Ella Peter vintage silver jewelry
Born in 1943, Ella Peter is a prominent Navajo silversmith raised in Mentmore New Mexico. The girl began learning jewelry making very early, as her father was a silversmith who taught her the crafts. Noteworthy, only men could practice silversmithing, at least before 1920s. Later, Navajo women proved to be talented silversmiths as well.
By 1970 Ella Peter has already been an experienced master silversmith with her own views on design and with her own signature. Handcrafting her jewelry, Ella Peter used sterling silver and traditional for Navajo silversmith turquoise stone. Also, she used other multicolor natural stones – onyx, malachite, lapis lazuli and coral.
Ella Peter’s jewelry includes floral and animal motifs as well as geometric designs. In addition, the jeweler often used the folklore character Kokopelli – the god of abundance among the ancient Indian tribes. Jewelry with this symbol can be worn as a talisman, to attract wealth and fertility, and simply to fulfill the most secret desires. By the way, the alternative name of Kokopelli is the god of young families.
Category Archive: Vintage
Ella Peter vintage silver jewelry
Bauman-Massa vintage costume jewelry (1935-1941)
The history of Bauman-Massa Jewelry Company began in St. Louis, Missouri, as wholesale jewelers, manufacturers and importers. Its founders were German born Samuel H. Bauman (1853-1933) and Edwin Massa (1848-1929). Incorporated in 1882, Bauman-Massa Jewelers’ Supply Co. changed name to Bauman-Massa Jewelry Company in 1895. The Bauman family sold the company in 1941. The new owner and president Catherine McCullar didn’t change the company’s name.
For 132 years of its existence, the company has launched three jewelry trademarks. In particular, Cardinal (1935 costume jewelry), Winsome (1976, rings) and Kate Mccullar (2001, diamond and gold jewelry).
Handcrafted in 1935-1941 under the direction of the Bauman family, these unsigned figural artisan pins are highly collectible today.
Inspired by South American nature, Indian and Mexican traditions, pot metal enameled ornaments have fabulous artisan design. Sold in branded department stores, BM ornaments were popular with both among jewelry lovers and tourists visiting South America or border areas. Indeed, Siesta, Mexicans in folk dress, cacti, coconuts, monkeys in palm trees and stubborn donkeys embodied in pins were a good souvenir of an exotic trip.
Unfortunately, one of the oldest American jewelry companies, Bauman-Massa Jewelry Co., ceased to exist in 2014.
The last owners of the company announced the liquidation of the company and its property, including jewelry, many of which the public saw for the first time in 2014.
Patricia Locke vintage costume jewelry
American self-taught jewelry designer Patricia Agnes Locke (January 17, 1949 – February 19, 2015) began creating jewelry in 1971. Handcrafted with rich imagery and fine craftsmanship, her statement jewelry (originally made on commission) have become highly sought after. By 1980 she had successfully exhibited and sold her artisan jewelry through art galleries, boutiques and retailers.
Inspired by travels, ancient culture and architecture, her designs included asymmetrical geometry, marriage of metals, combination of natural stones and glass. Traditionally, she used 24 K gold, sterling silver, bronze, pewter, multicolor Austrian crystals and natural stones. She marked her jewelry pieces with “P. Locke USA”, or “Patricia Locke”, and a copyright sign.
Noteworthy, Chicago-based jeweler Locke founded her first jewelry company in Odessa, Texas. Incorporated in 1985, Patricia Locke, Ltd. (alternatively known as Patricia A Locke Incorporated) ceased to exist in 1989. She continued making jewelry in collaboration with other artists, until her death in 2015. She was 66.
Signed CFW vintage costume jewelry
The history of CFW began as a jewelry line by Hargo Creations, founded in 1955 in New York. The successful family business of Joseph Heibronner and Edith Levitt ceased to exist after Joseph’s death in August of 1968.
Noteworthy, some sources mistakenly associate the abbreviation CFW with the name of the English couturier Charles Frederick Worth (October 13, 1825 – March 10, 1895). However, Charles was an Englishman who worked in England and France, and the second reason – the date of his life and death. That is, he could not have had anything to do with American costume jewelry in the 1950s and 1960s.
Although there is no record of either the CFW company’s registration or the CFW trademark, yet, it was a line of jewelry by the American company Hargo, known as HAR. There are at least three reasons. First, the identical designs of many enameled figural pins marked CFW and HAR. Secondly, the time of making jewelry marked CFW and HAR is 1950-60s. Thirdly, the same style and font of marking – capital block letters with a copyright sign.
Signed Denbe vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Denbé jewelry brand owned by J. J. Denberg Co., covers a rather short period, just over a decade, starting in 1950. Founded by Joseph Denberg (1899 – 1973), the company was headquartered in Manhattan, in a 12-story building, at 366 Fifth Avenue, New York.
Handcrafted necklaces, brooches, bracelets and earrings demonstrate exquisite design and high-quality that have stood the test of time. Traditionally, Denbé jewelers used the best Austrian crystals, baguette rhinestones, art glass, Aurora Borealis rhinestones, baroque and faux pearls, rhodium, gold, silver and metal alloys.
Maker’s mark on an oval cartouche included the word Denbé in a fancy script without a copyright mark.
The company ceased to exist in the early 1960s, according to scant data, as well as jewelry available on the vintage costume jewelry market.
Kay Denning vintage costume jewelry
American artist, enameller and jewelry designer Kay Denning began creating jewelry at Brower Art Enamel Studios in 1952 (renamed Bovano Industries, Inc. in 1954). The art studio, located in Cheshire, Connecticut, specialized in metal and glass sculptures. Kay had worked for the company for nearly three decades until her retirement before 1980.
Traditionally, she created jewelry with modernist designs in copper, multicolored hot enamel and fused glass. Noteworthy, along with glass inserts, the designer used a special enamel with the effect of a smooth vitreous coating. She hand-signed her unique jewelry “K Denning” with enamel. Made by hand in the middle of the last century, today these rare items are highly collectible.
Signed HAN vintage silver jewelry
The history of HAN jewelry began in 1993 as a trademark owned by Helen Andrews inc. Incorporated in 1976, Helen Andrews inc. was a family business launched by Helen D. Andrews. Headquartered in Mineola, New York, the company has gone international by recruiting teams of jewelers in Thailand, Mexico and Italy. Made in Italy, HAN jewelry includes gold, 925 silver, platinum and diamonds. Also, the company’s craftsmen used marcasite, turquoise, onyx, jade, topaz, jasper, and cubic zirconia. Made in the 1970s and 90s, these exquisite vintage pieces are still a hit today.
The markings on the back of these items traditionally include “HAN 925 ster made in Italy”. In case the jewelry was made in Thailand, the marking, respectively, includes the word “Thai”.
Noteworthy, the company’s craftsmen did not produce brooches, and the main items were chains, bracelets, pendants, charms, earrings, rings and lockets.
Wholesalers and manufacturers, Helen Andrews inc. founded two trademarks in 1993 – HAN (earrings, rings, chains, bracelets, pendants and medallions) and Bodi Rox (body jewelry).
Run by Norman Kelapire (CEO) and Andrew Kelapire (President), the company is still active.