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Category Archive: Vintage

Frank Usher vintage costume jewelry

Frank Usher vintage costume jewelry

Art Deco butterfly pendant. Multicolor rhinestones, resin, gold tone. 1980s. Frank Usher vintage costume jewelry

Frank Usher vintage costume jewelry
Founded in 1942, Frank Usher brand gained its notoriety when Anne Bruh (b. October 1922) and Max Bruh (17 August 1906 – 29 January, 1994) bought it in 1944. Accordingly, the brand name Frank Usher does not mean a specific person. Undoubtedly, buying a ready-made brand was a wise decision, as it allowed its owners to remain anonymous and not start their brand from scratch.
The dramatic life story of Anne and her husband Max, refugees from Nazi Germany, is worthy of a separate story, writing a book or making a film.
The Bruh family has made a significant contribution to the British fashion industry, making the company iconic and internationally renowned, with offices around the world.
Like most fashion houses, Frank Usher Limited began to create various accessories – scarves, ties and costume jewelry in the early 1980-90s. To create costume jewelry, the designers of the fashion house developed their own jewelry designs for certain collections, collaborating with jewelry companies and jewelers of that time. Traditionally, they used gold, metal alloys, faux enamel, resin, crystals and rhinestones. They sold jewelry in velvet pouches and with paper tags with printed Frank Usher logo on them.
In 1991, Max fell seriously ill and three years before Max’s death, Anne took over the fashion house, which she ran until 2000. She retired at the age of 78.
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Arthur King fine jewelry

18 K gold, diamond, pearls, lapis pendant brooch. Arthur King fine jewelry

18 K gold, diamond, pearls, lapis pendant brooch. Arthur King fine jewelry

Arthur King fine jewelry
Born in New York in 1921, Arthur Henry King was a self-taught jeweler who favored free form over “correct” classical design. A World War II veteran, King learned the lost art of wax casting while working on scrap metal abroad. It was there that he decided to connect his life with jewelry, making the first piece of jewelry from metal and sharks’teeth. After leaving the Navy, Arthur King returned to his native New York, where he opened his shop on 4th Street in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. Due to the popularity of his products, the business expanded with increased sales in major department stores and boutiques both in the US and European capitals. Already in the 1960s, he had about twenty jewelry boutiques with beautiful interiors.
Initially working in brass and silver, he later began using gold and palladium. Alongside rough organically shaped semi-precious stones he began using diamonds and other precious gems. His innovative freeform styles included organic materials, such as ivory, corals, and his favorite pearls. Noteworthy, during his travel to Thailand, Myanmar, and India he used to hunt for pearls himself engaged in deep-sea diving. Also, he was a collector of antiques, from medieval surgical instruments to ancient keys and locks.
Along with women’s brooches, necklaces and pendants, King created men’s jewelry collections. Greatly influenced by abstract painters of the 1950s and ‘60s, King sculpted his work, and was called a sculptor in gold. However, after sculpting and casting, he destroyed the mold, wanting each piece to be unique.
Arthur King died in 1991, and his manufacture and remaining shops ceased to exist.
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Alan Revere innovative jewelry

Silver 14K gold modernist design earrings. Alan Revere innovative jewelry

Silver 14K gold modernist design earrings. Alan Revere innovative jewelry

Alan Revere innovative jewelry
Born in 1947, Alan Revere grew up in a family of artists and designers. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1969 where he studied psychology, languages and art. Deciding to connect his life with art, Alan entered the University of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he studied art, sculpture and crafts. It was there, on his first day at the jewelry workshop, that he made a piece of jewelry and discovered his true calling.
After graduating from the University in 1972, he went to the jewelry capital of Germany, the city of Pforzheim. Simultaneously with the study of jewelry, Alan Revere worked as a fashion designer and jeweler. Alan returned to the US two years later, settling in Oakland, California, where he worked as a jeweler and taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
In 1979, Revere opened his studio in San Francisco and founded the Jewellery Academy. The same year, Alan exhibited his jewelry for the first time at the ACC Craft Fair in San Francisco. For the next 15 years, he made jewelry in his workshop and sold it in hundreds of jewelry stores and galleries across the country. Alan has received a number of international awards for his innovative jewelry, which is highly collectible.
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Harry Bertoia innovative jewelry

