Vintage Costume Jewelry Designers

Heirloom Jewelry & Collectibles carries a fabulous selection of Vintage Designer-Signed Costume Jewelry, created by the following Designers:

 

B. DAVID * BOGOFF *BOUCHER

CARNEGIE * CINER * CLAUDETTE

CORO * DIOR * EISENBERG

EMMONS * FENICHEL * HASKELL

HOBE * HOLLYCRAFT * KRAMER

KREMENTZ * LISNER * MAZER

MATISSE * NAPIER * RENOIR

SCHIAPARELLI * TRIFARI

VENDOME & WEISS

For further reference, below is a short summary of each of these desingers, their history, their creations, and their influence on the development of Costume Jewelry.

 

B. DAVID – 1945-1993

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersDesigner jewelry of B. David was produced to be worn as jewelry of “understated elegance”. These pieces have a delicate quality as they are usually smaller in size, and less flashy than other jewelry which was typical of the 1950s. The company consisted of a small jewelry production and design facility located in Ohio. This designer often used multi-colored rhinestones in their jewelry pieces. Collectible pieces of today include their multi-colored rhinestone crown pins, which were produced to be sold individually and in matching sets (a crown pin with matching earrings). B. David marked the back of their jewelry with primarily three different markings. Typically their name ‘B. David’ was printed in an oval/round frame. B David also marked their jewelry ‘bd’ signed at an angle or their full name, ‘B David’ marked in a square frame. Sadly, B. David ceased the design and production of their jewelry in 1993 after producting well-crafted, elegant jewelry for 47 years.

 

BOGOFF – c. 1946 – 1976

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe designer, Henry Bogoff, started the Bogoff Company in Chicago in 1946. Bogoff jewelry is very sophisticated and elegant in design. The quality craftsmanship that is a hallmark of Bogoff costume jewelry, imitated the quality craftsmanship and design more commonly found in fine jewelry. The jewelry was made in limited quantities. Bogoff designs commonly feature the use of quality Swarovski clear and colored rhinestones, molded glass stones and faux pearls set in rhodium and precious metals. Bogoff marked their jewelry either as “Jewels of BOGOFF” or “BOGOFF” in capital letters. The jewelry was sold at medium to high-end department stores. The company also designed jewelry for other companies including Sears & Roebuck, Zales, Marshall Fields, and Saks Fifth Ave. The Bogoff Company went out of business in the 1970s after 24 years of presenting sophisticated designs in costume jewelry featuring pave rhinestones and lovely pastel Swarovski quality rhinestones.

 

CARNEGIE – 1939 – 1979

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersHattie Carnegie was a self-made fashion and costume jewelry icon who flourished during the “cocktail jewelry” movement which extended from 1935 until the early 1960s. Carnegie began her long career in 1918, when she opened up her first shop which specialized in designing couture hats and later began designing woman’s fashions. Carnegie introduced her costume jewelry designs in 1939 to complement her fashion designs. Like other fashion designers of the day, Carnegie flourished in the “cocktail jewelry” movement (1935-1960). Many Hollywood stars favored Carnegie’s fashion and costume jewelry designs including Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Fontaine, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford. She incorporated lucite, enamels, gilt metals, brushed gold, turquoise beads, pearls and rhinestones into her designs. Carnegie became famous for her whimsical designs. Some of her signature pieces included trembler bee pins, rhinestone encrusted tiger and zebra brooches, horned ram brooches and earrings, her oriental, far eastern and Indian line of jewelry, snuff-bottle and sardine can pendants, and dragon faced rings to only name a few. Carnegie also fashioned an entire line of rhinestone costume jewelry that rivaled the most famous designers in costume jewelry of her day. Other Carnegie jewelry included the animal brooches which took inspirations from the African art that influenced Paris fashion in the 1930s. These figures, produced well into the 1950s, were made in bright colors like red-orange, deep green, ivory, and turquoise blue, and were trimmed with rhinestones, colored beads, and gilt metal. Carnegie employed some of the top jewelry designers of the day including Kenneth Jay Lane. Carnegie jewelry is most commonly marked “Hattie Carnegie” in script on a cartouche. Rare pieces may be marked with the letters “HC” on a diamond in an oval frame dating back to the 1930s. Carnegie also marked her jewelry “Carnegie” or “Hattie Carnegie” in an oval hang tag. Carnegie jewelry, whether animal-inspired, whimsical, fanciful or abstract, is noted for its detailed craftsmanship which makes Carnegie jewelry so sought after by today’s Collectors.

