Paisley Designs by Barbara Bixby
Barbara explains: There are many theories about the original inspiration of the paisley shape. In my studies, I have learned that the shape comes from a stylized rendition of a Bodhi leaf, which comes from the tree that Buddha was said to have used for meditation.
Designs range from the elegantly simple all-metal pieces with their carved center sections in 18K gold, to her latest interpretations in carved mother-of-pearl and abalone encrusted with faceted gems. Opaque gems been used to stunning effect: the turquoise and quartz crystal suite is trimmed in 18K gold; the pale blue chalcedony pieces have pavé sapphire centers.
Golden Paisley Jewelry
Lush and elegant, the all-metal paisley suite created for Barbara’s couture line features carved and beaded sterling silver framing deeply carved centers of 18K gold. Shown here: “Yin-Yang” enhancer, ring, and link bracelet. Other pieces in this design were earrings in both a stud/button style and as dangles with a starflower at the post and tiny gold beads hanging from the paisley. The earrings are shown in the gallery below. Photo: G. LaRosa
A Plethora of Paisley Pieces
Turquoise Doublet Paisley Bracelets
Two bracelets were created for the turquoise doublet paisley suite. In the larger bracelet, two styles of the doublets are arranged in a series of “yin-yang” links: one link has the doublet, set in a carved silver frame with inner gold border and outer beading; the other is bordered by a substantial gold beaded inset. The smaller bracelet has the paisley motifs set end-to-end, separated by starflowers set with smoky quartz. This version is extremely rare.
Impressive turquoise paisley grouping features large bracelet with vertically-positioned paisley links as well as the much rarer horizontal-link version that features the turquoise doublet paisley links alternating with smoky quartz flowers. I have encountered a mention of the narrow bracelet also done with white-mother-of-pearl, but do not know whether the MOP was used for the paisley sections or for the flowers. Photo: G. LaRosa
This opulent paisley enhancer, dubbed the “Mega Paisley,” is a not-so-small masterpiece. Featuring nearly a carat of diamonds, it showcases a flower made of 4 faceted, pear-shaped pink tourmaline gems. Thick 18K gold surrounds the diamonds on the left; to the right is a sculpted gold acanthus leaf. The carved sterling silver framework provides contrast to the warmth of the gold. Another of Barbara’s popular motifs, the vine and leaf design, shows up in a single pave leaf towards the top of the enhancer. An exceptionally brilliant peridot briolette, capped in gold, dangles from the bottom. A special, and subtle feature of this piece is the series of framed diamonds on the left side of the piece. Each gold frame is a tiny paisley shape. They illustrate, once again, that every single detail of Barbara’s designs is carefully planned and executed. In fact, one of the special delights of her jewelry is discovering its many layers.
Openwork Paisley and Gemstone Bracelets
QVC Paisley Designs
Bodhi Leaf Rings
I recently discovered that these rings, technically, should be considered paisley designs, since the paisley is a stylized symbol of the Bodhi leaf.
Visit more Bixby pages:
- Barbara Bixby Jeweled Art
- Barbara Bixby Rarities
- Barbara Bixby Paisley Designs
- Barbara Bixby Vessels
- Bixby Locks
- Visual Guide
- Bixby Prototypes & Anomalies