I have always been attracted to ‘old things.’ I was the ‘American Picker’ of the 80’s. What started as an occasional relaxing excursion soon became my main avenue of enjoyment. Over time I altered my collections to include: toys from the 1940-50’s; tin banks; glass paperweights; teddy bears, and Christmas and Halloween decorations. When I abandoned my career, my interest turned to jewelry. Browsing antique shops more frequently and for longer periods of time enabled me to examine things I’d never noticed before. When I found my first piece of history, I was hooked. At a small shop in New Hampshire, I found a French enameled 14K gold Victorian hair snake bracelet with ruby eyes. The bracelet portion was stretched and there was damage to the face as if it had been stepped on. I knew immediately what it was even though I’d never studied jewelry history. It was as if the bracelet spoke to me, saying “buy me and I’ll tell you my story.” So I walked away with a magnificent piece of history, and a valuable, albeit damaged treasure.
That began my fascination with unusual and unique costume jewelry. I began a quest to acquire the history of costume jewelry and its famous designers. I purchased books, scoured websites, read about the jewelry industry, and eventually became a more thoughtful buyer. My collection has grown to the point where I wish to share it with others, in the hope that the pieces I treasure will be ‘found’ by someone who will also cherish them.