 

CINER – 1892- Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe Ciner Jewelry Company was founded in New York by Emanuel Ciner in 1892. Ciner is well known as a designer of quality jewelry and began creating and producing costume jewelry in 1931. Prior to 1931, Ciner was known for creating fine jewelry pieces before transitioning into costume jewelry. Ciner used exceptional quality materials including beads, faux pearls, rhinestones, and semi-precious stones, commonly set in precious metals including 18K gold, platinum and sterling silver. Ciner jewelry was and is usually quite heavy. Ciner became very popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s and was sold within department stores such as Macy’s and other higher end stores. Ciner jewelry is often very difficult to date prior to WWII because it was frequently not marked. From c. 1947 to 1955, their jewelry was marked “CINER” in capital letters with a San Serif font. Post 1955, the jeweler’s marks include ‘Ciner Sterling’ or the initials “MC” which is placed within a rectangle frame. All of Ciner’s marked jewelry contains the copyright logo. Ciner jewelry was favored by celebrities and royalty, including Elizabeth Taylor. The Ciner family handed down the business though several generations and continues to produce fine jewelry today.

 

CLAUDETTE – 1945 – c. 1955

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe Premier Jewelry Co., Inc. of New York first introduced their trademark “Claudette” jewelry in 1945. Vintage costume jewelry with the Claudette trademark employed a variety of quality materials including high quality rhinestones for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and entire sets of matching jewelry, although these pieces are difficult to find today. Claudette jewelry also often featured the use of thermoset plastic. Jewelry marked with the Claudette trademark is extremely rare and appears to have only been produced for a short period of time until the mid-1950s. Signed Claudette jewelry is marked “Claudette” or “C. Claudette”. Today, Claudette Jewelry is highly collectible if the pieces are in excellent condition.

 

CORO/COROCRAFT – 1901 – 1990

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersJewelry designers Emanuel Cohn and Gerald Rosenberg first began producing Coro/Corocraft jewelry c. 1901, although not until Costume Jewelry was introduced in the late 1920s, did Coro/Corocraft begin producing Costume Jewelry. Coro/Corocraft produced a large quantity of costume jewelry of all types over the years including matching sets (most popular in the 1950s), brooches, earrings, and necklaces. They designed and produced figural and jelly-belly jewelry as well, and used a variety of materials in their jewelry including Mexican silver, gold and silver vermeil, glass stones, rhinestones and aurora borealis stones (after 1955). Coro/Corocraft had a number of different marks, the most common of which was the ‘Coro’ signature mark which was etched in script. The ‘Coro-craft’ hyphenated mark was used after 1937 for their higher quality pieces. Another mark – “Corocraft” – was used from 1945-1947. Other Coro/Corocraft marks included ‘Sterling Craft Coro’ (1942) for vermeil pieces, ‘Coro Sterling’ used after WWII and the ‘Pegasus’ mark used after WWII. This does not make it easy to date vintage Coro/Corocraft jewelry with complete accuracy as some of the marks were used simultaneously. Coro ceased production of all of their jewelry in 1979, except for the Coro operation in Canada which continued to operate until 1990.

