term "JEWEL" turned up a several items in LOST GALLERY. There were necklaces, rings, medals, tiaras and ear-bobs.

I decided these three were the best to represent the theme for this week.

While researching for this page, I discovered that there are whole web pages, whole businesses, that answer to a search for JEWLERY. JewLEry!

Look it up! Try MACY'S

Girl in Jeweled dress
girl in jeweled dress reverse circa 1900

This photo is encrusted with tiny jewels, probably glass, carefully glued to the print, one by one following the design of dress. The red ones are apparent but the clear/white ones scanned as dark spots. I puzzled over how to make the sparkles more apparent and finally just gave up.

Note the waist. And it's probably not a photo trick either.

I have never been too sure what the message in the upper left corner is.

The stamp does indeed say "Republica Argentina." I found this one on a trip to Wichita Falls, TX, back in September 2009.

Someone has to say it. Considering all the binding, stretching, starving and bleaching, it's a wonder there are any women left at all.

And all for men who seldom deserve the effort.

Okay. The soapbox is back in the closet.

Three Jewels
Three Jewels

Here are "Three Jewels" of a different sort.

On reverse, it says:
Persia Sept 14th
Received your card last
night Glad to hear you were
all right. All well here
Only I have a bad could
How is W (?) Valley ****(?)
Soe Good by

Miss Elsie Turney

Postmark is Persia, Iowa, Sept 14, 1911

Three Jewels, Perfect Movement.

It's hard to miss the light humor of the double entendre here. The three women flashing a little ankle make me think of classic Cole Porter, Anything Goes.
"In olden times a glimpse of stocking
was looked on as something shocking.
Now, heaven knows, anything goes."

Sigh. If mister Porter could see us now ...

Okay, here's one that's really about real jewelry.

Here we have a tintype of a lovely woman wearing a large necklace.

Now, we are looking at a time when about the only “plastic” items around were the celluloid collars that men wore. So this necklace is probably not a plastic, like much of costume jewelry today.

Woman with necklace

Using my kitchen food scale I weighed some carved wood drapery rings about that size. They weighed a half an ounce each. I count about 54 rings showing in the photograph. Add on about 16 for the two loops behind her neck and you have 70 rings. Seventy carved wood rings would weigh (Are the brain cells clicking?) 35 ounces. That’s two pounds, three ounces. Of wood rings. Add on the fact that the wood rings are probably linked together with small metal jump rings. They weigh something too. (Ten paper clips weighed a half ounce.)

But the whole necklace is likely metal of some sort. That much precious metal would be astronomical in value, so it is probably not gold or platinum or silver. That leaves what? Copper? Brass? Tin? How about pewter? Is it some obscure zinc alloy we called “pot” or “monkey” metal?

Aluminum was not even “discovered” until 1827 and it was a couple more decades before it was in general usage. So it is probably not aluminum. (Remember the “chains” we made of those obsolete pull-tabs from aluminum drink cans?)

I can't think of a metal that would make that chain weigh less than three pounds but it likely would be double that. Hanging around one's neck, it would seem literally like an albatross after only a short time.

Could it be made of papier mache? I remember a neighbor who had a bead curtain across the entry to her parlor. As I child I determined that the “beads” were mostly made of strips of papier mache, rolled, sanded and painted. I’m not sure how rings could be made from papier mache.

For reference, all of the clothes I wear, including the usual keys, wallet, comb and change in the pockets, weigh less than five pounds. Here is a necklace that ALONE weighs at least a couple pounds.

Woman with necklace

Considering all the time, effort and sacrifice that women make for their appearance, maybe two or three pounds of jewelry is not such a stretch of the imagination.

What do you think?

This week's SEPIA SATURDAY suggestion is about JEWELS

See what else is waiting at Sepia Saturday.

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
One Man's Treasure
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.
And for postcards try

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use.
All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. And all for men who seldom deserve the effort:)

  2. Thanks Tony. It was a fun page to put together.

  3. Love that you actually got out the kitchen scales:)That's dedication.

  4. Thanks Boobook. Yes! I had no clue what it might actually weigh. So I invented the best estimate I could.

  5. Could the necklace be of carved bone or similar? It is certainly very unusual - and BIG!

  6. This was fabulous. Imagine seeing waists like that in today's world! Ha! Ha!

  7. Thanks Bob Scotney. The “Three Jewels” is my favorite too. It makes me think of all the elements that had to come together to make it possible, not to exclude a sense of humor and three lovely models willing to pose for, in those days, a slightly risque photograph.

    Thanks Liz Needle. Carved bone! I didn’t think of that one. I bet that’s what it is. Thanks!

    Thanks Karen S. Not many of those around, for sure. If we saw one now, we would think of her as a bit…Fragile.

  8. The necklace doesn't really have a heavy look. I'm guessing it's not metal, or at least not solid.

  9. Intriguing collection. I'm not much of a fan of jewlery either, but your images are interesting and entertaining - a wonderful post, yet again.

    By the way, did you get my message (sent via Flickr) with a link to the article about Dr Seuss's hat collection? I thought of you immediately I saw it, and see now where your inspiration for this blog comes from :-)

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed putting it together, because I'm sure we all enjoyed the result. But what in earth is that necklace made from?

  11. I'm thinking the first lady, Senorita Catalina is saying, "Take the picture! Take the picture! I can't breath." Actually wearing that corset it was perhaps more comfortable leaning forward. Insane women's fashion.

    Interesting that one Senorita was sending this to another Senorita. Perhaps to show how tiny her waist was to make the other one jealous?

    I bought a beaded necklace a few years ago that was made by women in Africa who use old pages from magazines. Somehow they roll them into these tiny colorful shapes. It was a gift for a friend and fortunately she loved them. I was fascinated by them.

  12. Thanks Postcardy. No it doesn’t look heavy; it doesn’t hang like it was heavy. Maybe, as Liz Needle suggests above, it was carved bone.

    Thanks Brett Payne. Glad you enjoyed the page. Yes, I visited the hat page. What a roundup of hats! Thanks for the link.

    Thanks Little Nell. The material in the necklace remains a mystery, although Liz Needle’s suggestion of bone and Tattered and Lost’s suggestion of paper seem quite reasonable.

    Thanks Tattered and Lost. Yes, that’s a question I ask often: What was the reason for the picture. Your suggestion that it was to show off a waistline seems likely, considering it was sent to another Senorita. Her posture is a clue I hadn’t considered!

  13. I remember my mom wore earrings that made sure she would never levitate, and she had one of those huge cabochon ring that could kill a man with just one slap... These were 1980s jewellery, just for reference. Everything was BIG back then, the hair, the shoulder pads, and the jewellery!!

  14. Thanks Ticklebear. “Never levitate” That's funny! I remember those decades too where everything was extra large.



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