Rune Tennesmed vintage costume jewelry
20th century Swedish jewelry designer Rune Carlsson (1929-2011) used pseudonym Tennesmed, which reflects his profession and literally means “pewter smith” in Swedish. Accordingly, he named his company “Rune Tennesmed”, as he worked primarily with pewter.
Carlsson is internationally recognized as one of the most significant Scandinavian artists of the mid-20th century for reviving old traditions. After graduating in art, he began his career working as an interior designer and decorator. However, he soon became interested in puter art, and began to master the art of forging metals in the workshop of Erik Fransson’s Art-Tin.
After training, in 1952 he opened his own workshop, Rune Tennesmed AB, where, among other things, he hand crafted jewelry from pewter, silver, copper, brass, as well as wood and glass. Noteworthy, the master made his own puter – from alloys of tin, copper and other components.
Category Archive: Vintage
Rune Tennesmed vintage costume jewelry
Wendell August Forge vintage costume jewelry
One of the oldest American companies, WAF manufactures jewelry from various hand-forged metals. The history of the company began in 1923 in Brockway, Pennsylvania. Its founder, Wendell McMinn August (1885-1963), after the closure of his mine began to engage in blacksmithing. Useful household metal crafts, ennobled by grinding and engraving, were in demand far beyond the state. Moreover, WAF was able to expand its business during the Great Depression and during the Second World War. Since jewelry made of pewter, copper, aluminum and bronze successfully competed with items made of silver and gold, in the 1930s-1950s, the company completely switched to the manufacture of jewelry and decorative utensils.
Gradually, gold plated and silver items appeared in the catalogs of the company, as well as items made of leather and glass of their own production. Noteworthy, each piece is unique and individual, as it is still handcrafted by high-class artists and craftsmen.
Signed AFJ American Fashion Jewels Inc
Founded in South San Francisco, California, American Fashion Jewels, Inc. produced costume jewelry marked “AFJ” for less than a decade, from 1985 till 1994. Noteworthy, the company officially registered AFJ trademark only 13 September 1991.
Traditionally, the craftsmen of this company used gold tone metal alloy, rhinestones, art glass imitating precious stones and multicolor enamel. Also, they signed each decoration with the marking that included an oval frame with three capital letters AFJ enclosed within it.
Noteworthy, there is another company “Amber Fine Jewelry Corp.”, based in New York that labeled their products with the same three letters and operated around the same time. However, the hallmark of this company differs in the shape of the letters and the rectangular frame that encloses those letters.
Signed MJ vintage costume jewelry
Most likely, the initials MJ stand for Marie Jennifer, an owner of the company that produced costume jewelry from 1978 to 1999 in Providence, RI.
Traditionally, MJ craftsmen made decorations from alloys of silver or gold tone metals, possibly plated with gold or silver, but never made from silver or gold. And there are no markings indicating silver or gold on jewelry. Moreover, very often this is a combination of two alloys in one piece. There is one more feature of the jewelry of this company – many decorations can be used both as brooches and pendants. Also, the jewelers of this company often used multi-colored enamels and rarely used stones. The motifs include traditional American holidays – Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and classic designs. Vintage costume jewelry of this brand, which operated during the 1970-1990s is collectible.
Noteworthy, there are several companies in the vintage jewelry market that sign their products with two letters MJ. However, the marking on the back of the products, which consists of only two letters, nevertheless differs from the markings of the same name from other manufacturers. In particular, the markings of the decorations highlighted in this publication are two capital letters inside a rectangular frame. In addition, both letters are capitalized and printed. While the marking of products from other manufacturers is either without a frame, or j is small, or in capital, but without an upper dash.
St Justin Cornwall SJC vintage costume jewelry
The history of the British jewelry company SJC began in 1984 in Cornwall, in the southwest of Britain. Its founder, Jeremy Gilbert, has already had experience in gold mines in South Africa, a copper mine in Australia and tin mines in Cornwall. However, his love for art, knowledge of metallurgy and a desire to master the intricacies of jewelry production, led to the creation of his own business. The name of the company Saint Justin comes from the name of the local community. Initially a family business, the company gradually expanded and sold its products not only in Britain but throughout the world. At the moment, there are 28 people on the staff, many of whom have almost 30 years of experience in this company.
Traditionally, all products are made by hand, mostly from pewter. Also, the main design of the products is Celtic patterns embodied in exquisite brooches, pendants and pins. All products have marking SJC on the back
Signed SJC vintage costume jewelry
Located in the heart of the Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sundance Jewelry Company Inc. began its activity in 1973. However, they registered their official trademark SJC only in 1992. The company officially ceased to exist 20 September 2003, but continued producing jewelry for a short period. Traditionally, the designers of Sundancer’s manufactured in-house handcrafted pieces with the use of 925 sterling silver, 14 K gold and natural stones. Specializing primarily in a large Southwestern-style line, they gave much attention to each exquisite detail. Also, all pieces have a distinctive marking SJC in the rays representing the sun.
According to the information on their website (not available now), the company was the originator of so-called “liquid silver”. In particular, tiny tubes of sterling silver that create a fluid look when strung together. Now it is a characteristic feature of Southwestern and Native American Jewelry.
Noteworthy, there are companies of the same name on the vintage jewelry market, but they differ in style and materials. For example, an English company that labels its products SJC (an abbreviation for St Justin Cornwall) creates pewter jewelry in the Celtic style. Another American company of the same name, also SJC-branded (but not framed in the sun), creates traditional jewelry using enamels.
Signed AAI vintage costume jewelry
The history of American corporation “Accessories Associates Inc.” began in 1962 in the jewelry capital of the United States – North Providence, Rhode Island. Originally, AAI was named Femic and was the first of thirteen jewelry brands registered by Accessories Associates Inc. in different years. In particular, Femic (1971), Exclusively Kenco (last filed 1981), So Chick! (1990), Sensitive Touch (1991), Solar Accents (1992), American Woman (1992), Frenzi (1993), Adrienne Picard (1993), Young Expressions (1994), Young Fashions (1995), Friend To Friend (1995), Special Moments and Anderson & Barnes (1995).
In 1987, the owners of the corporation renamed Femic into AAI, which was a symbolic abbreviation for Accessories Associates Inc. Noteworthy, today the status of Accessories Associates Inc. – cancelled, as the company ceased to exist on July 20, 2002.
If we talk about vintage jewelry marked with AAI, these are often seasonal, especially Christmas decorations with images of Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeers, Christmas trees, embodied in brooches and pendants. Traditionally, the craftsmen of this company used jewelry alloys of gold and silver tones, rhinestones, artificial pearls, crystals and enamel.