A beautiful day, not too hot, and a fresh breeze – perfect for a morning’s stroll through some of the Tristan Navaja street markets this morning. The market goes on and on for many blocks, the best stalls occupying the whole length of Tristan Navaja, but it then spreads many blocks westwards of that street, into shall we say lower rent areas, for all stall holders pay a fee to the intendencia for this.
The lady in the mid blocks of Tristan Navaja who often has interesting household linens didn’t seem to have much this morning, but just along from her was another stall I usually look carefully at, having found a couple of other treasures there previously. This morning my eyes lit on this vintage 30’s neckpiece. Around what feels like a soft rope? core, is some kind of mesh fabric I think, possibly canvas, and ecru silk thread has been darned into this, covering any seam there might be – the flowers at first glance looked like lovely carved bone or ivory but they aren’t – they are ‘early plastic’ the woman said – I can tell they have been set in a mould not carved. The flowers are sewn into place by hand, and these of course may may have been added later, perhaps in place of something else, but she was very firm that this from the 30’s, and I must say I have never seen anything quite like it. It could have had a lovely silk flower on it… My mother and maternal grandmother were both pretty stylish, and Grandma had a couple of very elegant sisters – between them all they had heaps of modish jewellery and accessories. “In their day” it was a big thing to have your photo taken walking along the street, and they all did fairly often – I have seen a lot of these photos for the record so to speak, and the gals were always dressed to the nines complete with hats gloves and fox throws over their shoulders. And parties, too, or big nights out – they dressd up and often had photos taken. I have always taken a great interest in changing fashions of jewellery and accessories – but saw nothing quite like this in the family photos. Of course, little old Launceston Tasmania is and always has been, a long way from the fashion centres of London, Paris and other european cities. Which is where I feeeeel it might have come from – inexpensive but chic.
Since it was rather grubby, I have washed it, it has come up beautifully, and as I said, I am sure I will enjoy wearing it sometime.