Ecstatic About Extasia!


Most of you know that I love unusual jewelry. High quality, heirloom jewelry, especially if it is made by designers and artisans from the USA.  This past week I had the pleasure of visiting one of my dearest friends who moved to Nevada City, California, a most charming, beautiful town at the slope of the Sierra Nevada.


Besides the joy of spending time with our wonderful friends, and the natural beauty of the town, the designer of my favorite line of jewelry is headquartered there.  I am thrilled to show you the newest pieces we acquired at FrenchGardenHouse for you. Extasia Jewelry is exceptional, the original designs emanate classic beauty and the luxury of old world craftsmanship, but they are fresh and timeless designs. So well made, it is sold in only the best shops and luxury boutiques such as Harrods, The Victoria & Albert Museum in England, The Royal Palace gift shop in the U.K., and exclusive shops throughout the world. Extasia collectible jewelry is meticulously detailed, in a full palette of colors, to compliment your wardrobe, and add to your collection.
I was thrilled to be able to acquire some gorgeous pieces for you, just in time for the holidays!  This is such beautiful jewelry, each piece is so well made, and truly will be an outstanding addition to your collection. Because I was able to go into the designers showroom, I chose each piece personally, there is only one available of each one at FrenchGardenHouse.


The founder and designer of Extasia, Stefanie Freydont,  launches 4 collections each year, all original designs. Extasia jewelry is meticulously detailed, in a full palette of colors, to compliment any wardrobe.  She designs jewelry meant to be loved, and passed down to the next generation.  Stefanie sought out the best cameo artists, Extasia shell cameos are hand carved by artisans in the tiny Italian seaside village, Torre Del Grecco, where the art of cameo carving is said to have first developed. Beautiful, carved images used for personal adornment have cast their romantic spell over people’s imaginations for thousands of years.


As both a sentimental keepsake and a work of art, concentrating major drama into a minute space, the cameo is one of the most treasured sculpted images. A cameo is a small scene or figure carved in relief. This modern Italian word, meaning “to engrave, ” is though to have come from the ancient Hebrew/Arabic word “kamea”, meaning “charm” or “amulet.” Folklore relates cameos’ mystic capacity to attract health and good fortune. The enduring popularity of the cameo attests to its delicate power to beguile generations of wearers and viewers alike.

Cameos have a relief image raised higher than its background and carved from one material. In contrast, if the artist carves down into the stone to hollow out a recessed image, the resulting work is called an “intaglio” {pronounced with a silent “g”}. Intaglios and cameos can be made in any material, stone, coral, shell, glass and fine metals. Originally intaglios had a practical as well as decorative purpose, brushed with ink or wax, they were used as a seal or stamp to mark a document or letter.  The Extasia hand pressed glass intaglios are made in a small Bavarian village, using original antique steel molds and techniques unchanged from the 1800’s.



In early 1800, a single hand carved semi precious gem Intaglio or Cameo was an extremely rare and treasured possession. In the early 1800’s, shell cameos became extremely popular.  Conch shell cameos were carved by hand, mostly by artisans along the Italian coast. Carving on the shells allowed the artisans to truly make each piece expressive and beautiful, and one of a kind work of art.  Cameos became more affordable, and were the perfect souvenir of the Victorian tradition of the “Grand Tour” ~ a trip taken by higher society to experience the art and culture of Europe, especially France,  Italy and Greece.BLueVermeilIntaglioBracelet


Society travelers brought the Italian Shell Cameos or Lava Cameos home as gifts, necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets were a true tribute to “one’s adventural spirit” and also one’s wealth. WIth the industrial revolution, more affordable manufacturing techniques for pressed glass intaglios, stamped or cast metal for settings, and chain made it so that the nobility and the wealthiest merchants were no longer the only people who could afford a selection of jewelry to accent their wardrobe.


Queen Victoria popularized the charm bracelet and charm necklace, she had charms designed and produced to give as gifts to her family and circle of friends every New Year.  When Prince Albert died in 1861, she influenced jewelry design and production as she went into permanent mourning and only wore black clothes and jewelry for the rest of her life. Jet jewelry, made of fossilized driftwood, became quite en vogue.  Whitby Jet crosses, necklaces, brooches, and charms were the jewelry everyone wanted to wear.

I hope that you will be as excited about this jewelry as I am! Each piece is sold on a first come first served basis, once it is sold, there won’t be another one as these were studio samples.  They are made of vermeil {gold plated}, silver or bronze {polish like silver} and have hand pressed Intaglios, glass Cameos, or hand carved Shell Italian Cameos.  Some pieces have amazing carved Jet, vintage glass, and semi precious gemstones, all pieces are a joy to wear, and are elegant additions to your collectible jewelry.  The perfect gift, we will box these up for gift giving too. {If you can bear to part with these when you see them!} Let me know how you are enjoying your pieces!


4 thoughts on “Ecstatic About Extasia!”

  1. Belinda

    These pieces are just so lovely, I couldn’t decide, so I bought two. Can’t wait til they arrive, I may give one to my daughter. (Or maybe not, as you wrote!) thank you for once again offering things I can’t get anywhere around my area.

  2. WOW! Lidy, these are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    What an amazing collection! Stefanie is a brilliant & talented designer!
    Thank you for sharing these works of art!

    xoxo Kathleen

  3. kay hazelbaker

    I don’t’ see the prices for the pieces. They’re just beautiful!! Kay

  4. Kay, you can click on the link “pieces we acquired for FrenchGardenHouse” in the text above, it will take you straight there!

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