New Items at Vintage Jewelry Online.com
This month’s vibrant collection contains more than 20 items of fashionable costume jewelry, much of it being Miriam Haskell, with some special highlights from Hobe, Trifari and Matisse. There is some powerful and dramatically appealing Art Deco items and some more French sets and necklaces. If you favor Art Nouveau, there is a beautiful large amethyst sash pin to gaze at as well. The Jewelry Tips section continues exploring the commonly defined jewelry eras with Part 5A 1920-1935 with Art Deco and an emphasis on costume jewelry.
To see the newest jewelry listed in a group, click here
Here are this months featured items. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
The new-featured highlights are found on the home page and include:
- a Beautiful Amethyst Glass Large Art Nouveau Sash Pin #AO-00159
- a Sterling Art Deco Channel Set Bracelet & Pin #AS-00104
- a KJL Mogul Breath Taking Cabochon Bracelet #CS-00432
- a Miriam Haskell 4 Piece Art Glass & Pearl Necklace Parure #CS-00484
- a Gorgeous Pair of Miriam Haskell Blue Cab & Crystal Earrings #CS-00491
- an Outstanding Pair of Dramatic RS Shoulder Duster Earrings #CU-00171
- a Striking French Poured Glass Double Strand Necklace #CU-00189
- a Lovely Double Strand Angel Coral 18K Necklace #FG-00078
Jewelry Eras and the History Behind Them Part 5A
The past few months I provided an overview of the most commonly referenced jewelry eras beginning with the Georgian period. This month we’ll follow the timeline and cover the years, 1920-1935 Part 5A. This month I will cover Art Deco with an emphasis on costume jewelry. Next month I will focus on fine jewelry of the period.
The majority of the reference information comes from Warman’s Jewelry, 3rd Edition by Christie Romero and the 6th Edition Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry by Jeanenne Bell both of which I highly recommend. (See Vintage Jewelry Unleashed Vol.3 – March 2006)
Commonly Defined Reference Periods
1760 – 1830 Georgian
1840 – 1860 Early Victorian
1861 – 1879 Mid Victorian
1880 – 1902 Late Victorian
1890 – 1920 Edwardian & Art Nouveau
1920 – 1935 Art Deco
1940 – 1965 Post War & Retro Modern
1920 – 1935 Arts & Crafts Arts Deco — An Overview – Costume Jewelry
Historical Perspective: 1920-1935
There is an interesting note made by Christie Romero in Warman’s Jewelry, 3rd Edition regarding the name Art Deco. She states, “the name Art Deco was not applied to what was then called “modernistic” or “moderne” until 1968, when it appeared in the title of a book by Bevis hillier, “Art Deco of the 20’s and 30’s.” She goes on to state, “this helps explain why there are several different interpretations of what the style really is.” But, this style of “Art Deco was derived from L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, an international display of decorative arts held in Paris in 1925” says Roseann Ettinger, of Popular Jewelry 1840-1940. By the time this exhibition took place, this style was fully developed.
But the roots of the Art Deco movement go back further though. Designers of the Vienna Secession as far back as 1903 used geometric and symmetrical forms of design. There were hints of this style used in the theater and ballet and exotic fashion and head ornaments were used. So after World War I, “Art Deco” was an expression of modern times. People wanted something more stylized and a more modern approach than the curving lines of Art Nouveau, which were then deemed out of fashion.
In America, after World War I women would never see the likes of the Gibson Girl again. Everything was modernized and updated. Women’s attitudes and her life style, were dramatically different from the preceding years. Woman received the right to vote and had a say in the events across the country as well as the world. We learned that the discovery of the radio changed the world and brought everyone closer. But the growth of popular cultural magazines, fashion magazines and the motion picture industry dictated fashion at an ever-accelerating rate. Remember the dance craze too? There was the Charleston, the Black Bottom and of course the infamous dance marathons. The 1920’s were “reckless” and carefree and fashion and jewelry followed this attitude. Women who followed this “recklessness’ were known as “flappers” and of course we all are familiar with the flapper necklace.
Paris was still the fashion center but Royalty was not as influential as it had been. Hollywood was where fashion was happening in the US. And whatever the stars of the silver screen were wearing, the rest of the women across the country soon followed. Names of designers were most important as was ‘new’ and ‘novelty’. The avante garde chose chrome, rock crystal, glass and the most unusual of materials, plastic to wear. Costume jewelry was never the same once Coco Chanel gave it her blessing along with other haute couture houses. Costume jewelry loaded with rhinestones, set in beautiful rhodium, often copied the master designs of Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and Boucheron, to name just a few, emulating their “real jewels”. These fabulous fakes created a world industry still highly desirable today. It was in this manner, that ‘great looks’ by the masters, were made available to the general public.
The Jewelry: 1920 – 1935 Origination of Costume Jewelry
Coco Chanel supposedly stated in 1924, “It does not matter if they are real, as long as they look like junk!” By the time she said this costume jewelry had already appeared in the fashion magazines and were adorned by Hollywood mavens. Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli were the predominant Parisian couturiers designing and promoting costume jewelry, or “faux” jewels as a means of “making a statement”.
