1. Composer Busts
2. Bottle Openers
3. Advertising Hangers
4. Photographers’ Proofs
5. Rubber Stamps
#1 – 1953 Western Holly
#2 – 1952 Chambers
1949 O’Keefe and Merritt
Originally a religious holiday commemorating the death of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day has transformed into an international celebration of Irish tradition and culture. While many festivities tend to focus on green beer, shamrocks and corny t-shirts, the Irish have an incredibly rich history, all of which deserves to be celebrated at least once a year. The unique culture of Ireland presents numerous rare and meaningful opportunities for those who wish to hold onto a piece of Éire. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are the top ten Irish items to add to your collection:
A traditional representation of love, loyalty and friendship, the Claddagh ring is an emblem of Irish identity. Made in Ireland since at least 1700, the origin of the Claddagh ring is clothed in mystery and myth. The legend is that Richard Joyce, a silversmith, was captured and sold to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him the craft. Fourteen years later, Joyce was returned to Ireland – where he gave his ring to his sweetheart. His initials are even engraved into the earliest surviving Claddagh ring. Today, women wear the rings to “announce” their relationship status to the world: If worn with the heart pointed toward the fingers, the girl is single; if the heart points toward the wrist, she’s in a relationship. Whether it’s a collection of rings, one with sentimental value, or a valuable, rare ring from the 1800s, Claddagh rings are likely to be found in any Irish person’s Trov.
Traditional Irish Instruments
One of the strongest aspects of Irish culture is its music. Not only are they the exporters of the greatest rock ‘n roll band in the world, traditional Irish music has more than survived subsequent innovations and globalization, it has thrived. From Ireland’s national bagpipe, the uilleann pipes, to harps, tin whistles, bodhráns and of course – the fiddle, the traditional folk music, the jigs, stepdances and the crooning ballads all evoke feelings of rolling green pastures and jam sessions in small public houses. A welcome addition to any Trov, the music of Ireland, and by extension its instruments, are an important and active aspect of Irish culture and lifestyle.
We can’t very well talk about St. Patrick’s Day without talking about Guinness, can we? Dublin’s favorite stout since 1759 has gone through many variations over the centuries, but still remains one of the world’s most successful beer brands. Some of this success might be attributed to Guinness’ iconic marketing campaigns of the 1920s. In fact, the posters and other advertising memorabilia are now collectors items of their own right, especially since they can no longer make the medical claims that “Guinness is good for you.”
Vintage Beer Tap Knobs
On a similar note, the Irish culture of going out to the pub is one that cannot be denied. Public houses are gathering places for the communities, friends and families – when heading out to ‘the local’ – you expect to see the smiling faces of people you know. One of the most collectible items from pubs would have to be vintage beer tap knobs – for their age, rarity and value, these colorful handles are a great way to bring some of that community pub feeling to your home.
The intricate designs, tight knits and natural oils all make traditional Aran jumpers a unique and appreciated staple of any Irish wardrobe. Though most are now machine knit or made on a hand loom, it is still possible to find a hand-knit Aran sweater, far superior in quality, but which can reach quite high prices: 215 Euros (about 300 American dollars) or more for a high quality vintage item.
Undeniable is the fact that Ireland’s history is one that has been clouded in war. Invaded by many, but conquered by none, there is a large wealth of militaria and memorabilia to go around, collected by historians, history buffs, and those who have a passion for a connection to the past. Items such as collar badges, weapons, archives and hand-written journals are all incredibly interesting and educational items for any collection.
Of course, the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day is actually a religious affair – commemorating the death of Ireland’s patron saint. Despite the myth that Saint Patrick “banned the snakes from Ireland” he is in fact known for bringing Christianity to the island, and the holiday is one that is celebrated in Ireland by heading to church. As such, rosary beads are a fitting collectible with which to celebrate this national holiday. Providing a spiritual connection as well as monetary value, vintage rosary beads can vary greatly in price depending on style, material, markings, construction and condition, making them a great option for anyone wishing to start a collection.
