Jewelry designer Loren Teetelli, the Southern California–based archaeologist-turned-goldsmith and founder of Loren Nicole, has been quietly creating one-off pieces and small collections since the cognoscenti fell in love with her work a few years ago. But her highly anticipated new collection presents her unique aesthetic in abundance—50 pieces of jewelry in her signature 22k gold, entirely handmade with twists, granulation, and polished and punched surfaces, and exquisitely redolent with its compelling theme, the idea of uncovering a cache of ancient treasure. Shades of the famous Cheapside Hoard, you could say, with a Nordic, 21st century twist.
Fittingly titled the Viking Trove, the collection was designed to “evoke the feeling of being an archaeologist and discovering a burial site full of pieces with stylistic influences and motifs from all over,” Teetelli said in prepared remarks accompanying the debut. “I love how Viking jewelry shows how interconnected the world is. The troves are collections of items passed down for generations within families and with influences from all the cultures they encountered. It’s also not one culture that made everything. You can see the threads of history.”
Anchoring the collection are 23 gold orbs—six are made with Viking-age glass—that can appear as gold spacers on a handmade woven chain with serpent-head terminals or on earrings.
Teetelli initially used the orbs as a way to explore the different goldsmithing techniques she has mastered.
“Suddenly I had a beautiful pile of gold on my desk,” she said in the same statement. “It reminded me of the loose beads found at archaeological sites. I put them all together on a chain, and that was so wonderful, but I also thought about how to make them wearable in different ways and attainable so that someone could purchase one or three and wear them however they like.”
And the collection’s undeniable commander: the Longship (pictured at top), a remarkable decorative object inspired by traditional Viking warships that disassembles to become pieces of wearable art. The woven sail transforms into a bracelet, while the shields along the side double as button earrings, and the dragon figurehead at the bow can be worn as a stickpin.
Altogether, the Viking Trove reflects the importance of both land and sea to the ancient culture. Maritime imagery is invoked throughout; meanwhile, the color story (also a Loren Nicole signature, particularly vibrant blues and emerald greens) nods to the earth and sea with the soft blue-green tones of tourmaline and sapphire, ancient bronze elements, and the shimmer of rock crystal.
Top: The Longship in 22k yellow gold and rock crystal, $395,000; Loren Nicole. The Viking Trove collection sails into port on May 26.
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