This week, I am so excited to bring you an interview with Lily from the sophisticated, fun and quirky @wear_jewellery instagram account. I met Lily a few years ago, pouring over 20s and 30s jewellery at the monthly Wentworth Park, Antiques and Collectables Fair. We’ve been really good friends ever since. Here are her thoughts on vintage jewellery.
What sparked your interest in Vintage Jewellery?
I’ve always loved jewellery - all jewellery. Re-organising my mother’s jewellery box was a major hobby when I was little. My love of vintage jewellery, in particular, was first sparked by wandering around ‘The Vic’. A large Antiques and Vintage shop, “The Victory’, is an old converted theatre in Blackheath, at the top of Blue Mountains outside Sydney. We have a farm nearby and would often stop at Blackheath to get food. I would always ask to go and look at ‘The Vic’ and escape the fruit and veg run. I felt very grown-up being allowed to look around by myself when I was around 10.
Then, as now, there was such variety. Expensive diamond rings to dream about, blacker than black jet mourning jewellery, cheerful murano glass beads and enamelled butterflies in amongst the homewares, clothes and books. My father bought me my first vintage brooch from The Vic in 1995. A little retro kiwi with a mother of pearl tummy. A Kiwi bird - not a Kiwi fruit! I still treasure it.
The spark of interest blazed to life when I started travelling overseas more during university. On one trip I was travelling alone visiting friends in different cities. I found the delightful Toma, from The Antiques Diva who arranged some jewellery based tours for me. I learnt so much. I’m hooked now...there is no return.
How often will you wear a piece of vintage jewellery?
Usually 2-3 times a week easily. However, now I’m on maternity leave and as my 9 month old enjoys chewing and pulling my jewellery, it’s down to about once a week!
Do you presently have a favourite piece?
Tough question...I am enjoying a silver tone brooch I bought just last weekend. It’s a Sarah Coventry piece called ‘Mr Seagull’ and it’s easy to pop on with a casual look. It’s also robust and childproof.
Do you have a particular vintage market you like to visit regularly?
Price wise, for accessible pieces, I enjoy the Collectables and Antique Market, on monthly at Wentworth Park in Sydney, local rotary markets and Rozelle Market. I always enjoy the two big fairs held in Sydney as well - The Sydney Fair and the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association Fair.
If I could teleport myself across the world, I would happy visit Les Puces in Paris most weekends.
Is there any particular style of vintage jewellery you’re currently seeking?
I like to be able to wear my purchases often - so actual ‘wearability’ of styles is important to me. I have a real love of green and brown necklaces - green Peking glass, green glass beads, jade, brown and autumn tone bakelite - they are my thing. I’m also keen to do another brooch to necklace conversion - maybe a crescent moon??
It’s difficult to look for ‘the one’ with vintage jewellery the same way you think “I need some new jeans - I’ll go buy some”. When shopping for vintage, you just don’t know what you will find on any given day. I’m always seeking good quality pieces that I love - whatever the style.
Thank you so much Lily, for taking the time to answer my questions about your love of vintage jewellery. I think we should definitely organise a vintage seeking trip to Paris and New York soon! If you’re reading this interview and you’re not following Lily on instagram, you can find her here. I highly recommend you do. Enjoy!