Had I but wings like thine!
In yonder skies,
Thy graceful form becomes a speck to view;
Had I but wings like thine I would arise,
A bird of passage too,
To pass beyond this narrow prison line!
From Had I But Wings Like Thine, by Martha Lavinia Hoffman
Bird jewelry has been around for a very long time, but I am noticing a recent fascination, maybe even obsession, for all things fowl. From lovebirds to swallows to doves to peacocks, the imagery and beauty of birds can be captured by jewelry in a particularly poetic way.
Here is a collection that spans from cute to collectable, with some amazing discoveries and new designers taking wing.
A Kismet Dove
This necklace was my first glimpse into the pull of bird jewelry: the Internet literally lit up when this necklace was worn by Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Turkish designer Kismet by Milka crafts this simple, graphic Dove Necklace in different shades of gold. It’s a foundation necklace that makes a subtle statement of Peace, allowing layering or just a simple expression. Birds are a recurring theme in Kismet by Milka’s work, she somehow captures their form with a purity that is uncanny.
Wise and Witty Owl
Owls have long been associated with intelligence, and these owl studs from Gorjana will make you look brilliant for their style and value. Gorjana also has a clever little set of Friendship Lovebird Earrings, with 2 pairs that you can share and a quote about friends.
As delicate as its subject matter, this incredibly sweet Meadowlark Ring perches on a finger as a conversation piece.
This necklace from Etsy artist Rose and Raven strikes the right note between whimsy and wearable as the (Twitter) bird suspends below a delicate branch. Judging from the number of Repins on Pinterest, this design really resonates with bird-jewelry-lovers.
A Courting Wren
I just discovered the wife-and-husband design team of Manya & Roumen crafting handmade jewelry with exquisite detail. Animals, with particular emphasis on birds, are carved into wax molds, then cast into 18kt gold or Sterling Silver. This exquisite Wren ring is almost heartbreaking in its detail.
Ebony Bird Beguiling
K. Brunini creates a piece of jewelry worthy of the lore and history of the Raven in this ring from her Spirit Animals Collection. Ms. Brunini incorporates alternative materials like wood, bone, jet, and antler with precious metals and gems to create jewelry that captures the brutal and delicate that coexists in nature.
Flock of Swallows
There are many vintage examples of bird jewelry. A La Vieille Russie has a somewhat extraordinary collection of vintage and antique brooches with a bird theme. It was hard to choose a favorite from among the lovebirds, flamingos and gulls, but this flock of swallows taking wing really captivates me.
Flight of Fancy
If your love for bird jewelry tends to the more abstract perspective, this feather bracelet by designer Wilfredo Rosado should be on your short list. This piece gets everything right, from the brushed striation in the 18kt gold finish, to the textured collet-setting of the colored diamonds.
Also from the Wilfredo Rosado Feather collection, this black swan makes my heart beat faster. The impeccably set gemstones graduate in color from diamonds to yellow sapphires to red spinels along the head and neck, with a punctuation of an emerald eye. The feathers are produced at atelier Maison Lemarie, and are interchangeable for different custom-ordered colors. Shown as a brooch, it also converts to a pendant. This is jewelry making at its finest, with an emphasis on legacy–it will be tomorrow’s coveted and collected jewelry.
Do you have a favorite example of bird jewelry? Comment below, and see more examples at my Pinterest board. If you are interested in more details about anything featured here, contact me at monica at idazzle dot com.