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Expert in vintage costume jewelry from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s & 1950s

Collections

1920s Jewelry

This unique selection of 1920s jewelry includes long earrings, long and short necklaces, narrow bracelets, and brooches. Originally designed for the flapper, these jewels are equally stylish today. Many 1920s costume pieces were made from materials such as white metals, clear and colored glass stones and beads, faux pearls, diamanté, and marcasites, in imitation of fine jewelry. Filigree pieces in white and gilt metal were also popular. Colorful early plastics (Celluloid, Bakelite, and Galalith) were fashioned into novelty pieces at this time. Jewelry in the Art Deco style made its debut in the 1920s.

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1920s Jewelry

1930s Jewelry

This collection of 1930s jewelry includes pendant earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches, as well as new types of jewels – dress clips and double-clip brooches. In fact, dress clips were the most important jeweled accessory during the Great Depression. Costume jewelry makers also produced fruit salads, molded glass that imitated carved gemstones popularized by fine jewelers such as Cartier. Bakelite and other plastics were used to create whimsical jewelry in every possible form. The Art Deco style continued to evolve, with new motifs and streamlining. By decade’s end, Machine Age (aka Streamline Modern) jewelry was in vogue.

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1930s Art Deco diamante dress clip

1940s Jewelry

This collection of 1940s jewelry includes ear clips, necklaces, double-clip brooches, bracelets, and brooches in bold Retro Modern and delicate Victorian motifs. Because women’s clothing during the war years was austere and masculine, jewelry became very feminine. Stylized flowers and animals as well as buckles, bows, ribbons and fabric-like folds were popular. Bracelets were wide and often worn over gloves. Big and bold brooches were worn on the shoulder of day and evening attire. Double-clip brooches, still enormously popular, evolved from geometric pieces into asymmetrical, three-dimensional images. White base metals were replaced with sterling silver, often with yellow-, pink-, green-, and/or rose-gold plating.

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1940s Dewees emerald and diamante dress clip

1950s Jewelry

This authentic 1950s jewelry features amazing art glass, decorative beads, imaginative color combinations, and textured metals. Single- and multi-strand necklaces, cluster earrings, pendant earrings, brooches, bracelets, and sets are included. You will find fabulous fakes – imitations of large-scale fine jewelry – as well as graceful and classic tailored pieces. Gold-tone was more popular than silver-tone in this decade, when clothes that emphasized the female figure were in vogue. Another significant characteristic of the 1950s, other than the ubiquitous simple strand of pearls, was the preference for all accessories – jewels, gloves, handbags, shoes, and hats – to be color coordinated.

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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli brooch and earrings set

Alice Caviness Jewelry

This nice selection of Alice Caviness jewelry features brooches, earrings, bracelets, and sets from the 1950s. Using high-quality materials and techniques such as sterling, filigree, expensive art glass, and hand-set stones, Caviness and her designers produced bold and imaginative pieces. Located in New York City, the company designed, manufactured, and imported costume jewelry from 1943-1987. It was sold only in exclusive boutiques around the U.S. In addition to Manhattan, the company had showrooms in Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Caviness jewelry adorned fashion models in photo shoots published in The New York Times and Vogue.

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Alice Caviness Jewelry

Barbara's Picks

This collection is designed to show you something you haven’t seen or considered before. Barbara selects jewels with a common theme to feature.

Love Red!

Your love is one-of-a-kind, and so are these jewels. I love red in all it's variations: lively lipstick red, to ravishing ruby. These vintage pieces all are unique, and simply must be worn and admired by someone you love! And if she loves flowers, here's a fresh idea: why not give her ones that will never fade!

My top picks: A sparkling (and new!) ruby & diamanté Bogoff choker; a 'Rose of Seville brooch & earrings set by Marcel Boucher, or a gorgeous Hobé ruby, pearl, gemstone and diamanté bracelet.

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Ruby & diamante necklace with drop by Bogoff

Bogoff Jewelry

This nice collection of Bogoff jewelry features bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and brooches in the feminine designs that were popular in the 1950s. Always delicate and colorful, Bogoff created costume pieces that imitated fine jewels. From 1946-1960, this company’s jewelry often adorned models in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, where it was also featured in magazine editorials. “Jewels by Bogoff” were available through a broad range of retailers, from Sears, Roebuck and Best’s to luxury stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman. Owned and run by Henry and his wife, the company operated under a number of names.