Art Deco costume jewelry originated in Europe. The more avant-garde manufacturers and designers used silver, chrome, glass, lacquer, enamel and plastics. The emphasis on this great period of jewelry was style and design and not the intrinsic value of the metal or embellishments. French costume jewelry were the originators of the “faux” or fabulous fake look and style. It was extremely well done and much of it was set in sterling. They adapted bracelets, brooches clips, and buckles. The German’s also used sterling extensively combining it with inexpensive gemstones, such as marcasites, amazonite, smoky quartz, rock crystal, onyx, carnelian, chrysoprase, blue jasper (faux lapis) coral and matte enamel.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Trifari, Krussman and Fishel (Trifari), Ciner and Coro were some of the first to emulate this great look. Many of Alfred Philippe’s designs for Trifari were direct copies of Cartier’s fine jewels.
The Jewelry: 1920 – 1935 Motifs
When we think of Art Deco, we first think of geometric patterns and streamlined, sleek lines and designs. But there were many other motifs used during this period. Probably one of the other best known is the jewelry that is called Egyptian Revival. When King Tutankhamun’s riches were found, this spurred an entire line of Egyptian based jewelry. Enameled silver, gold plated metal winged scarabs, flacons, and vultures were produced in all type of jewelry. Pharaoh’s heads and Queens heads were often used as the primary element in bracelets, necklaces and rings.
In addition to the Egyptian Revival designs, there were the Victorian Revival designs. Czechoslovakia was a great source of this jewelry after WWI. Stamped gilt metal with extensive use of filigree set with cabochon glass and enameled foliate embellishments are well recognized and highly collectible today. Many wonderful glass bead sautoirs were also produced. (A sautoir is a very long necklace made of glass or faux pearls that has a tassel or pendant hanging from the end”.
Oriental motifs were also prevalent. Molded and pierced glass plaques imitating carved jade and carnelian were produced and were affordable for the general public.
Another motif used during these years was the use of butterfly wings. These would be set in sterling and gold and often have “a reversed painted scene or white sulphide bas-relief backed with an iridescent blue butterfly wing ground, and have a domed glass cover. You will also find these sulphide bas relief pieces without the butterfly wings in pendants, rings, bracelets and assorted men’s jewelry.
The Jewelry: 1920 – 1935 Styles
There were so many fabulous “looks” coming from this period. I will attempt to mention a handful that are the most well known.
Much of the finer costume jewelry copied the “real jewels”. Flexible link bracelets, pendant, shoulder duster earrings, channel set “ruby and sapphire” ring, geometric clips and double clip brooches produced by the likes of KTF, Coro, Ciner, Theodore Fahrner, and Boucher were a few of the first to produce these “fabulous fakes”.
Some of the most highly desirable jewelry today includes the “fruit salad” pieces. These were colored glass that was molded into various shapes, including flowers, leaves, shells and even acorns. The majority of them used sapphire blue, ruby red and emerald green colors and often was accompanied by white crystal or rhinestones.
It was during this period, Coro invented and patented the mechanism and name “Duette”. This was their most successful line. Often time’s entire sets were made to match the Duette including necklaces, two or three different styles of bracelets and matching earrings.
Rock crystal, known as “pools of light” necklaces and earrings were produced. And who doesn’t recognize the fabulous filigree pendants using rock crystals or the tremendous filigree or pierced bracelets, many of which had enamel as decoration in addition to the paste stones.
Czech stepped glass necklaces and bracelets are highly popular and are getting more and more rare.
All the women wore the flapper and sautoir necklace especially when they had a night on the town and went dancing.
The Jewelry: 1920 – 1935 Materials & Stones
The emphasis of costume jewelry was the design and style not the intrinsic value of the materials. So its value was and is today determined by these same attributes. Much of the costume jewelry was extremely well made. The metal was often rhodium plated which helped its appeal by looking very much like platinum. Rhinestones or “paste” were often hand set in prong settings that helped sustain the quality and the life of the jewelry. As already mentioned, many of these faux jewels were direct copies from the well know master houses. Sterling was used extensively as well.
Another material was widely used during these decades and that was plastic, including celluloid, bakelite and lucite. I will cover this topic in another newsletter.
Jewelry and Fashion Trends
Black and White is back bigger than ever! And so are Crystals! Being dark never looked so good with the drama of black beads, jet and black crystals mixed with white and crystals. And what better way to get the look than with the authentic vintage jewelry from early 20th Century? Why buy new and costly when you can have the real thing. So choose great and make sure you mix and match.
- Sterling Hammered Decol Link Bracelet #AS-00001
- 66″ long opera length elaborate black jet sautoir #VE-00058
- Rare black jet cuff links #VE-00055
- Elegant Eisenberg Brilliant Clear Cut Fur Pin Clip #CS-00021
- Weiss black & white diamond necklace & bracelet set #CS-00048
- 18″ hand made crystal & rondelle floral necklace #CS-00067