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Category Archive: Vintage

Phister Ent vintage costume jewelry

Phister Ent vintage costume jewelry

Independence Day American flag patriotic brooch. 1996. Phister Ent vintage costume jewelry

Phister Ent vintage costume jewelry (1996-1998)

Made by American company Phister Enterprises, Inc. in 1996-1998 costume jewelry is extremely rare and can literally be counted on the fingers. However, this very fact made this brand known among collectors of vintage jewelry. In fact, the only design created by Phister Enterprises is the classic gold tone bow brooch pin. The bow was sold in a set of seven charms, made from gold tone alloy and enamel. The cute charms depict the main US holidays – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving. The only thing that the owner of such a set had to do was to change the charms, in accordance with the holiday. Also, the company’s craftsmen did not bypass St. Patrick’s Day, creating a set of clips and pendants in the form of clover, covered with green enamel.
Incorporated in 1996, Phister Enterprises, Inc. was a family business of Kimberley Phister (President) and Rita Sayre Phister. Riverside California based wholesale jewelry and service company Phister Enterprises, Inc. ceased to exist in the early 2000s.
The marking on the back of each item includes “Phister Ent”, year of manufacture, and a copyright sign.
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Signed Halbe vintage costume jewelry

Signed Halbe vintage costume jewelry

Fabulous flower brooch. Gold tone, rhodium plated, rhinestone pave. 5 cm. 1950s. Signed Halbe vintage costume jewelry

Halbe vintage costume jewelry (1930-50s)
Rare and highly collectible, each piece of jewelry marked “Halbe” is a wearable art, because its creator and designer was a professional artist.
Born in Poland on April 10, 1881, Rudolph Halbe studied art in Germany and became a renowned landscape painter. In Germany, he married Erna, the famous ethnic dancer. The couple enjoyed traveling and in 1919 they emigrated to California, USA.
Rudolph and Erna started their family business with opening jewelry stores in Oakland and Piedmont, California, in the early 1930s. The business was developing successfully, and jewelry lovers liked the exquisite and inexpensive Halbe jewelry made in the Art Deco style. Notably, Halbe-branded jewelry was sold in boutiques on 5th Avenue in New York and in Toronto, Canada. Meanwhile, the artist Halbe continued to paint and participate in art exhibitions, while Erna continued to perform ethnic dances.
Landscape painter, designer, jeweler and businessman, Rudolph Halbe died in Emeryville, California on September 4, 1967, at the age of 86. He left a great legacy in the form of paintings and jewelry, the price of which will rise every year.
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Tammey Jewels vintage costume jewelry

Tammey Jewels vintage costume jewelry

Blackberry brooch of silver tone. 4.5 cm. 1960s. Tammey Jewels vintage costume jewelry

Tammey Jewels vintage costume jewelry
The history of the American costume jewelry brand “Tammey Jewels” owned by Jean Barnes began in the state of Indiana. Incorporated in 1961, Tammey Jewels Inc. address was 9392 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Born in Beaver Falls, Pa, Jean Barnes (1924 – 2004) began her career as a dancer. During World War II, she married Bruce Barnes and the couple moved to Indianapolis. Jean worked at Empire Crafts selling porcelain and silverware to customers’ homes. Bruce, with whom she happily lived for 26 years, died tragically at the age of 48. A widow with four daughters, Jean Barnes not only survived, but became a successful business woman ahead of her time.

Her first home-party selling businesses, which motto was “Fashion Jewelry for the woman who cares”, became very successful, and the company expanded. Tammey Jewels kiosks, gift shops and jewelry boutiques appeared one by one in other states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Texas. Noteworthy, in addition to jewelry business, Jean Barnes owned a restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also, she was an expert in buying and selling real estate.
Talented business woman, Jean Barnes retired in 1986, sold her business, and moved to Florida.

