Happy Monday, kittens! I finally have my photos all edited and I’m ready to show you what I saw at the The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show!
Unlike most antique jewelry shows, the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show is not open to the public: you have to be a dealer (or registered attendee of the JCK or Couture trade shows, or a lucky member of the media) to attend.
This means that almost everyone there is there to get down to serious business, rather than just admiring the pretties. It’s a high-energy environment that attracts a lot of top-shelf dealers with exquisite pieces to offer. I had a marvelous time.
Because the show attracts such great jewelry, there were a lot of fun jewelry people around, too! I was lucky enough to have pre-show breakfast with the lovely Beth Bernstein, Susan of Circa 1700, and Anya of GemFever, all of whom brought fierce jewelry game to the breakfast table. That’s Beth’s bling on the right, Anya’s on the left.
The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show is what I would call a medium-sized antique jewelry show: it’s one casino ballroom – about half the size of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. Doable in one day if you’re okay with not seeing everything. I only gave myself one day there, and while it was hard to tear myself away knowing I wasn’t coming back, I did see a lot of amazing pieces.
I made a beeline straight for Lowther Antiques: not only are Pat and Virginia two of my favorite jewelry-dealing ladies to chat with, they also have a dependably mind-blowing selection.
Just look at these glorious Georgian jewels from Lowther Antiques.
These caught the light like nobody’s business. Extraordinary condition for pieces of jewelry that have been around more than twice as long as any living human.
One of my favorite things about the Las Vegas Antique and Watch Show was the combination of serious quality and incredible variety of the pieces present: I went straight from admiring three hundred year old treasures at Lowther Antiques to having my mind blown by this insane vintage Buccellati beetle at D.K. Bressler. Solid gold, textured in Buccellati’s signature style. Ridiculously amazing.
HOLY Art Deco bracelets, Mr. Gatsby. Triple perfection from Keyamour.
One with onyx, one with filigree, one with sapphires. All diamonds in platinum, all perfect. Please can I have these? I will love them forever.
You know I love a good antique snake. This beauty – which I thought was pendant, but which I believe is actually a brooch – features ruby eyes, an emerald head, and plenty of chunky old cut diamonds. At Humphrey Butler.
Two rings from the 1700’s, both spotted at Roy Rover. The pink ring is paste, the other is chrysolite. Wonderful color from both.
Two Georgian seed pearl brooches in staggeringly perfect condition. Look at those teeny tiny, impeccable pearl designs over vivid blue enamel. So sentimental and beautiful.
There were lots of remarkable Georgian pieces at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show. These were from Landsberg and Son Antiques.
Gorgeous Victorian amphora/urn earrings at MaryAnntiques!
These beauties are a great example of the Etruscan Revival of that era – you can see it in the Greek-feeling blue and white enamel, the textured details that recall granulation, and the classically inspired silhouette.
Another beautiful and rare piece from from Lowther Antiques.
This is a coque de perle necklace, which is a term I had never heard before Virginia pulled this baby out and said “Here something you’ll like.” This particular example dates to around 1820-1840. Coque de perle necklaces are made from polished Nautilus shell nacre (mother of pearl) accentuated with cut steel – like in this piece – or marcasite. These beauties aren’t particularly durable, which makes them especially hard to find. This one was utterly pristine.
Anyone familiar with my ever-growing love for Victorian Renaissance Revival pieces will be unsurprised to learn that I was obsessed with this brooch. Look at the delicate whorls of the design, the careful enamel polka dots, the whispers of pink at the edges!!
Unsigned, but clearly the work of someone with great skill. At Humphrey Butler.
Truly spectacular Burma ruby and diamond earrings from M. Khordipour. They’re Edwardian era and they make me weak in the knees.
(You might be familiar with M. Khordipour’s other, engagement ring-focused business, Estate Diamond Jewelry, whose killer rings are featured in this article.)
The loveliest Edwardian diamond bracelet! So delicate, and so gorgeously articulated. The fine folks of Humphrey Butler think that this piece started life as a diadem – a platinum and diamond headband.
Two exceptional little pieces from Lowther Antiques. These each have a flaming heart motif on one side and a Lover’s Eye on the other. The one with a date is a mourning piece, the other one may have just been a love token.
This incredible find is also from Lowther Antiques. The brooch is circa 1840’s-1860’s – and features woven seed pearls centered by carefully braided hairwork. It comes in a custom antique brooch with a very special note sewn in: the note, dated 1928, identifies the brooch as “Gran’s silver strands.”
I don’t know how such a meaningful heirloom became separated from its family, but I hope the right collector will come along to buy this wonderful piece and preserve it exactly as it is. One of my very favorites from the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show.
I’ve learned I have a weakness for Portuguese earrings from the 1700’s. This glorious pair features chunky old amethysts in marvelously worked gold, and are even better in motion so be sure to check out the video on my Instagram. I flipped one over for those of you who love to see how things are put together.
Spotted at Spicer Warin.
Two Georgian crowned heart rings from Lowther Antiques. This is one of my very favorite antique ring styles, romantically rendered here in ruby and diamond. The ring on the left is 1820’s-1840’s, the other from around 1800.
The ring on the right is the piece I most wanted to bring home from the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show, but alas, it’s not in my current freelance writer/blogger budget.
Oh, wait. That crowned heart ring may have been the piece I wanted the most IRL, but this ring was the ring of my dreams. An 8.18 hexagonal diamond in a pristine and lacy Belle Epoque platinum setting…and it’s basically never been worn.
How is that possible? Well, this ring was purchased in Paris in 1910. The unfortunate buyer immediately bet the ring in a game of cards against a Duke, and lost. The Duke then took the ring home and misplaced it. It was believed to have been stolen until the 1990s, when the Duke’s granddaughter found it while searching the house for her lost pet hamster.
Can you even? The backstory’s as good as the ring, and the ring is insane. Take my money, Simon Teakle.
This piece is so good that it was actually pictured on the cover of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show directory. It’s circa 1880’s, with classic Victorian Renaissance revival enamel work and a truly extraordinary cameo.
It’s another M. Khordipour treasure (I’m going to be writing more about this fantastic dealer soon, don’t you worry). This piece isn’t just beautiful, it’s signed: it bears the mark of renowned French goldsmith, Froment-Meurice.
So there you have it. If you’re a jewelry dealer or if you attend the other major June jewelry shows in Vegas, the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch show is well worth a visit. The only downside is that I was too busy looking at everything to remember to try to find myself a souvenir!