Bellini vintage costume jewelry
The history of the American costume jewelry brand “Bellini” spans a period of no more than four decades – from the 1940s to the 1980s.
“Bellini” means beautiful, grandiose, and there is no doubt that the founder of the company was of Italian origin. The marking includes oval cartouche on the back which reads “Bellini” in upper case block letters. In addition, since the 1940s each piece had a foil hangtag attached to the jewelry. The tag had a beautiful black and gold design in the form of notes and a clef with ‘Jewels by Bellini NY” inscription. The designer clearly compared his pieces with the works of the “Creator of Italian Melodies” Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835).
Founded in New York, Bellini designed high quality and handcrafted costume jewellery which has become a collectible rarity. Traditionally, to create Art Deco, floral and figural design pieces, the company jewelers used gold and silver tone alloys, rhinestones, faux pearls, and enamel.
Noteworthy, there are several more brands of costume jewelry of the same name. In particular, Bellini Jewelers Inc. (Las Vegas, founded 1973), Bellini founded in 1978 and closed in 1987, Bellini Creations, and Ugo Bellini (Florence). However, if you look closely at the labeling of these products, it is different for all these companies. Founded by Sheung Mei Liuin in 1988 Bellini By FormArt Corp. (312 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York) is still active. According to the company statement, “artisans bring over 100 years of combined experience in gluing crystal and jewelry manufacturing”. However, it is another company which signs their pieces with full name “Bellini by Formart”.
Category Archive: Vintage
Bellini vintage costume jewelry
Alilang Vintage Inspired Costume Jewelry
The history of Alilang costume jewelry began in 2002, when Anaheim, California based Limited Liability Company registered its jewelry trademark. The company produces accessories and handcrafted costume jewelry – brooches, bracelets, bangles, and necklaces. Exquisite design, the use of antique gold or silver alloys, rhinestones and crystals, enamel, and high quality workmanship make Alilang jewelry special. The vintage jewelry market, due to age-old look of these pieces, often indicates 1970s-90s as the years of their production. However, there is no confirmation that these items were manufactured before 2000.
Beautifully packaged, Alilang jewelry can be a perfect gift on various occasions, from Valentine’s Day to engagement parties and anniversaries.
According to US Customs Records Notifications, the company is importing products from Guangzhou Alang Trading Co.ltd, a supplier based in Hong Kong. This explains the marking – Alilang Made in China. Undoubtedly, in 10-20 years these items will be collectible.
Guerlain vintage costume jewelry
According to belief, perfumes are invisible jewelry, and both are known to mankind from the very beginning of civilization. But when these two beautiful worlds meet, real masterpieces are born. Many jewelry brands have created perfumery, as have many fashion houses producing perfumery created jewelry. Traditionally, perfume ads are accompanied by jewelry, making these advertisements bright and memorable.
In fact, the first “jewelry” perfumes appeared in the middle of the last century thanks to such brand as Chanel. Also, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels (1978), Boucheron (1988), Chopard, Bulgari (1990s), and many others. The French company Guerlain was no exception. One of the world’s oldest perfume houses, founded in 1828 by Pierre François Pascal Guerlain, the company began creating costume jewelry in the 1980s. Exquisite bottles with divine aromas and their jewelry prototype made it possible not only to smell, but also to touch branded works. Vintage bottles, for example, with the honeycomb or gold hive and bees – the emblems of the Guerlain house, attracted buyers. Those who could not afford to buy expensive perfumes bought a brooch or pendant in the form of these perfumes.
Sometimes, when buying expensive perfumery, customers were offered branded jewelry as a gift – necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. Made from alloy jewelry, sterling silver, 14-24 carat gold plating, Swarovski crystals and rhinestones, the designs of these pieces often included the brand’s initials. Every piece is Guerlain-branded, Made in Paris. Noteworthy, many well-known jewelry designers worked for Guerlain, and Arthus Bertrand was one of them.
