Edlee vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Edlee jewelry brand began in 1947 as a family business founded by Edward Stempa (1908 – 1984) and his wife Lee Stempa. Born in Poland, Edward Stempa moved to the United States before World War II and settled in Bronx, New York. His company’s name Edlee Creations, Inc. comes from the first two letters of his name and the name of his wife. The couple had two sons, Myron (born 1932) and Jerome (born 1935).
NY Edlee Creations, located at 560 Seventh Avenue in New York City, was a small team of artisans who made high-quality novelties and jewelry in Art Deco and Etruscan style with floral motifs. Traditionally, they used multicolored iridescent rhinestones, molded luminous glass, enamel, pewter and metal alloys. Notably, the earliest marking included Edward Stempa N.Y.C., and since 1947 changed to EDLEE with a copyright mark.
Many of Edward Stempa’s designs have been included in Copyright Catalogs published since 1950. Edward retired in 1973 and sold his business. Today, Edlee jewelry is quite rare and highly collectible.
Noteworthy, Edlee Jewelers Corp., incorporated on February 26, 1974 and headed by Edward Russo, ceased to exist in 2012. Anyway, it was a different company.
Category Archive: Vintage
Edlee vintage costume jewelry
Tru-Kay vintage costume jewelry (1946-1982)
The history of the Tru-Kay jewelry brand began over 76 years ago in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Founded in February 1946, Tru-Kay Manufacturing Co. was a family business headed by Alan M. Kaufman, its president. The company handcrafted high-quality classic design jewelry using 12K and 14K gold, sterling silver, cultured pearls, genuine coral, jade, shell, Austrian crystal or rhinestones. The markings on the oval cartouche included the initials TK and the hallmark of gold. In addition, most of the jewelry sold in large stores was packaged in beautiful branded boxes with a foil tag and a stylized Tru-Kay logo.
Noteworthy, in 1982 the company became part of the Richline Group Inc. and received the alternative trade name Belair Mfg.
Donald Claflin fine jewelry
Massachusetts-born designer Donald Claflin (1935-1979) entered jewelry history as the creator of many unique artistic designs for the most famous jewelry companies of the time. Among them, in particular, were David Webb, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co and Bulgari.
He graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and began his career as a textile designer. However, he soon turned to jewelry making, working for David Webb and then for Van Cleef & Arpels. In 1965 he joined Tiffany & Co. Among his most famous works is the Tanzanite collection, Safari, and Pre-Colombian. Also, series of whimsical figurative brooches based on children’s books – Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty, Chicken Little and others. From 1977 he worked for Bulgari until his sudden death at the age of 44.
Today, his bright jewelry pieces made of precious metals, gems and multi-colored enamel are highly collectible and sold at the most prestigious auctions.
Sorrell Originals vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Sorrell jewelry brand began in 1985, founded by New York designer Robert Sorrell. According to an interview given by the designer on a TV program, the admiration for jewelry began as a child, when he looked at his mother’s jewelry. Also, old movies and Hollywood stars such as Garbo sparkling in Joseph’s of Hollywood bijoux inspired Robert. Even then, the boy understood that jewelry plays an important role in people’s lives. Then the hippie fashion of the 1960s with brightly colored beads and bracelets, and the revival of costume jewelry in the 1970s, led the teenager to learn the process of making jewelry while working as an assistant to a local jeweler. Thus, it can be said that Robert was a self-taught jeweller.
Due to the high quality of workmanship and the original design, his unique costume jewelry was popular in the 1980s and 90s. Hollywood, television and Broadway actresses, Cirque du Soleil gymnasts and Victoria’s Secret supermodels shone in Sorrell jewelry. Noteworthy, politicians and celebrities such as Madeleine Albright and RuPaul wore his jewelry.
An important event for Robert was the collaboration with the Parisian couturier Thierry Mugler in 1995, for whose fashion show he created more than 60 pieces of jewelry. After this collaboration, he became a world famous jewelry designer.
Featured in jewelry guides, Sorrell’s handcrafted jewelry is extremely rare and highly collectible today. Sorrell craftsmen used the finest Austrian and Czech crystals and rhinestones, as well as gold and silver tone alloys. Traditionally, the markings include “Sorrell Originals” in fancy script on an oval cartouche.
Etruscan style vintage costume jewelry
Intermediate between the Greek and Roman styles, it was the art of a colony of people known as the Etruscans, whose country Etruria was located in western central Italy. According to belief, the Etruscans were Phoenicians known for the assimilating art of their Greek and Roman neighbors. The tribes lived in the 1st millennium BC. The Etruscan civilization preceded the ancient Roman. Etruscan craftsmen made beautiful jewelry from gold, silver, precious stones, ivory and amber.
Noteworthy, the history of fibulae, or brooches and pins for fastening garments began with the culture of the Etruscans. The Etruscans mastered such jewelry techniques as graining and engraving. In fact, all we know about Etruscan art is derived from a study of their tombs. Traditionally, and Etruscan tomb (e.g. Cervetri), or a sarcophagus was full of paintings, sculptures, shields, swords, and jewelry. Richly decorated with ornaments, reliefs and patterns, most of them depicted gorgons, serpents, mythological and religious symbols, etc. Today, the Etruscan culture very often becomes an inspiration for jewelers and fashion designers.
Signed Alice vintage costume jewelry (1950-70s)
The history of the Alice jewelry brand began in May 1950 in Providence, Rhode Island, owned by the Alice Jewelry Company of Providence. The company produced high quality fashion jewelry in modernist, geometric, or leaf designs. Handcrafted in sterling silver and gold, mostly screw back earrings or ear clips. Traditionally, the maker’s mark included “alice” in lowercase script letters, or “alice” and “PAT.PEND”. The company ceased to exist in the 1970s.
Noteworthy, the Alice trademark is often confused with the better known Alice Caviness brand. However, these are completely different companies that are easy to distinguish by labeling, design style and materials used. Alice Caviness founded her eponymous company in 1940s in New York and branded her jewelry with her full name in block uppercase letters.
Anthony Attruia vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Anthony Attruia jewelry brand began in the late 1980s in Johnston, Rhode Island and spanned about two decades.
Born in 1962 to Madeleine S. Attruia (1938–2011) and Michael J. Attruia (1930–1991), Anthony Vincent Attruia learned jewelry business from his mother. Notably, Madeleine Attruia (also known as Lynn Castle) co-owned the Castle Jewelry Company in Providence, Rhode Island for 35 years.
Attruia became known for his lustrous crystal pins with Christmas, patriotic and floral designs, which are rare and collectible today.
Traditionally, Anthony Vincent Attruia used gold and silver tone metal alloys and multicolored Swarovski crystals. He marked his products with the word “Attruia” and an engraved symbolic image of the castle on an oval cartouche.