Historical Anniversaries: Leo and Sophia Tolstoy

Today is the 152nd wedding anniversary of literary powerhouse couple Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sophia. It’s clear that the marriage wasn’t the happiest, but the novels the two produced (Sophia transcribed and edited the massive manuscript for War and Peace seven times!) are pillars of Western literature.

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Such classic dramatic works have long been fodder for Hollywood adaptation. And, they have become one of the most popular ways for us to view what life might have been like during the time that our (now antique) jewelry was produced. Of course, we always expect some dramatic license, such as in Joe Wright’s whimsical adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, but the film’s design definitely pays homage to the early Belle Époque style that is contemporary to the novel. 

Keira Knightley in Chanel jewelry, in Anna Karenina (2012)

Keira Knightley in Chanel jewelry, in Anna Karenina (2012)

Carey Mulligan in Tiffany & Co. jewelry, in The Great Gatsby (2013)

Carey Mulligan in Tiffany & Co. jewelry, in The Great Gatsby (2013)

That said, we would love to see more actual antique jewelry in films about these time periods. In the film Anna Karenina, Keira Knightley wears a diamond necklace by Chanel; the novel was published six years before Coco herself was even born. And, who could forget those Art Deco-inspired pearl bracelets that Tiffany & Co, made for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby? They certainly capture the opulence of the roaring ‘20s, but we know that there are plenty of fabulous examples of vintage Art Deco jewelry around today.  We appreciate that our favorite antique jewelry eras inspire modern design, but we always love the real thing.  

So, whether you have read the book or seen the movie, or just love the jewelry from their past, let’s tip our hats to Leo and Sophia, and their enduring legacy!