 

DIOR – c. 1948 – Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersChristian Dior first began designing Costume Jewelry to accessorize his fashion designs in the late 1940s. Vintage Dior jewelry designs were elegant and sophisticated, exhibiting quality craftsmanship and utilizing the best materials available for producing costume jewelry at that time. Dior hired a number of artists to design his jewelry and fashions including Henry Schreiner and Yves Saint Laurent. In the mid-1950s, Dior premiered an embellished rhinestone, known as the aurora borealis which was a dazzling invention of rock crystal treated to reflect a rainbow of color. The aurora borealis was a preferred stone of Dior, who fashioned them into all types of costume jewelry ornamentation. In 1950, Dior began oursourcing some of the design/production of its jewelry to Kramer Jewelry Creations, owned by Louis Kramer. Vintage Kramer Dior pieces are marked “Kramer for Christian Dior” and “Dior by Kramer”. Dior costume jewelry was favored by many Hollywood starlets and famous individuals during the 1940s and 1950s including Betty Davis, Lucille Ball and Jackie Kennedy to only name a few. Dior jewelry is favored by today’s celebrities even today. Vintage Dior Costume Jewelry is highly valued by today’s Collectors of Costume Jewelry.

 

EISENBERG – 1914 – Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe Eisenberg Manufacturing Company was founded in Chicago, IL in 1914 by Jonas Eisenberg, who emigrated from Austria to the U.S. around 1880. The company, in the beginning, began producing high quality women?s fashionable clothing each piece highlighted by a jeweled accessory, pin or brooch sewn or pinned to the dress. The company used the best of Austrian rhinestones (high in lead content that produced glimmer and sparkle) provided by the Swarovski Company of Austria in the pins/broaches. The addition of pins/broaches to the clothing and dresses created a complete and distinctive high fashion look for Eisenberg clothing. Soon it became apparent that the customers were not only interested in the clothing but also wanted to purchase the jewelry accessory separate from the clothing. Around 1930 the Eisenberg Company also began the production and marketing of their jewelry that included necklaces, bracelets, pins/broaches, and earrings, pins/brooches, now sold separate from the clothing. Eisenberg began producing the Eisenberg Ice jewelry right after WWII. The pieces from 1950-1958 are marked ‘EISENBERG ICE’ in block letters. Eisenberg began marking their pieces ‘Eisenberg Ice’ in script beginning in 1970. Eisenberg jewelry is still prized today because of its beautiful and elegant designs, its superior workmanship and its quality materials of the best shimmering rhinestones, and simulated glass stones and pearls used with Sterling Silver, white base metal, and silver and gold plated metals.

 

EMMONS – 1949 – 1981

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe Emmons Jewelry Company was established in New York in 1949 by its founder, Charles Stuart, who was the same founder of the Sarah Coventry Jewelry Company. In the late 1940s, early 1950s, it became fashionable for jewelry to be sold at home parties (like Sarah Coventry Jewelry), and Emmons jewelry was sold in this manner. Emmons jewelry, was much higher end jewelry than the Sarah Coventry line, however. The Emmons Jewelry Company used medium to high quality materials to construct its jewelry, with sophisticated designs which included the use of rhinestones. The retail prices of Emmons jewelry were also higher than Sarah Coventry jewelry. Emmons did not begin signing its jewelry until 1955. The Emmons Jewelry Company closed in 1981. Emmons jewelry is relatively rare in today’s market, as compared to its vintage counterparts.

 

FENICHEL – 1925 – 1959

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersLouis and Max Fenichel started their jewelry design business in 1925. Fenichel is best known for their use of high quality Austrian crystals in their pieces. Fenichel’s most distinctive jewelry was their designer necklaces which were “choker” style and consisted of all clear Austrian crystals. Sometimes collectors can find bracelets and earrings to match these chokers however, they are rare finds and difficult to authenticate as the Fenichel brothers rarely signed any jewelry other than their necklaces. They marked these necklaces with the name “Fenichel”. The brothers ceased the design and production of their jewelry in 1959.