Snake silver brooch. 1943. Harry Bertoia innovative jewelry

Snake silver brooch. 1943. Harry Bertoia innovative jewelry

Harry Bertoia innovative jewelry
An Italian-born American sculptor and designer, Harry Bertoia (1916–1978) gained recognition from an early age for his innovative jewelry. He began designing jewelry at the age of eighteen, and by 1937 he had a portfolio that enabled him to become a full scholarship student and Head of the Metalworking Workshop at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Bertoia opened his first studio in 1939 and continued to produce innovative jewelry during the war years.
Bertoia later began to create large sculptures and became known as the inventor of sound sculptures. They were abstract, free-standing metalworks, some of which resonated with sound as the moving elements tinkled in the wind. Bertoia called them “sonambients”.
In 1946, the Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center presented the Bertoia jewels alongside the creations of Alexander Calder. That same year, he became a US citizen, moved to Bally, Pennsylvania, and set up his own design and sculpture studio near the Knoll factory.
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Hammerman Bros Fine Jewelry

Hammerman Bros Fine Jewelry

Pine cones Christmas brooch. 18 carat gold, diamonds. Hammerman Bros Fine Jewelry

Hammerman Bros Fine Jewelry (1947-1993)
The history of a renowned American jewelry brand “Hammerman Bros” began in 1947 founded by New York born brothers Hyman, Benjamin and Bernard. They were the sons of Louis and Rose Hammerman – Hyman (1918-1997), Benjamin (1919-2015), and Bernard Hammerman (1923-1999). After the end of World War II, the three brothers returned from the army service in Europe and teamed up to form the successful Hammerman Brothers, a jewelry manufacturer.
In the production of jewelry they used platinum, 14 and 18 carat gold, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and other precious stones. Also, corals, enamel and pearls. Product markings include stylized capital letters “HB”, gold purity and a copyright mark.
Astute businessmen, the brothers built one of the largest jewelry factories in America. As the business expanded, they successfully supplied department stores and boutiques around the world with their products. The Hammerman name is trusted and respected for setting the quality standard in the industry.
Incorporated at the address 53 Nassau street, in November 1947 Hammerman Bros. Inc. ceased to exist in June 1993.
Noteworthy, Hammerman Bros. Inc, Inc. registered in 1961 at the address 50 West 57th St, New York continues to be a family business headed by Brett Hammerman.
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Italian jeweler Mario Masenza

Italian jeweler Mario Masenza (1913-1985)

Triton and mermaid brooch (can be worn separately). Yellow gold, coral, emeralds and diamonds. Designed by Afro Libio Basaldella (1912 – 1976) in 1950s. Italian jeweler Mario Masenza (1913-1985)

Italian jeweler Mario Masenza (1913-1985)
Born into a family of renowned Roman jewelers, Mario Masenza was a third generation jeweler involved in the family business since childhood. He helped his parents run their Masenza jewelry store, founded in 1924. Notably, the young jeweler, who was himself an art collector, founded the “School of Rome” and collaborated with his favorite artists. In fact, he was the first to invite artists to his workshop, breathing new life into jewelry design.
Artists, most of whom worked in the field of expressionism and abstractionism, created designs, and the house of Mario Masenza carried out their projects. According to Masenza, such jewelry belonged to “intellectual fashion”. Masenza collaborated with more than thirty artists such as Franco Cannilla (1911 – 1985), L.Guerrini, N. Franchina, Mirko and Afro Libio Basaldella (1912 – 1976). Most artists collaborated with the Masenza workshop until the late 1960s.
For thirty years of his work, Mario Masenza made a great contribution to the Italian jewelry business.
In October 1949, the “Jewellery by Masenza” exhibition opened in Milan, where he presented special pieces created by artists and sculptors for this groundbreaking show. With Masenza’s approach to jewelry making, his work revolutionized Italian jewelry for the next century.

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Angela Cummings fine jewelry

Angela Cummings fine jewelry

Orchid brooch. 18 carat gold and diamonds. Angela Cummings fine jewelry

Angela Cummings fine jewelry (1975-1998)
Born in Austria in 1944, Cummings grew up in the United States, where she moved with her family at the age of three. She studied art in Italy and goldsmithing in Germany, graduating in goldsmithing and gemology.
Starting her career as a designer at the legendary jewelry company Tiffany & Co in 1967, she created jewelry there for almost ten years. In 1970, she married Bruce Cummings. Notably, Angela designed the first complete jewelry collection under her own name in 1975.
With her vast and successful experience in jewelry design, she created her own company, Angela Cummings Inc., in 1984 in New York. Jewelry designed by Angela Cummings was sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, the largest US department stores. Admirers of her jewelry talent appreciate the bright design and expensive materials. In particular, diamonds, 18 carat gold, platinum, opals, emeralds and other precious stones.
Angela Cummings Inc. ceased to exist in the late 1990s. However, in 2013 she returned to the jewelry business, starting a collaboration with jewelry company Assael Inc.
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