With “R” for “Reliquary”

A reliquary is a small box or recipient commonly used in the past to wear hanging from the neck. The very first use was entirely religious as a case to keep relics that once belonged to saints.

Withing Christianity a reliquary is the remains of a sanctified person and by extension a relic is a memory that belonged to them or to those who met the saint and reliquary is then the tiny recipient where it was kept.


There’s evidence of reliquaries already back in the 4th century. It was found in the Treasure of Monza, a gift that Saint Gregorio gave to the queen Teodolina.

Among that treasure there are several tiny bottles very common back in the time that only had cotton wet with blessed oil or that one inside the lamps close to the tomb of a martyr.

However, over the years the use was growing in popularity and the little reliquaries started containing the remains of a close familiar. When this happened people commonly kept hairs belonging to a loved one and the name evolved to “locket”, a piece which definition you can find here.



The wedding dress inspired in the Queen Victoria’s gown

Angelina Russell was married only six weeks after the Queen Victoria of England did. This wedding was a highlight of inspiration for bridal fashion in the time.

I have decided to write a post about the queen’s bridal gown, a jewel that still today is an inspiration for designers and a truly icon in the bridal fashion. However, let me focus today in the Agelina’s design.

Although the piece is quite similar to the Queen’s, Angelina knew how to be special and she gave the gown a personal touch only brides are able to do.

The fabric was a very light silk decorated with a damask floral motive very popular back in the time. Angelina’s dress was completed with a beautiful bodice with an open neckline finished off with a hand-embroidered flounce. The top of the bodice is tight to the chest with wide casings. The front has a simple decoration though, with five beautiful laces made in the same silk.  This sort of details are still today in fashion. We still see modern brides with laces decorating a noted part in their designs.


Sleeves in Angelina’s dress are pleated ending around the elbow with another hand-embroidered flounce.

The skirt is linked to the bodice through a tiny 55 cm diameter waist. Please, go ahead and grab a meter so you can imagine what a diameter of 55 cm is. To me it’s so extrange that those women could fit in a waist of a little girl.

Angelina Russel was married with James J. Faran (1808-92) in 1840. They both moved to Cincinnati, James’ home city.

Faran became into a successful lawyer and editor. For 23 years he worked as a manager of editors in a local newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The couple lived in a modern area within the center of Cincinnati where they grew five children and enjoyed their marriage for over 50 years.


Wedding Perfection- Two Centuries of wedding Gowns- Cynthia Amnèus

Mata Hari, the goddess of the lies

Mata Hari’s story is the cronique of a lie. A well planned lie though that drove half Europe crazy during the World War. This great Dutch impostor, whose real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was in fact a liar since she was a child. She wasn’t a dancer, nor had Hindu origins and she had no training as a spy.

However her skills were obvious to many men in the time. Maybe as a fiction writer she would’ve become into a acclamed artist, but the reality is that she died facing an execution squad when she only was. By then, she already was a myth. She was obsessed with soldiers. She used to say: I’d prefer to be a poor solider’s lover rather than a wealth banquer’s.

Her baptise as Mata Hari happened in Paris. She arrived to the city of the lights from the Dutch East Indies, where she had been living after getting married to a 18 years old soldier. This marriage was like a launch pad for her and was the first stone of the cathedral of lies.


In 1902 she left her husband and a daughter and went back to Europe with the idea of succeeding in Paris with her new Hindu identity and under the name of Mata Hari (the day’s eye). Parisian’s fell soon in love with this dark-haired exotic woman who used to swing her hips to show her perfect body.

She managed to have many protectors and contracts in different European cities, but the World War started when she was in Berlin. There she was the Police Manager’s lover and after that she was the lover of the German cónsul in Amsterdam, the chief of all spionage…

mata-hari-mujeres iconicas-vintage by lopez linares1

It was actually him who thought of Mata Hari to obtain information from the French soldiers. This way she became into the Agent H-21. She was so ambitious that never thought it twice being a double agent, even though her life was in risk. It’s said she offered herself as a spy to the French Captain Ledoux, who was on charge of the French spionage. He accepted although he kept an eye on her since he already knew her fame. Other theories say she talked to him to get a letter-of-safe-conduct to travel to a different city in order to see a second lover. During the interview the French Captain offered her to spy for them.