 

HASKELL – 1926 – Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersJewelry designer, Miriam Haskell, opened her own store in New York City in 1926. She produced costume jewelry of elegant artistic ability, ornate and beautiful designs using faux pearls, rhinestones, turquoise, shells, Bakelite and coral that were hand wired in brass and copper to create unique designs of flowers, animals and other organic materials. Haskell jewelry has been known throughout the years for its high quality workmanship, designs, and materials. The jewelry pieces were handmade and handset using goldtone metal, an antique Russian gold metal finish developed by Haskell and Frank Hess. Miriam purchased her beads from France and Italy with her crystals imported from Bohemia. During WWII, Haskell used alternative materials including plastics for patriotic designs. After the war, the designs became more vibrant, colorful and feminine looking, more elaborate, larger pieces and multi bead strands with pearls imported from Japan. In the 1950s, Haskell jewelry included incredibly elaborate designs using stones, pearls and beads and filigree in new and exciting ways. The business was purchased in 1954 by Morris Kinsler. In 1984, Sanford Moss became owner but the business was sold again in 1990 to Frank Fialkoff, who is still producing the Miriam Haskell jewelry of traditionally the same quality and originality that bears the Miriam Haskell name today. No jewelry was marked between 1926 and 1947. The company used many marks to identify their jewelry. “Miriam Haskell” in metal on the clasp, the hook, in a crescent shaped cartouche or oval stamp are the most common marks of this designer. Miriam Haskell jewelry are some of the most highly sought after by today’s collectors.

 

HOBE – 1930-Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersIn 1930, William Hobe created the company Hobe Cie Ltd. NY and first introduced Hobe costume jewelry. Hobe jewelry features elegant and well-crafted designs. Hobe used high quality materials in his designs including rhinestones, beads, crystals, sterling silver, platinum and gold. During the 1950′s, Hobe designed and produced jewelry for both Hollywood movies and Hollywood celebrities. Hobe first designed his jewelry to match the costumes of actresses for movies. The jewelry was also used by fashion models in advertising promotions. The Hobe Company has been considered one of the very best of costume jewelry manufacturers in America since the 1930s. Hobe marked his jewelry ‘Hobe’ with an accent mark on the “e” in an oval plaque and “Hobe STERLING 14K” with a copyright symbol in a triangle. Some of Hobe’s jewelers including Serillo, Demassa, Imirshaw, Vece and James Hobe have their own marks on jewelry of which was produced by the Hobe Cie Ltd., NY. After Hobe’s death, his son’s Robert and Donald continued the business and Hobe jewelry continues to be produced today. It has been said that Hobe jewelry is unmatched in quality which is probably why his jewelry creations are highly sought after by Collectors. Hobe pieces produced between 1935 and 1955 are highly collectible.

 

HOLLYCRAFT: 1948 – 1971

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersJoseph Chorbajian founded the Hollywood Jewelry Manufacturing Company NYC in 1938. Hollycraft jewelry designs exhibit well executed workmanship, with the use of glimmering rhinestones that were sometimes accented with enamel work. Rhinestones used in Hollycraft jewelry are usually of soft pastel colors and are extremely difficult to replace. Hollycraft signed his creations “HOLLYCRAFT CORP. starting in the 1950s, and ‘HOLLYCRAFT’ with a copyright symbol. The company was in business and produced jewelry until the late 1960s. Hollycraft jewelry was sold until 1971. All of Hollycraft’s jewelry is highly collectible.

 

KRAMER – 1943 – 1980

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersKramer Jewelry Creations was founded in New York in 1943 by designer Louis Kramer with brothers Morris and Henry joining the company in the beginning. Kramer jewelry was of high quality and design. The company designed some of the most luxurious and artistic costume jewelry using diamante and pave rhinestones of clear and color, and used simulated pearls, lapis, jade, ruby, and sapphire stones. In the 1950s, the “Golden Look” was produced using gold plated metal and in the 1960s, the “Diamond Look” was produced with silver plating. Their designs were always innovative and well crafted. The company’s higher priced jewelry was usually marked “KRAMER” or “KRAMER of NEW YORK” while the lower quality pieces only carried a tag. The company also produced jewelry for Christian Dior starting in 1950 marked “Kramer for Christian Dior” and “Dior by Kramer”. Kramer created many hand-set quality pieces that had beautiful and outstanding jewelry designs including those of flowers, insects, butterflies, crowns, turtles, birds, to name a few. Kramer produced jewelry pieces with an abundance of the highest quality Austrian rhinestones and crystals, simulated stones and pearls, with clear and/or a variety of colored rhinestones. The company ceased operations in the 1970s.

