Vicki Eisenfeld Vintage Fine Art Jewelry
For nearly 50 years, Vicki Eisenfeld has run a studio at the Farmington Valley Art Center in West Hartford, Connecticut, which she founded in the 1980s. She studied Fine Art in Carnegie Mellon University and for some years continued to study jewelry and improve her skills in working with metal and stones.
The combination of metals in one product, which created an unusual texture and play of color, became most popular in the late 1970s. Vicki Eisenfeld was one of several American designers who embodied their artistic vision in the intricate technique of integrating metals using high-carat gold.
Created in the 1980s-1990s, Eisenfeld’s jewelry resembles weaving, where instead of a thread, the designer uses precious wire made of pink, yellow and white gold of 14, 18 and 22 carats.
In addition to gold, Eisenfeld uses sterling and pure silver, expanding the range of white shades in contrast with gold. The combination of different techniques makes these products extremely complex in design and execution.
According to the designer, what inspires her most is art and design, the beauty and complexity of ancient cultures. In addition to gold and silver of different colors and samples, she uses precious stones, agates, pearls and beads from all over the world. Her pieces are patterned, complex, intense and multi-layered beauty puzzles.
Today, wearable artworks created by many-awarded artist jeweler Vicki Eisenfeld has been featured in many art museums and galleries in the USA.
Category Archive: Vintage
Vicki Eisenfeld Vintage Fine Art Jewelry
King of Diamonds Harry Winston (March 1, 1896 – December 28, 1978)
To determine exactly when the history of the Harry Winston brand began is difficult to determine, although the official date of foundation of Harry H. Winston Jewels, Inc. is 1932.
Harry’s father Jacob, Jewish immigrant from Russian Empire, opened his jewelry store in Manhattan in 1890. Noteworthy, Harry has shown an interest in jewelry and gemstones since childhood. Incredibly, at the age of 13 he became a millionaire, and opened his own company Premier Diamond when he was 14 years old!
Five years later, the 19-year-old millionaire began to buy the most expensive collections of jewelry and stones for millions of dollars, receiving the well-deserved title “King of Diamonds”.
Upon his death, Winston bequeathed the company to his two sons, Ronald and Bruce. In 2000, Ronald, along with his partner Fenway Partners, bought out Bruce’s stake for $54.1 million.
Currently, Harry Winston, Inc. operates tens of showrooms and numerous branches in New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, and all over the world.
Winston owned a unique collection of sixty notable diamonds, which are practically unparalleled in the whole world.
The contribution of Harry Winston to the jewelry business is enormous. He developed new types of cutting, applied new methods of fastening and created unusual frames. His idea of a multi-level arrangement of stones showed precious stones in all their glory.
Paul Brandt vintage jewelry
The history of the Paul Brandt jewelry brand began in the early 1900s in Paris and spanned four decades. Its founder was Paul-Émile Brandt (1883-1952), born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. At the turn of the century, a young man moved to Paris, where he studied jewelry design, enameling, engraving and silversmithing. After graduation in 1905, he established his own jewelry workshop in Paris.
From the very beginning, Brandt created Art Nouveau floral and geometric motif bracelets, earrings, brooches and necklaces. Traditionally, he used silver, gold, platinum and precious stones – sapphires, diamonds and emeralds. Also, his design included various natural stones – malachite, moonstone, labradorite, lapis lazuli, rock crystal, pearl, as well as eggshell lacquer and enamel.
After his success at the National Art Exhibition in Paris in 1906, the Parisian Museum of Decorative Arts bought some of his earliest jewelry pieces.
In addition to precious jewelry, Brandt created cigarette cases, which were in great demand in the post-war period. Today, antique jewelry and cigarette cases made by Brandt appear at the most prestigious auctions, including Christie’s, in his native Switzerland.
Noteworthy, in 1946 Brandt reduced the jewelry production, switching to tinware. Talented artist, jeweler and designer, Paul-Émile Brandt died in Paris in 1952. The next year his workshop at Rue de Tlemcen ceased to exist.
