How To : Shop Estate Sale Jewelry.

Charleston-based boutique, Candy Shop Vintage, is one of my favorite destinations for a good piece of vintage or vintage-inspired jewelry. As you know, I love anything vintage or antique, and I'm in awe of how shop founder Deirdre Zahl sources and designs her jewelry pieces.

My personal favorite from her collection are the Charleston Rice Beads. I just love the colors and the thoughtfulness that is so clearly put into crafting each bracelet, necklace, earring and ring. I spoke with Deirdre and learned some of her best secrets for finding quality pieces of vintage jewelry, and gained some insight into what inspires her vintage designs.

You know I love sourcing vintage but jewelry has always been one thing I've steared clear of. I think it's the mass quantities I come across, it can seem overwhelming. And I am never quite sure which pieces are actually worth investing in, beyond just selecting what I instantly fall in love with. Not a bad strategy and one I've leaned on thus far but hopefully these pointers fro Deirdre will help you make a more informed decision. Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!. 

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heirloomed: What are your favorite kinds of pieces to look for when you're shopping for vintage jewelry?

Deirdre: I am definitely drawn to big, bold statement pieces from the 60's-80's that are colorful, unique and still in great condition.

heirloomed: I frequent so many antique markets / vintage shops / thrift stores and there is always SO much jewelry to sort through. If I walk up to a huge case of jewelry, where do I start?

Deirdre: For myself, I just shop for styles that I am personally drawn to. It can be overwhelming to look at a big tray or case of jewelry, or dig through a pile of it, but I usually just start in one corner and kind of scan the whole thing bit by bit and interesting pieces start to pop out at you. 

Candy Shop Vintage Charleston
Deirdre Candy Shop Vintage Charleston

heirloomed: Are there any particular designers or hallmark pieces you should keep your eye out for when shopping vintage jewelry?

Deirdre: Some great names and signatures to look for are Trifari, Napier, Avon, D&E (also went by Juliana). Ciner, Panetta, Givenchy, Sarah Coventry, Joan Rivers, Kenneth J. Lane and CHANEL of course. These designers and design houses all make great pieces.

heirloomed: Is there anything you should avoid or be cautious of when buying vintage jewelry?

Deirdre: I examine pieces pretty carefully. I make sure there is not a lot of wear to the finish (with vintage costume jewelry once the finish wears off there is no way to polish or replate). I test clip earring backs on my ears because sometimes the backs can loosen with age. I avoid screw back earrings because they do not sell well and are uncomfortable to wear. And with pins and brooches I always make sure the little pin mechanism opens and closes easily and hasn't rusted or worn out. I also test out all the clasps on necklaces and bracelets.

heirloomed: What are some of your favorite vintage details in jewelry? (i.e.: clasps, design features, finishes / stones / colors, etc)

Deirdre: D&E/Juliana vintage jewelry was really known for its stones. Their beautiful, complicated rhinestone pieces are often set with stones you would be hard pressed to find anymore - with gradients of color or cut in interesting shapes. Also, any costume jewelry made pre-1980 generally had a much higher grade plating than contemporary jewelry - so you are really buying pieces with a better finish and a higher gold content when you are talking about vintage. There is a mechanical brooch I have in my collection that was known as a "Night and Day Brooch" and is a metal flower that can open and close as if going from night to day. It really is an amazing piece of micro-engineering! There is also a genre of jewelry called "Tremblers" where little springs are soldered under details like flower petals or insect wings and make the pieces appear to move or "tremble."

heirloomed: What is popular these days in terms of vintage jewelry / trends you’re seeing now or for the upcoming seasons?

Deirdre: I was recently in LA and there is an amazing exhibit down on the bottom floor of the Griffith Observatory of celestial jewelry. There are hundreds of pieces of celestial themed pieces of costume jewelry, starting in the 1920's and going all the way to the present as you walk along the wall where the exhibit is. I think celestial jewelry is starting to have a moment again - especially with the recent eclipse - and we will see more and more of it in the months and year to come.

turquoise rice beads
rose gold rice beads

heirloomed: How important is it to find the jewelry in the original box, how much better is it to find a complete / matching set / etc.

