20th Century Jewelry

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF SOME DESIGNERS:

AARRE & KROGH EFTF

Modernist jewelry makers Aarre & Krogh Eftf was established in Randers, a place in Jutland, Denmark. They were in business from 1949 to 1990. Aarre & Krogh is famous and well known for their high quality and their superb craftsmanship of jewelry making. They made stylized modernist jewelry. Very popular are the featured stylised  leaves  and flowers sometimes with catfigures. Their work continues to be popular amongst the collectors of today

ALICE CAVINESS

Alice Caviness began her career as a model. In the forties she started in New York (Long Island) with designing jewellery. Along with Millie Petronzio, who was head designer until 1982, they created imaginative, beautiful coloured and shaped jewellery. Typical for their designs was originality and the use of complex, layered materials. Even her simplest beads necklaces show a richness of colour, shape and texture. A part of the jewellery was produced in her own factory and a part was in commission created. A lot was made in West Germany often with complicated sterling silver filigree work. From the start the high-end jewellery has been very popular. Alice Caviness died in 1983 and her business partner Lois Stein (or Steever) remained the jewellery production up to 2000. The Alice Caviness jewellery is still hard to find and very expensive. It was only sold in more expensive exclusive shops.

ALTON

This is the leading jewellery company of Sweden. The company is located in Fallkoping and registered in 1946. In the middle of the 20th century K.E. Palmberg was head designer for this company. A lot of the jewellery was created in sterling silver but they also made use of other innovative materials. Very high quality jewellery.

AMLEE JEWELRY COMPANY

The brand was registered in 1946 AmLee. The company was  founded in Providence, Rhode Island, America. This was where many producers of Costume Jewelry were settled. The company made high quality refined jewelry usually of sterling silver. frequently using filigree work, rhinestones, other imitation stones, culture and imitation pearls. The company has most likely ceased production in the 1960s. The jewelry are relatively scarce to find.

ANDREAS DAUB (PFORZHEIM, GERMANY)

More than 135 years ago the founder Andreas Daub laid the Foundation for the company that was going to be one of the most important companies in the jewelry industry in Germany. As a young Goldsmith he quickly recognized the opportunities with an international focus on the tradition of Pforzheim. Already at the beginning of the century Andreas Daub A * D was one of the leading jewelry companies in Europe. Today this successful family company is run by the fourth and fifth generation of the family Daub.

ANTON MICHELSEN

Anton Michelsen (1809-1877) was the founder of one of the most important jeweller families in Denmark. His own company he founded in 1841, and after a short time, the company received its first orders of the Royal family. In 1848, he was officially appointed "Court Goldsmith an Maker of the Orders". Four generations long the company made jewellery of the highest quality. In 1968 the company was bought out by the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory. Royal Copenhagen then also bought Georg Jensen and both companies were gradually added together. Only the annual forks and spoons still wear the name Anton Michelsen.

Major designers for Anton Michelsen were: Karen Strand, Gertrud Engel, Eigil Jensen, Nanna & Jørgen Ditzel, Knud V Andersen and Jens Windfeld Hansen.

ART

Art has existed from the late forties until the eighties. Art offered a wide range of designs. Something for everyone. Many designs had Victorian and Renaissance influences. Their designs looked a bit like brands as Hollycraft and Florenza. Fine filigree or pressed metalwork with frequently use of coloured stones. Their quality level was good. The contemporary range of Art jewellery is not large. However, it is still reasonably affordable.

ATTWOOD & SAWYER

Mr Horace Attwood and his partner Mr Sawyer established the company Attwood and Sawyer  in 1956 in Porthcawl (Wales, United Kingdom). They produced stunning high quality costume jewelry often inspired by the personal jewellery collection of the Duchess of Winsor.  The jewelry was sold in prestigious shops throughout the UK, Europe and selected countries worldwide. The brand was acquired by Buckley Jewellery Ltd in 2001.

AVON

Avon already exists about 120 years and is founded in New York City in 1886 as the California Perfume Company by D.H. Mc. Connell SR. During World War II women were the most important workforces in America. After the Second World War they were all replaced by men. A lot of these women wanted still to have an income and therefore became homeworkers. This created a new industry. At Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics women were working part-time. The products were sold. through home parties. Avon also used this formula. Avon quickly had 10.000 representatives (1906). This number increased quickly to 25.000 in 1928. In 1937, the company's name was officially changed to Avon. It was only in the seventies that Avon started making jewellery. The quality ranged from very cheap to very good. Avon jewellery was produced by several companies A lot of well-known designers and celebrities have designed a jewellery line for Avon, like Seymour M. Kent, Louis Oeroud, Kenneth Jay Lane, Célina Seniorie, Jose’ Maria Barrera, Shawl Jhevari, Elizabeth Taylor, Coreen Simpson, Luke Razza, Akoya Culture Pearls, Felicia, Marley Simon, Nicky Butler, R.J. Graziano, Susan Lucci, Technibond, Anne’s Eye for Annie Gilbar, Erickson B for Karen and Eric Erickson, Maharaja Collection and Adrienne.

BARCLAY AND MCCLELLAND BARCLAY

Barclay and McClelland Barclay are one of the most respected names in the Costume Jewelry. Barclay was an artist, visual artist and jewelry designer. In 1930 he began designing jewelry. Unfortunately he died in 1943 during the second world war. Therefore he designed and produced the jewelry just for a short period. His jewelry was produced by various companies including "Rice Weiner Co", who made the most jewelry for him. The name McClelland Barclay should not be confused with Barclay. The McClelland Barclay jewelry are very sought after because of their very good quality level and the magnificent Art Deco designs.

The Barclay Jewelry Inc. was founded in 1946 in Providence America and existed until 1957. Barclay jewelry is often recognizable by the intricate openwork patterns reminiscent of the metal components of the jewelry. They made jewelry with an eye for detail, of wonderful quality and the brand is quite rare. The price level of the Barclay jewelry was average to very expensive depending on the design. The price level of the McClelland Barclay jewelry was and is still above average to very expensive.

BENGT HALLBERG

Bengt Hallberg Guldsmeds AB is founded in 1947. It is a family business and is now led by the third generation. The company is based in Köping (central Sweden) and is famous for its high quality jewelry in silver and gold using precious and semi-precious stones. In 1980 the company entered into a partnership with the Swedish Museum for National Antiquities since then also made historical jewelry. The (modernist) jewelry from this company is much sought after and is usually marked with BEH.

BENT LARSEN

Bent Larsen is a Danish modernist jewelry designer from the sixties and seventies who mainly worked in pewter. Much of his work is decorated with highly coloured glass cabochons. He usually signs with: Bent Larsen Pewter and made in Denmark. His work is increasingly sought by collectors and prices are rising quickly. The pieces are harder to find. 

BOGOFF

Henry Bogoff was born in Poland and immigrated to America at the age of 16. In New York he married a Russian immigrant Yvette Glazerman. In 1920 they moved to Chicago where they started a company for knots and other fashion accessories. In 1940 they founded the company Jewels by Bogoff. Gradually they became one of the most important designers and producers of Costume Jewelry. Yvette became head of the sales organization. Very unique for that time because women were excluded from all important functions. They regularly they advertised in the main leading fashion magazines such as Voque and Harpers. For a long time they were, after Coro and Trifari, the largest producers of Costume Jewelry in America. Henry died in 1958. Yvette did everything to keep the company afloat but because of a changed market demand, the company had to close in the sixties. Bogoff jewelry is known for their grace and chic appearance and their excellent quality, good constructions, rhodium plating and high quality stones. The jewelry is still very popular and very expensive. 

BOUCHER

Marcel Boucher (1898-1965) was perhaps the largest designer and manufacturer of Costume Jewellery in America. He was born in France and trainee of Cartier. In the twenties he immigrated to New York City where his passion for designing Costume Jewellery developed. In the thirties he was employed as a designer for Mazer Brothers (Mazer Costume Company), a company that manufactured very high quality jewellery. In 1937 he decided to start his own company and called it Marcel Boucher and Cie. After his death in 1965, his wife Sandra Boucher (also a jewelry designer) continued for a couple of years. In 1972 the company was sold.

His early Costume jewels are marked with "Marboux". Boucher jewelry is numbered and can relatively easy be dated using internet and books. The jewelry is very beautiful and very collectable. High prices are paid for them. The jewelry marked with Boucher and number is the most desirable and the most precious. At the time the jewelry was already expensive and still belongs to the higher price category. 

B.S.K.

B.S.K. is a company that was founded in 1948 in New York. It has remained in business until the end of the fifties. The initials B.S.K. stands for the first letters of the names of the owners. The B stood for Benny Steinberg, the S for Hy Slovitt and K for Kaslo (surname unknown). Their jewelry line was fairly affordable. The jewelry of B.S.K is especially valued for their interesting colour combinations. and sometimes unusual designs. At the time the cheaper jewelry line was sold in some branches of Woolworth’s. Nowadays the jewelry is rare to find but still pretty affordable.

CARL-ART

The Carl-Art Inc. is founded in 1937 in Providence, America. The company made fine jewelry from sterling silver and gold filled metal using frequently rhinestones, other imitation stones, culture and fake pearls. The jewelry is refined, chic and very real looking. The company produced jewellery until in the eighties. They marked their jewelry by the letters CA with an arrow.

