Whereas strolling by Portobello Market in London greater than eight years in the past, Erica Weiner, who sells antique jewelry online, noticed one thing bizarre. “There was a hoop set with stones, however not symmetrically, and never in significantly complementary colours,” she mentioned in a cellphone interview from her house in New York’s Hudson Valley.
It was an instance of acrostic jewellery, a supplier informed her, a design that includes a sort of puzzle.
As Camille Cuvelier, who sells such vintage items on her web site Galerie Penelope, mentioned: “Each bit has a message.”
Throughout an interview in her condominium in Paris, Ms. Cuvelier picked up a hoop to show. “The primary letter of every stone spells one thing,” she mentioned, indicating the road of small gems: ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond — or “regard,” a well-liked sentiment from the previous.
She additionally confirmed a Victorian bracelet set with malachite, amethyst, emerald, sunstone, turquoise and agate, spelling “maesta.” The phrase maestá means majesty in Italian, and sometimes is used to refer to photographs of the Madonna and the kid Jesus.
“Acrostic jewellery grew to become fashionable within the nineteenth century, which was a sentimental century,” Ms. Cuvelier mentioned, including, “All the jewellery had a narrative behind it.” That spirit resonates at this time, she mentioned, as a result of: “individuals wish to be completely different. That’s why classic sells so properly, you’ve gotten one thing distinctive.”
Acrostic jewellery has been made for hundreds of years by Mellerio dits Meller, the Paris jeweler that markets itself because the oldest family-run enterprise in France, involving 15 generations now that Côme Mellerio, 27, has joined the maison.
“Our archives present we made an acrostic ring again in 1806,” mentioned Diane-Sophie Lanselle, Mellerio’s improvement director, after welcoming a customer into the boutique on Rue de la Paix.
The home additionally creates a variation wherein “the primary letter of every gemstone doesn’t spell out a phrase,” Ms. Lanselle mentioned, “however as an alternative appears like a sentence when spoken.”
For instance, a hoop with lapis lazuli, amethyst, carnelian and diamond would spell “lacd.” When spoken, in French, it appears like “elle a cédé” — or “she gave in, or she surrendered,” Ms. Lanselle mentioned. “We nonetheless get requests for it.”
A block away, on the Place Vendôme, Chaumet placed on show in spring 2021 an acrostic bracelet that it had made for Napoleon to provide to Josephine. The jeweler additionally resumed making customized bracelets within the type.
Purchasers now are proven a wide range of gems, with one stone for every letter of the alphabet, together with xaga (obsidian) for the hard-to-find “x,” though in some cases there are two selections, like citrine or carnelian for “c.”
A buyer’s choice of stones, a minimal of two and most of 9, are set in a pink gold bracelet from the jeweler’s Liens line.
Chaumet mentioned it will get about one new request every week for acrostic jewellery, which additionally features a ready-made instance: a pink gold Liens bracelet with aquamarine, morganite, opal, uvite (tourmaline) and ruby, to spell “amour.”
Jean-Marc Mansvelt, Chaumet’s chief government, mentioned he rediscovered acrostic jewellery “after we did an exhibition in Beijing’s Forbidden City in 2017. We had the chance to have a trio of acrostic bracelets that Napoleon ordered for Marie-Louise, indicating the date of his start, of Marie-Louise’s start and their union. Napoleon was a romantic.”
Ms. Weiner, the web jeweler and vintage jewellery supplier, mentioned she and her enterprise accomplice, Lindsay Salmon, have been so taken with the acrostic type that they started making customized bracelets in addition to rings and necklaces, with a minimal of 1 stone and a most of 12.
And requests, she mentioned, have been as various because the gem alternatives: “Folks ask for names of kids; a collection of initials; dates; names of individuals they misplaced, like a memorial; or a spot, like Alabama, and we bought some who needed California.”
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