There must be something in the air — maybe it’s the new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit called “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” — but a number of people have asked me when the silver version of my 18K-gold acorn-and-squirrel locket will be back in stock.
Here is the gold locket they’re referring to shown closed …
… and open.
As I explained in 2008, this design was inspired by antique mourning jewelry, in which the hair of the deceased was woven into bracelets or earrings or kept under glass in brooches and lockets. Acorns were a common theme in hair jewelry, because they were associated with immortality. The acorn cap was often woven in a crosshatch pattern, which reminded me of a cage. My cage thought made me envision an acorn-shaped prison for a squirrel. (When a big catalog company knocked off my exact acorn style in brass and tried to claim it was their own, I asked them, “What inspired you to do it this way?” They couldn’t answer and wound up paying me a small percentage of their sales. Mourning jewelry for the win!)
I’ve been amused by the inquiries about the return of the silver acorn locket because there never was a silver locket in the first place! While I did make a silver acorn necklace, it was a regular pendant. The cap didn’t unscrew like the gold version and no squirrel popped out.
I generally don’t do my most complicated pieces in silver because so much $100-an-hour labor goes into making a very limited quantity of a design like this. If I put that kind of labor into silver, I have to charge people for it, and we all wind up with rather expensive silver jewelry. I even planned to discontinue the regular silver pendant, but before I could take it off my site last month, a gorgeous customer in Australia ordered it. I didn’t want to let her down so I thought, “Okay, I’ll make one more silver acorn.” Just as I was about to start work, I stumbled across the original silver sample for the gold locket — meaning I had a working silver locket in hand. (My 2010 post on custom design explains why I sometimes make silver samples for my more elaborate jewelry.) I told the customer it was her lucky day: Not only would she get her acorn, but she’d get one with a squirrel inside.
Apparently, that sample acorn has taken root and led to growth spurt in acorn-locket demand. As a result, I’m now considering making a few silver acorn-and-squirrel lockets. I hope they will fall into the $500 to $600 range, though I’m not sure yet. If you’ve always wanted a silver acorn-and-squirrel locket, this is your chance! Hit me up now with your request via wbjewelry at hotmail dot com; I’ll price the piece and then do all the special acorn requests at once before discontinuing the silver design. On the fence? Sophie, the lucky Australian customer, emailed me today to let me know her necklace had arrived safely. Her verdict: “It is stunning.” I love getting emails like that. I also love making custom orders happen whenever I can, so let’s do this acorn thing, okay? Holla at me before the end of this month!
UPDATED TO ADD: The silver acorn lockets will be $500 each. I’ll start all orders by the end of this week, so let me know ASAP if you are interested!