Fred A. Block inc vintage costume jewellery
Bright contrasting colors like gold and turquoise in this brooch are characteristic of many works by Fred A. Block Inc.
Based in Chicago, American company “Fred A. Block Inc.” produced bijouterie in the 1930s-1950s as accessories and advertising their clothing lines. Produced in smal quantities, most of their costume jewelry decorations are very rare, expensive and popular among collectors. In particular, bizarre figures – brooches of high-quality gilded silver with bright enamel and large crystals of rock crystal or beads. For example, this funny cat 10 cm brooch, made in 1940 from gold plated silver, artificial turquoise and rock crystal.
Chicago based clothing manufacturer “Fred A. Block” started their business in the 1920s, and from the 1930s to the 1950s they produced costume jewelry.
Category Archive: Vintage
Fred A. Block inc vintage costume jewellery
French jewellery designer Alfred Philippe
A talented French jewelry designer, Alfred Philippe was the chief designer of the famous American company Trifari. In fact, it was he who ensured the success of the “Trifari”, having worked in the company as the chief designer from 1930 to 1968. Especially it is worth noting the use of Swarovski crystals, due to which Trifari received the name “King of Diamonds”, and the technique of invisible frames, which he usually used in precious ornaments. Besides, Alfred Philippe’s jewelry was sold through such prestigious companies as “Cartier” and “Van Cliff and Arpels.”
Noteworthy, created by Alfred Philippe designs are masterpieces of costume jewelery, now the prices for many of his ornaments can cost thousands of dollars.
Glorious Italian jewellery designer Carlo Giuliano
Born in 1831, Carlo Giuliano was a renowned specialist of his craft, an antiques dealer, and the personal jeweler of Queen Victoria.
Most likely, Carlo Giuliano, a native of Naples (1831-1895), was trained in Castellani’s workshop in Rome, where he made decorations in archaeological style. Around 1860, he arrived in London and opened a workshop on Fritth Street, in which he produced jewelry for such companies as Hunt and Roskell, Robert Phillips and K.F. Hancock. Noteworthy, he sold his works in their own branded cases and signed with his name.
Sometimes on such ornaments there is a mark of the jeweler, “C.G.”, and a mark of the seller. His products were in demand, and in 1874 Giuliano opened his own shop on Piccadilly Street, 115, in which, after the death of the master, his sons Carlo-Joseph and Arthur continued the family business. They worked until 1912, when the store moved to Knightsbridge, and then – closed because of the outbreak of the First World War.
Vintage L’Atelier de Verre costume jewelry
In the early 1990’s, four employees of the company Mason Gripua founded a small jewelry studio “L’Atelier de Verre”. Until 2003, the studio collaborated with “Chanel” fashion house, producing high-quality jewelry in the spirit of Mason Gripua. Under the “L’Atelier de Verre” brand, the studio has produced mainly floral compositions made of artificial pearls, rock crystal, and gilded metal. The quality and beauty of their costume jewelry allowed the jewelers to sell their products through well-known boutiques and elite department stores in the United States. In particular, Neiman Markus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the USA, the Galleries Lafayette in France and Garrods in England.
Long history of famous Cartier jewelry house
The famous brooch-flamingo, made by Cartier in 1940. Acquired by the Duke of Windsor directly before the German occupation, designed by Jeanne Toussaint. The plot and the generous size of the brooch make it exceptional for this period. After the sale of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry at the Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 1987, numerous copies of this brooch, both with precious stones and rhinestones, appeared on the market.
Born Louis-Francois Cartier in 1819 in France, his family was not welalthy. His father was engaged in the production of horns for gunpowder, and the boy’s mother was sure that he would follow in the footsteps of his father. However, even at an early age, Louis showed a penchant for art. Fortunately, parents decided to develop his talent, and Louis Francois went to Paris to study at Adolf Picard’s workshop. And when Cartier was 26 years old, he bought a Piccard jewelery workshop.
Six years later Cartier opened a second workshop in Paris. Two weeks after the opening of the second Cartier salon, the best friend of Princess Matilda, the niece of Napoleon Bonaparte, entered the shop. Naturally, then Cartier did not even suspect this, and the countess, meanwhile, bought three brooches. According to belief, it was precisely with these brooches that the star path of the greatest jeweler began.
Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry
The movement for the granting of electoral rights to women, during the reign of Queen Victoria was a kind of equivalent to today’s political status. Ladies, participating in this movement preferred jewelry decorations, which became known as Suffragette costume jewelry.
Especially popular were brooches and pendants decorated with green, white, red and violet gemstones. Noteworthy, the colors of the stones had a special meaning. According to the first letters of their names, the suffragettes ciphered their appeal: “Give women the right to vote.” Thus, costume jewelry became a kind of symbol of women’s emancipation during the reign of Queen Victoria. In addition, the decorations worn by the participants of the movement, included the royal symbols, where each gemstone had a meaning. For example, the Amethysts represented Royalty, the Emeralds represented Nature and the Pearls represented Purity. Violet was the favorite color of Queen Alexandra, and the Prince of Wales preferred stone of white and green color, peridot.
Elsa Schiaparelli vintage costume jewellery
Born in Rome, Italy, Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) – a talented jewelry designer, worked in a surreal direction that shocked critics in the 1930s. However, her products quickly gained popularity and still admired by modern collectors.
Just like Coco Chanel, Shiaparelli believed that costume jewelry is both an independent art and an integral part of clothing. However, the style of her ornaments has nothing in common. Unlike the elegant classical design of Chanel’s products, the decorations of Schiaparelli made in 1920-30’s had unexpected forms. She used circus and astrological motifs, and the natural forms of flora and fauna acquired an irrational stylized character. The strangest specimens included pea pods as pendants in necklaces and brooches in the form of human eyes… . The apparent authenticity of the forms in these ornaments seemed to dissolve in the unnatural choice and combination of objects.
Undoubtedly, the modernist trend in the art of the twentieth century – surrealism influenced her creativity. Besides, Shiaparelli had creative contacts with the vivid representatives of this dorection. The influence of surrealism on the works of Schiaparelli is most noticeable in her dramatic collection of 1936 “Shocking Pink”. In fact, this color becomes dominant in her decorations.