West Germany vintage costume jewelry
To date, vintage jewelry collectors don’t know for certain the name and exact location of the manufacturer of these decorations. The names of the designers, the composition of the alloys used, and much more remains a mystery. Every year the number of fans of these decorations is growing, while these decorations are becoming more difficult to find.
Initially, for all the jewelry made in Germany before 1949, jewelers simply used “Germany” label. As we know, in 1949, Germany was divided into two parts, West and East Germany. Successful in the jewelry art, West German masters began signing their products “Western Germany” or “West Germany”, and sometimes “W. Germany”, or “Made in West Germany”.
Traditionally, European jewelry makers signed their decorations with the name of the country. Therefore, we can determine jewelry from Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, etc. Unlike American colleagues, European jewelers preferred not to advertise their products in fashion magazines. So, you will not see W.Germany jewelry advertising posters. Noteworthy, in 1990, after the reunification of East and West Germany, W.Germany jewelery ceased to appear on sale. Accordingly, it is instantly becoming a collectible rarity …
Category Archive: Vintage
West Germany vintage costume jewelry
Benedikt vintage costume jewelry
New York based jeweler Howard Benedikt made costume jewelry marked Benedikt in the period of 1955 – 1963. Located at 389 5th Avenue, one of the most fashionable streets of New York, Benedikt jewelry company produced high quality decorations. Meanwhile, collectors of vintage costume jewelry find Benedikt designs and quality similar to Hattie Carnegie’s. Indeed, the original design of Benedikt NY works inspired many of Howard Benedikt’s colleagues. In particular, well-known designer Kenneth Jay Lane, who drew ideas for his collections in Benedikt jewelry. And less famous bijou masters didn’t hesitate to copy the works of the brand, for example, the Maltese crosses of incredible beauty. The Maltese cross in various styles and color combinations was the most famous and iconic design by Howard Benedikt.
Noteworthy, the last mention of the brand was in the “Seventeen” magazine, dated 1963.
Curtis costume jewelry
American company Curtis jewelry manufacturing co., known since 1936, produced high quality jewelry. These were silver and gilded ornaments with semiprecious stones and ivory – brooches, clips, and necklaces. However, the history of Curtis is inextricably linked with another American company, Uncas Manufacturing Co., part of which it became in 1936. As for Uncas Manufacturing Co., its owner was Vincent Sorrentino (1892-1976), an Italian immigrant who came to America in the early 20th century. He first registered the Sorrento company in 1911 in Providence, Rhode Island. Of course, the earliest Sorrento jewelry is difficult to find now and they are a collectible rarity. Then, in the early 1920s, Vincent Sorrentino renamed Sorrento into Uncas Manufacturing Co. Uncas jewelry was popular for its variety, exquisite design and high quality.
Along with the above-mentioned Curtis jewelry manufacturing co, the Curtman Company also joined the Uncas Manufacturing Co. In addition, Uncas Manufacturing Co. acquired the company Vargas MFG together with its building in 1996. Interestingly, the Sorrentino family still continues the jewelry business.
Noteworthy, the letters DCE that appeared in 1950 refer to Curtis jewelry manufacturing co.
Laguna vintage costume jewelry
New York City based company Royal Craftsmen Inc. founded Laguna jewelry brand in 1944. The highlight of Laguna, which distinguishes it from any other brand, is jewelry made of high quality artificial pearls. Large pearls framed in gold-colored alloys give the impression of real jewels. And the multi-colored necklace beads, which Laguna was also famous for, were not inferior to jewelry in terms of the quality of design and execution. In addition to artificial pearls, Laguna traditionally used Austrian crystals and faceted beads.
Laguna ceased to exist in 1980, so any product labeled Laguna is definitely vintage, and often – a rarity.
Eggert vintage botanical jewelry – Flora Danica
Founded in Copenhagen in 1953 by Orla Eggert and his wife Grethe Eggert, Flora Danica is the most unique Danish jewelery company. The uniqueness of this jewelry is in particular, in the casting technique, real botanical materials used as the base. As a result, each piece is truly realistic, one-of-a-kind botanical jewelry of the highest quality. Indeed, all jewelry is unique and no two can ever be the same. A living flower or a leaf taken as a basis, then coated with silver or another 24-carat gold by electroplating. Even the destroyed base leaves an exact silver or gold copy of a living plant. Noteworthy, gorgeous vintage jewelry line is among the most collectible of botanical style European jewelry.
Vogue vintage costume jewelry
Located in New York City, Park Importing Company began producing costume jewelry under the “Vogue” label in 1936. The company owners, founders and the main designers were Harold Shapiro and his partners Jack Gilbert and George Grant. Originally, the company specialized in manufacturing faux pearl jewelry and beads. Traditionally, Vogue costume jewelry demonstrated originality, innovation of design and very high quality. This explains the popularity and demand for Vogue decorations among costume jewelry lovers.
Having worked as the main designer of Vogue jewelry, Harold Shapiro left the company. And already in 1963, he and his son Bernard founded Les Bernard, Inc.
Noteworthy, the earliest pieces have marks “VOGUE JLRY”, or “VOGUE” and they are scarce on the market. Vogue company ceased operations in 1973.
Schrager vintage costume jewelry
Marked Jonne, or Schrager, such jewelry is quite rare and in high demand among lovers and collectors of vintage costume jewelry. Noteworthy, decorations marked “Jonne” appeared in the early 50s, and Schrager-labeled ornaments – in 1959. However, according to some pieces, the company also stamped their pieces as “House of Schrager 5th Ave.”. Traditionally, Schrager jewelers created decorations of classic designs with exceptional detailing, and always of high quality. They used gold and silver plated base metals, faux pearls, clear and colored rhinestones. Undoubtedly, this jewelry has a signature look, something between Miriam Haskell and Stanley Hagler. The company ceased operations in 1962.
Founded in 1925, H. M. Schrager & Co. had the main office at the 5th Avenue in New York. Due to many reasons, created from 1925 to 1940s costume jewelry is rarity. First of all, smaller production than the larger jewelry makers of the time. Also, their earlier pieces were not marked at all. According to sources, Schrager also created jewelry for other jewelry brands, in particular, for Staret. And this explains the similarity of some Schrager and Staret designs (for example, butterfly brooch in the below picture).