From the Bronze Age to today, Ireland is a country that has always emphasized its art. Whether you’re looking for traditional Celtic art, works by early Irish masters, or modern, contemporary pieces – there is something for everyone. In the world of art collecting, there has recently been an increased interest in Irish art, largely due to the country’s economic expansion since the 1980s.
Midleton Very Rare – Irish Whiskey
The French have their wine, the Russians, vodka, while Ireland is renowned for its production of some of the world’s best whiskey. Blended in their distillery in the southern county of Cork, Midleton Very Rare is known as one of the highest quality whiskeys available. However, a limited number of bottles are produced each year, and each bottle is dated, numbered and signed by the chief distiller – only adding to its value. A single bottle of Midleton Very Rare will cost around $150, though prices for rare editions and exceptional vintages will be much, much higher.
A nation of storytellers, Ireland has contributed a massive amount of contributions to world literature, especially given its comparatively small size. From the tales of Irish mythology and epic sagas, to the playwrights and poets of the 18th century; from James Joyce and W.B. Yeates to Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and the Irish Literary Revival, the stories are endless, moving and inspirational. For collectors, or those who just wish to add some enlivening literature to their Trov, rare books and first editions are the perfect way to evoke the spirit of the Irish.
Original article posted on Trov.com
Necklace and Earrings, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960 The sarpesh boast amazing hidden details. Two of the pieces are backed with enamel, a feature that can be found in other Indian jewelry, namely kundan work earring and jewelry suites. Often adorned as part of an Indian wedding trousseau, kundan suites are typically comprised of elaborate bib form necklaces and teardrop earrings. “The kundan technique is unique to India,” explains Dr. Samina Khanyari of Samina Inc., the Indian and Islamic jeweled arts gallery based in London. “The stone is set with the purest soft gold wire by simple pressure pinching and hammering. This simple process is the most difficult. Great skill and craftsmanship are required to master this technique.” Bib form necklaces with graduated plaque designs provide amble space for ornate enamel detailing on the reverse. “Enamel work, or minakari, is another technique which shows the quality of a piece of jewelry. The style and quality of motifs in sublime jewel-like colors are a mark of sophisticated craftsmanship,” she explains.
Enamel Detail, Necklace, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960 Also featured in the Al-Thani collection exhibit are examples of Indian jewelry’s influence on the West. Not only in style, although the exotic, spontaneous effect of Indian jewelry has inspired countless Western designers. Jewelry also played a role in navigating the tempestuous waters of world politics. The Nizam of Hyderabad and others in India strengthened their complex relationships with European royalty by giving spectacular pieces of jewelry as wedding gifts. Examples from Cartier not only show the wealth, taste, and command of natural resources at the Indian ruler’s disposal, but the synthesis of two cultures negotiating politics and power. In terms of dispersion, the bib necklace and drop earrings are two design motifs that continue to surface on the red carpet. Bold earrings were the statement piece of the 2015 awards season, from Helen Mirren’s diamond and ruby pair by Chopard at the Golden Globes to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fire Phoenix earrings by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie at the Oscars. No doubt, the modern chandelier earring has been influenced by the beaded tassels that fall from classic Indian sets.
Earrings with Diamonds and Ruby Cabochons, Gilt Silver Although assessing Indian jewelry on the secondary market is no easy task, a few key details can shed light on the craftsmanship of a given piece. “The quality of gold and precious gems, the cut of stones, and technique of stone setting, the enamel work, are all significant in determining the quality of a piece of Indian jewelry,” says Dr. Khanyari. While the upper echelons of society demanded the very best, their jewelry inspired countless similar pieces of varying quality. “One of the main problems in acquiring Mughal and antique Indian jewelry is that this type of jewelry is still being made in India. There are master craftsmen who still use the same technique to produce the most exquisite jewels.”
Necklace with 220 Rubies and 984 Diamonds, Gold and Silver One does not have to travel to India to find a well-crafted vintage piece. Jewelry auctions, like those at Auctionata, offer one-of-a-kind finds at accessible prices. As Dr. Khanyari attests, “It is best to rely on experience and an eye for quality to acquire the right piece.” Ultimately, expertise develops with time and remains an indispensable part of the buying process. Original article posted on Forbes Life