From the Gray & Davis Archives

Below are a few of the fabulous jewels of Gray & Davis past. We’re glad these pieces went to good homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce!

From Top to Bottom

- Antique brooch featuring a large red garnet and 'diamond' paste wings

- Victorian locket with realistic turquoise scarab beetle

- Stunning pair of Victorian buckle bangles with tracery enamel detailing

- Articulated amethyst drop earrings, c. 1840

- Beautiful carved flower locket, c. 1900

- 19th century turquoise gypsy ring

- Art Nouveau gold locket with a lady and diamond-studded flowers

- Victorian gold beaded necklace with intricate applied wirework details

- Fabulous crowned heart brooch with diamonds set in gold-backed silver

- Golden lover's knot brooch

- Georgian gold torpedo earrings, c. 1830

An Introduction to Lovers' Eyes

With Valentine’s Day on the way, we wanted to highlight one of the most romantic jewelry trends of all-time: the “lover’s eye.”

"Lover's Eye" brooch. English, early 19th century. Victoria & Albert Museum. 

"Lover's Eye" brooch. English, early 19th century. Victoria & Albert Museum. 

These delightful and odd little jewels became popular for their role in the love affair between the future King George IV of England and his secret sweetheart, Mrs. Fitzherbert (shown below). After a faux suicide attempt failed to win the Mrs.’ affection, George sent her a locket containing a portrait of his eye, along with the note:

“P.S. I send you a parcel … and I send you at the same time an Eye, if you have not totally forgot the whole countenance. I think the likeness will strike you.”

Not long after the gift was received, Mrs. Fitzherbert and George were married in secret. Naturally, the new bride commissioned a portrait of her own eye for the Prince’s use. As the story of the royal couple’s romantic gestures spread, so did the vogue for eye miniatures set in jewelry.

Lover's Eye miniature c. 1830, Winterthur Museum. 

Lover's Eye miniature c. 1830, Winterthur Museum. 

Lovers’ eyes became popular during a time when upper-class marriages were more often about politics than passion, and taking an extramarital lover was not uncommon. The nature of these partial portraits made it difficult for nosey observers to discover the true identity of the sitter, and kept safe the secrets of clandestine couples. 

Queen Victoria Remembered

On this day in 1901, Queen Victoria passed away after 63 eventful years as monarch of the British Empire. At Gray & Davis, one of our areas of expertise is the eclectic jewelry made during Victoria’s reign.  Characterized by rich gold and silver, exotic gems and inventive design, here’s a few pieces from our collection that we think Victoria would be proud to lend her name to:

From top to bottom:

- Aesthetic style fan watch pendant with rose cut diamonds and black enamel, c. 1890

- Silver bangle with Scottish agate inlay, c. 1860

- 18k gold, sapphire & diamond double serpent band. London marks, 1896. 

- Buckle locket ring with hair, 2nd half of 19th century

- Natural pearl with rose cut diamond surround, c. 1880

- Two gold and old European cut diamond rings, late 19th century

- Stunning gold brooch with applied gold beads, c. mid 19th century

- Victorian woven link chain with applied wirework clasp

- Impressive fringe earrings with twisted rope detail, c. 1870

All pieces currently available at Gray & Davis. 

From the Gray & Davis Archives

Below are a few of the fabulous jewels of Gray & Davis past. We’re glad these pieces went to good homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce!

From top to bottom:

- Hand Engraved Art Nouveau locket with sapphire cabochons

- French navette bracelet in gold and platinum set with moonstones and rose cut diamonds

- A fabulous pair of Victorian gold earrings

- Hinged snake bangle with enamel and gemstone head

- Edwardian cocktail ring with two large natural pearls and old mine cut diamonds set in platinum

A Monday Menagerie

We have quite a collection of animal-themed jewels at the moment.

A lovely lizard:

Brooch, 18k gold, coral, diamond & ruby. 19th century, French. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Brooch, 18k gold, coral, diamond & ruby. 19th century, French. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

An Outstanding Owl:

Brooch. 9k gold, Bohemian garnet. 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Brooch. 9k gold, Bohemian garnet. 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Some slithering snakes surrounding a scarab:

Ring. 14k yellow gold, boulder opal carved as scarab. Art Nouveau c.1900. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Ring. 14k yellow gold, boulder opal carved as scarab. Art Nouveau c.1900. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

A ghostly goat:

Intaglio seal ring. 14k gold, carnelian, early 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Intaglio seal ring. 14k gold, carnelian, early 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Two loving lions:

Bangle. 18k yellow gold, 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Bangle. 18k yellow gold, 19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

A foxy fox:

Brooch. 14k yellow, ruby. Currently available at Gray & Davis. 

Brooch. 14k yellow, ruby. Currently available at Gray & Davis. 

And some busy beetles:

Earrings. 14k yellow gold, Brazilian tortoise beetles. Mid-19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.

Earrings. 14k yellow gold, Brazilian tortoise beetles. Mid-19th century. Currently available at Gray & Davis.