CASTLECLIFF 1937 - 1977

Castlecliff was in 1937 originated as Castlemark by Clifford Furst and Joseph Bobley. The name Castlecliff first used in 1941. The main designer was William Markle . He designed  very innovative jewelry in various styles (Gothic, Renaissance and Art Deco styles). He made use of a wide range of materials such as: silver, gold-plated metals, imitation pearls, stones, semi precious stones, (coloured) rhinestones and Lucite. The following brand names were used: Castlemark, in 1957 Cassandra, Castlecliff (alone or with the copyright symbol) after 1955 and Anne Klein for Castlecliff in 1977. The company ceased business in 1977. In 1980, the company was reopened again by Lucien Piccard Industries-Pierre Cardin. From that time the jewelry was signed as Castlecliff Jewelry Div. of Lucien Piccard. 

CHRISTIAN DIOR 1946 – present

The French designer Christian Dior started in 1930, at the age of 25, with designing clothes. In 1947 he opened his own shop in Paris "Maison Dior". Dior started just like Coco Chanel with designing jewelry matching his own fashion line. He was the first who used Rhinestones Aurora Borealis. His jewelry was produced by many companies. The most important were Kramer of New York and Henkel & Grosse in Germany (dated in an oval cartouche). These companies were chosen because of their great craftsmanship and superior quality. Dior died in 1957. After his death Yves Saint Laurent resumed designing. The Vintage or Costume Jewelry from Christian Dior are of extremely high quality, often extravagant and very expensive.

GIVENCHY

The House of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. Earlier in his career he worked in the studios of important jewelry designers as Elsa Schiaparelli. Givenchy jewelry is known for their beautiful designs and craftsmanship. The creations were worn by many of the world's most beautifully dressed women including Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Babe Paley, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Grace of Monaco.

CINER

Emanuel Ciner started his company in 1895. The company initially made sophisticated jewelry. Later in 1931 they went into "high-end" Costume Jewelry manufacture. They are known for their use of good quality stones, imitation pearls and coated glass with beautiful appearances. The jewelry is first class, very sought after and expensive.

CORO

The name Coro stands for the names of the founders of this company, Emanuel Cohn and Gerard Rosenberg. The Coro Company existed from 1901 until 1979. It started with a small store in New York and became later the largest manufacturer of Costume Jewelry in America. Their price level was average to very expensive, depending on the quality and the design. Due to the large variation in styles and qualities this brand was affordable for everyone. The craftsmanship of the makers and the quality of their jewelry are very good and some of them are truly unreal beautiful. Besides the Coro brand many other brands were conducted. The most famous was Corocraft, the top line of Coro, which was later changed in Vendome.

CURTMAN

The Curtman company was part of UNCAS Manufactoring Co. in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence was the place where a lot of Costume Jewellers were working. The jewelry was produced between 1950 and 1960. The brand Curtman consists of two C's placed in the ball from one hand. The company made high quality refined jewelry from sterling silver, gold filled and gold plated metals, frequently using rhinestones, other imitation stones, culture and fake pearls. The jewelry is refined and chic and very real looking. The price level of the jewelry has always been very high depending on the design.

DANECRAFT JEWELRY: (1920’s)  1940 – present

In 1910 the brothers Primavera, Victor Sr. and Thomas Jr. emigrated from Italy to America. In 1920 the Primavera Brothers Jewelry Company was founded in Providence. They produced jewelry and silver beads. This company was one of the first producers of Costume Jewelry in America. They were pioneers in the field of quality designs. In 1934 Victor Primavera Sr. founded the Danecraft Company. This Corporation made mostly sterling silver jewelry. It was said that Danecraft sterling jewelry had to offer the best in terms of quality, craftsmanship and designs from just after the war. In the seventies Danecraft introduced 24 k gold vermeil jewelry (gold over sterling silver) and also a 14 k gold vermeil collections under the name "Primavera Jewelry and Silver Beads". In 1977, the company changed its name to Felch-Wehr Company but marked their jewelry still with Danecraft. The company still exists and the jewelry is sold in the better department stores in America.

DAVID ANDERSEN (1843-1901)

David Andersen started his company In 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo) Norway. David Andersen soon achieved much success. This was mainly due to the high quality standards which he imposed himself and his amazing craftsmanship. Soon he opened a second store in Oslo. His son Arthur changed the name of the company and the family name in David-Andersen. Arthur also introduced the famous enamel on the jewelry. The company is still led by the family. The fourth generation Uni and Jon David-Andersen. The company has always followed the Trend of his time. In the fifties they hired young and innovative designers who made wonderful jewelry with and without enamel. Well-known names are Bjørn Sigurd Østern, Harry Søby, Marianne Berg, Tangerud Unn and Ben David-Andersen along with Uni David Andersen, the fourth generation D-a 's, who set up their own workshop in in 1959, but continued designing for the family business. The jewelry is very sought after and very expensive.

ED LEVIN

Ed Levin was born in New York City on the 4th of February 1921 and raised in Long Beach on Long Island. He was an artist, professional, jeweller, painter, sculptor, ceramist, and inventor of machines and tools and processes to improve the creativity in making jewelry In 1950 Ed and his wife Ruth founded Ed Levin Jewelry Inc. Ed followed his own minds completely and went his own way. Life was an on-going exploration of ideas and senses and taunting the status quo. Levin's work has a flawless design and modern look while maintaining elegance of simplicity. His work has this aura already from the time he began as a pioneer in designing modernist jewelry in the fifties.

Ed said: "the diversity and richness of the natural world and all peoples who live there and have lived will always inspire both art and jewelry.". He was an active supporter of the peace, human rights, civil liberties and the protection of the environment (as aware as he was). Ed Levin died on February 23, 2008, at age 87, in his home in Cedar Key, Florida. Ed Levin Jewelry, Inc. is considered the oldest and largest handmade jewelry manufacturer in the United States, is owned by the family and currently sells their jewelry in hundreds of stores throughout the country.

EISENBERG: 1914 – present

In 1914 Jonas Eisenberg founded the Eisenberg Manufacturing Company in Chicago. He was an immigrant from Austria. His company produced ladies clothing including a piece of jewelry on the clothing (such as a brooch). The company used the best Austrian Swarovski rhinestones. It soon became clear that customers also were interested in ordinary (loose) jewelry. Around 1930 the Eisenberg Company began to produce a whole line of jewelry. Eisenberg Jewelry is still pricey because of their quality, craftsmanship and elegant designs. The Eisenberg Company still exists.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR,: AVON November 1993 until 2011

HOUSE OF TAYLOR JEWELRY, June 2005
Elizabeth Taylor was born in Hempstead, England in 1932. She is one of the greatest actresses of her time. Her perfume line (White Diamonds perfumes) and her  cosmetics were also famous. She was crazy about jewels and had some of the most famous jewelry in her possession like "The La Peregina Pearl" and "The Krupp Diamond". In November 1993 Elizabeth Taylor designed in cooperation with Avon Products Inc. a jewelry collection that was named after her and was signed with her name. The prize of this jewelry line ranged from $ 40 to $ 200 and they were sold directly to the consumer through the house parties of AVON. AVON had the jewellery produced by companies such as Krementz.

In 2005 Elizabeth started the House of Taylor Jewelry in Los Angeles, California in partnership with Mirabelle Luxury Concepts (with Jack and Monty Abramov as designers) and Techline Jewelry Corporation (technical implementation of the designs). Elisabeth died 23 March 2011. A large part of her personal jewelry collection will be auctioned by Christies in 2012.

ENGEL BROTHERS: 1930s - 1960s

The Engel Brothers Company was an American manufacturer of Art Deco rhinestone jewellery. The jewellery was mostly made from rhodium plated sterling silver or gold plated material. Marked "EB" or "EB" in a diamond shape. These jewels were made in small editions and are rare to find.

ERIK DENNUNG (DENMARK)

Erik Dennung lived from 1925 to 2007 in Denmark. He worked as a silversmith and had a workshop Dennung Salvmedie APS on Frederiksberg in Copenhagen. He worked in the 1960s-1970s and made a lot of big and bold jewelry, real statements. These pieces required a lot of material and that is the reason that he mostly used silver plate over base metals. He also worked in commission for Buch & Deigmann just like Jacob Hull. These pieces were also marked with the B+D mark.  During the period 1971-1979 Dennung worked in partnership with the well-known Danish jeweller J. Andersen in Copenhagen. In this period Dennung marked these pieces with AD Design. The Erik Dennung jewelry is nowadays hard to find. The jewelry with the Buch & Deigmann mark and the pieces marked AD Design are very rare.

ERIK GRANIT (1930-1988)

Erik Granit started his workshop, E. Granit & Co, in 1956 in Helsinki Finland, at the age of 26. His designs are perfectly in balance, bold , simple and yet very detailed in Finnish style. Like other Finnish designers he used a variety of natural stones such as quartz, amethyst and spectrolite, mostly local ones. He made wonderful modernist designs and focused on clarity of technique and purity of form.  He died in 1988.