Deirdre: I definitely think that finding jewelry as a set or in an original box hugely improved the value in terms of what a collector might be willing to pay for something. And complete sets are always more valuable to collectors than incomplete. However, I find that people buying jewelry to wear themselves (as opposed to collect for inherent value) tend not to buy sets as it has a bit of a dated feel to be to matchy.

heirloomed: What do you think about certain vintage jewelry pieces, like brooches or clip on / screw back earrings, that are gorgeous but maybe not used as much these days?

Deirdre: Brooches never seem to quite make a real comeback as a category of jewelry. People keep suggesting they will but no matter what it is hard to make a brooch look very modern, or at least not very youthful. Screw back earrings are definitely a thing of the past. They are uncomfortable and don't hold well. I think they preceded even the clip and obviously the modern posts and hooks.

heirloomed: What is the most amazing vintage jewelry piece you’ve come across?

Deirdre: I found a vintage olo style necklace by Benedetto Panetta and incredible designer from the early 1920's with a background in fine jewelry. I paid $5 and it was definitely worth a few hundred dollars, although I ended up giving it as a gift to the mom of a style editor who has featured our jewelry regularly. I found a big, gold Egyptian inspired replica cuff (in its original box) from the collection Elizabeth Taylor designed around her movie Cleopatra. I also had a Tortolani zodiac cuff in my possession for awhile - a big, runway cuff from the 70's by an Italian designer with all the zodiac signs carved into it. A guy came into my shop and bought it for his wife as an apology gift - he must have done something really bad because it was the most expensive piece we had! And I recently found some really fun, absurdly oversized "Halloween-esque" contemporary brooches - one is a jeweled spider the size of my hand, and the other one an almost life size skeleton hand brooch that sits on your shoulder.

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heirloomed: Do you have any heirloom jewelry pieces that have been passed down to you / what is one of your most special pieces of jewelry and why / story?

Deirdre: I inherited some delicate, costume pieces from my grandmother, including an art deco style necklace I wore in my wedding. It was just so perfect. My mother-in-law also gave me a huge, cocktail ring that looks a lot like a cornucopia but it set with tiny, semi-precious stones (it was passed down from her mother-in-law, my husband's grandmother and purchased abroad for her by her husband who was an explorer for National Geographic!).

heirloomed: Where did your passion for vintage jewelry + design come from?

Deirdre: I've always been artistic - and also always interested in fashion and collecting. I think it was a natural progression from fine art, to kind of the artistic side of the world of accessories and the history that informs is.

heirloomed: What made you decide to start Candy Shop Vintage?

Deirdre: Honestly, I started it on a bit of a whim after hosting a couple of successful vintage jewelry trunk shows in Charleston. When I moved here ten years ago, it was a much smaller city, and I had a hard time finding a job that both paid well and held my interest or encompassed all of my skills. I worked for awhile in interior design which led me to hunting in antiques markets and shows and thus collecting and reselling jewelry. It all happened pretty organically and then about four years ago I decided to formalize it as a business and go for it full time and also try my hand at design.


Also, be sure to check out this fun collaboration Deirdre did with CINER and stay tune for her upcoming holiday collaboration with MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and I Heart Radio.  And of course, if you ever find yourself in Charleston, be sure to stop by and say hi to her at her shop on 9 Cannon Street.


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how to shop estate sale and vintage jewelry / heirloomed
 

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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

An Heirloom Ledger for your Stories.

As part of our Southern Artisan Collection this season, I'm so excited to add this keepsake Heirloom Ledger from the sweetest  Mother-Daughter duo at Sweet Olive Heirloom

Mother Hydie and daughter Carley both have a love for tradition that began generations ago. After the birth of her third child in 1999, Hydie realized that she wanted a ledger to keep track of little memories, like the one her grandparents - Nonee and Lala - had when her own parents were growing up. 

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Soon enough she had a ledger and began recording in it when Carley was 6 years old. The ledger filled up after 13 years of memories were recorded. To this day, Hydie reads back over the stories and is struck by the vivid memories. Hydie and Carley realized that there was something special about a ledger as compared to a photograph or album, and wanted to share that with the world. Thus, Sweet Olive Heirloom and the Heirloom Ledger were born.

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The Heirloom Ledger is more than a book - it's beautifully designed and crafted down to the last detail. The book is hardcover, wrapped in gray linen and Smyth-Sewn. When you order your ledger, it comes in a perfect gift box, the ledger wrapped in tissue and tied with twine. Oh - and book plate personalization is included so that you can add a meaningful message. All of the text in the book is written in the most delicate, gorgeous calligraphy. 

