Gold and glitz for the New Year

By Karen Parr-Moody


New Year’s Eve is unquestionably one of the most glamorous times of the year. But glamour can be sprinkled into our lives year-round through items found at GasLamp and GasLamp Too. With a little GasLamp glamour, every fête – or even an ordinary day – will soon be swoon-worthy.


Around 1900 there was a new subject of European art: The medieval image of a lady with a unicorn had been supplanted with that of a lady beside a panther. With that, the notion of chastity was displaced with exoticism. Before long the actress Sarah Bernhardt and the artists’ muse Marchesa Luisa Casati were trailed by pet panthers on leashes.


The fabled French jewelry firm, Cartier, jumped on the trend. In 1917, Cartier’s first complete panther depiction was seen on a vanity case made for Jeanne Toussaint, a colleague (and lover) of Louis Cartier, a grandson of the firm’s founder (according to the book “Cartier” by Hans Nadelhoffer). The “Panthère” motif became its enduring symbol.


The bangle in the photo, right, is an inexpensive yet gorgeous costume piece currently featured at GasLamp ($38 at Booth B-231). It bears more than a passing resemblance to the Cartier bangle created in 1958, which was comprised of platinum, white gold, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and one onyx (on the nose). It is seen in the photo, right.


If you are a panther fan, here is another incarnation of the feline in this necklace (photo, left; $28 at Booth B-231). It is festooned with crouching panthers, many of them encrusted with tiny, colored rhinestones. Drape this around your neck and there’s no way you won’t make an entrance.


Pamper yourself and some friends with this ornate tea set from the booth Days Gone By (photo, below right; $149 at Booth B-200). According to Brenda and Richard Pook, who operate the booth, this set came from the estate of a barber who served in the White House for 30 years as the personal barber for a number of presidents. The procured it from an estate sale at Sarasota, Florida.


Such tea sets were once a tradition in Russia. The glasses were cradled in holders made of various types of metal; the metal of some holders was worked into a filigree design, while other holders were decorated with patterns or impressions of ancient gods and goddesses. Beyond hot tea, such special glassware could be used to serve after-dinner liquors or port.


If your book club meets in the evening, it’s always fun to have a set of glamorous wine glasses in which to serve the libations. The stemware in the photo, left, includes six glasses with a gold band at the rim ($59 at Booth B-200), perfect for an escape down a glitter-strewn lane of imagination.


Going somewhere snazzy on New Year’s or any other day? Don’t forget to take this gold fold-over bag from the 1970s ($20; Booth B-231). This glitzy handbag is the perfect accoutrement, with its small size for evening and a shiny finish that will call attention to any ensemble. But guess what? It unsnaps and opens up to a full-size tote for day!  


Whether you want to outfit yourself fabulously with a show-stopping piece of jewelry, or create a ladylike accent in your dining room, just add a dash of glitz here and a hint of gold there. It’s refreshing, it’s alluring – and darnit, it’s downright necessary.


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