ERMANI BULATTI / BULATTI

The company that the Ermani Bulatti and later the Bulatti jewelry designed and produced was founded in 1984 by Herman Tiggeler. The company ceased business in 2012. Herman Tiggeler and Henk van Berk were the designers of the first hour. Later (1995), the son of Herman, Maurice Tiggeler, joined the company (also as a designer). The name Ermani Bulatti is a funny corruption from the first name of Herman (Ermani) and Bulatti (van Berk, Bouleau in French). The jewelry were produced by Accessa B.V. in Obdam, The Netherlands and was sold around the world in the better bijou shops (in Europe, Australia, America, Japan etc..). Bulatti is known for the fabulous brooches and belts. Necklaces and earrings (mainly clip earrings) formed the major part of the turnover. The jewellery by Ermani Bulatti are characterised by their Art Deco and Italian influences. Beautiful, original, different, chic and glamorous designs that were hand finished. There were very high-quality materials used as high-quality brass, finished with silver plated materials, bronze, mother of Pearl, faux pearls, shells, Crystal (usually Swarovski Crystal), horn and bone. The for Bulatti typical old silver finish consisted of a thick layer of silver that was oxidized and then polished to create the antique effect.

"Ermani Bulatti was a highly regarded designer from Holland, famous for Art Deco and Egyptian revival designs. The elegant and classic designs are truly timeless!”

An important part of this information is submitted by Lilka Novozhonova. She has interviewed Herman and Maurice Tiggeler in 2019 to find more and more accurate information about the fascinating Bulatti jewelry. Many thanks for this information.

FISCHLAND JEWELRY / GEORG KRAMER

De real Fischland jewelry is produced by the company of Walter Kramer (a descendant of Georg Kramer). The silversmith Georg Kramer founded his company in 1771 in Ribnitz Damgarten (Germany). His descendant is the master goldsmith Walter Kramer who started in 1932 with the designs of the well-known silver "fish-jewelry" which usually were decorated with amber. Walter named this jewelry to the Fischland area near Ribnitz, the southwestern part of the peninsula Darss-Zingst. This jewelry was a great success, especially amongst the tourists and bathers from that era, and in 1939 the company was renamed Fischland GmbH with patent protection. The company then had 100 employees. In addition to the Fischland Schmuck this company also designed beautiful modernist jewelry. Very striking because of the simple strong design in which often precious or semi-precious stones were processed. This jewelry was not hallmarked with the fish but with the letters G K in a shield together with a model number.

After the second world war in 1947 the company was 1947 expropriated under the Soviet occupation law and Walter Kramer then fled to Lübeck-Rostock to continue his company. The State-owned company went on under the name "VEB Fischland-Schmuck". In 1959 Walter won the patent dispute making the State-owned company changed its name to "VEB Ostsee-Schmuck". Walter died in 1990 in Lubeck-Travemunde. The patent rights went back to Ribnitz in 2009. The current owner is the Ribnitzer Amber Gallery E.

FRANS SCHEURLE - QUINN

In 1903 Franz Scheurle founded "Silberwarenfabrik Franz Scheurle" in Schwäbisch Gmünd. At first handles for umbrellas and walking sticks were made. These were fashionable due to the world exhibition in Paris. In the 1920s he started making small silverware such as powder boxes. Under the leadership of his son Gerhard Scheurle the firm began with designing and the production of jewelry. First only men's jewelry was made but later in the 1960s, under the direction of Franz Scheurle Jr., they also started making jewelry and watches for the modern woman. Primarily in silver but later also in gold, Platinum and stainless steel. It was based on the Scandinavian and especially the Finnish designs, which were characterized by simplicity and no-frills. By the beginning of the 1970s, the company was renamed Quinn, but it is still owned by the family (currently the 4th generation). Some international confusion about the name Scheurle exists. The vintage jewelry are also sold under the name Scheuerle with an "e" too much in the name.

FRIEDRICH SPEIDEL

Friedrich Speidel founded his company in 1867. He worked first with his wife from his home in Pforzheim, the jewelry capital of Germany. He developed a new quality product that was called "bi-metal" (gold – about metal), also incorrectly known as gold plating. This method had a lot of success and in 1896 the first factory wasbuilt after which the manual production was replaced by mechanical manufacture. Friedrich sent his 3 sons to America to start a new branch of the company that was founded officially in 1912. A large part of their products were sold to manufacturers such as Bulova. In the 1920s watch straps and bijouterie were added to their line and in the 1930s the company started making costume jewelry. In 1951 with the advent of the Korean war they started with the production of highly successful identification bracelets. The company always tried keeping pace with the times. In 1966 the successful company was sold to Textron Inc. In 1997 Textron sold Speidel at the Austrian-based Hirsch Armbaender AG, the leading manufacturer of leather watch bands in Europe. The new company was called Hirsch Speidel Inc. In 2009 Hirsch Speidel was sold to Cerce Capital LLC. The Cerce family is dedicated to revitalizing the brand with a keen focus on design, innovation and superlative customer service.

GARNE

Garne Jewelry Company was a small company in New York that existed from 1945 until the sixties. It produced traditional jewelry often with Art Deco influences. They made jewelry from an average level of quality. Their pieces are hard to find and are therefore popular amongst collectors.

GUY VIDAL

Guy Vidal was born in 1938 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec Canada. He studied at l’École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal and completed his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Bloomington, Indiana in 1962. He made sculptures and created ceramic art. In 1964 he started designing pewter jewelry. He became one of the leading artists who made jewel sculptures in Quebec. He won several important Canadian prizes and became known through the world. Every item he made was a sculpture of itself, a Piece of art. Mostly organic, biomorphic designs, very delicate, refined and rich detailed handmade work. Vidal was a technical innovator. He invented his own pewter formula which allowed him to create intricate pieces that held their strength, unlike traditional formulas of the soft lead alloy. Each piece was carefully and labor-intense processed; from sculpture to mould, to casting, to plating, to lacquering. The final result was jewelry that belongs amongst the best of this period.

HANNU IKONEN

Hannu Ikonen’s refined and striking designs have become iconic in the world of modernist jewelry. Ikonen worked in both silver and bronze, producing for the Finnish firm of Valo-Koru throughout the seventies. His famous “Renmoosblüte” or Reindeer moss pieces in many ways perfectly embody the new Finnish impulse in jewelry making in their sculptural quality and modern interpretation of a natural theme. The Ikonen designed bronze pieces were typically marked in MADE IN FINLAND with no other hallmarks. The reindeer moss design element in its typical 3-D, sculptural details is a signature by itself.

HANS HANSEN

Hans Hansen opened a goldsmith shop smithy in 1906 in Kolding, Denmark. Before that he worked as a silversmith at Carl M. Cohr which was well known for its flatware. Hans Hansen slowly became one of the premier silverware and jewellery firms in Denmark. Almost all of the initial designs were by Hans Hansen. His son, Karl Gustav Hansen was the next major designer for the Hansen firm. Karl Gustav Hansen, similar to many of the major Danish jewellery designers was, in addition to being trained as a silversmith, first trained as a sculptor. The Hans Hansen smithy was one of the Denmark's most important and prestigious ateliers. After the elder Hansen passed away his son, Karl Gustav, took over the Hans Hansen workshop. The famous designers Bent Gabriel Pedersen, Bent Knudsen, and Henning Koppel designed for the Hans Hansen company. The Georg Jensen company purchased the smithy in 1992.

HARRIE (HARRY) LENFERINK

The Dutch Visual Artist Harrie Lenfering was born in 1933 in Tubbergen  (Overijssel, Twente).  In the early 1960s he was educated at  the Social Pedagogical Centre “Middeloo” Amestfoort and worked for years as a teacher Visual design, sculpture and  bronze casting. It is a versatile and skilled arts and since 1977 he made figurative and later abstract statues  and also organic shaped borne and silver jewelry. He trained himself and improved the whole process of bronze casting from wax model to the end object. He developed his own  Bronze alloy so that he could reproduce the same color.  When he designed his jewelry he was  also inspired by his wife Netty. His jewelry does have some Modernist Scandinavian style characteristics.

HATTIE CARNEGIE

Hattie Carnegie (original surname is Kanengeister) emigrated in 1986 with her family from Austria to America, she was just six years old. She opened, along with Rose Roth, various clothing stores in New York. Around 1918, after she founded her own company Hattie Carnegie Inc., she began designing jewelry for her own clothing line. Her jewelry was of extremely high quality, very expensive and designed all by herself. She copied no trends as such. Many famous movie stars and actresses wore her jewelry. Her designs were very innovative and she liked to use many different materials and techniques simultaneously. In 1956, after her death, the company was sold to Larry Josephs. The company closed its doors in the seventies. The original Hattie Carnegie pieces are very sought after and  still very expensive.

HENKEL & GROSSE (today Grosse Jewels).

Henkel & Grosse of Pforzheim was founded in 1907 by Florentien Grosse (1878-1953) and Heinrich Henkel (1876 - 1941). They produced parts for the jewelry trade. After the first world war the company was reorganized. In 1955 Christian Dior Jewelry chose Henkel & Grosse to produce 4 collections a year for them (earlier Mitchel Maer was also chosen by Dior). Their Christian Dior collections were praised for their quality (quality made for "haute couture"). From 1956 Grosse signed and dated each piece. The signed and dated the pieces of their own line too, which was qualitatively not less than their Christian Dior collection. The early pieces of both brands are very sought after and valuable.

