When my friend and colleague, Stephanie Burgis got her first Kat Stephenson book published, I was in love (with the book. I like Burgis too, but not in that way.) It was Regency Era adventure for children, and for people like me who love Jane Austen but have very little formal knowledge of what the world was like while she was alive. Since I am a jeweller, and have long toyed with the idea of doing tie-in jewellery for books, I decided the first author I'd approach would be Burgis, and she was wonderfully supportive.

I purchased a derivative works license from her and then got to work designing jewellery pieces. The first one we planned was a sterling silver charm bracelet with charms depicting Regency Era items that had significance in Burgis's book. And then silver prices began to skyrocket, so they ended up being in aluminium. We did our best to replicate the traditional silver that would have been used in the Regency Era. Designing this bracelet was an ideal experience to learn about common items from Jane Austen's world. The bracelet has nine charms in all.

Key: Burgis's book features a locked cabinet of secrets, so the first charm is of the key to open the cabinet. Now this type of key, a skeleton key, will be familiar to just about everyone. Before modern keys with their many and varied teeth, locks utilized simpler keys with just a few teeth. Skeleton keys that date from that era, and modern day replicas, remain a popular decorative item, which is why nearly everyone today will still recognize them on sight. And they are still in use in some modern locks.

Commonplace Books: There are two magick books in Burgis's books, and they are both handwritten by the character's deceased mother. This means the books and bindings would be Regency Era commonplace books. The research for these was quite fun as Burgis sent me a lot of images of books that she liked. Quite often these books had decorative locks or ties, and modern day diaries often mimic the look. We chose commonplace books without any lock or tie, and I made one of them oval, as these books were supposed to be “oddly shaped.” Jane Austen probably never saw or worked with an oval book. That's just artistic license there. However, she would have certainly been familiar with the look and feel of these commonplace books. Many from the era still survive today.

Magic Mirror: What I've learned as a jeweller is that much of the technology we have today for working in precious metal is quite old. Burgis's books feature a golden mirror that closes with a clasp and hinge, so I set out to see what a goldsmith of that day would be able to make. As it turns out, a Regency Era smith would be able to work items in much the same way as we work them today by hand. I rendered this mirror as plain, as if it were worked from sheet, but a goldsmith of the time could have cast it in a more decorative shape using lost wax casting, or engraved details on the surface. Decorative items like this from the Regency Era will not, to our eyes, look old if they were properly maintained.

Highwayman's Mask: Now I confess that I thought stories of highwaymen in the Regency Era were fiction. When Jane Austen's female characters need an escort wherever they go, I thought that was entirely to do with the conservative mores of the time. Shows what I know! There really were highwaymen in this era, which was why men would often carry guns. Outlaws do, of course, feature in Austen's work (think the scene in Emma), but I didn't realize how real and dangerous they were at the time!

Everything's Better with Highwaymen: Well, these word charms go with Burgis's book. In the Regency Era, things were much better without highwaymen or other outlaws  that would attack anyone travelling a remote road. I highly recommend Burgis's books, in which things really are better with highwaymen, though!

Emily Mah Tippetts


These charms and bracelets will soon be for sale on Amazon. In the meantime, enter the giveaway here on FLY HIGH to win a bracelet! Have a look at your prize HERE. Each charm was made from a wax form that I hand carved, and each one is a little token from the magical Regency Era that still lives on in our fiction today. Leave your comment, add your e-mail address and good luck!

The giveaway is open worldwide 
and ends on December 13th. Good luck, everybody!


IdentitySeeker said...

Wow! This is such an interesting post. There's so much of history contained in one bracelet. We still use keys like that on a few locks in our house and I love those book charms. It's such a great prize to give away! Thank you for this chance to win it:)



Julienne said...

i love this giveaway!
and it used carving.

Literary Chanteuse said...

What an amazing idea to combine the two! Very nice! I would love to win one for my daughter. Thank you for the giveaway!


Amanda said...

O wow. I love the charms chosen! I agree that I used to think the highwayman thing was mostly fictional until I read more. I love that aspect of her book. I can NOT wait until I can get my hands on her other books.

Thanks so much for the beautiful giveaway!!!

libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

Mystica said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

Alessia Carmicino said...

omg this bracelet is so beautiful!I hope so much to win!Thank you for this opportunity!


Becky B. @ Bibliognome said...

Those are some awesome charms :) Thanks for the giveaway.


Elen C said...

I love the charms and I love the books! Yay!
I'd love to enter:

Thank you!

skullandcrossbuns said...

I love Emily's work, what a great giveaway!

Treble Clef ♪ said...

Okay, so first off I ADORE this blog. Happy I stumbled upon it! Anxious to read Stephanie Burgis' books as well as E.M. Tippets. Her jewelry is exquisite!

Mary Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Lynn said...

Beautiful work as always, Emily! I hope I win this lovely piece. I really enjoyed Ms. Burgis' book as well.

Simone J said...

Lovely bracelet and book cover.

It's super sweet to write children books in a Regency Era way.
Waay to go!

Woow, and, if it's a Regency inspired bracelet, I'm on it. Super cool. :D



IngeD3 said...

This bracelet is so beautiful! Thank you for the opportunity to win one!


Stacey Lyn Tippetts said...

Sounds like my type of book. I have always been enamored with charm bracelets and would absolutely love wearing this one! Pick me!


Jami said...

Would love to win!! :)