 

KREMENTZ- 1886 – Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersGeorge Krementz founded The Krementz and Company in 1886 as a jewelry company specializing in men’s gold jewelry. Krementz originally produced cuff links, tie clasps, and collar and cuff buttons for men’s clothing. In 1930, Krementz began making jewelry for women including scarf pins, bracelets, necklaces, necklace clasps, and necklace and earring sets. The majority of Krementz’ jewelry was sold through high end Department stores. Early production of Krementz costume jewelry used rolled gold plate, however, later, Krementz used precious metals (14K gold), along with precious gemstones and pearls in its designs. Krementz jewelry has always been higher priced because of the excellent workmanship, sophisticated designs, attention to detail and the use of precious gemstones and precious metals in their designs. The company has been handed down through generations of the Krementz family. Today, the company operates under a different name – Richard Krementz Gemstones, LLC. The company today specializes in the production of fine expensive 18K gold and platinum jewelry with colored gemstones and its lines are sold by Goldman and Tiffiany Company.

 

LISNER – Early 1900s – 1985

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersThe D. Lisner & Company was founded in New York City in the early 1900s. The Lisner Company produced a wide range of high quality jewelry since its inception. Lisner used many types of materials in the production of its jewelry. Lisner favored the leaf motif and often incorporated this design element into their jewelry pieces. In the 1950, Lisner began producing beautiful leaf-design jewelry using colored Lucite and molded plastics. Lisner’s lucite and molded leaf jewelry pieces are highly collectible today. Often Lisner produced matching sets consisting of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. In 1955, Lisner began incorporating high quality aurora borealis stones and rhinestones into their designs. In 1978, the company changed its name to Lisner Richelieu Corporation and began producing their Richelieu line of jewelry. This jewelry traditionally used Austrian crystals and lucite cabochons. Richelieu jewelry is also highly collectible. Beginning in 1935, Lisner marked its jewelry ascircle. This signature mark was used beyond 1959. The Lisner C ‘LISNER’ in block letters. In 1938, Lisner began marking its jewelry as “Lisner” in script letters with a long L in ompany ceased operations in 1985.

 

MAZER (1917 – 1951) & JOMAZ (1946 – c. 1970)

 

Joseph and Louis Mazer began producing jewelry in 1917. In 1927, they moved their jewelry shop to New York and established the Joseph Mazer and Company, Inc. The Mazer Company experimented with different techniques to create metal alloys. Mazer produced high quality jewelry using Swarovski rhinestones and crystals. Mazer jewelry was sole in the middle price range of costume jewelry and is highly collectible. Mazer jewelry was produced until 1951. Marcel Boucher was Mazer’s primary designer, but he eventually left to start his own costume jewelry line. Until 1946, Mazer jewelry was marked ‘MAZER BROS’. From 1946 to 1949, Mazer signed their jewelry as ‘Mystere’ in script. In 1946 Joseph Mazer left the Mazer company to form a second company, Joseph J. Mazer and Co. (aka JOMAZ). From 1946-1981, Mazer signed their jewelry as ‘MAZER’ or ‘JOMAZ’ or ‘JOSEPH MAZER’. Mazer jewelry under both the Mazer Company and the Joseph J. Mazer Company was high quality jewelry. Mazer made significant use of Swarovski rhinestones in his designs. Many of Mazer’s costume jewelry pieces carry the likeness of fine jewelry. In the early 1970s, the company ceased designing jewelry altogether. Mazor jewelry is highly sought after by today’s collectors.

