Shop the Etsy Way!

March 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm (fashion, history, news) (, , , , , , )

Would you like the “background”, the “story”, or the “pictures”? Probably the pictures!

This necklace just arrived in today’s post — from ENGLADY, in Campbell, California. It’s a silver, hand-crafted piece based on seals once used to … well, seal your letter!

On to some background…

In the early 19th century, when the young Smiths and Goslings were writing to each other, there were no envelopes. One simply folded the letter so that one square on the rear side of the sheet of paper was left blank.

Here’s a Jane Austen letter:

Even with parts of the full page not in this photograph you can see where the “direction” has been placed, as well as see the remains of its RED SEAL.

I’ll talk more about these next time — for I found such a wonderful little collection of different seals in the Smith&Gosling Correspondence at the Hampshire Record Office.

And it was while searching for some of these that I found Englady’s Etsy Shop. Kat specializes in Wax Seal and Gemstone Jewelry. Seals often wove together images and clever (sometimes French) phrases. As is the case with my piece: Telle est la Vie … Such is life: a ship on a stormy sea!

Imagine, too, this seal closing up your letter to mom, dad, sis, brother, friend, or lover. Telle est la vie… maybe literally, if you were oceans away.

In another installment I’ll tell you about seals as well as other seal jewelery that caught my eye. But today belongs to Kat! What a preciously tiny pendant, on an oh-so-delicate chain, fixed with a solid clasp. This necklace is EXQUISITE in person.

I was mildly worried about the length of the chain — but took Kat’s advice and ordered the standard 17-inches. It nestles perfectly around the base of my neck. If you want it longer, though, all you need to do is tell her!

I spotted the padded yellow envelope poking out of the mail box straightaway, but what waited inside? A true present:

a lovely card for keeping or passing on to friends, a handwritten note, and look at the box! All tied up in a bow. My mother and aunt, who both gave me money for my February birthday, said “buy yourself something” —  my mother adding, “something you can wear and not a book!”. Won’t they be ever so surprised.

And you will too, should you shop Englady at Etsy! Highly recommended.



  1. Sabine said,

    What a lovely find…thank you for sharing the source! Letter-writing back then was truly beautiful, every part a treasure!

    • Janeite Kelly said,

      I must confess (terrible, terrible to do so) that I am NOT a letter-writer… Friends who do not have computers hear from me less often than those who are at the other end of email. My handwriting I use as an excuse!

      So I would NEVER have reason for owning a “seal”; I’d never use it. But there’s some lovely designs out there based on seals and I think they make lovely jewelry.

      On the topic of “letter-writing back then”, however, I must say that I *treasure* my “two Augustas” letter, purchased as last year’s birthday present. Thank God for Craig in Australia, who spotted it on eBay!

      Alas…., no neat wax seal used on that one; a plain disk.

      Thanks for writing, Sabine!


  2. Cindy said,

    Sad to see yet another “designer” copying Pyrrha.

  3. handmade jewelry said,

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