Brian Albert’s love affair with jewellery began early. As a child, Albert would accompany his aunt to jewellery shows, eventually beginning his own collection of unique jewellery pieces in his teens. Continuing to develop a passion for the field, Albert went on to establish DSF Antique Jewelry in New York City.
Albert travelled the world in search of exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces. For 40 years, he has sold them to some of the finest stores in New York, Paris, and other major cities. He also opened a boutique in New York to sell directly to the public.
“The beauty of what I do is I love it, and it never feels like work,” Albert says.
His collections feature many rare, near-mint-condition pieces from various periods, with big-player houses including Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.
“Our business was born out of a genuine love for beautiful things and the desire to preserve them,” Albert says.
To wear an antique piece of jewellery is to wear a piece of history. Each necklace or brooch has a story behind it, and often that story tells us much about the women who wore it when it was new and the society in which they lived.
Brooches have adorned clothing since ancient times and have historically been a measure of the wearer’s status. For example, in the Netherlands in the 16th century, the design on a brooch might show where the wearer was born, whether she was married, and more. In modern times, watches and other kinds of jewellery have increasingly taken on the role of status symbols as well.
The youthful yet classic look of chain-link charm bracelets never loses its timeless allure. Personalized charm collections tell wearable stories of travels and life’s milestones, while brands make their mark with iconic symbols.
Early 20th-century fashions saw couturiers turning to masterfully made costume and glass jewellery to accessorize their clothing. Coco Chanel led the trend. She turned to the artisan glassworkers at the House of Gripoix to design this rare 1930s faux turquoise set.
Call of the Wild
The dynamic decades of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s saw fashion and jewellery designs move away from the abstract geometric styles of the 1930s and 1940s and into organically-influenced motifs showcasing animal figures and nature-inspired themes.
Prized for their brilliant blue colour, sapphires have occupied coveted-gemstone status for centuries. These pieces represent the fashionable styles of the 1930s to the 1960s, which saw the richly hued jewels presented in simple forms and interlaced with diamonds.