Richard Kerr vintage costume jewelry
The history of costume jewelry brand Richard Kerr began in 1946 when WWII veteran, US Navy Lieutenant Richard S. Kerr (January 23, 1920 – September 24, 2016) joined his father’s business. Richard graduated from the University of Illinois in 1943, and married Nancy Rebecca in 1948, with whom they later had two sons and a daughter. The jewelry company, owned by his father Walter H. Kerr (1889-1966), was based in Streator, Illinois. Following his father’s death in 1966, Richard took over and directed the company until his retirement in 1983.
Traditionally, to create a stunning sparkling effect, the company’s craftsmen used Austrian crystals, the number of which in one piece could be more than a thousand. It is hard to imagine how much labor and patience one had to have to manually insert each crystal. The marking on the back side of each item includes “Richard Kerr” on an oval cartouche.
The brand’s high quality, handcrafted products (mostly earrings) which were produced from 1946 to 1983, are highly collectible today.
Category Archive: Vintage
Richard Kerr vintage costume jewelry
Lisa Jenks vintage costume jewelry
The history of Brooklyn, New York City based jewelry company Lisa Jenks Ltd began in 1987. Lisa Jenks graduated from Parsons School of Design, and today she is a many awarded silversmith, including “Jewelry Designer of 2006”. Among 19 trademarks registered by Jenks, there were 6 jewelry trademarks, for example, Lisa Jenks Garland (2004-2007), Lisa Jenks (1999-2011), and more.
In addition to jewelry, Jenks designed tableware, frames, mirrors, handbags, wallets, briefcases, purses, belts, backpacks, and many more. However, it was her modernist style, New York City inspired sterling silver jewelry brought her fame. Handcrafted amulet pendants, necklaces, bracelets have become collectible and highly appreciated by jewelry lovers. According to Jenks, she used to create two-three collections a year with about seventy pieces.
Noteworthy, Lisa Jenks has stopped creating jewelry since 2011, and today the status of all her jewelry trademarks is – cancelled.
Lady Ellen vintage costume jewelry
Veteran of WWII, fighter pilot, Czech-American jewelry manufacturer Henry B. Lederer (1920-2013) founded Lederer Brothers in 1946. The New York City based company became known for their high-quality pearl and interchangeable gem jewelry. In 1955 Henry B. Lederer invented earrings with interchangeable precious, semi-precious, or artificial stones. His invention was patented as Magnetic Earrings With Inter – Changeable Ornaments. Thanks to the attached magnetic elements, the wearer could easily change the color, quickly remove and replace stone to match wearer’s dress, or the occasion.
Marked “Lady Ellen”, the jewelry was traditionally sold in the original boxes.
Noteworthy, there is a similar jewelry brand on the vintage jewelry market, but it does not belong to Lederer. In particular, the Lady Ellen brand, owned by Los Angeles, California-based Kaynar Manufacturing Co. The Lady Ellen jewelry brand, incorporated in 1948, ceased to exist in 1992.
DKNY Donna Karan vintage costume jewelry
Born Donna Ivy Faske on October 2, 1948, New York, Donna Karan is an American fashion designer and businesswoman. In 1968, as a sophomore at Parson’s School of Design, Karan began her career as fashion designer of Anna Klein fashion house. After the death of Anna Klein in 1974, Karan became the main designer of the House. In 1984, she launched her own business – Donna Karan International Inc. In 1985 Karan invited Robert Lee Morris to create jewelry for her first collection. Thus began a collaboration that lasted over 20 years.
The first DKNY collection was highly acclaimed and commercially successful. In 1986, the New York Times published an article that the collaboration between the two designers led to massive popularity of massive gold jewelry worn with black clothing. In just a few years, her company has grown into the world famous corporation. According to Karan, details and accessories are sometimes more important than outerwear.
Donna Karan jewelry is stylish, modern, made of plastic, metal, and pearls. Her jewelry is brutal gold chains and bottle caps on a bracelet, a necklace made of roughly processed “crumpled” silver metal and a thin openwork brooch on a gold plate.
Among 22 trademarks registered by Donna Karan was one jewelry trademark Donna Karan New York (1985-2007). Since 1985, Donna Кaran is one of brands and trademarks of Gabrielle Studio, Inc., New York , NY. Among jewelry marks used by Gabrielle studio are DKNY (since 1987), Donna Karan (2012-2019), and DKNY Donna Karan New York (since 2006).
Signed Lisa vintage costume jewelry
Officially registered in 1964, Lisa Jewels company began creating costume jewelry in West Orange, New Jersey in 1962. It was a domestic profit corporation owned by a family couple Marian C. Botti (1919-2013) and her husband Elvidio Botti. Born in Kearny, New Jersey, Marian C. Botti (nee Vecchio) grew up and had lived her long life in West Orange. Elvidio and Marian had four children.
The creative duo handcrafted high quality and exquisite design costume jewelry, which has become highly collectible today. Traditionally, the craftsmen used silver and gold tone metal alloys, Austrian crystals, rhinestones, enamel and art glass. The design includes classic style, figural, animal and leaf motif brooches, pins and earrings. The marking on the back of each piece consists of the word “Lisa” written in fancy script on an oval cartouche, withought a copyright sign.
Founded in 1962, the company ceased to exist in late 1980s, due to the death of 76-year-old Elvidio Botti. After retiring and closing her jewelry company, Marian was active until her last days, working and participating in the social life of the city.
Lee Sands vintage costume jewelry
The history of LS jewelry trademark began more than forty years ago, when Los Angeles California based jewelry designer Lee Sands founded his company Lee Sands Inc. Officially registered in 1980, the company ceased to exist in 2003. In fact, Lee Sands (aka Lee Sandau) began creating jewelry long before founding his family business. It was “Honolulu Puka Shell Exchange”, the company registered in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1975.
Sandau original designs included wooden beads, puka shells, shimmering mother-of-pearl, semi-precious stones, sterling silver, metal alloys, and various natural materials.
Handcrafted from Hawaiian natural materials, his mosaic shell jewelry is unique. Besides, Lee Sands opened Hawaiian handicraft to the world through his enterprise. Actually, it was not jewelry pieces, but accessories that brought fame to the designer. In particular, eel skin leather, which he used for making organizer wallets in the 1980s. According to Lee, he travels the globe in the search of new, exotic sources for future jewelry.
Barrera vintage costume jewelry
Located in the center of New York, Barrera Holdings LLC began its activity in 1981 and is still active. The founders of the company, Jose and Maria Barrera, have proven that costume jewelry can be truly top-notch. High quality workmanship, the use of 24 carat gold, Austrian crystals of a special cut, and art glass imitating precious stones. Their jewelry, including pieces created for Avon (1989 – 1996), has always been very popular. Traditionally, the company sells its jewelry on its website, as well as through top boutiques, including Neiman Marcus.
In fact, the history of Barrera’s jewelry business began much earlier, in the 1960s. It was then that a lucky case brought the actress from New York to Texas. Maria saw Jose’s very first jewelry at the University of Texas student art exhibition. The actress bought the necklace she liked and returned to New York to put it on to a party. There, the famous photographer and art editor of Vogue magazine Alexander Lieberman noticed the necklace and asked for his photo shoot. The decoration inspired magazine editor Diana Vreeland so much that she commissioned another series of art photographs with Barrera jewelry for the April 1970 issue.
This happy turn of events pushed Jose and Maria to start a new life and establish a family business in New York. Over time, their three daughters – Larisa, Alicia, and Mariel joined the company, and the business expanded.