Good morning, my darlings! It’s been a while since we’ve done a good old fashioned store profile, but I’ve got a great one for you here today. We’re going to be taking a look at the fantastic A Brandt and Son, a family-owned antique and vintage jewelry store outside of Philly.
I was in Philly for a weekend away with my husband (a weekend that I do admit was supposed to be jewelry-free) when the patient Mr. DitL agreed that sure, we could stop by just one jewelry store. I’d been following A Brandt and Son online for a while and had seen some of their treasures once at the NYC Big Flea, so I was thrilled to have a chance to go visit them in person.
A Brandt and Son‘s online description is “A. Brandt + Son offers an extensive collection of Antique and Estate Jewelry, specializing in pieces from the Georgian era through the Contemporary period.” This sounds vague, but I assure you it’s completely accurate.
They do specialize in everything between Georgian and Contemporary. Their selection is exceptional, and it ranges evenly across all of those eras. I saw exceptional antique chains, Georgian necklaces, Edwardian pendants, engagement rings from all eras, mourning rings, and more – not to mention the swoonworthy motherload of Victorian lockets (see please above and drool).
Let’s take a look at some of the treasures I saw there.
A Brandt and Son had one of the best in-store selections of midrange Art Deco engagement rings I’ve seen anywhere. The kind that the majority of people will actually be able to afford: bigger than a twinkle but smaller than a boulder, and with plenty of knee-weakening detail. But I admit I’m biased; my own ring would fit into this stack perfectly.
One of my favorite things about A Brandt and Son is that they really did have excellent examples of pieces from all categories, from the most accessible – classic Art Deco engagement rings – to the unusual, like this Victorian skeleton key pendant.
Each key features a retractable hidden function. The left key hides a small knife blade and the right, a pencil.
One of the best man-in-the-moon rings I’ve ever seen!
This beauty is Victorian, and the man in the moon is actually carved rock crystal rather than moonstone, which is more commonly used in pieces like this. It reflects light in a ghostly glow, ethereal and captivating.
I mentioned above that A Brandt and Son has an exceptional collection of lockets, so of course I need to show you a few. This one – with its colorful, perfectly preserved portrait of an exotic beauty – is too good not to spotlight.
Here’s a closer view. Aren’t those details incredible? You can see the artist’s shadowing on the pearls.
Speaking of fabulous women: it’s worth mentioning that the A in A Brandt and Son stands for Annette. It’s a mother/son business. If you needed one more reason to want to get to know A Brandt and Son better, that’s a great one. And yes: that’s also why I’m running this post right after Mother’s Day weekend.
Here’s something very cool and completely different – an absolutely enormous Victorian sterling silver-topped 15k gold arrow brooch with diamonds. This monster is a full 5.5 inches long and boasts 9.5 carats of rose and old mine cut diamonds. Old and wonderful.
You should also be aware that because of a bakery (or something?) A Brandt and Son’s entire street smells like sugar and butter. It makes you feel like you’re in some kind of jewelry-filled Willy Wonka wonderland.
Here’s a close up of one of my personal favorites. This Georgian chrysoberyl ring is remarkable in several ways, most notably in its exceptional size and the quality that it retains. With 9 carats of chrysoberyl in rose gold, it’s like the world’s most beautiful turtle.
If this beauty looks familiar, that’s because it was in my 2015 holiday gift guide. It’s since been sold, so I guess someone took my advice!
I’ve been realizing recently how much I love archaeological revival jewelry. This Victorian era pendant is a glorious gold mishmash – with a scarab, rams heads, and traditional Etruscan styling, it’s an exquisite example of the 19th century mania for styles from the past.
It’s also gorgeous in its own right, besides being an example of an interesting aesthetic movement.
Another one from the totally random and amazing category: these huge and glorious Victorian tiger cufflinks. They’re made from reverse carved rock crystal crystal, and they’re mind-blowingly awesome. Cufflinks!
They’re set in rosy gold and come in what is believed to be their original box, in case you needed them to get any cooler.
Another group of diamond rings, all much older than the bevy of Art Deco beauties I showed you up above. These are more unusual and I love them with all of my heart. Especially that magnificently chunky 5 stone band at the bottom, which I will never stop pining for.
This chunky beauty is Victorian era as well – early Victorian, around 185o. It’s a fairly large pendant, with rose cut diamonds in silver-topped gold and three sizable emeralds.
This one definitely feels Indian-inspired to me, with those floral elements and the luscious emerald beads.
Here’s a selection of some of the other rings A Brandt and Son has to offer – a trio of mourning rings and intaglios.
And here’s a close look at one of the remarkable mourning rings. This one is Victorian, and it opens to reveal a locket compartment with a compelling antique photo perfectly fitted inside. The front of the locket features a carved agate shield.
A collector’s item for sure.
I think you’re familiar enough by now with my love of Victorian turquoise to not be shocked when I tell you of my love for this locket. It haunts my dreams.
So there you have it. A Brandt and Son, my dears. If you like old jewelry of any kind, it’s worth your time to go see them. They also have a very good website, for long-distance browsing and buying. I highly recommend you check it out.