By Chere Di Boscio
“I only like antique jewellery because I like the stories attached to them. I like to know who was wearing them. It’s the life of people that interests me.”
So said Miuccia Prada recently about her tastes in jewellery. Given her penchant for the history of any given piece, we reckon she would adore Annina Vogel’s range of 9 carat vintage charm bracelet jewellery.
Charms have been collected as far back as Ancient Egyptian times. The afterlife was of great importance to these people, and charm bracelets were worn as a kind of identification to help the gods know who the wearer was and what her status was in society.
During the later days of the Roman Empire, Christians would pull a hidden ichthys (fish) charm from under their clothes to identify themselves to other Christians to gain entry into secret, forbidden places of worship. Shortly after, in the Dark Ages, charms were used by noble men and women for protection from evil, and to represent family origins and profession.
As superstition faded during the Renaissance with the mass production of books and increased education, charms lost their popularity. However, Queen Victoria’s love of ornaments re-ignited a passion for charms. Small lockets, glass beads and family crests that hung on bracelets and necklaces were all the rage.
Some of these charms, from vintage collector Annina Vogel, date back from that era. Each one begs a host of questions: was the Stork charm given for a little boy or a little girl’s arrival? What happened to that child? Was the Lord’s Prayer charm given to help give hope to someone going through a dark time? And what of the elephant? Was that a souvenir from colonial India?
We may never know, and that’s the beauty–these unique, one of a kind vintage charms hold whispered mysteries, which, if you listen close enough, you just may start to understand.
This range of jewellery is available only online, exclusively at Liberty of London. To buy, click here.