Stephanie Windsor Vintage: In Haute Pursuit


Vintage Art Deco Platinum, Diamond, & Onyx Question Mark Ring C. 1920,

Several years ago, Stephanie Levy came across an 18th-century necklace designed by French jewelry house Mellerio Dits Meller, rumored to be the oldest family company in Europe since its founding in 1613, and jeweler to the both the Medicis and the Bonapartes.
“I imagine it was snuck out of France during the revolution, sewn in the hem of a gown or something like that,” muses the antique and vintage jewelry, gem and watch expert who has combed the world hunting down one-of-a-kind finds as a collector, curator and founder of Stephanie Windsor World. “There is nothing like holding a work of art. A piece of jewelry that is 150 to 250 years old that is so beautifully hand articulated and made pre-electricity blows my mind. It's a true joy to feel well-made jewelry,” says Levy.

 Antique Georgian Revival 15k, Silver, & Rose-Cut Diamonds Collet-Set Riviere Necklace C. Late 19th- Early 20th Century, 18ct   

Antique Georgian Revival 15k, Silver, & Rose-Cut Diamonds Collet-Set Riviere Necklace C. Late 19th- Early 20th Century, 18ct 

After cutting her sartorial teeth with Norma Kamali in the mid ’80s—“I learned a lot about the fashion industry and honed my taste and skills”— Levy went on to work at Parsons School of Design before launching a wholesale showroom representing contemporary fine jewelry brands. Barneys New York approached Levy to exclusively curate its antique and vintage fine jewelry and pre-owned watches, a role she embraced until the retail legend shuttered its doors earlier this year.


14k Yellow Gold Link Bracelet C. 1970s

“I truly buy what I like, and my eyes and heart love a wide range of fine jewelry from the 17th century through to 1970s,” says Levy, whose keenly sourced and edited pieces are now carried at independent boutiques such as August. “Currently I'm really into the Art Deco period and the retro period in the ’40s, and bold gold ’70s jewelry,” says the New Yorker, who recalls lusting after her older brother’s medallions from the latter era as a child. 

Vintage Art Deco Platinum & Step-Cut Square Colombian Emerald With Diamond Border C. 1925, 4.5ct

So what’s in store at August? Treasured finds including a “badass power ring” featuring an 18th-century hardstone agate cameo of a Roman emperor. “It's fierce and I imagine it needs to be loved by a fiery person, someone truly fearless. The cameo carving has such a presence.” Also available: “a very unusual Art Deco platinum, diamond and onyx question mark ring. It must have been custom made for someone special. It also has quite the presence and is so special,” says Levy, whose own personal collection of jewelry features standouts by the likes of August stalwarts of Judy Geib and Nikolle Radi and Gabriella Kiss and Ted Muehling (“I have collected their work for years and am honored to be included in the mix of August,” she says). 

Antique 18th Century 18k & Large Agate Cameo Of Roman Emperor Vespasian Ring C.1780

And while the current pandemic prohibits Levy from her favorite buying trips to London and Paris, the curator is hard at work sourcing pieces online from dealers around the world. “I only buy from very trusted and established sources,” she says. For Levy, it all comes down to craftsmanship and design integrity. “All the periods I collect from utilized stones that are natural and not cosmetically enhanced and are usually hand cut,” she says. “I love finding special pieces. It feels like I'm on the best treasure hunt daily.”

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