Kaleidoscope effect

Jewellery kaleidoscope

American jeweler Joseff of Hollywood

Joan Castle Joseff looks with horror at Shirley Jones, who is trying to touch the tree of jewelry by Josef

Horrified Joan Castle Joseff looks at Shirley Jones, who is trying to touch the stunning Christmas tree made of jewelry by Joseph of Hollywood

Austrian by birth, a talented American jeweler Joseff of Hollywood, aka Eugene Joseph, was born in Chicago in 1905. He moved to California in the 1920s, hoping to get orders for making costume jewelry for characters of Hollywood movies. Through artistic creativity and business acumen, he was the best jewellery designer and main supplier of jewellery for leading studios. The success accompanied him until the tragic death in 1948. Since 1950 the company “Joseff of Hollywood” ran his widow Joan Castle.

1942 movie The Jungle Book demanded thousands of decorations

1942 movie The Jungle Book demanded thousands of decorations

Eugene began working as an artist at an advertising agency in Chicago at the age of 18 years. In his spare time he was designing jewelry. Four years later, in 1927, he moved to Los Angeles, where he studied jewellery craftsmanship. From 1931 to 1935, the work of the young jeweler was used in the films of Hollywood. In 1935, Eugene Joseph founded “Joseph of Hollywood,” and two years later became a major supplier of jewelry for Hollywood studios. In addition, he was involved in the development of a line of jewelry for public. The life of a talented jeweler and businessman was tragically cut short in 1948. Eugene Joseff died in a plane crash at the age of 43 years.

Carole Lombard in jewelry from Joseff on the cover of the magazine Photoplay (January 1940)

Carole Lombard in jewelry from Joseff on the cover of the magazine Photoplay (January 1940)

In 1934, Eugene Joseff opposed the use of ornaments in historical films that do not meet the depicted era. Walter Plunkett, who was considered the number one fashion designer, said: “Well, if you’re so smart, let’s see what you can do!”

Grace Kelly in earrings from Joseff of Hollywood in the movie High Society

Grace Kelly in earrings from Joseff of Hollywood in the movie High Society

Joseph conducted historical research, and it allowed him to “simplify” the style of jewelry, which nevertheless contributed to an atmosphere of a certain age on the “blue screen”. Together with his wife, Joan Castle he gave decorations to hire, rather than selling them for a certain movie studios, and created the “archive” of the nearly three million of jewelry available for hire. Since 1937, they began to develop the successful line of jewelry for sale for fans of stars – the ornaments were copied from originals belonging to the stars, and produced similar to those that popular actresses showed on the screen. It is these decorations that are now easier to find.

In 1937 he designed a line of jewelry for sale, priced at about $ 1 to $ 12 per decoration, a very high price for that time! The line was quickly sold through Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bullock’s, Macy’s, Saks.

In 1937 he designed a line of jewelry for sale, priced at about $ 1 to $ 12 per decoration, a very high price for that time! The line was quickly sold through Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bullock’s, Macy’s, Saks

Joseph Jewelry always impressed. Its popularity is closely associated with Hollywood. A huge list of films which used decorations by Joseff, includes “A Star Is Born (1936),” The Wizard of Oz”, “Gone with the Wind” (both films 1939), “Casablanca” (1942), “Parade of Easter” (1949 ), “Singing in the Rain” (1952), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” “Cleopatra” (1963) and “My Fair Lady”.

Joseff and his brother Jimmy Glaser are viewing their products. A huge headdress made ​​of acrylic, Virginia Bruce wore in the movie The Great Ziegfeld

Joseff and his brother Jimmy Glaser are viewing their products. A huge headdress made ​​of acrylic, Virginia Bruce wore in the movie The Great Ziegfeld

The number of famous actors and actresses, who wore jewelry by Joseph is impressive: Greta Garbo, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn. Traditional jewelry including bracelets, buckles, necklaces, pendants and clips reflect the different styles and genres – art deco, retro 1940s, the ethnic style of the Middle East, astrological, Animal and plant.