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You can use your ledger to jot down family stories, notes for your children, as a personal journal, to record baby's significant moments or milestones, or as a prayer journal or guest book. 

There are so many meaningful ways to use your book. Love to hear how you'd use yours! #HEIRLOOMED


SHOP THE COLLECTION: 
 


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

White Wine Mussels.

I might not be much of a meat eater but this seventh-generation Florida girl hasn’t met a seafood dish she didn’t like. 

Some of the best days I can remember are beach days at St. George Island on the gulf coast, long before the “30A”  popularity of today, having spent the entire day in the sun and sand. We would finish the day by swinging by the docks to get a few pounds of fresh fish, shrimp or scallops from the local fishermen’s fresh catch.

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There aren’t too many dishes I won’t tackle at home these days, but one I used to reserve for restaurant meals was Mussels. The rich, savory flavors give nod to my Grandmother’s French roots and if they’re on the menu they’re usually my go-to order. 

I decided to give them a try and realized just how simple, and simply delicious, my favorite dish really is. The shiny black shells mixed with the creamy base sauce and hints of herbs truly make a gorgeous dish on the table and they’re especially great for an easy, impressive meal for a crowd. I would highly recommend if you love mussels that you give them a try for yourself.

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White Wine Mussels

3 pounds mussels, scrubbed

4 Tbsp Butter (+ extra for buttering baguette slices)

3 green onions, finely sliced

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 sprigs of thyme

1 1/4  cup dry white wine

1 /1/2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Kosher salt and pepper to taste 

To begin, wash mussels under cold water. Toss the ones that remain open into the trash. In a large pot (or dutch oven) heat the butter over medium heat until melted, then increase heat to high, adding green onions, garlic and thyme. Sautee for 1 to 2 minutes. Add mussels to the butter mixture and cover, steaming for 6-8 minutes or until mussels open. Remove thyme sprigs and pour in the cream, white wine, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together gently. 

Slice the baguette and top with a small amount of butter. Arrange bread on a pan and bake at 375 on the top rack for 5 minutes or until bread is lightly browned. Enjoy the browned bread with the mussels. 

Seafood is such a quick and easy meal but I know a lot of people can be intimidated by actually making it themselves at home. Love to know your favorite seafood dish to tackle at home.  #HEIRLOOMED

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RELATED STORIES:


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

New Cookbooks You Should Know About.

When building my house I measured every cookbook from the tallest to the smallest of my collection and custom built a shelf (ok, shelves) in my pantry to perfectly house them all. If I could buy each and every single one as a hard copy, I would.

I'm one of those old school people that just loves flipping through a magazine and a cookbook IRL, as they say. And I know there's a lot of us out there. SO, I thought I'd share a little roundup of some of my favorite cookbooks that have recently been released, and a few that are on pre-order that you will want to go ahead and snag.

Love to know if there are any others on your list that I may have missed! I even slipped one or two non-cookbook in the mix because I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. And, word on the street is that Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame is coming out with her own cookbook very soon (insert your swoon here!)


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

More from Chef Damaris Phillips.

I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that I love a good cooking or food-related TV show. One of my favorite people to watch is Chef Damaris Phillips. 

You might recognize her as one of the winners from Food Network Star, which led her to her own show, Southern at Heart. The show ran for several seasons on Food Network and I'm so thankful that she wore just about every one of our aprons across the episodes. This season, she has two brand new shows that you just have to catch, The Bobby & Damaris Show with the always-popular Chef Bobby Flay and Southern + Hungry with Rutledge Wood.

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Not too long ago, she was even sweet enough to co-designed a special apron for us in this limited edition collection - take a peek here .

Not only is she fun to watch on TV, her personality shines through on her Instagram and Facebook Live. She's so full of life!

Oh, and I can't forget that she has a new cookbook, Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy. It's a collection of timeless recipes that combine the best parts of being a vegetarian and a meat eater, inspired by her own marriage. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy (it's on presale now) but from the Amazon preview it looks like our aprons will be making another debut.

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Damaris isn't only an amazing chef and southern personality, she's a great supporter of ours and we don't think you'll regret keeping up with her on TV, social media, and everywhere in between. So thankful for her support over the years so just wanted to share and I hope you guys will give her some love and support right back!


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com