Rene Delavan vintage silver jewelry
Born in 1896, the Parisian jeweler René Delavan became one of the outstanding French designers of the Art Deco period, along with L. Guilbaud and Jean Després. He began creating uniquely designed silverware in his artisan workshops in Paris in the early 1920s. Exquisite decoration of tableware, tea and coffee sets, sugar bowls, creamers, trays, vases and caskets brought success to the French designer.
The Delavan arts and crafts have been timeless and are still prized by collectors around the world. Thus, the record price of his pewter works reached about 10,000 US dollars at Sotheby’s auction in 2021.
Noteworthy, along with teapots and coffee pots, the designer also created jewelry made in the art deco style. His modernist silver and pewter brooches, pendants and earrings with plant motifs are highly collectible today. Traditionally, the labeling included stylized “R.Delavan” (often signed on the front), or initials R.D.. Also, “R. Delavan Decorateur Paris Etain D’Art”, “travail en marteau” (hammer work), or/and étain (pewter).
René Delavan worked actively until his death in 1958.
Henning Koppel vintage silver jewelry (1945-1980)
Danish artist Henning Koppel (8 May 1918 – 27 June 1981) studied drawing and sculpture in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’s in 1936–37. After graduation he moved to France, where he studied in the Académie Ranson in Paris. Koppel began his silversmithing career in Sweden (at Svenskt Tenn), where he lived during the German occupation of Denmark.
However, his life-term collaboration was with Danish silversmith Georg Jensen, for whom he began making jewelry in 1945.
Noteworthy, in addition to jewelry, he designed porcelain (Bing & Grøndahl, hollowware, glass (Holmegaard), lamps (Louis Poulsen & Co), and even wall clocks.
Many-awarded artist, sculptor and jeweler Henning Koppel was a permanent participant of most prestigious art exhibitions, where he took gold medals and first prizes. Today, his artworks fetch high prices at art auctions.
A distinctive feature of his jewelry designs – abstract sculptural “splash” shapes in minimalism style. Also marine theme designs with fish and fishers, dolphins, amoeba and sea plants and creatures.
De Thorda vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Austrian jewelry brand De Thorda began in 1960 in Vienna. In a 1961 directory of European firms, Atelier De Thorda was listed as an Austrian bijouterie company. Located at Haselbrunner Straße 8, 1237 Wien, Atelier De Thorda produced high quality jewelry. Handcrafted in limited quantities, these vintage rarities are highly collectible today.
Traditionally, the company’s craftsmen used gold-tone metal alloys, art glass, enamel and bakelite. The jewelry design was very progressive for its time – bold catwalk bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches with a geometric accent. The markings consisted of a De Thorda stamp in fancy script on an oval cartouche + a copyright symbol. Also, some products have handwritten signature in black enamel, and sometimes even on the front side.
The company went out of business until the 1980s.
Larry Moses Begay silver jewelry
Known for his intricate silver creations, Larry Moses Begay (b. 1969) began creating jewelry in the late 1980s. He is a member of the famous Begay family that has been silversmithing for decades. Silversmithing and jewelry making is a traditional part of the Navajo Nation, Lukachukai, to which Larry Moses Begay belongs. Traditionally, Begay works with sterling silver, gold, turquoise, onyx, malachite, lapis, and mother of pearl. Also, he signs his jewelry with initials LMB, or LB and horse hallmark.
Diné (Navajo) hereditary silversmith Larry Moses Begay used to exhibit his art works in several Indian Markets in Santa FE and at the Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show.
Historically, notable Southwestern Indian silversmithing tribes include Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and Rio Grande Pueblos. Originally, Navajo silversmiths used to make ornaments for themselves or relatives. However, after 1900, they expanded silver manufacturing, due to traders and tourists. The inherent love of ornamentation and jewelry, the availability of turquoise and silver, together with craftsmanship talents, allowed tribal jewelers to develop silver jewelry art. Noteworthy, most jewelers did not learn to silversmith until the 20th century. Besides, only men practiced silversmithing, and Navajo women began making jewelry only in the 20th century.