Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bejeweled Home

Jewelry has been a staple of luxury for the wealthy and powerful for generations. Necklaces and jewels worn by royalty, heads of state, and style icons have both been objects of admiration and envy. These glimmering affectations have for centuries been as much a part of history as the men and women who donned them. The most beautiful have incited crimes of passion, controversy, and even political turmoil and scandal. 
In the late 1700’s, the French Queen, Marie Antoinette was placed in the middle of such a scandal. A very expensive necklace made with a large number of diamonds was purchased under the name of the queen by an ambitious woman who plotted to gain wealth and power through the acquisition of the item. This event would later be known as “The Affair of the Diamond Necklace”. The scandal would serve to discredit the Bourbon monarchy in the eyes of the French people. The events that followed would lead to the French Revolution. In 2001 Hilary Swank starred in a film based on the events of the great deception as Jeanne de Valois, the woman who tricked the French court.
Accomplishments in the making of jewelry have created the world’s most beautiful pieces of wearable art. High profile, high glamour events double as an exclusive viewing of the best jewels accessible only to the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people. 
Fortunately, beauty is not exclusive to the very rich. In Murano, the world’s best glassblowers create the most magnificent glass art, including glass jewelry. 
The work of these artisans expands far beyond creating jewelry. The small Italian island is punctuated with glass sculptures, stores that sell hand blown ornaments, and factories that keep the timeless art of Venetian glass making alive. 
Beautiful chandeliers come to life in the forges of this famous island creating “jewelry”, on a grand scale, for adorning the home.  
While admiring some of the most incredible jewelry in the press these days, we can’t help but be reminded of  the exquisite Murano glass we have in our inventory. Take a look at the stunning frills worn by the world’s elite, and then check out which of our pieces they resemble. You can bejewel your home with these precious gems.

A dream came true for South African commoner Charlene Wittstock last year when she became Princess Charlene of Monaco. 1,237 diamonds, 6 gorgeous pearls and 18K rose gold create the Infinite Cascade rippling gracefully around her neck.

Italian Murano Clear Glass Chandelier by Venini


A masterpiece from Murano, this stunning Italian chandelier is an incredible example of the great things that come from the small island. Similar to the Princess of Monaco’s Infinite Cascade, the strong architecture of this piece achieved by overlapping glass columns make a visually striking pattern. A very strong statement piece.


Arguably the most important diamond on the market today, the Majestic Pink Diamond is worthy of royalty. An astonishing 12.27-carat Natural Fancy pink stone, this magnificent gem boasts the purest pink color we have ever seen.

Magnificent Light Amethyst Murano Glass Chandelier


Likewise, this Light Amethyst Murano Chandelier gleams with a dainty blush. Circa 1980’s, 12 incredible flowing branches with pendants hanging from each one complete this Italian masterpiece.

Elizabeth Taylor at the Lawrence of Arabia premiere, looking graceful in her prime. Known for her beauty, her talent, and her exquisite taste, this pair of emeralds accompanied her to a high profile gathering of Hollywood’s elite.

Gorgeous Pair of Murano Sea Green Glass Lamps

Hand blown and imported from Italy, this pair of lamps are absolutely wonderful! With their unique green hue and golden tones, these lamps are definitely a pair of stand-outs. Natural tones allow these gorgeous pieces to seamlessly blend into almost any type of decor.

Van Cleef and Arpels is a French jeweler and watchmaker founded in 1896 by Charles Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. They opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 Place Vendome, Paris. Van Cleef and Arpels are renowned for their expertise in precious stones and have won particular acclaim for a groundbreaking gem-setting procedure known as the Mystery Setting. This piece circa 1980’s is an excellent example of their beautiful work.

Fabulous Murano Glass Chandelier by Cenedese

Also from the 1980’s, this stunning chandelier achieves its beauty by the overlapping of over 80  glass flowers in opalina and clear glass made from antique molds. A reflective chrome structure holds the pieces together to form a sphere of wonderful white petaled gems.

Vintage 60-70’s, this elegant ring boasts a milky lavender stone mounted in 14k gold.  The cabochon lavender stone is a definite eye catcher.

Unique Pair of Opalina Periwinkle Murano Glass Lamps


This pair of opalina periwinkle Murano glass lamps with 23 carat “polvero d’oro” (gold leaf flecks) infused rings is in perfect condition. Their unique color make them even more desirable. With perfect proportion combined with the beautiful periwinkle glass, this pair is sure to bring a funky but quiet elegance into any home.

Worn by two royal brides-to-be, this particular sapphire has engaged two women into the House of Windsor. Originally picked out by the Princess Diana in 1981 as her engagement ring to Prince Charles, this astonishing sapphire now graces the hand of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and wife to Prince William of England.

Italian Pair of Cerulean Blue Murano Glass Lamps


The association of blue to royalty has been a long time tradition. The cerulean variation to the stately blue donned by the noble elite imbues the color of this wonderful pair of Murano glass lamps. Stunning as they are, 23 carat gold flecks are infused into the hand blown glass; truly a magnificent pairing.
The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby is insured for $150,000. It sits as a part of the collection at The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. This 138.7 carat stone was found in a mine in Sri Lanka, and is held as one of the most beautiful rubies ever unearthed.

Pair of Ruby Red Murano Glass Lamps


Looking for a great statement piece? These lamps are just the ticket! Stunningly boasting a rich ruby red color, this pair of Murano artistry definitely turns up the heat on amazing decor. Intricate details punctuate the glass structures of these lamps. Indented grooves cascading around the hand blown glass structures show the delicacy of Italian glassblowing.
The Centenary Diamond was discovered in the Premier Mine on July 17, 1986 using their X-ray imaging system. The original rough was 599 carat and it was presented on May 11, 1988 in the Centennial Celebration of the De Beers Consolidated Mines. Indeed, it is one of the largest top-color diamonds ever found.

Beautiful Kinkeldey German Crystal and Chrome Chandelier

A beautiful vintage German chandelier with six tiers of hand cut crystals on a chrome structure. The fixtures shines like a diamond. Each piece is cut with precise beauty, and together as a chandelier, they form an incredibly exquisite accessory made for any type of design aesthetic.  
Chandeliers and lighting function as jewelry for the home. As far as glass goes, Murano creates the most incredible pieces of decor. From jewelry, to lamps, to sculptures and chandeliers, the small Italian island is a timeless staple to the art of interior design. Visit our website and pop into our gallery to see what gems we can outfit your home with.
Murano Glass Chandelier available at Jean-Marc Fray Antiques and at
Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 05:08:00 PM
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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Pair of Directoire Hand Painted Bergeres

French Directoire Pair of Hand Painted Bergères



Stately and comfortable. Re-upholstered in grey Belgian linen, this pair from the 1900’s exude a quiet dignity with their patinated tone and perfect size. These wonderful chairs have withstood the test of time. The hand-painted fruit wood provides a very sturdy structure. The reupholstered cushions are soft and cozy. This pair is difficult not to fall in love with. Come on in and have a seat!

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 08:04:00 PM
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