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Avedon vintage costume jewelry

Avedon vintage costume jewelry

Comedy Drama theatrical mask sterling silver pendant. 1960s. Avedon vintage costume jewelry

Avedon vintage costume jewelry
The history of American jewelry trademark “Avedon” began in 1945 in New York. The owner of trademark was Harvey Avedon (2 January 1908 – 21 June 2005), East Elmhurst, New York based jewelry designer. Yet, the first use of Avedon name was in 1935. So, according to Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, on October 2, 1935 Harvey Avedon filed an application for patent registration of two of his designs.
Talented designer, Harvey Avedon opened his jewelry shop in 1945, and worked there until his retirement in 1976. During this period he collaborated with such iconic companies as Tiffany & Co. Avedon was known for his gentlemen’s jewelry – silver and gold cufflinks, pocket lighters, tie clips, belt buckles, and other accessories.
In 1977, one of the largest manufacturers of jewelry “Richline Group, Inc” (Broadway, New York, NY) purchased Avedon trademark. Noteworthy, Richline Group Inc owned similar jewelry trademark “Taylor Avedon” registered in 2007. Both trademarks ceased to exist in 2006 and 2011, respectively.
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Signed Tacoa vintage costume jewelry

Signed Tacoa vintage costume jewelry

Black rhinestone gold tone floral design brooch 1960s. Signed Tacoa vintage costume jewelry

Tacoa vintage costume jewelry (1964-1994)
The history of the American jewelry brand Tacoa began in March 1964 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charles Stone (1922 – 2003) was one of the founders of Tacoa Jewelry Inc. Since 1978, owner and president of Tacoa Inc. was John F. McClure (b. 1951). Initially a small family business, the company has grown into a huge corporation with subsidiaries registered over the years in several states. In particular, Rhode Island (1978-1996), Georgia (1964), Delaware (1994), Texas (1994-1996), New York (1994-1998), and Florida (1994). The company went through several re-registrations and mergers. As a result, the subsidiaries ceased to exist in the late 1990s.
The production of jewelry by various workshops explains the variety of materials, designs and styles used. Besides, even such well-known jewelry brands as Florenza and BEAU Jewels created jewelry for Tacoa.
Among the materials used by craftsmen were metal alloys, pewter, silver, gold, plastic, and wood. Also, enamel, genuine lucite and crystal, cubic zirconia, unique shell and mother of pearl, rhinestones and art glass imitating natural stones. Created in different styles, from Boho and haute couture, classic floral and modernist geometric, Victorian Revival and tribal African.

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Michaela Frey vintage costume jewelry

Michaela Frey vintage costume jewelry

Dove Bird oval shaped enameled brooch. 4.5 cm. 1960s. Michaela Frey vintage costume jewelry

Michaela Frey vintage costume jewelry

Austrian jewelry brand founded by Michaela Frey (1926-1980) began its activity exactly 70 years ago. A talented twenty-five year-old artist, Michaela graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. She founded the eponymous company Michaela Frey Emailmanufaktur, and opened a small workshop in 1951.
From the very beginning, Michaela used a unique technology of using multi-stage hot enamel mixed with 24 carat gold powder. As an artist, she drew jewelry sketches, showing deep knowledge of ethnic ornaments of different peoples. Influenced by Monet, Klimt, Mucha and Hundertwasser, her jewelry is a wearable art.
Dr. Friedrich Wille joined the business as an accountant and lawyer in 1969, and took over the company in 1972. In 1980s Michaela Frey passed away (she was 54), and her daughters sold the company to Wille. Thus, he became the company’s sole owner. The new chief designer, Simone Grünberger-Wille (she later became his wife) was a professional artist. Simone brought in her colleagues from the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, who joined the team. Thanks to them, completely new shapes and high artistic level appeared in design. Most notable was Avantgarde collection with geometric shapes and bright color enamel.

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Am Lee vintage costume jewelry

Am Lee vintage costume jewelry

1960s sterling silver filigree flower pin. Am Lee vintage costume jewelry

Am Lee vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Am Lee costume jewelry brand covers a rather short period, less than two decades. However, the design of Am Lee brooches, necklaces and earrings is easily recognizable. This is a delicate filigree work of sterling silver, glass stones, Austrian crystals, and high quality rhinestones. Noteworthy, the filigree designs by Am Lee entered the “Catalog of Copyright Entries” (1954).
Located at 80 Clifford Street, Providence, Rhode Island, the company produced costume jewelry, often gold and rhodium-plated. Founded in 1946, Am Lee Jewelry Company Inc. ceased to exist in 1962.
According to ads, AM Lee sold its jewelry through wholesalers only, and the representatives were in the US and Canada. In particular, Jerry Morvillo (Providence, R.I.), Howard D. Seebeck and Harry Mitchell (Chicago, Illinois), and J. H. L’Heureux (Montreal, Canada).
The markings on the back of each item include “Am Lee”, and the purity of the metal, such as 1/20 G.F., or Sterling.
Rare and quality handcrafted pieces from this brand are highly coveted by lovers and collectors of vintage and antique jewelry.
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