Barbara Bixby Vessels

Bixby’s Beautiful Bottles

Peacock Wish BottleBottles and other vessels hold secrets and mysteries. Symbolically, they protect our deepest desires, our dreams — our very essence.

Since earliest times, sacred vessels have been integral parts of spiritual ceremonies and rituals — holding purified oils, scented herbs, and even presumed magical potions. Over time, the uses of these bottles and jars have extended beyond serving as containers for special powders and liquids. Now, they carry their own spiritual significance, representing a variety of personal meanings.

Jewelry artist Barbara Bixby has created a series of ornamental vessels designed to symbolize these deeper meanings and to represent their many ceremonial uses. Wish bottles, incense burners, scent bottles, teapots, and amphora have been ritual objects since ancient times. Whether you use them for perfume, to hold a meaningful fragment, or simply as beautiful objects, there is something intriguing and mysterious about these bejeweled creations.

Pink Swirl Wish Bottle

Swirl Wish Bottle
This ornate wish bottle features all-over carving in the lotus leaf motif. A swirling spiral design in hot pink sapphire is the focal point of the bottle, accented with an 18K signature lotus flower with a center diamond. The bottom of the bottle has a carved onyx cabochon. The removable lid has a faceted amethyst bead.Spirals are emblematic of life force energy and one’s path through life. In some early cultures, the spiral also represented the sun.

Peacock Wish Bottles

two peacocks
Barbara Bixby has chosen to create these opulent wish bottles in the shape of peacock feathers. Peacocks have been prized by many cultures and their feathers are believed to symbolize the many feminine virtues. Peacock feather “eyes” also have been said to represent the stars in the heavens. They symbolize eternity and rebirth.

Couture Enamel Urn

Barbara Bixby created this very personal vessel to hold some of the ashes of her beloved dog, Jezebel. A large, fully rounded bottle, features detailed enameling encrusted with diamonds and iolites, with amethyst at the bottom and pink tourmaline cabochon at the top. Fish-shaped handles, accented with gold, signify bliss in relationships.  The enameling, green shading to deep blue, is overlaid with silver work in a fish-scale motif. The silver is carved with her signature lotus leaf design.

Genie Bottles

Genie bottles

Couture genie bottle charm and enhancer, and QVC genie bottle enhancer.

We’re all familiar with genie bottles and the famous genie lamp from Aladdin’s cave. Within that lamp dwelt a genie who could grant wishes.That lamp contained, within its mundane exterior, wonders and mysteries and unimagined riches. Barbara Bixby has taken that concept and transformed it as only she can. The wonders within are suggested by the glowing, carved mother-of-pearl (QVC) and abalone (couture), in which light seems to shift and travel. Intricate carving and the swirl of “smoke” emanating from the lamps hint at deeper wonders. Each bottle has a different drop dangling from the bottom. The mother-of-pearl bottle has a faceted amethyst; the couture charm has faceted blue topaz; the larger couture enhancer features a peacock pearl.

Vessels Created for QVC

 Barbara Bixby has created a number of vessel pieces for her QVC collections:

All-Metal Wish Bottle: This amphora-shaped vessel is part of the Cinqueterra collection, inspired by a visit to Tuscany, where Barbara saw many beautiful urns made of stone and other materials. Bottles are containers holding mysteries within their secret inner spaces. This bottle symbolizes the existence of these mysteries and the unlocking of them. Bottles and vessels hold a similar symbolism to that of a cave.

Caravan Vessel Earrings: Barbara has this to say about the Caravan Vessel earrings she created for QVC: The idea for this earring came from Tibetan incense holders that we purchased in Europe. These intricately designed containers are used to carry incense sticks while traveling. The design is very three-dimensional. The carving is executed all the way around the earring, and an 18K gold flower rests on the front of the shepherd’s hook.

Incense Burner Earrings: Incense burners, or censing baskets, were used to burn aromatic plants , to scent clothing and bedclothes, even to eradicate insects! According to Barbara Bixby, incense helps generate an aura of peacefulness that helps us reach for the divine. The amethyst used in these earrings was selected because of its spiritual qualities and for its use as a meditation stone.About these earrings, Ms. Bixby comments, “My husband, Frank, and I collect incense burners from around the world, and these earrings were inspired by one from Tibet that hangs from a beam in our home. Incense has been used in spiritual ceremonies, in nearly all cultures, for thousands of years.”

Eastern Time Teapot Charm: Tea drinking is an extremely old custom embraced by many Eastern and Western cultures and it has always been accompanied by special rituals and accoutrements. Originating in China thousands of years ago, tea drinking and its associated ceremonies became a part of Japanese culture in about the 9th century A.D. Early use of tea was medicinal. However, tea — and the tea ceremony — soon transformed into a religious and philosophical experience. It became a means to embrace tranquility and peace and a way of striving for a higher plane.This lavender enamel teapot charm is part of the Eastern Time collection Barbara created for QVC. It serves as a reminder of our striving for deeper spirituality and grace.

QVC Enamel Wish Bottle: This elegant little wish bottle was inspired by the more elaborate vessel Ms. Bixby created for her couture collection and designed to contain the ashes of her beloved dog. This is meant as a wish bottle — a repository for one’s hopes and dreams and a focal point for one’s secret desires. It doesn’t open, so is not a functional bottle. Three citrines, one surrounded in gold, form a line across the center of the bottle. Citrine is said to stimulate the mind and help us turn our dreams into reality. Blue topaz, used in the “lid,” is believed to help balance mind, body, and spirit.

Visit All of the Bixby Pages:

  • Barbara Bixby Jeweled Art
  • Barbara Bixby Rarities
  • Barbara Bixby Paisley Designs
  • Barbara Bixby Vessels
  • Bixby Gallery

    1. Pingback: Barbara Bixby Jeweled Vessels | Mood Swings & Other Furniture

    2. Love your choice of the word opulent in the section about the peacock design. It is such a good word for these exquisite miniatures!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Monica

      Thank you for all your hard work. I never tire looking at all these treasures !!!

      Liked by 1 person

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