HERMANN SIERSBOL

The Danish designer Hermann Siersbol opened in April 1945 his silversmith workshop. He had a mission to make affordable quality jewelry in modern Scandinavian designs. He started with an investment of 2000 crowns which he had laid aside of his salary as a silversmith apprentice. His company has slowly become one of the largest silver and gold jewellery producers of Scandinavia. Nowadays the company uses the most advanced equipment and production methods of casting and pressing jewelry. In 1964 Hermann died in a tragic accident and the company was taken over by his 4 children. His son Henrik Siersbol leads the firm now along with his daughter Camilla. The early pieces are very sought after and valuable.

HOBE: 1887 – present

In 1887 the master goldsmith Jacques Hobe started his company in Paris. His work was very much appreciated throughout Europe. One of his sons William Hobe worked as a representative for a German company that sold theatre jewellery. After he emigrated to America, he sold the jewelry to Florence Ziegfeld of the Ziegfeld Follies. Here he received the request for cheap but real looking jewelry that matched in the clothing of the Showgirls. In 1930 William Hobe started his own company Hobe Cie Ltd. NY that produced Costume Jewelry.

The Hobe Company is known for its extremely beautiful and elegant designs using the best quality materials. They made very nice reproductions of European antique jewelry. Hobe also designed a lot of jewelry for movies and movie stars. It is said that their jewelry is unmatched in quality. The company is considered one of the best Costume Jewelry manufacturers of America. The jewellery produced between 1935 and 1955 are most sought after by collectors.

JACOB BENGEL

The Bengel company is founded in 1873 and made watches and watch chains. In the 1920s and 1930s, during the Bauhaus and Art Deco period, it became one of the leading manufacturers of experimental fashion jewellery for which the new materials were used such as coloured Galalith and chrome-plated or nickel-plated brass. The company began to experiment with these materials and used mainly geometrical figures in the Art Deco and Bauhaus style. The jewelry were not marked but their design is very recognizable. There is a lot of information preserved and the buildings became an important museum. It shows the development of the mechanical production of the company (1870-1990), economic development, social structure and working conditions. In 2002 an Overview Exhibition was held which was catalogued.

JACOB HULL

Jacob Hull is a Danish designer of modernist jewellery. He worked in the sixties and seventies. This artist became famous in the early seventies, when his work was exhibited internationally and could be bought at Illums Bolighus, the leading store for the Danish Design. He was also a sculptor and a part of his work was accepted at the annual Charlottenburg exhibition. He travelled through many countries and has also lived in Finland. Eventually he settled on the peninsula of Jutland, Denmark and died in Djursland in 1993, as a victim of a fire in his house.

There are two categories of Hull's jewelry. There are original unique pieces, which he made in solid silver on command at very high prices. The second category was the silver-plated jewelry that also wear his stamp. Many of these were created and commissioned by Buch Deichmann B + D stamp. Everything was made by hand in his own workshop. However, in order to meet the high demand of Buch and Deichmann, Hull used an assistant to produce for them. He made many extravagant large pieces. Some with chunks of semi-precious stones like Amethyst or decorated with sunburst patterns and such. Hull was very alert on maintaining his design and made sure that all jewelry was marked before it left the workshop. It is therefore very unlikely to find unmarked Jacob Hull pieces. Though his pieces were frequently copied.

JACOB JENSEN

The Danish designer Jacob Jensen was born in 1926 in Copenhagen. In 1948 he was admitted to the School of applied arts. In 1952 he graduated towards industrial design. Among the general public, he is most known for the many designs for equipment by Bang Olufsen &. In 1972 the first 7 Jensen's designs included in the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. Nowadays as many as 19 designs of Jacob Jensen are part of the collection of this renowned museum. During his long career he made many designs for cars, jewelry, watches, vacuum cleaners and many other utensils. 

JORGEN JENSEN

Jorgen Jensen (born in 1931) is not the second son of Georg Jensen as is often supposed. Jorgen has briefly worked at Georg Jensen and the second son of Georg was also named Jorgen. This explains the misunderstanding. Jorgen has worked in Montreal (Canada) and Stockholm (Sweden) before he started his own workshop in Copenhagen in 1960. He made modernist jewelry and worked especially in pewter because it is an inexpensive material and forms very well. The simpler the jewel the more beautiful was his motto. His jewelry was made from 1960 until 1965 marked with Jorgen Jensen (sometimes JL) in italic font with number.

JORMA LAINE

Jorma Laine was born on 10th of July 1930 in Turku Finland. His parents were from the working class and were not directly involved in handicrafts Jorma was artistically always very talented. He studied in a very famous art school in Turku, Turun Piirustuskoulu. He started his own company  Silver-Lane in the sixties but was most famous for his design for Turun Hopea. He also designed for Kultateollisuus Ky. His most famous work dates from the sixties and seventies. He developed a unique modernist and abstract style with a lot of humor in it. Laine is best known for his bronze creations, which reflect an exciting new creative impulse. He made special gold shining bronze pieces and used unusual technique for Europe. These techniques
were more common in the orient. In this technique the bronze piece was acid treated, "yellow fired": and this resulted in his unique yellow or gold shining bronze.

He was a special person. He was very shy en did not like people much and loved his own solitude. He was not a family man either. But he loved nature and animals, especially birds, he loved history and culture, and he was  continuously inside some inspiration cloud. He was not only a jewellery designer, but also a very talented painter and sculptor. He made things of all materials, like ceramics, glass, wood and leather. And every peace he made was amazing. He died 27th of December 2002 from heart attack. Alone in his small log house in the forest. He was more or less a hermit. He was very happy that way.

JUDY LEE

During World War II women were the most important workforces in America.. After the second world war they were all replaced by the men. A lot of these women wanted still to have an income and  therefore became homeworkers. This created a new industry. At Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics women were working part-time. The products were sold through home parties. Avon also used this formula for their cosmetics and later their jewels. In the fifties through the seventies Judy Lee used that formula too. Judy Lee is a trademark of the Blanch-Ette Company who was founded in 1949 in Chicago by Blanche and Aldo Viano. The jewelry of Judy Lee is of an average quality with some outliers to the higher quality. Nowadays Judy Lee jewelry is becoming quit scares. Judy Lee jewelry is still reasonably affordable.

FRANK AND REGINE JUHL

The well-known Silver gallery of Frank and Regine Juhl is located in Kautokeino, Norway. They both came independently of each other as a young artists to Lapland in order to settle there. Regine is born in Germany and Frank in Denmark. Regine joined a nomad family for work and Frank did all kinds of chores such as wood saws. After they met in Kautokeino, they never left each other anymore. Because Frank regularly carried out restoration works to traditional Sami silver he followed courses in Denmark to work as a silversmith. Both were inspired by immense and unspoilt nature of Lapland and folk art of the Sami population. They expressed themselves in modernist jewelry, paintings and other works of art. They started a small workshop in 1959 and developed it over the years. The modernist jewelry has been internationally acknowledged. At the Expo 67 in Montreal Canada some of het jewelry pieces of the Tundra series were exhibited together with pieces of Tone Vigeland to represent Norway’s art of jewel making.

KALEVALA-KORU

Kalevala Koru (Jewelry) Oy is the largest jewelry manufacturer in Finland. The company designs, produces and sells high quality gold, silver and bronze jewelry. The brand has strong ties to its native Finland, creating pieces that are inspired by Finnish folklore and ancient artefacts. Kalevala uses only the highest quality raw materials, using local product whenever possible. Spectrolite is a material native to Finland, and Kalevala makes expert use of this lustrous stone is many of its pieces. In August 2005 Kalevala Koru Oy acquired all the shares of a well-known Finnish jewelry company Lapponia Jewelry Oy. The story of Kalevala Koru (Jewelry) began in 1935, when the city of Helsinki celebrated the 100th anniversary of Finnish national epic, Kalevala. A writer Elsa Heporauta was so inspired by the centenary that she started to contemplate a way to recognize the strength of their national heritage captured in Kalevala. To bring the ancient culture and embodied in it back to life. Elsa Heporauta gathered a group of progressive  Finnish women who shared the same desire to create something tangible to express respect to the women of the Kalevala. A committee was founded to raise funds for a monument in honor of the Finnish Woman. The initial attempt to raise money for the monument by public subscription yielded very limited results. In spring 1937, a proposal arose to make replicas of ancient jewelry and the sales of it would be donated to the monument fund. Instead of the original plan for four, forty items were chosen and sketched from the collections in the National Museum of Finland. The jewelry was made and went on sale in autumn 1937. However, the plan for building a monument gradually faded away. The second World War broke out in 1939. The committee was aware of that the need of using the fund for charity was greater than creating a statue. All ideas from the committee matured and grew as time went by. The Association of the Women of Kalevala was established and funds were distributed to places in need through the association. In 1941 the company named Kalevala Koru Oy was registered. Kaleva-Koru jewelry is very sought after and relatively expensive.

KARL LAINE / FINNFEELINGS (Sten en Laine)

The Goldsmith Karl Laine began in the sixties designing his typical modernist jewelry (mostly silver). Together with Hans Sten, he was the founding father of the current company Finnfeelings. The company is based in Finland at Turku in Littoinen. At this moment the following designers work for Finnfeelings: Björn Högkvist, Risto Jägerstig, Bernt Ilmonen and Gerold Gerdes. The company is producing affordable high quality jewelry, usually in silver. The early jewels of Karl Laine are very sought after and prizes are increasing.

