Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Art Nouveau & Old Thrifted Finds

I seem to be on a roll of finding some good stuff at my local op shops. When I was thrifting with my bestie Miss J, she spotted this beaded bag at Salvos for the grand total of $2. I am so glad she did because I fell in love with it & thankfully it's not really her style. It's a nice big size, & it's quite sturdy with a wooden base, so it should be able to tolerate all the 'just in case' stuff I have in my bag. Oh and it features orange beads! Fabulous!!!!

My local Red Cross op shop had this old mesh bracelet with lovely blue stones for $2

A bit more kitsch for my collection. These Japanese made cranky skunks made me smile for $1. I wonder what's got them so unhappy?

An Art Nouveau trinket box by the Jennings Brothers, number 212. This is very old, made around 1905. Unfortunately the silk lining has deteriorated, but the hinges work fine. At $4 I think it was a good buy!

And now for a bit of history........

Art Nouveau was the most prominent decorative style of jewel box during the early 1900’s, a romantic style noted for its flowing, asymmetrical lines, with motifs relating to nature—flowers and vines, birds, women with flowing hair. While most people today associate Art Nouveau with the graceful “nymph-like” young women, the floral motifs held a major place in the American Nouveau jewelry box world. The “language of flowers” had become a particularly popular concept during the Victorian Period. At the turn of the century, these “sentiments” were also reflected in the Art Nouveau style on jewelry boxes: the four-leaf clover for good luck, daisies for innocence, roses for love and beauty, and so on. 
Jewel boxes were lined with fine pale-colored silks from Japan (sometimes referred to as “Jap silk”) and China, and also with faille (a ribbed silk), satin or sateen, and were often trimmed with a fine twisted satin cord. 
Even though these jewel boxes were “mass-produced,” peak production lasted fewer than 15 years (1904-1918). And remember, the term “mass production” during 1900-1910 held a completely different meaning then than that it does today. Fortunately, we can still discover examples of these (almost) 100-year-old decorative treasures.


  1. That bag is fab, I of course love the orange beads.
    The skunks are weirding me out a bit though lol. X

  2. I love that bag - such pretty bead work. Those cranky skunks kind of make me giggle. You should do a post to share your kitsch creature collection with us:)

  3. The bag is absolutely fab - I see that style in vintage stores for $45! Love the cranky skunks too... I agree with Trees: show us your kitsch! Sarah xxx

  4. Love the bag - great find!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  5. Oh wow! I can't believe how many amazing things you've found!

    The trinket box is so lovely and perfect to store your AMAZING mesh bracelet. The bigger the vintage handbag, the better. So fun!

  6. So many lovely finds that I can't decide on my favourite! xx

  7. The bag is a beauty, and such a great size. I need a spacious bag! Unless I go for the double-bagging like Desiree!
    Cranky skunks? Sounds like the name of a band. It should be! Your little trinket box is gorgeous, what a find. xxxx

  8. I love the old trinket box and the bit of history..and the skunks are just way too funny! T x

  9. Oooh, so that's the bag you and your bestie found recently? She is such a good BFF to let you have that one - it was too awesome not to! Hmm I wonder if the skunks smelled each other's scent and got themselves a bit cranky over that??! And that jewellery box, well I would have snatched that up in a second as well, regardless of the lining. What a beautiful piece of history you've collected! xx


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