Sandra Cronan Shares her picks for antique and vintage jewelry
This is the second year of our Gifts for The Holidays Guide for which we enlisted modern jewelry retailers and antique shop owners and experts. For each installment, we have asked for suggestions from their brick and mortar or online stores. We have also asked what gift they would choose for themselves this holiday season.
We kick off the season with one of London’s premier antique retailers, Sandra Cronan whose Albermarle Street shop houses jewelry dating from the 17th century through to mid0 20th century. Sandra began her career buying and selling authentic and rare antiques over 40 years ago. Her taste and eye for choosing exceptional pieces continue to influence her selection which not only characterizes certain periods in history but also features old-world time-honored craftsmanship and possess a modern wearability.
From the store to her website to her curated shop on 1st dibs, you can be sure to find gifts that evoke the charm and character of jewels with a rich history and will appeal to the consummate collector or jewelry enthusiast with a penchant for the past.
“I have chosen gifts from different centuries, all of which represent a moment in time and that can be worn in a variety of ways,” Sandra explains.
“Our Art Deco double clips, (American, circa 1930) not only epitomize the eternally stylish period and movement, but they reference the modernity of the new skyscrapers being built in New York at the time. They are a fabulous gift idea due to the multiple possibilities of how they can be worn. The obvious choice is to clip them onto a neckline of a dress, but they also look fabulous on a waistband, the lapels of a jacket, on a hat or secured with hidden bobby pins in your hair.”
“Our French diamond bow brooch is a triumph in late 19th-century jewelry making. Although set in silver and gold, this brooch seems to be crafted from the lightest gossamer ribbon. The intricately pierced metal and old cut diamonds dotted along the edge of the brooch with the tiniest rose cuts reveals details you just don’t see today. It is the type of bow you want to see on the inside rather than the outside of your holiday gift box. Once again it is a piece that can be worn in numerous places on different types of clothes.”
“As another idea, I chose our Bulgari natural Oriental pearl and diamond three stone ring, which dates to circa 1915. Natural pearls are a particular passion of mine, and the simple elegant way in which this beautiful pearl nestles in between two old cut diamonds really sets it off. This is understated style at its best.”
Sandra lets us in on the gift that she would want to receive this holiday season:
“I covet this incredible yellow diamond flower brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels. It positively glows with vibrancy from the fancy vivid yellow diamonds that are the best of their kind. The care and time it must have taken to select this number of perfectly matching and rare stones is mind-boggling. Although mounted in yellow gold, and made of such exceptional diamonds, it remains so naturalistic, that one could have plucked it straight from the rose bush; a true work of art and one that would become a go-to piece if it made it into my jewelry wardrobe.”