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Bracelets

Vintage bracelets from the Art Deco style of the 1920s-30s, Retro Modern pieces of the 1940s, and 1950s designs by imaginative makers in beautiful materials can be found here. An important accessory to 1920s fashion, when bare arms required adornment, bracelets in this decade were typically worn in multiples. The popular styles were one- , two- , and three-row flexible bracelets (what we now call line or tennis bracelets), filigree bracelets, and bangles. Bracelets got wider and more three-dimensional in the 1930s, as the Machine Age style took hold. In the 1940s, gold-tone snake chains, basket-weave links, and flexible spirals were popular styles. The 1950s produced tailored pieces as well as fabulous fakes.

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Bracelets

Brooches & Pins

This selection of vintage brooches and pins from the 1920s-1950s includes pieces from fine makers such as Miriam Haskell, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Marcel Boucher. Once considered a dated, old-fashioned accessory, the brooch has recently resurfaced as a modern, essential adornment for any outfit. Today’s women are finding out just how versatile this type of jewel is. Wear one alone or wear a cluster. Pin a brooch to your shoulder, your jacket lapel, the throat of your blouse, or the waistline of your dress or trousers. Wear one on a belt, a purse, or a necklace. The choices are endless. Pieces from this collection will add drama and color to a casual outfit, or transform more formal attire into a show-stopper.

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Brooches & Pins

Catamore Jewelry

Jewelry made by Catamore, a family business in Providence, Rhode Island, included gold-filled and sterling silver costume pieces. This one is a nice example of their bracelets. For more than 40 years, the company also produced religious emblems and sterling novelties.

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Christian Dior Jewelry

Best known for his haute couture fashions and his revolutionizing New Look collection in 1947, Christian Dior commissioned individual designers and companies to make costume jewelry of the same high standard as his fashion collections. In the U.S., designers included Schreiner and Kramer; in England, Mitchel Maer; in Germany, Henkel & Grosse; and Robert Goossens and Josette Gripoix in France. In 1955, the Swarovski firm developed aurora borealis, an iridescent coating on faceted glass stones and beads that adds shimmer and makes them change color when seen from different angles. Dior was one of the first haute couturiers to introduce these crystals in his fashion collection. Christina Dior jewelry has always been sold only in exclusive shops.

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Ciro Jewelry

Ciro jewelry has been available for over a century. This retailer began as a purveyor of imitation pearls and added costume jewelry to their offerings in the 1920s. This extraordinary double clip brooch, undoubtedly made in Europe, is a fine example of the high standards this company demanded from its makers.

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Coro Jewelry

This fine collection of Coro jewelry from the 1930s-1950s features brooches, necklaces, bracelets, double-clip brooches, and sets. Many are by Adolph Katz, the company’s renowned design director. Coro was the largest costume jewelry manufacturer in the U.S. They produced three product lines, each aimed at a different target market. The majority of the pieces seen here are Coro Craft, the best-known, higher-end brand that used more expensive materials – sterling silver, vermeil, and European crystals. These big and bold 1940s brooches here fine examples. Coro was the first costume jewelry maker to produce double clip brooches – their Duette.

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Coro Jewelry

Dorsons Jewelry

This selection of Dorsons jewelry illustrates the company’s emphasis on the “real look” of their creations. Using simple, classic designs, they typically produced bracelets and brooches with diamantés hand-set in sterling silver.

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Dorsons Jewelry

Double Clip Brooches

Double clip brooches were first made by Coro, who gave them the name Duette. Trifari soon followed with their patented design, called Clip-Mates. These pieces were the most important jeweled accessory of the 1930s-1940s and were made into the 1950s. Their popularity was due to their versatility: one can be worn as a brooch or as separate dress clips. Other jewelry makers – including Boucher, Mazer, and Pennino – designed their own brooch mechanisms. (You can see these and other utility patents here.) Dress clips were particularly suited to square necklines of the 1940s, but these pieces are just as versatile with today's fashions. Wear them at your neckline or waist; on your shoulder or lapel; on your purse or hat; on your shoes; or to fasten a scarf or shawl. See also Dress Clips.

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Double Clip Brooches

Dress Clips

This collection of vintage dress clips includes singles and pairs in 1930s Art Deco designs as well as big and bold jewels in the Retro Modern style of the 1940s. First introduced in the early 1930s in fine jewelry, costume jewelry makers joined the bandwagon of this incredibly popular accessory. Women wore one clip at the bottom of a V-neckline as well as on a hat, belt, or purse. In pairs, dress clips perfectly anchored the edges of the square neckline that was prominent in the era. By the 1940s, women were wearing furs around their shoulders, and jewelry makers obliged with the double-prong clip backs needed to hold the furs in place. See also Double Clip Brooches.

