Jewelry is an expression of emotion. An emotion like love, remembrance or a happy memory. The designer of pieces of jewelry has emotions too. Sometimes serious, enthusiastic or joking. The question in this blog post is ‘what little jokes sneak in pieces of jewelry?’
Pendant watches from Switzerland. 1890-1900. Made of gold, enamel, glass, rubies, copper, steel and diamonds
A little joke with time
Real ladies, especially in times a bit longer ago, don’t look on their watch. You are impolite wanting to know the time. It looks that you are bored or want to go away. That is the reason that ladies in previous centuries don’t wear a watch.
But… they still want to know what is the time. Jewelers find a solution in beautiful pendants in the shape of an insect. When you spread its wings the watch is peeping out.
The table clock is hidden in an Eastern egg. 1925. Switzerland. Made of Gold, steel, copper, pearls, and enamel
A little erotic joke
At the beginning of the last centuries and the centuries before that people are more prudish than now. That is on the outside. The longing for sex is the same now as in centuries ago. Most men find a way to get ‘their way’, sneaky, nobody sees what they are doing. With the help of their jeweler.
Snuffbox with hidden compartment. 1778. Made of gold, enamel, diamonds, silver, and glass
Jewelers want to satisfy their customers and design rings with an erotic joke. Not on the outside of course. Those rings have lids and under that are erotic pictures or carved erotic images made of bone. Beautiful craftsmanship and a sneaky little joke for the longing men.
Two intaglii’s on the seal of the ring (demon and goat). Inside the ring under the lid an erotic scena made out of carved bone. End 18th or beginning of the 19th century
Poisonous little ‘jokes’
High trees catch a lot of wind. This is a Dutch phrase (literal translation) that means that when you have the power you have to accept a lot of opposition.
Powerful people, nobility, kings, and tsars are powerful and there is a chance that someone kidnaps them, they get caught or an enemy wants to blackmail or torture you. Sometimes there is a moment that you want to take your own life.
Jewelers anticipate on that feeling by designing rings with a secret locker to put poison in. You can take that poison in times of emergency.
Golden ring with a compartment for poison. 16th Century. Made of gold, enamel, rubies, hessonite, emerald and glass
Little vengeful jokes
Those same ‘poison’ rings are used by powerful ladies (or maybe men) that want to get rid of their opponent. One of the ways to do that is to give him or her poison. With a ‘poison’ ring you can put the poison easy in someone’s glass.
Maybe you know other examples of pieces of jewelry with little jokes. Like lockers with an image of your secret lover? Let me know those examples. I like to know them, just out of curiosity.
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