Signed Artistic vintage costume jewelry
The history of vintage jewelry marked with small letters “artistic” is not entirely clear, and even mysterious. In fact, there are several jewelry companies and brands that have the word “artistic” in their names. In particular, two Canadian companies based in Toronto – Artistic Jewelry MFG. CO. (1920s) and Artistic Jewelry Design, established in 1983. However, they are not related to our mysterious company, as the labeling and style of their jewelry differ. Also, there are such companies as Artistic Jewelers (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, since 1977), Artistic Jewelry Company San Francisco, and Hong Kong Artistic Jewellery LTD (since 1978). However, they have nothing to do with this vintage jewelry.
According to my research, most likely, it was an English company that operated for a short period, around the 1970s. The company’s craftsmen created beautiful jewelry using semi-precious stones, high-quality crystals and rhinestones.
Ekelund Brothers vintage costume jewelry
The history of the American company for the production of costume jewelry Ekelund Brothers Inc. spans a fairly long period, from 1910 to 1989. Located at 233 Harris Ave., Providence, RI 02903, the company produced high quality Art Deco jewelry – brooches, pins, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Traditionally, each piece is handcrafted with exquisite craftsmanship, with the use of gold, silver and natural stones.
References to the company’s activities in the period 1910-1940 are found in various sources. In particular, in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office (1922), and in the Bulletin of the National Bureau of Standards, published August 15, 1944, to name the few.
The company went through a success and a decline in production due to force majeure, for instance, period in the 1940s. Its president, Carl Richard Ekelund Jr. (1917–2013), a veteran of the United States Air Force, served during World War II. Born in Providence, he was the son of Carl R. and Florence I. (Bergman) Ekelund. Noteworthy, he had lived with his wife Mildred E. (Thatcher) Ekelund for 66 years! When Carl R. Ekelund retired in 1977, and sold his family business.
Registered in 1982, the renewed company Ekelund continued the tradition and created high quality costume jewelry. They also used quality materials such as gold, silver and natural stones – opal, pearls, jade, etc. However, in 1989 the company ceased to exist. Hard to find, these vintage pieces are now collectible.
Kristian Hestenes vintage costume jewelry
Norwegian artist Kristian M. Hestenes (1873-1928) began his career as an apprentice in the workshop of goldsmith Theodor Olsen. After completing his studies and receiving an official license to become a jeweler, he founded his family business in 1904. His first workshop and boutique were located at 89 Strandgaten, Bergen, and in 1927 he opened the second shop at Olav Kyrresgt 1, AS Smaragd.
Initially, he handcrafted spoons and kitchen utensils, but gradually moved to the production of silver and guilloche enamel jewelry. The master’s products became popular and the business expanded, which allowed Kristian to open another shop. After Kristian’s premature death, his son Magnus (1901 – 1984) took over the company in 1928.
marked Kristian M. Hestenes of Bergen Norway.
Noteworthy, Norwegian company Kristian M. Hestenes of Bergen ceased to exist in 1993.
Part of the jewelry production was the creation of Soljer national jewelry adorning women’s bunads, or traditional folk costumes. Making Soljer jewelry, silversmiths used 830 and 925 silver, creating intricate filigree designs. According to belief, the round motif of solje brooches traditionally represents the sun, and the hanging “leaves” or “spoons” protect the wearer from evil. Women wore these jewelry decorations as part of their wedding dress, or on big holidays.
Ilias Lalaounis vintage costume jewelry
Iconic Greek designer Ilias Lalaounis (4 October 1920 – 30 December 2013) belonged to the fourth generation of jewelers and knew who he would be from childhood. He got his first experience as a jeweler in the jewelry company of his uncle Xenophon Zolotas (1904 – 2004). His uncle went into politics, and by the way, he was even the prime minister of Greece later. In 1940, Ilias took over the family business and made it successful. Already in the 1950s, he developed his own corporate identity, inspired by the art of world civilizations, nature and technology. He also revived the use of 22K yellow gold and ancient techniques such as granulation and filigree. In the 1960s, he registered his own company, Greek Gold – Ilias Lalaounis S.A., which created many beautiful collections that earned him the status of a designer. Many celebrities have admired his museum worth jewelry, including Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and Charlize Theron.
His product markings include “750” for 18k gold, “A21” and “Greece” along with the Lalaounis trademark.
After the death of the designer, his daughters continued the business.