Every once and a while I stumble upon an artist or company that produces work that is so beautiful, so original that I know I’ve just made a tremendous discovery. That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw American Estate Jewelry. This company offers absolutely exquisite sterling silver jewelry using old world, artisanal techniques. Every heirloom quality piece is clearly destined to be handed down from generation to generation.
American Estate Jewelry was founded by Carolyn O’Keefe and was created in honor of Carolyn’s mother Sally, who wore one special heirloom sterling cuff every day. After seeking something similar to leave to her own two daughters, Carolyn realized that many American traditions in silver making were being lost forever!
In her research Carolyn also discovered the American silver company Galmer Silversmiths and its founder, renowned silver master Michael Galmer. Michael is perhaps best known for his dedication to preserving the tradition of the repousse craft and is one of the only artisans who still employs those techniques today. In addition to his new designs for American Estate Jewelry, Michael’s well known work for Tiffany & Co. and private collectors is nothing short of spectacular.
Galmer’s trademark, repousse, is a detailed and difficult process which has endured over centuries because of its magnificent results. This is a metal working technique in which a malleable metal is first formed with a specially created three-dimensional mold and then ornamented by precise hammering from the reverse side, “pushed from the back.” Metal is worked on the front to refine and define repousse images, with groves, indentation and channeling.
American Estate Jewelry’s debut collection of sterling cuffs utilizes the repousee technique and includes a series of seven distinctive sterling silver cuffs, each lined in gold. Hand-chased from the finest sterling silver in lavish sculptural detail, these are truly cuffs of distinction. Prices range from $550-$695.
The cuffs are available in fine jewelers and boutiques and is also available directly from American Estate Jewelry.
The hardest part is choosing a favorite. The Magnolia? No, the Peony? Maybe the Sunflower… oh dear, I love them all!