Then her adventures with many officers around Europe began. The web she built with each one she was with ended up turning against herself. She was put under arrest and interviewed. Apparently during this inverview she said her most famous phrase: A whore? Maybe, but never a traitor!

She was accused of treason by France and sentenced to death, despite the fact that they never had enough proof of her crime. In 1917 Mata Hari was executed. She didn’t want her eyes to be bandaged, so she could see straight to the officers’ eyes one more time. Rumors say she even launched a last a provocative Kiss.

Nobody claimed her body. A huge irony for a woman whose body had been idolized. Greta Garbo popularized her in cinema in the 30’s.

mata-hari-mujeres iconicas-vintage by lopez linares


Images @Wikipedia , @María López-Linares Vintage Photography

Texto @Esther Ginés

The first rings for men arrive to our vintage collection

We are truly glad to introduce the first ring for men we add to our Vintage Collection, the reproduction of a vintage piece that was worn by Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi in this superb Raphael’s painting.

This classic and restrained composition is a great portrait, a master piece where we can see the Cardinal seated with his robes and grabbing a goblet in silver in his right hand.

I’m sure you didn’t miss the bright of the red silk and the texture in his robes. It’s just amazing. His deep-looking face shows a minor gesture with his mouth like telling you “I’m superior”.

Well, this Cardinal is wearing three rings, all of them will arrive this month to our vintage space.

Dovizi was the Pope Leon X secretary for a while and later he became the representant in France. It was around this time when he posed for one of the big masters of the Italian Rennaissance.


Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi was extremely inteligent and a brilliant humanist in his time, with a special taste for Literature. He even was the author of “The Calandria”.

Since he was a close friend to Raphael, he not only ordered this portrait to the artista but the decoration of the most beautiful and symbolic rooms in the Vatican.

For this project, Raphael counted on the help of one of his outstanding disciples: Giovanni de Udine. It was 1519 back then.

Giovanni had successfully used the technique with stucco, he even made up his own system with lime of Travertino. His master Raphael loved this discovery so he decided to count on him to decorate the three rooms in the Vatican: the stufetta (bathroom), the Loggetta and the Loggia.

Cardinal’s stufetta is particularly shocking: the decoration is a bit too much intimate and even erotic. The theme is the life of Venus and her relationship with the rest of the gods, a matter too erotic for the time, so they finally decided to cover the stuffeta with wood and make of it a little chapel.

Cardinal Bernardo was so happy with the result of the paintings that he decided to marry Raphael to his niece Mary, however this was not possible since he died before the ceremony.

And today we want to inmortalize part of Raphael’s work with this simple and classical piece of jewelry.





Images. @María López-Linares Vintage Photography 



With R for Rascamoño (Ornamental Hairclasp)

Let me put this image in your head: long needles usually decorated in one of the two ends with stones in different colors. Women used them both to hold a bun on top of the head or to just dress it.

The term describe perfectly the use we give to this vintage jewel.


It’s a piece of jewelry women use still today, specially in the Spanish are of Valencia, thanks to their popular tradition. In fact, the pics we are enclosing are about a few pieces from Maria Casanova’s family collection.

Images: María López-Linares Vintage Photography

Anita Delgado: The Spanish princess of Kapurthala

Back in the beginning of the 20th century, a powerful member of the royalty met a really beautiful – but modest origins- lady. He fell in love with her almost inmediately. Without much hesitation, he asked her to marry him. So far, this looks like the typical story through the years, but in this case, to Anita Delgado (born in Malaga in 1890) was not fiction, but the summary of her life.

When she still was young, she left her job as a singer in Madrid to get married to the maharajah of Capurthala. Anita was a “cupletista” for a living (kind of traditional singer in Spain). She used to work with her sister. Both were the duet “Camelias Sisters”. Back then she was only 16, but her life radically changed soon enough.


