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Valentines Day jewelry for the literary lover

February 12, 2012

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BY LINDSAY GOLDWERT

Finally, a Valentine’s Day gift that’s romantic and lasts longer than a Whitman sampler.

Terry Peikin, a 55 year-old chef, caterer and jewelrymaker who lives in Sunnyside Gardens in Queens has a special way of preserving the parts of the typewriter that remain after the rest has been trashed: the keys.

Peikin has been making earrings, tie clips and other custom-made pieces since 1992 when his wife, a former editor for the New York Post, received an ancient Underhill typewriter from an editor who was cleaning out his office.

“I believe I was the first to use antique typewriter keys,” he said. “I’ve seen it elsewhere but I truly believe I was the first to preserve the keys and present them this way.”
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Peikin custom makes most of the pieces but also sells some of his work at the excellent vintage furniture and home shop Stray on Skillman Ave. in Woodside.

The oldest typewriter keys he’s worked with came from a machine built in 1898. Others are from machines from the 1930s and 1940s. He finds them at junk sales and eBay.

But only from machines that have been damaged beyond all repair.

“I only take keys from typewriters that have reached the end of their lifespan,” he said.

Typewriters and their keys are tougher and tougher to come by. They are more expensive than ever and there are fewer of them.

“As a lover of all things old and of quality, it gives me pleasure to preserve a bit of the past,”  said Peikin.  “No two are alike.”

Perfect who like to wear their love for literature on their sleeves — or ears.

Find Peikin’s antique typewriter jewelry at:

Stray

4809 Skillman Ave. nr. 48th St
718-779-7795

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