When I Call Your Name...
One thing I’ve noticed over the years of collecting is how easy it is to develop a shorthand for various pieces, whether it’s simply in my own head or when I’m talking about it to another person. I suppose there’s various reasons behind that, aside from it’s far easier to say Dynasty Pin than Vintage Large Pin with Huge Teardrop stones. Or, “you know, that brooch with the big rhinestones.” I have a nickname for most of the items on the site, and I thought I’d share a few, and what the nicknames mean. I’d love to if you do do the same!
The Dynasty Pin has that moniker because I bought it back when the television show originally aired. The main female characters, Krystle and Alexis, wore fabulous clothes and jewels when they weren’t having a cat fight somewhere. Actually, they often were wearing the latest 80s styles while catfighting, which made the fights even more hard to watch. Why take out your anger on a beautiful Nolan Miller suit or stunning diamond earrings?
Another few pieces have associations with my friend Joanna. We started out as college roommates and she has made wonderful additions to my collection over the years. The items you see in the store, let me assure you, are not the gifts themselves ! I’ve carefully and painstakingly sourced identical ones because she has great taste and an amazing eye. The gorgeous set by Lisner is called The Blue Set because it’s so noteworthy; I have received compliments on mine more than any other pieces when I’ve worn them. Another wonderful gift is the Joanna Pin, though it is actually a pin/pendant.
When I was in high school, I enjoyed working on plays and one of the first productions I was a part of was a pay called “Angel Street.” It is a play written in 1938 by Patrick Hamilton and is better known as Gaslight. A well known movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer was made in 1944 and directed by George Cukor. You might wonder why a play from the 1930s was being staged in the early 1980s, and when you figure it out, let me know! We did many old plays. My guess is that the rights did not cost much, and in the case of this play, the association with the movie made it more interesting to adult theatre goers. The reason for the title “Gaslight” is that (spoiler alert) the villain of the piece works to convince his wife that she is going insane, and one of the methods is by turning the gas lights in their home up and down and claiming that nothing had happened, making her doubt herself. In the end, she triumphs by using his words against him. Gaslight has also become a term to describe behaviors by people with similar intent as the villain.
How this plays into a nickname is because a key plot element are the missing Barlow Rubies. That name has always stuck with me. I’ve also wished that I had a set of jewels that would be named after me. When I first saw this brooch, I immediately thought “Barlow Rubies!” It looks like a piece that a wealthy woman would have in her jewel case, and possibly other, matching pieces as well.
Another piece with an idiosyncratic nickname is the Spirograph Pin, which is an awful pun if you are old enough to know why. It’s from the “atomic” era of jewelry, but when I first saw it, I thought it looked like one of the designs made with a Spirograph, at least, to me. When I had the toy, the plastic rings were held in place by tiny pins, which usually got lost, usually in the carpet and found in dramatic fashion.
One of my favorites is an unsigned Tortolani, but to me, it’s the Stella D'Oro Brooch. If you are not familiar with them, Stella D’Oro cookies is an eastern brand of cookies, many which had a particular look-the fluted surface and a center made of fruit or jam. They were made to go with coffee and tea, but I can vouch they are good on their own.
I'm hungry now!