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A portrait of nostalgia – etched cameos by Amy Keeper

“Nostalgia is a longing for a time that never was”, someone very wise had once remarked and Victorian society is a perfect example where that rings so true. Parties,expositions, luxurious materials and some of the wildest architecture of modern times, were all part of it. This blog is about a jewelry designer and not about architecture but I had to bring in this image of the Brighton Pavilion during a rather unusual snow storm because it’s as much of a quintessential Victorian folly as were portrait cameos.

Feminine, playful and devoted to the beauty and importance of it’s subject, the carved reliefs of mostly young women found their way onto necklaces, rings, bracelets, brooches and any other ornamental piece that held still long enough. Not being the biggest fan of Victoriana this has never impressed me too much but I did a double take when I caught a glimpse of the “vintage-meets-modern” versions created by Amy Keeper who has her space at Craft Central.

Inspired by sentimental jewellery of the Victorian and Georgian era and the photographed characters from vintage postcards, circa 1920’s-30’s, Amy makes contemporary jewelery with a nostalgic narrative. Romantic motifs, the vintage quality of the etched faces paired with an undeniably modern feel.

These earrings are going onto my Christmas shortlist for sure. They’re the perfect blend of modern and nostalgic.

Taking further inspiration from the messages written on the reverse of these postcards, Amy designs her jewelery to try to reflect the romantic sentiment with which they were originally sent, often incorporating the messages themselves.

There is only one pair of cuff links in the collection which is unfortunate since I’ve been on a bit of  cuff link trip these past few months, but we’ll just send Amy a note and see if she can’t add a few.

This is the “kiss bracelet”, made of oxidised silver with etched images of loving couples. Surely another great last minute gift idea if anyone would like my address.


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