KENNETH J. LANE 1963 - Present

Kenneth J. Lane began his career in 1954 in the Art Department for Vogue New York. After designing for Hattie Carnegie  and Christian Dior he started his own company in 1963. His jewelry is large and extravagant of very good quality, with original, innovative designs. He is an important and much loved contemporary designer and is considered as an icon. His jewelry is worn by many First Ladies, celebrities and the rich all over the world. KJL designed for AVON, the Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Ivana Trump and Barbara Bush. A lot of people collect his jewelry. The company still exists.

KRAMER OF NEW YORK

Kramer of New York was a leading company in creating sophisticated Costume Jewelry. The company is founded in 1943 by Louis Kramer and the company stopped in 1980. In the beginning Louis did the designing by himself. They produced a wide range of jewelry. From simple to very extravagant. Fabulous elegant quality jewelry that beautifully made use of rhinestones and plastic stones (thermoset and such). The company Kramer of New York was located at number 393 on the 5th Avenue in New York.

Always beautiful and known for their "Diamond Look" and beautiful pieces in the sixties. The early pieces are the most wanted and are marked with " and "Kramer of NY" or “Kramer of NY City" and in the fifties Kramer in an oval cartouche. The Company also produced jewelry for Christian Dior marked with "Kramer for Christian Dior". Their price level was average to very expensive depending on the quality and the design.

LAPPONIA
 

In 1960 the Finn Pekka Anttila started the company. He looked for innovations in jewelry making. Pekka was very impressed by the work Björn Weckström, he loved his unique touch in designing. Anttila and Weckström started their cooperation and in 1963 the Lapponia company actually started. Despite that they had much competition, they got quickly consumer confidence. They grew into a full-fledged company that made high quality jewelry. 

In 1965 Lapponia Jewelry took part in their first international fair. In the same year Björn Weckström participated in a Contest in Rio de Janeiro and won the Grand Prix for his golden necklace "Flowering wall". The company gained international respect and recognition. They captured steadily the market that more and more appreciated their typical designs.

In 1971 Lapponia launched the Flame Bronze Collection designed by Weckström. In this series were 8 rings, 7 pendants, 3 bracelets and 4 belts. All these were produced just a short period in the 70´s only. Name Flame Bronze came from the special patina surface of the items. The collection has a dark tone and heavy image. The names of jewellery in this collection had clear military overtone like B52, Pentagon, Starfighter and International Arms Inc. to take some examples. Some of the names had connection to automotive industry like Mustang, General Motors, Pontiac 59 and Buick 49. The three bracelets were called Mauser, Krupp and Maginot.

Many well-known designers worked for Lapponia such as: In 1971 Poul Havgaard, Juhani Linnovaara in 1972 (a painter), in 1975 Zoltan Popovits (a sculptor), in 1989 the Frenchman Christophe Burger, in 2002 the designer Pekka Hirvonen and Chao-Hsien Kuo in 2006.

In 1972 Pekka Anttila received the National Entrepreneurs Prize for his special contribution to the Finnish jewellery industry. In 1979 Lapponia's efforts in the export markets was awarded with the "The President of Finland Award for Export".

LANGANI  (Stuttgart Germany)

Anni Schaad started the designer brand Langani  in 1952. She used her maiden name Anni Lang to create the brand. Her success at the Frankfurt Fair in 1952 encouraged her to continue designing.  As a recognizable symbol for the authenticity of her jewelry a black pearl was used (mainly on necklaces and bracelet). Some of the jewelry was marked Langani in script. Anni used al lot of different coloured handmade materials and beads. The brand is also known for the lightness of langani’s invention, the “floating beads” - in which beads are strung on nylon threads so that they appear to be dancing on the skin. During the seventies a lot of other material were added, like:  precious stones, antique lampwork beads, beads made ​​from hand-carved bone, rhinestone and a very large variations of coral, shell and mother of pearl combined with exotic fruit pods, delicate feathers, sea urchin spines, ostrich egg shells, horn, leather, alpaca and oddly shaped rare woods.  Unique jewelry was created. Anni Schaad’s daughter, Susanne Kiess-Schaad, took over direction of "langani with the Black Pearl” after Anni’s death in December 1988..The jewelry is nowadays very popular because of its timeless beauty.

LEO GLASS CO (1928-1957)

After Leo Glass had worked for 10 years at the Lisner Company, he started in 1928 the Leo Glass Company NYC. A part of the collection was designed by Leo Glass, his sisters Ann and Beatrice and David Mir. The other part of the collection was imported. They used the best quality silver and stones for their relatively expensive jewelry. In 1946 the company started with the production of cheaper Costume Jewelry with a lower quality standard. These jewels were marked with "Courtly Jewels". In 1957 the company went bankrupt.

LISNER

Although the family has been active in the jewellery trade for a long time, the D. Lisner Company was only officially founded in New York in 1904. Until 1930 this Company imported beautiful jewels from Europe. Because importing became very difficult the firm began in 1930 their own jewelry line. The brand Lisner was first used in 1935. The company has been active until around 1985. The jewels Lisner made were of a timeless design. Modern designs with sometimes very abstract geometric figures. The designs were often derived from nature. Many leaf shapes (gold-and silver-coloured metal) with a great variety of rhinestones and other polished stones. The company was very well known for its plastic (thermoset) leaf shaped jewelry in the combination with gold or silver metal. This brand is still very popular in America and there are many collectors for. Their price level was above average to very expensive depending on the quality and the design. The craftsmanship of the makers and the quality of these jewels are very good and some of them are truly unreal beautiful. Lisner also introduced a second brand, Rechilieu Jewelry. The Rechilieu line was the more expensive line for which the best designs were selected.

LOUIS FÉRAUD (13 February 1921 – 28 December 1999)  

Louis Féraud was a French fashion designer and artist. In 1950 he started his first Couture house in Cannes. Five years later he opened his second in Paris on 88, Rue de Faubourg Sant Honoré, Rue Pierre-Charonne. He worked for the Paris Elite and also Brigitte Bardot. In 1958 he presented his first haute Couture collection. In het 1960’s he began working with the famous designers Jean-Louis Sherrer, Margit Brandt and Per Spook. He won in 1978 the Golden Thimble Award. Like the most important Fashion designers, a lot of accessories were designed ( Lingerie, Beachwear, Fur, Scarves, Leather Goods, Eyewear, Jewelry and Cuff Links)  During his life he received a lot of honours. In December 1999 he died. 

LYSGARDS DESIGNS (DENMARK)

Of the company Lysgards Designs in Denmark is little known. They worked mostly on behalf of other companies. Most Lysgards designer jewellery was offered in the 1960 's and 1970s in the more luxurious shops sold that by playing on the prevailing fashion image of modernist Danish design. Lysgards knew better than anyone that the design was the main framework for manufacturing quality jewellery. The signed Lysgards pieces (mostly Numbered) are always manufactured from pewter. Other designers such as Georg Jensen jewellery made similar designs but always in silver. Many studio jewellery artists did versions from the Lysgards design catalogue, mainly in silver.

MARENA JEWELRY GERMANY

Marena Jewelry exists for more than 30 years. In the first designing years they made beautiful Art Deco inspired individual mostly brooches that could also be worn as a pendants. The Marena creations were 18kt gold plated using semi-precious stones, real mother of pearl, real pearls, Austrian crystals and other valuable high quality materials. The Jewelry is handmade in Germany and are mostly one only pieces signed with Marena, Marena Handarbeit or Marena Handarbeit W.Germany. The brooches/pendants feature often tiny gold plated hanging an swathed across chains and are decorated with leaves and other high quality materials that were used in the 20th century. The vintage Marena pieces are very sought after and expensive.

MARY MCFADDEN

Mary Josephine McFadden (born in 1938, New York City) is an American fashion designer and writer. An unusual combination. She worked for Dior New York, Vogue South Africa and Voque Paris. She was the founder of Vukutu sculpture workshop in Rhodesia. In the 1970’s she was a freelance fashion and jewelry designer. In 1975 she started one of her own company’s. She was inspired by the art and culture of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, Indian, and African civilizations and became an internationally renowned fashion designer. She has borrowed patterns from the Masai tribes and is one of the few designers who can make a caftan work. The designed a lot of costumes for famous films. Since then she has received many honors including the President's Fellows Award of the Rhode Island School of Design and has served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. McFadden's collections have been shown on runways in New York, Paris, Rome, Milan, and Tokyo. McFadden won a Coty Award in 1976 and entered the Coty Hall of Fame in 1979. In 1988 she designed a line of jewelry based on ancient civilizations for the Franklin Mint. In the span of her thirty-six year career, McFadden has designed more than 100 collections. 