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Dress Clips

Earrings

Vintage earrings are one of my favorite types of jewelry, and here you’ll find a vast selection from the 1920s-1950s. From Art Deco dangling styles to bead- and stone-cluster ear clips, this collection features a wide range of colors, materials, and silhouettes. Pieces like chandeliers by Hattie Carnegie or pearl clusters by Louis Rousselet will draw every eye up to your face, adding that little extra sparkle to any look. It’s no wonder earrings are many women’s go-to accessory. Whether adding color or shine to a simple everyday look or bringing that stunning cocktail dress to the next level, the perfect pair of vintage earrings will help to make you and your outfit memorable.

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Earrings

Eisenberg Jewelry

This stunning selection of Eisenberg jewelry from the 1940s features brooches, earrings, bracelets, and dress clips in the beautiful designs and high-quality materials that make this company’s pieces so desirable. From its beginnings as a manufacturer of women’s dresses in Chicago in 1920, Eisenberg & Sons launched a separate jewelry line – Eisenberg Jewelry Inc. – in 1936. Their jewelry was produced by Fallon & Kappel (F&K) as well as others until 1943, when F&K became their exclusive supplier. Ruth Kamke became their exclusive designer, producing intricate bows, florals, and abstract designs executed in hand-set, highly-leaded crystals with exceptional sparkle.

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Eisenberg Jewelry

Elsa Schiaparelli Jewelry

This Elsa Schiaparelli jewelry collection features pieces from the 1940s-1950s. You will find bracelets, earrings, and brooches in extraordinary designs and distinctive materials. Elsa Schiaparelli, along with her arch-rival Coco Chanel, was responsible for the acceptance and success of costume jewelry in the 1920s. Both women designed specific pieces to adorn their haute couture. Schiaparelli believed that costume jewelry, in addition to being an essential part of fashion design, was an art form in its own right. She collaborated with many jewelry designers as well as with Surrealist artists who were her friends.

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Elsa Schiaparelli Jewelry

Fahrner Jewelry

Theodore Fahrner jewelry was designed by eminent free-lance and in-house artists and made partly or entirely by machine. The company was located in Pforzheim, Germany. The pieces shown here are representative of their acclaimed Art Deco designs, which were executed in silver or gilded silver with matte enamel, marcasites, semi-precious stones and a particular type of filigree created from swirls of twisted silver wire.

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Fishel, Nessler Jewelry

Fishel, Nessler manufactured metal novelties as early as 1893. By the early 1900s, they expanded their production to include costume jewelry. Today’s collectors covet the Art Deco sterling silver pieces from the 1920s, like these two examples.

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Forstner Jewelry

For over 30 years, Forstner Chain Corporation produced various types of chains, bracelets, and novelties for both men and women. From 1946-1948, flexible spiral bracelets and chokers were prominent among the company's advertisements in Vogue. At various times, these pieces were available in sterling silver, 1/20 12K gold filled, 10K gold, and/or 14K gold. The one shown here is a stunning and unique design.

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Forstner Jewelry

Foster & Bro. Jewelry

Theo. W. Foster & Bro. Co. produced gold-filled, gold-plated and sterling silver jewelry as well as an extensive array of sterling silver novelties. The piece shown here is the only one I’ve ever seen by this maker. They were in business in Providence, Rhode Island, for over 40 years.

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Hattie Carnegie Jewelry

This selection of Hattie Carnegie jewelry from the 1950s features bold and colorful necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings. Instead of producing fabulous fakes – imitations of fine jewelry – which were popular in the 1950s, the fashion house's designs and materials were innovative and distinctive. The beaded jewelry is particularly exceptional. Some pieces were designed in-house under Carnegie's direction. Others were commissioned by various costume jewelry manufacturers. In partnership with Rose Roth, Carnegie opened her first shop in New York City in 1909. Ten years later, she bought out Rose and renamed the company Hattie Carnegie, Inc. They started marketing costume jewelry to accessorize their fashions in 1939.

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Hattie Carnegie Jewelry

Hess-Appel Jewelry

Hess-Appel is not well-known in the vintage costume jewelry community. For one thing, their earliest pieces were unsigned, and their mark was JOLLE rather than the company’s name. In addition, they were in business for only 12 years. This piece was made in the company’s early years when, according to the Brunialtis, they produced their best work.