 

MATISSE – c. 1949 – 1964

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersCopper jewelry was very popular in the 1950′s. Most collectable pieces of copper today were made by companies that specialized in copper jewelry such as Renoir, who produced the “Matisse” line of copper jewelry. Copper was used extensively by jewelers who were active in the Arts & Crafts movement during the 1930s – 1950s period. This company made jewelry of contemporary abstract designs that leaned towards modern art. The Matisse line of jewelry often had an “Egyptian Revival” appearance. Some of the most sought after Matisse jewelry designs of today feature the “Cleopatra” style. These were necklace and earring sets which were made in copper and covered in solid bright enamels including red, green, aqua and white. The Matisse line also included their distinctive “Painter’s Palette” brooch and earring sets which are very collectible today. The Renoir company usually signed their Matisse line either using the mark of “Renoir Matisse” in script or just “Matisse” in script.Renoir ceased all design and manufacturing of copper jewelry, including the popular Matisse designs in 1964.

 

NAPIER – 1875 – 1999

 

The Napier Company was originally founded in Massachusetts in 1875 under a different name and produced silver products until the late 1940s. In the late 1940s, the Napier Company began producing costume jewelry which was sold in department stores. Napier used a great deal of silver in its costume jewelry designs. Their designs were simple, sophisticated, often delicate in design, and tended to lack extensive ornamentation. In the 1950s, Napier introduced a line of Oriental inspired silver charm and coin bracelets which became very popular and are highly collectible today. Throughout its history, Napier avoided using the most expensive materials, such as aurora borealis (AB) rhinestones, in manufacturing their jewelry to keep the cost of its jewelry down. Although Napier mass produced most of its jewelry, the design and quality craftsmanship of Napier jewelry makes their jewelry increasingly more valuable. Napier sold the company in 1980 to Victoria & Co who continued to produce and market Napier jewelry as ‘Victoria Creations’ until 1999. In 1999, the company discontinued the Napier line. Napier marked their jewelry as ‘NAPIER’ from 1920 to 1942. In 1942, the jewelry was marked ‘By NAPIER’ within a box frame. After 1955, Napier marked their jewelry ‘NAPIER’ with a copyright symbol.

 

RENOIR – c. 1935 – 1964

 

 Copper jewelry was very popular in the 1950′s, being made by a number of manufacturers. However, the most collectable pieces of copper today were made by companies that specialized in copper jewelry such as Renoir. Renoir copper jewelry was manufactured in California by Jerry Fels and his partners, and this prolific company made Renoir (copper without enamel), Matisse (copper with enamel) and much less often found Sauterne, a sterling silver line. Copper was a popular choice metal for metalworkers active in the Arts & Crafts designs in the 1930s – 1950s period. This company made jewelry of contemporary abstract designs that leaned towards modern art. The jewelry produced had the hand-hammered look using rhinestones as the key material. Mark: “SCEPTRON” with Sceptron Jewelry Creations in partnership used on costume jewelry since June 1944, “Renoir of California, Inc.”, “Renoir” in script on brooches, lapel and scatter pins, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets since Feb. 1946, “Sauteur” since June 1958, “Sterling Sauteur Renoir with a copyright symbol”. Renoir ceased all design and manufacturing of copper jewelry in 1964.

 

SCHIAPARELLI – c1930 – 1973

 

A contemporary of Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli was a very creative, well-known, and much sought after fashion and jewelry designer in the 1940s and 1950s. Schiaparelli was best known for her artistic creativity and sometimes outrageous interpretation of fashion which was reflected in her fashion designs. She was highly influenced by many of the artistic movements of the time including Surrealism and Dadaism, and some of her close friends were the artistic masterminds of the day. One of her signature fashions, known as “The Lobster Dress”, featured a lovely white evening gown with a painting of a huge lobster imprinted on the front of it. Like Coco Chanel and Hattie Carnegie, Schiaparelli designed jewelry primarily to accessorize her fashion designs. Her early jewelry designs were quite flamboyant to compliment her fashions. Later Schiaparelli designed jewelry which was much more subdued. Schiaparelli’s jewelry designs were inspired by nature, the circus, signs of the zodiac, Native African art, and jungle privatives. She incorporated many mediums in her jewelry including watermelon glass (a molded iridescent glass stone that seemed to radiate light from within), beads, and aurora borealis rhinestones set in pot metal, sterling silver plate and gold plated backings. Although she retired as a designer in 1954, she sold the rights to manufacture her jewelry to another company who continued her line until 1973. Schiaparelli’s early jewelry pieces produced in the 1930s were unsigned and are very rare today. From the late 1930s until 1949, Schiaparelli marked her pieces “schiaparelli” in lower case block letters. In 1949, she began marking her pieces as “Schiaparelli” in script. She also marked her work as “Designed in Paris–Created in America” 1949. Like Coco Chanel, all of Elsa Schiaparelli’s jewelry and fashions are highly collectible today.

