Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vintage jewelry Research

Illusions Jewels Website is an unbelievable tool for  researching vintage jewelry. It has an extensive collection of jewelry marks and Jewelry Designer History. I found out that my "reindeer" bracelet (seen below) was actually a Vintage Coro Genuine Norseland Sterling silver bracelet.

Vintage jewelry Designer Of the Day

LEO GLASS CO.: 1928 - 1957
The Leo Glass Company NYC was founded in 1928 by Leo Glass after having worked in costume jewelry design for the Lisner Company for 10 years. Family members also designed some of the jewelry. In the beginning, the company imported as well as manufactured its costume jewelry until 1941 bringing to the public jewelry of the highest quality, highly priced, using sterling silver metal with the best stones found throughout the country. In 1946, the company started producing costume jewelry including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches, clips, lockets, rings and chatelaines of clear rhinestones reducing creativity and design quality to medium and low standards. Mark: "Courtly Jewels" on a crown type tag. Designers for the company included Leo Glass, Ann Glass, Beatrice Glass and in 1941, David Mir. Mark: Leo Glass" in script and "Leo Glass Sterling". In 1957, the Leo Glass Company went bankrupt and all good were auctioned off on August 27, 1957.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vintage Jewelry Designer of the Day


Gustavo Trifari emigrated from Italy to the U.S. in 1904 and founded Trifari NYC in 1910 after being a partner and jewelry designer with his uncle in Trifari & Trifari for several years. Gustavo’s grandfather Luigi Trifari, a goldsmith, had a small workshop in Naples, Italy in the mid 1800s producing fine jewelry where Gustavo, working in his workshop, learned the jewelry trade.
In 1917, Leo Krussman joined the Trifari Company as a sales director and later became a partner, leading to the forming of the Trifari and Krussman Company. A third partner, Carl Fishel, an experienced and well known salesman also became a partner in the firm, in the early 1920s. The company again changed its name to Trifari, Krussman & Fishel.
Trifari was considered one of the largest and best known producers of costume jewelry. It started producing hair ornaments, buckles, and bar pins in silver and base metals set with rhinestones and later manufactured, a broad range of costume jewelry creating superb designs and workmanship at different price levels. The Trifari jewelry produced had a distinctive look, resembling fine jewelry, which can easily be recognized by collectors. Much of this is due to the work of a great designer, Alfred Philippe, who worked and designed jewelry for Trifari, for approximately 38years, from 1930 to 1968, using high quality imported Swarovski rhinestones that were hand-set in the jewelry piece. Philippe worked as a designer of fine jewelry for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and brought to Trifari many imaginative ideas. He is largely responsible for the creation and development of Trifari's distinctive and classic look. There were also other well-known designers who joined Trifari: Jean Paris (1958 - 1965), Andre Boeuf (1967 - 1979), who had worked for Cartier, and Diane Love (1971-1974) who designed the company's modern and contemporary jewelry in the early 1970s. Up until the 1960s, Trifari lead the world in the industry of costume jewelry producing the highest quality and styles from imaginative sterling vermeil figurals of the 1940's to its classic gold and silver-tone jewelry of today. The Trifari figurals, retro florals, and jelly-bellies from the 1930s and 1940s are sought after today by collectors. Mark: "TFK" 1917, "Trifari with a crown above the T" 1930s, "Trifari, Krussman, Fishel", "Trifari with a crown and copyright symbol", and "Diane". The Trifari figurals, retro florals, and jelly-bellies from the 1930's and 1940's continue to be in high demand by collectors. The Trifari Company was purchased by Hallmark in the late 1970s, Crystal Grands Jewelry Corp. 1988, Chase Capital Partners, Lattice Holding Division of the Monet Group 1994, and Liz Claiborne in July 2000 with production moved out of the U.S.

Here is one of my Trifari Pieces
Crown Trifari Brushed Gold Bow Brooch with Diamond Accents. A brushed goldtone bow measuring 2 1/2" wide by 1 1/2 high. Accented with 10 crystal rhinestones.
Excellent condition

Crown Trifari Brushed Gold Bow Brooch with Rhinestone  Accents

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vintage Designer of the Day

LISNER: Early 1900s - Late 1985

The D. Lisner & Company was founded in New York City in the early 1900s. The Lisner Company manufactured a broad range of jewelry from high quality, in the 1950s, using more expensive and superior aurora borealis stones and rhinestone, to medium priced and the lower priced range similar to Coro jewelry. Their Richelieu line of jewelry contained more expensive materials such as aurora borealis and Lucite cabochons along with Austrian rhinestones. And these pieces today, are some of the best Lisner produced and most popular with collectors. Mark: "LISNER" in block was the mark first used in 1935, "Lisner" in script first used in 1938, and "Lisner in script letters with a long L in a circle" used in and after 1959. The marks alone does not date jewelry pieces of Lisner’s 55 plus years of production due to the fact that the molds, findings and stamping dies were kept and used again at later dates. The Lisner jewelry designs contained colored rhinestones including aurora borealis, molded plastic and Lucite stones, some showing Art Deco influence. In 1978, the company changed its name to Lisner-Richelieu Corporation. The Lisner Company ceased operations in late 1985.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Featured Vintage Jewelry Designers

I am going to attempt to post daily, the history of vintage jewelry designers. Starting with Weiss.

WEISS: 1942 - 1971
Albert 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 diamente or clear and colored and 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. Desirable pieces sought after by collectors are the beautiful rhinestones studded figural jewelry that includes the Weiss butterflies and insects. 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. Mark: "WEISS". The company ceased operations in 1971.

My latest sale. A vintage Weiss Multicolored Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Weiss Multi-colored Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch

On another note. Today I'm hitting the Intergalactic Bead Show in Pompano Beach. Must control myself.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Welcome to Back In Time Vintage Jewelry

Welcome to Back In Time Vintage Jewelrys Blog. This blog is dedicated to my two wonderful grandmothers, may they rest in peace.  Both my grandmothers loved jewelry, never leaving the house without something on.

Dorothy Ellen Lamb-Hutcheson

Grandma Hutch, as we called her, was a world traveler and an accomplished painter, potter and occasional jewelry maker. She often used stones she collected from around the world to create some of her pieces.

Mary Elizabeth (Libber) Wilson-Ross

Grandma Ross was a very accomplished yarnworker. I learned to knit and crochet from her at a very early age.

I was passed on all of their vintage costume jewelry. I have set aside a few pieces for myself and my children, but I wanted to give others the opportunity to wear some of their pieces, many which have traveled far to get here. Please visit my Studio Back In Time Vintage jewelry if you are interested in purchasing or looking at some beautiful things like this one: