Croghan's Oct. 5 trunk show with Elizabeth Locke is itself a rare jewel
The opportunity to procure extraordinary art from the artist herself is one that does not present itself often enough. To witness the devotion to her craft - through the fire in her eyes and vibrancy in her voice – gives life to something that was already simply stunning.
Croghan’s Jewel Box in downtown Charleston was fortunate enough to forge a relationship with renowned jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke last February, when Locke and her husband were visiting Charleston. The designer took an instant liking to Croghan’s, stating, “It’s an extremely charming store with a wonderful selection of merchandise and a knowledgeable and friendly sales staff. I loved Croghan’s the moment I walked in the door, and I think many others feel the same way.”
The esteem was already mutual, so when Locke inquired of Croghan’s interest in carrying her line, the response was swift. “We have always admired Elizabeth’s work and were thrilled to be asked,” recalls store co-owner Rhett Outten. “We answered ‘yes’ quickly and feel very lucky to represent her in Charleston. We are the only store in South Carolina to have it.”
Both Croghan’s and Locke have storied histories. The jewel house is now serving its fourth generation of clients after a century in business, and has the distinction of being the oldest family-owned jewelry store in the Holy City. Locke has earned degrees in both Modern Italian Literature and gemology, run a furnishings outfit in Italy, worked as a contributing editor of Town & Country magazine and, since 1988, stood at the helm of a fine jewelry business as its principle designer.
However, over its life, Croghan’s has stayed proudly put on King Street, offering not only fine, estate, and custom jewelry and gifts for sale, but also expertise in appraisal, repair, corporate gifting, engraving, and gemology. Locke, on the other hand, continues to traverse the globe to hand-select the “uncommon elements” she incorporates into her jewelry: Venetian glass from 17th Century molds, South Sea pearls, ancient Grecian and Roman coins, antique Italian micro-mosaics. Each tiny treasure is framed by the artist in hammered 19-karat gold, which Outten says makes every piece a masterpiece.
With a flagship store in her home state of Virginia, and retailers across the nation, Locke is certainly in high demand. But enjoying a fast loyal following at Croghan’s Jewel Box, the designer is spending a day with her Charleston partner for a very special trunk show. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, October 5, Croghan’s will welcome Elizabeth Locke for this special event, to take place in the store’s plush upstairs “drawing room.” A light lunch and champagne will be served, and a portion of the proceeds will be gifted to the capital campaign at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Locke delivers this sneak peek of the trunk show: “As always, I will have a wide selection of our one-of-a kind pieces - 19th century micro-mosaics, antique buttons, and Essex crystals of Victorian pets in addition to our classic Venetian glass intaglio designs. It will be a fun day!”
For those who make the event, back home slipping on a bangle or securing the clasp on a pendant, how delightful it will be to recall shaking the very hand that so lovingly designed those special pieces.
Croghan’s Jewel Box is located at 308 King Street. To RSVP for, or obtain more information about, the Elizabeth Locke trunk show, call 843-723-3594.