Partner in Erica Weiner, Lindsay Salmon Is A Modern Arbiter of Antique Style
When I first met Lindsay Salmon, partner in Erica Weiner, I noticed during our conversation, how she mixed different periods and motifs/styles of rings and how the eclectic combination almost seemed like the pieces were designed to go together and, to be—on her hands. The more I got to know her, the more I could see Lindsay has that uncanny ability to wear completely unexpected and sometimes disparate styles and create her own authentic look. On Instagram if I saw a group of shot of hands at an event, I’d be able to pick Lindsay’s out from the crowd. Her wrists too.
Speaking of which—I immediately felt a bit of jewelry envy at our first meeting, when I noticed she was wearing one of the nicest 15K carat English rose gold and cut onyx Victorian bracelets I had seen in approximately 10 years. I had been searching for one or a pair of these and only found those that didn’t quite cut it in detail and condition. Lindsay’s version is epic.
Since then, we bump into each other at various antique shows and fairs where share what we are wearing and the history behind our own pieces. On one occasion, at a show, too engrossed in the jewelry choices, we look up to find that we were the two women who have spoken the same words, “can I see that ring” at a dealer’s and then laughed and we perused other pieces in the display together. We went for drinks and spent much of the time with our rings laid out on the table, discussing the different details, time periods and hallmarks.
I have watched Lindsay’s choices grow more rare, edited and diverse with time. She possesses an eye for choosing the highly collectible and the slightly offbeat, quirky designs that when worn together bespeak her very specific taste. She is low key and a behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight type of woman. Her taste is intuitive and inventive and she has become a role model for all customers that shop the Erica Weiner boutiques and online store as well as the rest of the antique jewel-ophiles who have gotten to know her.
Lindsay first began working with Erica Weiner as an intern during the early days when the company specialized in costume jewelry. When Erica noticed her multiple talents, Lindsay was moved into production management, and eventually became a partner in the company. Presently she heads up the antiques program, and, with Erica ,designs the original fine jewelry collection 1909 and manages all production for the line.
We met down at the Nolita shop (dangerous place for me to be) to chat about Lindsay’s tastes, ever-evolving knowledge and personal jewelry collection…
How would you describe your overall personal style?
Lindsay: Fashion-wise I try and aim for an even mix of vintage and modern clothes—pulled together but something just always a little astray—never perfect. As for jewelry, I’m a bit on the flashy side. That doesn’t mean a lot of sparkle or bling, but I do like to layer it on.
Why do you wear antique instead of modern jewelry?
Lindsay: “At Erica Weiner, we started out as a costume jewelry company and introduced a fine jewelry line after we opened our first store (we since have two brick and mortar stores and our online shop). I make a point of trying to mix in the styles, we design, but my true passion is for antique jewelry and that’s predominately what I wear. I love period pieces for the artistry of their construction, their rich history, and their relative uniqueness. When it comes to jewelry as well as clothes, I don’t think I ever wanted to wear what everyone else is wearing. Particulary in jewelry, it’s all about what makes me feel special, unique in my choices and allows me to best express who I am “
What is your favorite time period to wear ?
“Aesthetically, Georgian is probably my favorite and I have quite a few pieces from that era in jewelry. But I tend to wear more Victorian styles. They are usually more durable and better suited for every day wear. I wear the Georgian pieces when I am not running around and working with my hands all day. They are my pieces that I wear when I go some where special and for jewelry events.”
What is your favorite category in antique jewelry?
Linday: “Rings! I love all jewelry but I might forget to put on a bracelet or necklace every day, Yet, I am never without rings. Stacks and rings on almost every finger.”
You oversee the antique jewelry program, you must see so many wonderful pieces. How do you choose those that you keep for yourself?
Lindsay: “When we first started selling antique jewelry I fell in love with every piece and found each and every one hard to part with. These days, I am less covetous. I don’t know how else to put it except that certain pieces speak to me and I want them for my own. Others I can see so clearly for our customers and I want them for one of our shops.”
Has your taste in jewelry evolved?
Lindsay: “Yes! As I became more educated and knowledgeable I naturally wanted the most rare and unusal pieces I could find in aesthetic. But there are pieces I purchased early on that I am still in love with aa few of those are part of my daily rotation today.”
Where did you find you favorite pieces?
Lindsay: “Almost always, without exception have come from London or one of our UK-based dealers. We trust them implicitly. We all make mistakes from time to time, but now that I have been in the business I can for a number of years, I can make very educated decisions and in London we have wonderful resources who also provide us with background information, provenance when possible and the rest we research..We travel to London at least twice a year to buy. It’s my favorite city in the world for many reasons, but the jewelry we find there adds to its allure. “
Is there a method to wearing combined pieces from different time periods?
Lindsay: “ I don’t think that there is any one right way to wear antique or any type of jewelry for that matter. But I absolutely do mix. At this moment, I’m wearing rings that are Roman, Georgian, Victorian, and a very strange but wonderful mid-century figural ring and I think it all looks awesome together.”
What do you consider ‘too much’ and just enough when it comes to wearing antique jewelry?
Lindsay: “There’s no such thing as too much. When you look at portraits from the 18th and 19th centuries, those ladies and gentleman have rings on every finger and layers upon layers of necklaces and bracelets— they are also wearing earrings and brooches. It looked great then and it looks great in a moderncontext . Plus, I’m anything but a minimalist.”
What’s the most sentimental piece you own?
Lindsay: “I have a beautiful Georgian mourning ring that was remounted at some point in its lifetime. When the work was done to the ring, the original dedication was removed, I had it engraved for my dad after he passed away.”
Are there pieces you wear everyday?
Lindsay: “I wear a signet ring with the motto “Arma Parrata Fero” (“Armed and Ready” in Latin), a Victorian ring with milk teeth in the shape of a Maltese cross, a lovely French pansy ring with amethysts, emeralds, and citrines, and my “Fifi” necklace (Erica and I have matching necklaces that say “Fifi”, it’s our nickname for each other).” (see opening shot)
How do you recommend choosing antique jewelry?
“Some people will say buy it before it gets away but if it doesn’t call to you the minute you see it then you need to wait and see if it haunts you and you can’t stop thinking about it. Then if it’s still there, you should purchase it. I used to be impulsive in my jewelry buying habits, but I find that if I have intention and patience, if I’m thoughtful and considerate about what and when I buy, I have more money (not to mention more joy) when the right pieces present themselves.”
Can you give some advice on how to wear it?
“Any way you want. As much as you want As long as it’s representing who you are, the pieces most meaningful to you and what you want your jewelry to say about you. Jewelry is the most personal wearable adornment, you need to go with your gut and you won’t go wrong.”
And, that is the key to Lindsay’s individual looks. She possesses the instinct, is armed with knowledge (as well as killer bracelets) and is fast becoming a modern arbiter of antique style.