Jewel Encrusted Skeletons

October 1, 2018

I really enjoyed putting together a collection of autumnal jewels for you all with a theme in mind and matching the vintage jewelry to that theme. The theme of witches was so much fun and I really ran with it, a few of you messaged me to say the parts you enjoyed most were the descriptions which I was so pleased to read because that's the part I found the most fun too !

So what's inspiring me this month ? September has been a bit of a weird one for me, I have been so busy with my eldest son going back to school that the month has kind of flown by in a blink and here we are, already in October. With only a few of the Halloween jewels left I have been collaborating with a particularly creative friend of mine on a theme just in time for the run up to Christmas. Think lux, decadence, heavenly bodies and candy colored jewels which if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a few sneak peaks of the pieces I have been finding . We came up with this theme way back before even releasing the magic so wicked witches jewels, and ideas were bandied around over a bottle of wine in a bar and scribbling it all down on a napkin.

She pointed me in the direction of the jewel encrusted skeletons of Europe and I was instantly inspired . I was looking for a way to combine the almost macabre tinges of religious iconography and the renaissance art nouveau style cherub paintings on the Austrian charms, along with the deep beautiful jewel tones of french fobs, art deco rings and gorgeous enameled shields. It's no secret the catholic church has wealth, and these beautiful encrusted skeletons are the epitome of this making fabulous inspiration for my jewel hunting . The skeletons are absolutely some of the most haunting and beautiful images I have ever seen, eye sockets filled to the brim with jewels and the bones adorned with the most glittering gems you could imagine .
 

 

The history of these skeletons is also equally as interesting as the jewels draped around their bones . These bodies were exhumed in Rome on the Vatican’s orders and sent to various churches in Austria, Germany and Switzerland where they served as replacements for the religious symbols and icons that were removed during the 16th century . It should be noted that these bodies were not saints, and were not remains of religious significance, something I find fascinating. So, these skeletons were distributed to the various churches in response to the Iconoclasm and its there that they were decorated, bejeweled and posed to resemble or signify one of the Catholic saints . Nobody actually knows who these bodies were, there are theories but nobody can say for certain . It's so curious to me that these are essentially unknown and religiously ‘unimportant’ remains, that have been decked out to the max in some of the finest jewels in Europe.
 

The mystery surrounding the encrusted skeletons combined with the European jewels, catholic iconography and slight morbid feel to the over the top abundance of jewels is a theme I am attempting to run with as I hunt out more jewels .

If you would like to read up on the jewel encrusted skeletons of Europe a quick google search will give you plenty of hits, but I am adding in the links below of the websites I used and the links to some pinterest images.

Thanks for reading !

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10256894/The-ghastly-glory-of-Europes-jewel-encrusted-relics.html 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacomb_saints​

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/356699232963059042/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?rs=ac&len=2&q=jewel%20encrusted%20skeleton&eq=jewel%20encrusted%20skel&etslf=13366&term_meta[]=jewel%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=encrusted%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=skeleton%7Cautocomplete%7C0


 

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