Kaleidoscope effect

Jewellery kaleidoscope

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

Josephine Baker Chocolate Dancer Brooch. French jewelry designer Lea Stein

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

In 1970-ies Lee Stein has created a unique collection of jewelry from Rhodoid (high-quality plastic). Prior to that, she was little known outside France. Recently, her work has received worldwide recognition.
Lea Stine was born in Paris (France) in 1931. At the age of 26, she opens her own clothing design company, while developing the design of buttons for fashion and starts its production. Her buttons of laminate Rhodoid had a huge success. In 1969 she begins manufacture of jewelry. The success became possible thanks to her husband, Fernando Steinberg, who discovered this material. It consisted of layers of painted rhodoid – cellulose acetate sheet, close to Bakelite. The layered structure of rhodoid allowed the inclusion of other materials, usually metal or fabric, such as lace. Making the cut and working on shapes, Lea Stein received a polychromatic “plastic”, varying in color and texture.

Sacha Cat Pin

Sacha Cat Pin

Jewellery, created in the 1970s includes rings, bracelets and earrings, but mostly brooches. The subjects are various: insects, cats, dogs, birds, children figurines, and ornaments copies Joan Crawford and Elvis Presley. Other favorite motifs were machines images, stars, hats, hearts, rainbow, eyes and flowers.

The charm of the film “Gone with the Wind”, in particular the costumes and decorations, influenced the design of brooch, known as “Ballerina”. Brooch resembles the famous Scarlett O’Hara dress of red velvet, so it has the second name “Scarlett O’Hara”. It is considered very rare.

Lee Stein Brooch in the form of three foxes have received the status of a masterpiece. Due to metal and textile inclusions with a variety of multi-colored figures texture. Neither of Lea Stein collections will be complete without these foxes.

By the 1980s in the company successfully worked almost 50 people. And the jewellery was popular in France. And so it went on until the end of its existence. However, Lea Stein jewellery became known overseas only after the majority of its stores was bought by a dealer that began selling products in the United States. By the end of 1980s decorations were in such demand that she returned to the development of her unique rhodoid brooches and began to produce at least one new product per year in demand. All products laveled “Lee Stein. Paris”. However, to determine the year of creation of unique products of the “first” and “second” generation is not so easy. So, it is better to buy jewellery from dealer with established reputations.

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

Source: Judith Miller – Jewelry. Collector’s Guide – 2004