Joseff and actress Katherine Wilson viewing chains. Cigar boxes are the same

Joseff and actress Katherine Wilson viewing chains. Cigar boxes are the same

Joseff collected an amazing collection of rare antique books about the clothes and jewelry, inspired by historical information about the many styles and eras. “If you want to collect, start with brooches, because for them you will find the best use. You can pin the brooch on the lapel, collar or pocket, on a hat, a belt or an evening dress. ”

Lucille Ball in a necklace and bracelet by Joseff of Hollywood. The company provided most of the decorations shown in I Love Lucy, it even had an episode dedicated to jewelry

Lucille Ball in a necklace and bracelet by Joseff of Hollywood. The company provided most of the decorations shown in I Love Lucy, it even had an episode dedicated to jewelry

Joseff’s success as a leading supplier of fashion jewelry to Hollywood is partially dependent on the effect of the substitute gold. Known as the Russian semi-combined gold plating copper coating has removed the traditional problems of too much natural luster of gold under the powerful spotlights cameras. Coating can be done in any – to black, depending on what kind of metal is added to the alloy.

Katharine Hepburn wore this double brooch to a dress with cut heart in the 1947 film Sea of ​​Grass

Katharine Hepburn wore this double brooch to a dress with cut heart in the 1947 film Sea of ​​Grass

On most jewelry is stamped the name of the brand “Joseff” or “Joseff of Hollywood.” Exceptions are products made to order for celebrities. Some ornaments made at the end of 1930-40-ies, not so long ago have been re-evaluated because of their immense popularity. Very rare specimens can be found today, and their copies are not less rare than the originals. Most of the Russian gold jewelry can be dull and dark due to the plaque that forms over the years. But the shiny polished products cause distrust and almost worthless.

Joseff was depicted in the advertising picture in 1948. In the helicopter, he gives his jewelry in the trading house Buffums

Joseff was depicted in the advertising picture in 1948. In the helicopter, he gives his jewelry in the trading house Buffums

Jewellery, copies of which are worn by Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra” (1963) includes articles from the tomb of Tutankhamun found in 1922 rings in the form of snakes, Russian gold, inlaid with red glass cabochons. 1940 – 1965, £ 180-220 CRIS

Joan in the Joseph’s library in 1937, in sun brooch from Joseff. A copy of the necklace from the book had been created for Norma Shearer, 1938 film Marie Antoinette

Joan in the Joseph’s library in 1937, in sun brooch from Joseff. A copy of the necklace from the book had been created for Norma Shearer, 1938 film Marie Antoinette

Star motifs appeared in the decorations for Standards Shiarer in “Marie Antoinette (1938). They have become a hit in the line created by Joseff for sale. Suspensions: Russian gold, rock crystal. 1940s. £ 80-120 CRIS

Vivien Leigh. Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Vivien Leigh. Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Brooch ‘For good luck’ by Joseff of Hollywood, vintage

Brooch ‘For good luck’ by Joseff of Hollywood, vintage

Brooch and clips by Joseff of Hollywood

Brooch and clips by Joseff of Hollywood

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery for Elizabeth Taylor

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery for Elizabeth Taylor

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery to the stars

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery to the stars

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery (1)

Brooches in the form of bees from Russian gold were produced in 1940 – 50s. Original costs from £ 25 to £ 70, depending on the size

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

ZODIAC SIGNS. In the 1930-1940-ies (right) in the US astrology was in vogue. Joseph made 12 brooches – zodiac signs covered with Russian gold for retail sale, including Sagittarius and Aries.

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery. Brooch, cover Russian gold crystals – red, sapphire and emerald. 1940s. £ 100-150

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Insects, animals and fish – favorite motifs for ornaments by Joseph. Brooch in the form of a butterfly princess, cover Russian gold, rock crystal. 1940s. £ 240-280

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

The motif of classical mythology – shell, as in the canvas of Botticelli ‘Birth of Venus’ (1485), a feature of some jewelry Joseph created for films on biblical subjects.

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery. Brooch, cover Russian gold, ruby ​​crystals, chalcedony, amber and sapphire. 1940s. £ 100-150

Joseph of Hollywood jewellery for movie stars - Sofia Loren

Joseff of Hollywood jewellery for movie stars – Sofia Loren

Joseph of Hollywood vintage brooch

Joseff of Hollywood vintage brooch

Joseph of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseff of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseph of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseff of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseph of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseff of Hollywood vintage clips

Joseph of Hollywood vintage jewellery. Elizabeth Taylor

Joseff of Hollywood vintage jewellery. Elizabeth Taylor

Source of images:
Jewelry. Collector’s Guide – 2004 (in Russian)
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