During the King Alfonso the 13th got married, she was hired as a singer. The rajah saw her on his way to the Royal Palace. To him it was a first sight love. According to Elisa Vázquez, princess of Kapurthala’s biographer, the maharajah arrived in an impressive carriage, wearing plenty of jewelry and a turban. But he couldn’t look apart from Anita. After just a few days, one of his assistants came with a petition of marriage. He asked her to go to Paris together with her family to plan the wedding.

She said yes. The scenerio, the French capital became this way into part of this amazing story. It was there where they got married before they moved to Bombay, the trip of her life. The fact that the maharajah already had others wives and sons didn’t matter to Anita.

After the wedding, she oficially was titled the first wife. The couple – that used to frequently travel to Europe – was always followed and admired by photographers of the time.

Anita had a boy, Ajit, and she was living a life of royal parties, receptions, trips and a very strict protocol. The many pictures of the time show a very elegant woman with a remarkable look.


Over those years, the Spanish princess wrote a diary that finally was published: The impressions of my trips to India. Her sister’s death (she still was very close to her) and many health issues – including a miscarriage and a long convalescence far from her husband – ruined what seemed to be a perfect life.

Anita ended up separating from the maharajah and came back to Europe. Over there, she had a very hectic social life, always in touch with intelectuals and celebrities until the II World War.

Anita spent the rest of her days with Gines Rodriguez, who she met many years before when she still lived in Malaga. She always wanted to write her memories, but death came in 1962 and she couldn’t make it.

The legacy of her memos, photos, missives and other documents went to her niece Victoria, who trust Elisa Vazquez to be the oficial biographer of Anita’s life. Her fascinating life has also inpired the writer Javier Moro, author of Indian Passion.


A brilliant wedding dress for a practical woman from half of the 19th century

Abigail Holmes chose for her wedding silk in golden color, which makes her different from the rest of the gown samples we’ve seen in this section “Iconic Wedding Dresses”.

Abigail was married with Clark S. Potter in October 1839 in New York and she chose an open neckline design with a bell-shaped skirt and a very tight bodice. I love that kind of designs with pleated sleeves tight over the elbow and also to the wrist.

Right those years fashion about sleeves was changing to a less bulky around the shoulders. That way that part of the body was better highlighted. Years after, sleeves started getting narrower and many women adapted their dresses to the new trend.

This dress seems to be more a daily piece rather than a wedding dress. It’s not presumptuous or ostentatious which is the opposite to the rest of the dresses we’ve seen here over the past few months. As decorations there are just a few simple wrinkles and a garland strategically set. Although this is not the only gown in color we’ve seen, if you remember the Mary Waters’ made almost a century before.

The selection of such a dark color was totally unusual for brides back in the time. Take into account the white silk was more expensive than silk in color and besides the cleaning was harder in a clear dress.

Abigail was probably the most realistic woman we’ve known so far, since she opted for a dress she perfectly could use after the ceremony for other uses. Her decision was also based on the fact that the couple was going to make a cruise right after the wedding. A golden-colored dress is more practical to travel. Actually the young bride also ordered a cape in the same fabric.

I couldn’t find much more info about the Holmes family. Although they were not rich, Mr. And Mrs. Potter prospered over the years. In the Federal Census of United States (1860) they were written to be living with their 8 sons in Albion. Clark Potter was a Rental Office employee.

A brilliant wedding dress for a practical woman from half of the 19th century.


Wedding Perfection- Two Centuries of wedding Gowns- Cynthia Amnèus.

Fabergé Revealed: The fall of the Russian imperial family through his jewelry

If Vegas already is one of the most visited destinations worldwide, it’s lately becoming into one of the cultural preferences as well, due to the many exhibitions and cultural activities the city is displaying at the many luxurious hotels across the Strip.

This time we want to recommend a beautiful show that will be open until May 25th, so if you happen to be around Vegas, don’t hesitate to go a pay it a visit. We are talking about Fabergé Revealed. This exhibition shows almost 240 artifacts from the time, which means this is the biggest Fabergé collection shown outside Russia. The history behind these pieces tells us a lot about the Russian imperial family over the 19th and 20th centuries.