MATTI HYVÄRINEN / SIROKORU KY

Matti Hyvärinen is the founder and the designer of Sirokoru Ky which was established in 1958 in Finland. Matti Hyvärinen started at his father workshop and at the age of 21 he stated his own studio Sirokoru Ky making his own recognizable style of  jewellery. He is a multitalented designer of outstanding jewellery. He won a lot of international awards and his works have been exhibited all over the world. He won awards like: Diamonds International Award 1967 at New York, Int. Pearl Design contest 1983 Tokyo, Goldsmith of the Year 1987 in Finland etc…

MIRACLE

Miracle is the trade name of A. Hill & Company LTD. of Birmingham, England. The company started producing in 1946 and is still the leading designer of jewelry in the Celtic, Irish and Scottish style. Miracle jewelry is the "real thing" and is based on real historical and archaeological information and examples. Throughout  England a lot of jewelry was found in archaeological excavations,  jewelry up to 600 AD old. The Miracle jewelry is very well constructed and the best and finest materials were used by very experienced and highly skilled craftsmen. Many of the designs are influenced by knot designs from early Christian Irish manuscripts and Viking art. Other designs were inspired by the Victorian Agate Jewelry, Victorian Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, English, Irish, Celtic and Scottish styles. Frequently mythical figures such as dragons we used.

Most jewelry was finished in an old silver or old gold look, frequently using glass stones or glass inlays. These stones were usually somewhat rough with uneven structures to look like real natural gem stones. Miracle wished to make their jewelry as authentic as possible and added more specifications to their simulated stones. For instance if an amethyst stone was used in a brooch it was not just a piece of clear purple glass but it was marbled and showed slight colour variation to imitate a genuine amethyst stone as close as possible. Miracle used real gems for their real gold and silver pieces.

MIRIAM HASKELL

Miriam Haskell was born in 1899, a daughter of Jewish immigrants that ran a dry goods store in a small town nearby New Albany. After three years study at Chicago University she moved to New York City and opened a jewelry boutique in 1926 in the old Mc Alpin Hotel. A year later the designer Frank Hess joined her business. A lot of times Miriam, Frank and Coco Chanel would share their ideas while selecting upcoming season’s beads at Madame Gripoix’s in Paris.  The jewelry business was mostly run by man, a man’s world. Coco Chanel, Nettie Rosenstein, Hattie Carnegie and also Haskell found their way to compete with them. Over the years a lot more boutiques and stores were opened in which more affordable jewelry were sold. She created collections for the society women of her day, the lavish productions of Flo Ziegfeld, as well as the couture of Coco Chanel. Miriam Haskell jewelry was worn by celebrities and used in a lot of films and other publicity shots. It was personally worn by Joan Crawford, Lucy Ball, Gloria Vanderbilt and the Duchess of Winsor.

Her jewelry was mostly unsigned before the 1950’s. Her brother Joseph Haskell introduced signing the jewelry on a regularly basis. In the fifties Haskell became ill. The horror of World War Two had affected her health and emotional stability. She lost control of het Company and her brothers took over. Living in an apartment on Central Park South with her widowed mother through the next decades, she became increasingly erratic in her behavior. In 1977, she moved to Cincinnati, under the care of her nephew Malcolm Dubin. To defray the cost of her nursing, her family sold a lot of her archives and samples. She died in 1981.

MONET

The brothers Chernow started in 1929 in Providence City on Red Island (USA) with making Monet jewelry. Their company was called Monocraft. They produced beautiful relatively inexpensive costume jewelry. It was also a very innovative company. They invented, among other things, the adjustable ear clips. These clips were much more comfortable to wear in the ears than the conventional ones. The vintage Monet jewelry dates from the period around 1930 to the period around 1960. The price level of the vintage jewelry varies from cheap to some very expensive jewelry. Mostly in the cheaper range. In 2000 Liz Claiborne bought the company, together with the brands Marvella and Trifari. Monet jewelry will be created to this day. Still of good quality. Available at de better department stores.

NAPIER

The Napier Company began in 1875 with making jewelry and watch chains. At fist the company was called Whitney and Rice. In 1882, the company was known as the E. A. Bliss Company. After the first world war, James Napier became the director of the company and changed the name into the Napier Bliss Company. In 1922 the name changed in "the Napier Company", the name were it is known for. During the first and second war they had to make war related. James Napier visited in 1925 World's Fair Exposition Internationale des Artes Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, and brought many designs and influences from Europe and Paris which he used for his business. James Napier has led the company from 1920 to 1960. In 1980, the company was sold to Victoria & Company that closed its doors in 1999. The Napier jewelry is still produced by the Jones Apparel Group. The Napier jewelry is of very good quality and is known for their simple tighter forms. The old real silver pieces are the most sought after by the collectors.

NELLY BICHE DE BERE

The French designer Nelly Biche de Bere is a graduate of the School of Industrial Design in Paris and the Pratt Institute in New York. She has exhibited in both cities as Industrial designer. Seven years later she introduced her own modernist jewelry line that was a great success. She opened many stores in France and abroad and even opened a factory in Chateaubriand in 1994. By mismanagement and financial problems, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2007.

NETTIE ROSENSTEIN

Nettie Rosenstein (original Rosencrans) emigrated to America when she was very young and began in 1927 in the millinery. Later she started designing haute couture clothing with matching accessories such as jewelry. Her wonderful very high quality jewellery range from simple to more complicated designs. In 1938 she was one of the first persons to receive the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award. In 1953 she designed the inauguration dress for the First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. In 1961 she stopped designing clothing but went on with her costume jewellery and-perfume and bags line. In 1975 she retired and the brand stopped to exist. Nettie died in 1990. Her jewels are very scarce and very sought after. High prices are paid for them.

NIELS ERIK FROM

The Danish silversmith Niels Erik From opened his studio in 1931 at the age of 23. In 1944 he registered the brand name "N.E.From" in Nakskoy. In 1960 his son Hilmer Jensen started working in his firm and took over the company in 1986 over after his father had died. A few years later the company was closed.

In the early years Niels Erik From was known for its floral jewelry in the Danish Arts and Crafts style often set with semi-precious stones. Around the 1960s the company started to manufacture the famous modernist. The company used different makers marks depending on the size of the jewel and the time of production. The following were used: FROM, N.E.FROM STERLING DENMARK, 925 and sometimes N.E.From in italic script.

Niels Erik From belongs to the best in the Group of modernist Danish designers. The jewelry are highly sought after and the prices of the jewelry are still rising.

NINA RICCI

Nina Ricci was a popular style icon of Parisian society. She was born in 1883 in Turin Italy as Maria Nielli (nickname Nina) and moved at the age of 12 with her family to France. Already at the age of 13 she worked as an apprentice in a sewing workshop. At the age of 22 she was already head designer for this company. In 1904 she became madame Ricci when she married with the jeweler Luigi Ricci. In 1905 her son Robert was born. Robert convinced his mother to open a fashion house in Paris. This fashion house grew very quickly and soon became 11 floors in 3 buildings.In 1948 the famous perfume line LÁir Du Temps was created. The bottle with pigeons was partly designed by Marc Lalique. Until 1950 the Lalique family manufactured the perfume bottles exclusively for the House of Ricci. After a meeting with Mr Bradden, Robert Ricci was so very impressed with the high quality, high fashion and classic designs of his jewelry that could support the image of the House of the Nina Ricci so beautiful, that in 1984 the Canadian company D'Orlan jewelry stores Ltd started a joint venture with the House of Nina Ricci. Together the companies made furore in the jewelry world with the development of their high quality plating process, it was a 22 carat triple-plated finish on a pewter base metal that took care for consistency of color. All jewelry were marked with "© Nina Ricci". Robert Ricci died in 1988 and the company was acquired by Nina's son-in-law, Gilles Fuchs. The House of Nina Ricci still makes wonderful couture, the perfume, jewelry and accessories and are highly respected permanently.

ORA

The Italian Oreste Agnini had studied violin at the Conservatory of Naples and was concertmaster and violinist in the Wurlitzer Orchestra. He emigrated to America in 1903 (New York). During the first world war he served in the U.S. Air Force where his drawing skills were already very important. After he had learned to make and design jewelry at Trifari Jewelry Inc. he started in 1921 together with Ralph Singer in Midwest, Chicago, the company & Singer Agini. They made a lot of Costume Jewelry for other companies such as Eisenberg. Also they got many commands to make theatre jewelry for Hollywood and Broadway. At one point they started to produce their own line under the name ORA (a combination of Oreste and Ralph). These jewels were marked ORA. In 1952 Oreste retired. The ORA jewelry are characterised by extensive use of higher quality materials in their jewelry including Swarovski crystals. The metals were usually covered with a heavy layer of rhodium. The jewelry often has the typical Art Deco design and was made in small editions and relatively expensive.

ORENA PARIS

About the history of Orena located in Paris is not much known. It should already have been in business in 1975 because from that time, in command of Orena, beautiful advertisement pictures are known. The brand was discontinued in 2005 but could already have stopped making jewelry earlier on. The company is known for creating high-quality jewelry for Lanvin, Helena Rubinstein, Balenciaga, and Pierre Balmain. Under the own brand were also beautiful collections created. They made high-end costume jewelry that all was hand finished (enamelling, assembly, polishing , etc…).