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Hobé Jewelry

This lovely collection of vintage Hobé jewelry emphasizes the brooches, earrings and bracelets the company produced in the 1940s. These unique designs feature elaborate, hand-crafted leaves and flowers, bows, baskets and hearts. The jewelry from this period was all made in sterling silver. Some pieces were embellished with gold-plating and/or colored stones. In the 1950s, the company’s designs followed the trend for more glamour. Their standards for original designs, high-quality materials and excellent construction continued. Sold in up-scale department stores and boutiques, Hobé jewelry was marketed under the slogan “Jewels of Legendary Splendor”. Stars of the stage and screen wore these creations.

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Hobé Jewelry

Holiday Sparkle Collection

Bring on the bling! The holiday season is a great opportunity to add drama to any outfit. I've selected these sparkling vintage jewelry gems for their glamour and versatility. Wear them with formal evening wear, or just to dress up your favorite jeans for a more casual celebration. Don't stop there, why not pin them to your hat, scarf or coat...even shoes!

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Holiday Sparkle Collection

Jakob Bengel Jewelry

This wonderful selection of Jakob Bengel jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, and brooches. This German maker, whose Machine Age designs are so coveted today, first opened a watch chain and metal wares factory in Idar-Oberstein in 1873. Greatly influenced by the Bauhaus School, the company changed to the production of costume jewelry in the 1920s. Designers fashioned stainless steel, chrome, nickel, glass, and Galalith into geometric shapes. By the 1930s, their distinctive Art Deco pieces were shipped all over the world. Production ceased at the start of World War II. The company remained unknown until the late 1990s largely because their pieces were unsigned.

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Jewelry Sets / Parures

This nice selection of costume jewelry sets (also called parures) is from the 1920s-1950s. Each set has a necklace, bracelet, or brooch with matching earrings. Parures were particularly popular in the 1950s, when matching accessories (hats, gloves, belts, shoes, and jewels) were in vogue. During that decade, a full parure might have included a necklace, brooch, earrings, and a single or pair of bracelets, which a woman would wear at the same time. With today’s fashions, we tend to dress down, so you can wear the pieces in these sets together or separately. You can also combine one part of the set with complementary contemporary jewelry already in your jewelry box.

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Jewelry Sets / Parures

Kreisler Jewelry

Kreisler produced jewelry in sterling silver, like this bracelet, only in the 1940s. From its inception, the company manufactured fine jewelry. Like other jewelry makers during the war, Kreisler contributed to the war effort. That work was so successful that the firm discontinued making jewelry and novelties to focus on the aerospace industry.

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Louis Rousselet Jewelry

This fine collection of Louis Rousselet jewelry includes necklaces, earrings, brooches and parures made in France from the 1920s through the 1950s. Their pieces were usually signed only with a paper hang tag. Jewelry with the L.R. mark is rare, but you will find one signed piece here. Rousselet manufactured extraordinary hand-made beads and glass pearls that they used in their own designs and also sold worldwide. Costume jewelry clients included French couturiers and high-end stores. Because some of the characteristics of their work have been documented by authoritative sources, I have been able to attribute particular jewels to this exceptional maker.

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Louis Rousselet Jewelry

Machine Age Jewelry Collection

These necklaces, brooches, earrings and bracelets, mostly from the 1930s, are examples of the Machine Age style. It symbolizes machines and their movement. Most pieces are white metal, either alone or with embellishments of diamantés and/or colored stones in glass or plastic. This style was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus. Read my related blog post.

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Machine Age Jewelry Collection

Marcel Boucher Jewelry

This nice collection of Marcel Boucher jewelry includes brooches, earrings, pendants, and sets from the 1940s-1950s. Known for high-quality materials, expert craftsmanship, and unique designs, his pieces typically feature intricate metalwork, rhinestones that resemble real gemstones, top-quality faux pearls, and colorful enamel work. A former fine jewelry maker with Cartier, Boucher was forced to move to the costume jewelry industry during the Great Depression. He worked for Mazer Brothers before starting his own business in New York City in 1937. In addition to his jewelry designs, Boucher patented six mechanisms for mounting dress clips – what we call double clip brooches.

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Marcel Boucher Jewelry

Mazer Bros. Jewelry

Mazer Brothers jewelry, made in New York City from 1927-1952, was characterized by the company’s slogan -- “the precious look in fashion jewelry”. From their early days until they severed their business ties, brothers Louis and Joseph used only the finest materials and manufacturing techniques: gold- or rhodium-plated metal before and after World War II, sterling silver and vermeil during the war, imported Austrian crystals, and enamel. This fine collection of brooches, bracelets and earrings features high-quality pieces in classic motifs, including floral and ribbon-and-bow designs. Jewelry by this maker was available only at “better department stores”.

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Mazer Bros. Jewelry