Faberge Revealed 2 - Easter Egg

The House of Fabergé designed and manufactured about 150,000 objects of art, jewels and articles made in silver. Most of them were unique and very rare, made exclusively for a distinguished client. The most famous series he did were the Easter Eggs, about which we’ve talked already in our Vintage Dictionary.

The luxury of his jewels and the refine craftsmanship he applied took him to the service of the Russian imperial family by the end of the 19th century. In this show, among other wonders, you’ll see 200 pieces this celebrated jeweller realized for the Russian Czars Alexander III and his son and successor, Nicholas II, including four Imperial Easter Eggs, unique in the world.

Faberge Revealed 3

Tarissa Tiberti, the gallery’s executive director – the show is displayed in one of the most luxurious hotels in Vegas, the Bellagio Hotel – said, as quoted in LA Time “these treasured objects encompass the beauty of art while also telling one of the most powerful stories in history: the fall of the Russian imperial family”.

The exhibition, whose pieces are a loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will remain open in the Bellagio Hotel until May 25th. If you are planning a visit, don’t miss it!

Find tickets and more info here: http://newsroom.bellagio.com/


Eleonora Gonzaga´s Jewerly

Tiziano made this Eleonora Gonzaga’s portrait back in 1537. The painting was created with an admirable accuracy and precision and it’s plenty of meaningful details, like the jewelry she is wearing. Of course, among all her jewelry I paid special attention to one of the tiny rings she is wearing in her finger, and that was the chosen piece to take part of our Historical collection. An amethyst and two peridotos were the semi precious stones we chose to decorate it.

But first, let’s know more about Eleonora’s life, which was crucial in the old History.

Eleonora Gonzaga was born in December 31st in 1493. She was the oldest among her brothers and sisters. Her parents were Francisco II Gonzaga and Isabella d’Este. Her mother was the duchess of Mantua and one of the most important women in the Italian Rennaissance. Isabella was a very good patron and a leader in fashion trends. Her trendy style was copied by all women in the whole Italy and also France. She regented Mantua when her husband was out and also while her son was still too young to do it.


She was a perfect model for her daughter Eleonora. In 1509 she was married with Francesco Maria della Rovere, Julio II Pope’s nephew. This marriage made her duchess of Urbino and gave her two sons and three daughters.

Eleonora was not only recognized because of her good work at arts like her mother, but also because she was able to manage Urbino’s government when her husband was exiled. It’s probable that her mother was her model also on this.

Among the main details of the painting is Eleonora’s jewelry, marta’s sking and also the animal head in gold highlighted over her chest, plenty of pearls and rubies that give her style more luxury if possible. Tiziano reminds us all the time about her power and influence. The dog is a intimate detale but also a symbol of happiness. The last detail worth of mention is the clock we can interpretate as the meaning of the fugacity of life.

Eleonora became widow and soon enough she passed away in 1570. But we’ll always have this impressive portrait by Tiziano. The oil over canvas painting (114×102.2 cm) can be visited in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.



@María Vintage Photography

With “L” for “Lazo” (Bow)

Let’s understand “bow” here as a long fabric band that allows us to tie a piece in a decorative and creative way. A bowknot is a knot made with laces to close shoes, but also a ribbon to decorate the a pony tail in girls or several bows forming a rosette.

Bows decorate dresses, hairs, shoes, bags and even gifts. They are the final touch to give anything a romantic air.

And of course, it’s a must in our Vintage Dictionary the bow-shaped brooches.


These pieces were very common and famous in the 20’s, although they’ve been used in jewelry for centuries in order to create brooches, earrings and pendants.

The bow-shaped brooches are perfect for a romantic and old look, both for a smart or a casual outfit.

They use to be made in gold or silver and can be decorated with color, semiprecious or precious stones as well as with pearls of all kind. It’s a sort of decoration very frequent in tiaras, earrings and rings. It’s the best way to show the world the vintage part inside you.

Imáges: María Vintage Photography