ORIGINAL BY ROBERT

The Fashioncraft Jewelry Company NYC was founded in 1942 by Robert Levey, David Jaffe and Irving Landsman. There were various brands used including Fashioncraft, Fashioncraft Robert, Robert and Origninal by Robert. In 1952 Irving Landsman left the Company and around 1960 the name of the Company changed to Robert Original Inc. The jewelry were now marked Robert or Original by Robert. The Company made very refined handmade jewelry in fabulous designs that are often confused with that of Miriam Haskell, De Mario designs and Stanley Hagler. This is due to the similar designs and the high quality. The jewelry was sold for high prices. They wer also the supplier of Motion Picture Industries. In 1975 Robert Levey retired. The daughter of David Jaffe began to work at the Company. After the retirement of David Jaffe in 1979 it changed the name into "Ellen Designs for Robert Originals". In 1984 it became Ellen Designs.

The brand Robert and Original by Robert was used form 1942 to 1979, after 1955 the copyright sign was added. The brand Fashioncraft and Fashioncaft Robert was used in the early 1940s.

ORNO

The Orno cooperative company was founded in 1949 in Warsaw Poland by a group of artists an craftsmen. Orno jewelry was mostly made of silver using precious and semi-precious stones. Most of the jewelry  was manufactured in the 1950s and the 1960s. At the time Orno was one of the most imported organisations that created Modernist designs in Poland. Imported designers that have worked for Orno were Maria Kierkus, Wlodzimierz Skawinski and Henryk Grunwald.

 

PANETTA: 1945 - 1995

Benedetto Panetta emigrated in 1901 from Italy to America. In Naples he had already own a jewelry shop where he made beautiful and creative jewelry. After working for a period as head designer at Trifari’s he started in 1945 his own business in New York. Panetta produced great jewelry. The best quality materials were used. Mostly handmade with great craftsmanship and with an eye for detail. Most of the jewelry was designed in the Art Deco style. From the beginning the company stood for quality and really looking sophisticated Costume Jewelry. A lot of rich people preferred the Costume Jewelry of Panetta above the expensive jewelry made from precious gemstones and gold. The company discontinued its activities in 1995. All jewelry from Panetta is very sought after by collectors.

PENNINO: 1926 - 1961

In 1926 the Pennino Jewelry Company (New York) was founded by Frank Pennino. They produced watch cabinets and sophisticated Costume Jewelry using high quality Austrian rhinestones that had the look of real stones. It was mounted in silver or 14 karat gold plating. A part of the Pennino jewelry is unmarked. The jewelry was very popular in the forties. Pennino is known as one of the best Costume Jewelry producers from the past because of their beautiful designs and great craftsmanship. In 1961 the company ceased to exist. The jewelry is sought after and relatively expensive.

PENTTI SARPANEVA

Pentti Sarpaneva (1925-1978) is one of Finland's most famous modernist jewellers. He studied at the Graphics Arts department of the Institute of Industrial Art in Finland. He worked mainly in bronze. Often you can find amethyst and other semi-precious stones in his "dramatically" styled jewelry . He took his inspiration from nature, the bark of trees, weathered and dead pines and Karelian embroidery of his youth. He made moulds of these motives that were used for very decorative objects. The Sarpaneva products were mainly exported to Sweden and Norway but also to Denmark, America, Japan and England.

PERLI

Perli-Werkstatt is a German company from Swabisch Gmund, founded 1922. The founder, Marga Mey has studied in 1935-1936 at the School for Applied Arts Gebichtenstein in Halle. The company is known for his particularly ironwork and enamel cloisonné. In 1933, a hammered silver line was created. A part of their work was exhibited at the Paris Expo in 1937. After the second world war, the company was known for its beautiful modernist designs. The work is still very much appreciated. The pieces are marked with PE or Perli. The jewelry is rare to find and relatively expensive.

RELO

Relo was founded in 1969 and in 1972 they became part of Höfflin+Lüth's art-design in Pforzheim (Germany). The Relo studio  made very beautiful abstract organically shaped silver jewelry in the sixties and seventies. The jewelry was often very extravagant. A few of the best modernist designers worked for Relo, designers who combined innovation with the best craftsmanship. Designers such as the Swiss Hans Stalder and Carl Elsener, Sigurd Persson from Sweden as well as Reinhold Reiling and Günter Krauss from Germany.  At the end of the 1970s Relo-design became the firm Fillner & Elsener in Switzerland. The Relo  jewelry is nowadays rare and very expensive.

RENOIR AND MATISSE

In 1946 Renoir was founded by Berry Fels in Los Angeles, California. He learned a lot in the Students League and at the National Academy of Design in New York. Here he began creating jewelry of copper with abstract modern designs. His designs belong to the Arts and Crafts and modernist movement. His first pieces were full of copper sometimes with black enamel. Later in the fifties he set up a second company at which he added more colour (enamel) to the jewelry. These jewels were signed Matisse. The companies produced their jewelry until 1964 when Fels retired and moved to Florida. The geometrically shaped jewelry is the most expensive of his designs. His style is very characteristic. The jewelry is very popular, widely collected and still very expensive.

RICHELIEU: 1911 - Present

Richelieu is founded in 1911 by Joseph H. Meyer & Bros. in Brooklyn NY. The company is especially known for its cream-coloured pearls. Many chains that they produced consisted of gold-coloured imitation pearls with rhinestones with mostly a metal base. They say that the newer jewelry is better designed than the older pieces. Lisner-Richelieu Corp. still produces the jewelry under the brand "Richelieu". The Richelieu costume jewels symbolize a beautiful simulated appearance of real pearls of the highest quality, stylishly designed with gold plating, silver plating and Platinum as a base material. The Richelieu Costume Jewelry is not very sought after but her popularity is constantly increasing.

RIITTA HAKALA

Riitta Hakala is the designer responsible for the famous modernist style of Tammen Jewelery Ltd also called Tammi Jewelry (previously Tammen Koru Oy). Tammen Koru Oy was founded in 1954 by a Turku-based jeweler Alpo. Riitta has worked since 1976 for this company. Her skillful and exclusive work has created an image of the whole company known for its high quality standards. Riitta was inspired by the rugged nature, forests and lakes of Finland. She is mentioned in the same breath with other top designers such as Elis Kaupi, Kirsti Doukas and even Björn Weckström for Lapponia. Nowadays the young designer Marjut Kemppi employed by Tammi has new contemporary influences, preserving and maintaining the classic lines and high quality created by Riitta Hakala.

ROBERT LARIN

Relatively little is known about the life of the Canadian designer Robert Larin. He produced exceptional examples of modernist jewellery in the mid-20th century. He produced complicated, unusual and striking jewellery in his workshop on the rue Papineau in Montreal QC. In its heyday there were 25 employees working of whom the most were  hard-of-hearing and they communicated with sign language especially necessary against the noisy ackground of the workplace (noisy machines). All Larin work was designed and produced in the years 1968 to 1977. The year in which his workshop was closed. Larin made bold creations using Pewter. To achieve the highest level of quality he used the  "lost wax process" for casting his pieces. This process was usually used for nobler metal. After pouring the ornament was hand finished and sometimes (partly) gold plated and finally polished. Larin also uses oxidation techniques and "overlay" techniques to achieve a dramatic and robust effect.
Robert Larin work is becoming increasingly popular with collectors who are increasingly discovering the great mid-century Canadian artists.

SARAH COVENTRY

During World War II women were the most important workforces in America. After the second world war they were all replaced by the men. A lot of these women wanted still to have an income and  therefore became homeworkers. This created a new industry. At Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics women were working part-time. The products were sold through home parties. Avon also used this formula for their cosmetics and later their jewels. From ca. 1954 Sarah Coventry Jewelry also used this sales method. The Sarah Coventry Company began in 1950 and is named after the granddaughter of Charles H. Stuart who was called Sarah Ann. A year earlier Stuart established the sister company Emmons Jewels Inc. Both companies sold their costume jewelry direct to the consumer through parties. The jewels were very popular and beloved because of their quality and designs. The jewelry is all commissioned designed and created by other companies in Rhode Island. The popularity took such forms that the jewelry was awarded in a known television show as "Queen for a Day". The popularity declined in the seventies. The company was sold in 1984 and the jewelry parties stopped. Their price level was average to expensive depending on the quality and the design. Due to the large variation in styles and qualities this brand was affordable for everyone.

SCHIAPARELLI: Late 1920s - 1974

Elsa Schiaparelli was born in Rome in 1890 and moved in twenties to Paris where she started her own fashion house. In 1940 she emigrated to New York and opened a clothing boutique. She gave her name in license to the David Lisner Company to benefit the production of larger numbers of Costume Jewelry. This company was already Distributor and American agent for her former in France made pieces. 
In 194 the Ralph De Rosa Company started to produce the jewelry for Schiaparelli. 
Her early pieces were the most innovative and distinctive. The jewelry was all made of the best materials. Elsa retired in 1954 and the company stopped its activities. Elsa died inParis in 1973. The company and the rights to use its name were sold in that year. Her designs were produced until 1974. Her pieces are very sought after by collectors and very expensive.

SPHINX

The British company Sphinx was founded in 1948 an was a renowned jewelry manufacturing company that produced well made, quality constructed and beautifully designed costume jewelry that had the look of real jewelry. In addition to their own line they produced jewelry designs for may talented artists like Kenneth J, lane, Butler & Wilson, Joe Mazer (Jomaz), Alfred Philippi (Trifari), Nina Ricci, Caura, Fried Paris as well as, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Mark & Spencer and other high end department stores in Europe and United States. Usually signed with SPHINX in an oval cartouche with sometimes a designer number on it (a Letter and number). Some have only a letter and number or only numbers.  These were design numbers. Unsigned pieces were for customers who wanted to sell pieces as their own, if there wasn’t enough space ont the design or simply because of a lack of time due to a rush to meet the demand. The jewelry is now becoming highly collectible since Sphinx ceased operations in the late 1990’s.