 

TRIFARI – 1910 – Present

 

Trifari is one of the best known producers of costume jewelry. In 1910, Gustavo Trifari, a jewelry designer from Italy, came to the U.S. and founded the Trifari company.

Trifari began his jewelry line by designing and producing buckle and bar pins in silver and base metals set with rhinestones. Later, Trifari expanded his jewelry lines to include a wide range of costume jewelry at different price levels. Early on, Trifari produced jewelry which resembled fine jewelry. Trifari employed a very creative and skilled jewelry designer, Alfred Philippe. Alfred Philippe worked for Trifari for 38 years (1930-1968). Alfred Philippe used very high quality imported Swarovski crystal rhinestones in his pieces, all of which were hand-set into each costume jewelry creation. The cabochon crown brooch designed for Trifari by Alfred Phillipe debuted in 1944 and was one of Trifari’s popular creations. Alfred Phillipe signed his work with his name and the Trifari name. Alfred Phillipe also designed fine jewelry for Cartier an Van Cleef & Arpels. In the 1930s and 1940s, Trifari gold and silver vermeil figurals, floral brooches and ‘jelly belly’ jewelry became very popular. From 1917 until the 1930s, Trifari marked their jewelry ‘TFK’. In the 1930s, Trifari began marking their jewelry ‘Trifari” with a crown above the “T”, “Trifari, Krussman, Fishel”, “Trifari” with a crown and copyright symbol, and “Diane”. Beginning with the late 1970s, the Trifari Company was sold every couple of years to another owner. Finally in 2000, Liz Claiborne purchased the Trifari Company. The Trifari crown brooches signed by Alfred Phillipe are highly collectible today as well as the vintage vermeil figurals, florals and jelly belly jewelry.

 

VENDOME – c. 1950 – Present

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersVendome was created by the Coro Jewelry Company in the early 1950s as a division of Coro to design and produce higher end quality costume jewelry along the lines of what was being created in Paris at the time. Vendome essentially replaced Corocraft, another division of Coro which had been assigned to create quality higher end designs. In the 1950s, Vendome jewelry used the highest quality rhinestones and crystal beads available at the time and their designs exhibited quality craftsmanship. Vendome costume jewelry gained popularity in the 1960s when their top designer, Helen Marion, introduced artistically creative new jewelry designs. Vendome continues to produce high quality jewelry and all Vendome costume jewelry is highly collectible today.

 

WEISS – 1942 – 1971

 

Vintage Costume Jewelry DesignersAlbert Weiss, a jewelry designer and manufacturer, founded the Albert Weiss & Company Inc. NYC in 1942. He had been a former employee of Coro. The company prospered during the 1950s and 1960s. Weiss jewelry offered high quality costume jewelry using excellent Austrian diamante or clear and colored rhinestones or aurora borealis rhinestones of exceptional quality and clarity, faux pearls, clear and glass colored stones with antique and gold-tone, silver-tone and Japanned metal settings. Weiss jewelry has become highly rated and is increasing in price, and is said to be comparable to Eisenberg and Bogoff jewelry. Weiss manufactured jewelry for wholesale to stores including JC Penny and Sears & Roebuck with the stores using their own name boxes for retail sales. Through the years in business, the Weiss Company has manufactured some of the most beautiful and appealing rhinestone jewelry of the post WWII era and after. Weiss introduced the gray rhinestone to the public. Christmas tree pins were made for Weiss in Germany that bore the Weiss logo. The company ceased operations in 1971.

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