Staffordshire Cara China vintage costume jewelry
In the middle of the last century, many English porcelain companies produced not only china, but also fine high-quality costume jewelry. Crafted from bone china, the colorful, hand-painted jewelry was unlike the usual ones made of metal, bronze, sterling silver or gold. A wearable art, this jewelry is very popular both in the last century and now. Even made 60-70 years ago, the colorful floral design brooches, earrings and bracelets have survived to this day.
Among more than a hundred companies producing such jewelry, the most famous are Aynsley China Co, Coalport China Co., Crown Staffordshire China Co., Bone China Crafts Co., Paragon China Co., and Cara China Co.
The history of the English company Cara China spans no more than 3 decades, from 1945 to 1970. Located in the county of Staffordshire, the company produced dazzling array of color porcelain costume jewelry. Traditionally, craftsmen labeled the products “Cara China Staffordshire Made in England”, and also sold them in a branded velvet boxes.
Category Archive: Vintage
Staffordshire Cara China vintage costume jewelry
Andresen Scheinpflug vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Norwegian jewelry brand Andresen & Scheinpflug spans exactly three decades, from 1936 to 1966. Founded in Oslo by silversmith Jens Ingvald Andresen (1901-1974), the company produced high quality enameled silver jewelry.
Andresen was an apprentice at the Hjortdahl & Meldahl workshop from 1915 to 1919 and continued to work there for many years. In 1931, Meldahl left the workshop to start his own company, and Andersen followed him. However, already in 1936, he co-founded his own Andresen & Scheinpflug workshop for the production of silver and enamel jewelry. Initially, the company’s address was Vognmannsgata 8 and later Storgata 7, Oslo. The company ceased to exist in 1966.
Mid-century Norwegian silver enamel jewelry is now quite rare and highly sought after by lovers and collectors of vintage jewelry.
Traditionally, the craftsmen of this company marked their products on the reverse side with 925 S and the initials TYA.
Forstner Sterling vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Forstner jewelry brand began in 1922 in Irvington, New Jersey. Originally called “The Forstner Chain Corporation”, the company made necklaces, bracelets, brooches and accessories, such as watch and keychains. Traditionally, the company’s craftsmen used gold filled or gold plated sterling silver and faux pearls. Without using semi-precious stones or enamel, they created high quality Art Deco pieces or classic designs. The main motifs are leaves, bows, flowers, swirls, and sometimes figurative designs in the form of brooches, clips, pendants and rings.
Noteworthy, in 1950 they changed their name to “Forstner Jewelry Manufacturing Corp.” The markings on the back of products have also changed over the years. In particular, the “Forstner Sterling” stamp in block letters in a rectangular cartouche from 1922 to 1937, “Forstner” in script letters from 1937 to the 1960s, and from 1962 a backward-facing F with an arrow through the center. Also, some jewelry pieces sold with paper tags included hallmark “Forstner Creations”.
According to sources, the Forstner jewelry brand ceased to exist in the 1980s, although the renewed company was incorporated in 1992, but by 2002 its status had changed to dead. High quality hand made sterling silver and gold plated costume jewelry of this brand is highly collectible vintage.
Urban Fetishes vintage costume jewelry
New Mexico based artist, writer, sculptor and jewelry designer, Alice Warder Seely (b. 1943) began creating her own “Urban Fetishes” jewelry in 1980s. Officially registered in 1991, the company Urban Fetishes Jewelry Inc. ceased to exist in 2003.
A hereditary artist, Seely made pewter jewelry in her workshop in New Mexico. The designs of her brooches, pendants, pins and bracelets are unique and easily recognizable – these are petroglyphs, fossils, friends, angels and Egyptians. The most interesting is her collection “Petroglyphs” created in 1989-1990. She dedicated it to rock art, culture and beliefs of the indigenous people of America. Wearable art, each piece is eye-catching and arouses interest in the history of this decoration. This is probably why each piece of jewelry is packed in a matchbox, accompanied by a description, and sometimes even a poem written by her. Traditionally, the designer signed her decorations “Urban Fetishes” and the year of manufacture, mostly 1989 or 2000. Sometimes the labeling includes the artist’s name Alice Seely.
Presented in over 350 stores and galleries across the country, her artwork adorns galleries in Santa Fe, Scottsdale, New York, Michigan and Florida. Alice Warder Seely’s blended Indian, Spanish, and Anglo-Indian heritage reflects New Mexico’s rich cultural diversity.
Marleen vintage costume jewelry
Active in 1940s, Marleen Costume Jewelry Company was located in the US jewelry capital – the city of Providence, Rhode Island. The company’s jewelers handcrafted figural costume decorations with the use of sterling silver and gold plating. Traditionally, the marking on the back side of each item included the word “Marleen Sterling” and pat. (patent number) on a square base. Marleen, like many manufactories of the 1940s, protected their jewelry with a patent, which helped to determine their belonging.
Noteworthy, the designer of these pirate theme brooches and earrings from Swashbucklers series was Frederick J. Pearsall. Providence, Rhode Island based freelance designer Frederick J. Pearsall (1883 – 1975) collaborated with several costume jewelry companies of the time. According to sources, he was the main designer for Marslieu and Marleen companies, as well as the Imperial Pearl company which absorbed Marslieu and Marleen in 1948.
Extremely rare hand-made Marleen jewelry pieces mentioned in the Brunialti reference book, are highly collectible now.
Larisa Barrera vintage costume jewelry
A hereditary designer and jeweler, Larisa Barrera works in the company of her famous parents Jose and Maria Barrera. A fashion design graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, she worked at Badgley Mischka for three years as a design assistant before returning to the family business in 1996. Designing jewelry for the Barrera brand, Larisa created her own brand of unique jewelry. In addition, she designed sophisticated collectible evening bags with precious stones and bead-embroidered clothes.
Inspired by the jewelry traditions and forms of the past centuries, especially Baroque and Classicism, Larisa made intricate jewelry, slightly modified in a modern way. Traditionally, the designer used antique gold and silver metal, enamel and inlays, volumetric engravings and the classic manual technique of setting pavé stones. A small team of craftsmen led by Larisa hand crafted exquisite costume jewelry decorated with clear and colored crystals, Chandelier-shaped clips and teardrop pendants. The production process also used semi-precious stones and various precious metals, glass, crystal crystals and Swarovski rhinestones.
Noteworthy, her high price segment and premium jewelry appeared on the red carpets and on the pages of fashion magazines. Hollywood stars and celebrities used to shine in her jewelry. In particular, Madonna, Britney Spears, Cher, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Julian Moore, Salma Hayek and many more.
Marena Eros vintage costume jewelry
The history of Marena & Eros jewelry brand spans about five decades – from the 1940s to the 1990s. Inspired by Erte, the creative duo made these porcelain-face brooches in a limited edition. A characteristic feature of all brooches and pendants created in Art Deco style are gold-plated tassels or chains. Traditionally, the designers used porcelain, silver, 18-karat gold, and semi-precious stones. Also, mother-of-pearl, onyx, Austrian crystals and rhinestones. Each brooch has the stylized “Eros” signature on the back, or marking “Marena” with copyright and “Handarbeit” (handmade), and W. Germany.
Priced hundreds of dollars, high-end vintage brooches and pendants created by Marena and Eros are highly collectible and in demand today.