STANLEY HAGLER

Stanley Hagler started his company in New York City in 1953. He designed amazing, complex and colourful jewelry using very high quality materials, like handblown glass, coloured stones and cabochons, seed pearls, Swarovski crystals and Russian gold plated brass. All handmade and unique pieces.In 1979 Mark Mercy joined the company. In 1983 they moved to Florida and added N.Y.C. tot the "STANLEY HAGLER" oval cartouche signature. Before it was only “STANLEY HAGLER”. His clients were the elite from all over the world. Stanley Hagler died in 1996 but the company continued to produce jewelry under the Stanley Hagler name. 

TEKA (THEODOR KLOTZ)

Teka was a German jewelry brand that was founded in the forties in Pforzheim, the jewelry city of Germany. The company was led by the renowned designer Theodor Klotz. Most of the jewelry was made of silver. In the sixties and seventies the company began to make excellent modernist jewelry. The modernist designs were very progressive for that time. The jewelry is relatively scarce but still reasonably affordable.

THELMA DEUTCH (1982-1995)

Thelma Deutsch jewelry was produced for only a short time, from 1982 to 1995. Her pieces are limited and are hard to find nowadays. Thelma made costume jewelry using vintage molds from Hollycraft, Trifari, Eisenberg and other well-known names in the costume jewery.  She changed the looks by using different materials, plating, stones and colours. She was known for her high class fashion jewelry, often  big, bright and colourful. Her pieces were meant to be seen and seen again. The bigger, the brighter, the better.

THEODOR FAHRNER: 1883 - 1979
In 1883 Theodor Fahrner (at age 24) took over his father's business in Pforzheim. A German producer of high quality jewelry in gold and silver, designed by artists from an artists colony Mathildenhohe at Frankfurt (Germany). The company was growing during the period 1887-1895 and other types of jewelry were made by designers like Franz Boeres, Rudolf Bosselt, Max Joseph Gradl, Hermann Haussler, George Kleemann and Ferdinand Morawe who designed jewelry in the Art Nouveau and/or Jugendstil style. The jewelry was signed with the names of the designers in addition to the TF trademark. The company followed the trends closely. The Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Art Modern styles were translated to affordable silver jewelry. The main material they used was silver, enamel, marcasite’s, iron and semi-precious gemstones. A lot of the jewelry was exported to England and America.

In 1901 the TF trademark was introduced. After Theodor Fahrner died in 1919, the company was sold to Gustav Braendle. From 1920 until the second world war Art Deco they produced filigree silver jewelry. In 1945 the entire archive was destroyed by a bomb strike. After Gustav Braendle death in 1952, his son Herbert was leading the business. With a smaller number of employees the production was focused on the fashion of the sixties. More modern silver jewelry was created. Herbert Braendle died In 1979. The company was dismantled and destroyed most of the archives. The jewelry of the Theodor Fahrner Company is very sought after and is sold for high prizes.

TRIFARI

Trifari was a very prominent jewellery brand. It produced very high quality jewelry with dazzling designs. The Trifari & Trifari company was founded in 1910 by Gustavo Trifari along with his uncle. Gustavo started his own company hereafter. His grandfather, who was a goldsmith in Italy and creator of very sophisticated jewelry, was emigrated to America. He teached Gustavo the business. In 1917 Leo Krussman joined the business and the name of the Company was changed in Trifari & Krussman Company. In 1920 another companion Carl Fishel joined the Company. The company was now called Trifari & Krussman & Fishel Company (TKF). After several acquisitions Trifari became a part of the Monet Group. This company went bankrupt and was acquired by Liz Claiborne in 2000.

The most famous designer of this company was Alfred Philippe. He worked for Trifari from 1930 until 1968. Alfred had previously designed for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. Under his influence, the company was very innovative and reached a world class status

Trifari developed a special metal alloy “Trifarium”. Trifari jewelry had an excellent quality level. The Alfred Philippe pieces are the most loved and the most precious ones. Other famous designers are Benedetto Panetta, Lucius Passavanti, Jean Paris, Andre Boeut and Diane Love. The price level of the jewelry was average to very expensive, depending on the design.

VALO-KORU OY

The Finnish Valo-Koru Oy was founded in 1969 and based in Rusko. The company produces high quality silver and bronze jewelry usually with beautiful organic modernist designs. In addition to Juhani Valo who has the official stamping right to the noble metal jewelry since 1969, Hannu Ikonen also designed a lot of jewelry. Hannu Ikonen is especially famous for his reindeermoss pieces in silver and bronze.  But he also designed other modernist sculptural jewelry. The bronze pieces were usually marked with "Made in Finland" (if there was sufficient space). The silver pieces were fully hallmarked including the mark for Valo-Koru, the half Sun.

VAN DELL

The Van Dell Company was founded in 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island. This was the place where many producers of Costume Jewelry were settled. The company made high quality refined jewelry from sterling silver, gold filled and gold plated metals frequently using. rhinestones, other imitation stones, culture and imitation pearls. The jewelry is refined and chic and very real looking. The price level of the jewelry has always been very high depending on the design. Collectors begin to appreciate the company and the prices are rising 

VENDOME

Vendome was the more expensive jewelry line of Coro. The brand was already in use in 1944 for imitation pearl jewelry and bracelets with pendants. It took some time, until the sixties, that this jewelry line became popular. This was primarily caused by Helen Marion (Vendome's main design star) who began designing jewelry for them. Vendome used the best imported rhinestones and facetted crystal beads. Along with the top quality metal work with very artistic designs this was the main ingredients of their success. The jewelry is very sought after by collectors and the prices still rise

VOGUE: 1915 - 1975

In 1915, the Vogue jewelry was produced by Park Importing Co. NYC. This company specialized in imitation pearls and beads jewelry. The most Vogue jewelry currently offered are created in the thirties until the seventies by Harold Shapiro and his two partners Jack Gilbert and George Grant. The Vogue jewelry is said to radiate, originality, being innovative and just beautiful. The jewelry from the thirties and forties are hard to find and the most sought after by the collectors, marked: "VOGUE". The Vogue Company stopped its business in 1975

WARD BROTHERS

The Ward Brothers produced sterling silver jewellery from the nineteenth century and were originally based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Moving to Birmingham to increase production, this company produced Scottish designs with brilliant faceted stones. Marked with the Ward Brothers Birmingham or Edinburgh assay hall mark or if under 7 grams in weight they were marked "sterling/silver and WBs" sometimes with a year mark. The Ward Brother's designs were acquired by Miracle and are still produced.

WEST GERMANY, GERMANY & EAST GERMANY: 1871 – present 

The German Empire was called Germany until 1948. After the second world war the country was split into East and West Germany (1949). The Berlin wall fell in October 1990 and East and West Germany was reunited in Germany of today.

Until 1948 jewelry including Costume Jewelry was marked with "Germany". The jewelry after 1949 was marked with West Germany, w. Germany, etc. The East German pieces were marked with "German Democratic Republic". Jewelry marked with "Germany" are therefore always pre-war (pre-WII) unless they are more recent (after 1990). The Costume Jewelry marked West Germany are currently scarce. A lot of matching sets are found with hangers with imitation cameos surrounded with imitation pearls, multi-coloured glass stones, rhinestones aurora borealis and glass beads. Filigree was often used as well as lightweight metal work. The beads were often made of Lucite in all kinds of colours.

YVES SAINT LAURENT: 1960 - present

The designer Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 in Algeria. He worked for the House of Dior in 1954. After Christian Dior died in 1957, Saint Laurent was leading the fashion house Dior at the age of 21. In 1961 he opened his own fashion house in Paris. In 1966, he also opened a boutique in America. A part of his jewelry line was produced by Monet. In 1993 the YSL fashion house was sold for $ 600 million to the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Six years later it was sold to Gucci. Yves Saint Laurent died June 1th 2008 at the age of 71. His vintage pieces are much sought after and high prizes are paid for them.

ZOE COSTE (REMINISCENCE)

Reminiscence is a French jewellery and perfume House that was founded in 1970 by Zoe Coste and Nino Amaddeo. They were selling extravagant and colorful jewelry in a small boutique in Juan-Les-Pins on the French Riviera. The jewelry was often inspired by the East. In the same year they launched their first perfume: Patchouli, Ambre and Musc in collaboration with the brand Ylang-ylang. They were enjoying increasing popularity in the ' 80s and opened shops in Cannes and Paris. Zoe Coste died in 2007 but the company still exists and is still run by the family.

Zoe enjoyed a very high reputation for designing large, exuberant, whimsical pieces, with a mix of madness and passion, mixed with style. Very edgy creations. Her jewelry was handcrafted in small editions and is nowadays very scarce. They were worn in the 1980s on the French Haute Couture runways. Contemporaries are Chanel and Kenneth Jay Lane. Musicians and rock stars and actors wore the jewelry on stage or in music videos. 


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