Kaleidoscope effect

Jewellery kaleidoscope

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

Josephine Baker Chocolate Dancer Brooch. French jewelry designer Lea Stein

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

In 1970-ies, French artist Léa Stein launched a unique collection of jewelry made from Rhodoid (high-quality plastic). Prior to that, she was little known outside France. Recently, her work has received worldwide recognition.
Léa Stein was born in Paris (France) in 1931. At the age of 26, she opens her own clothing design company, while developing the design of buttons for fashion and starts its production. Her buttons of laminate Rhodoid had a huge success. In 1969 she begins manufacture of jewelry.

The success became possible thanks to her husband, Fernando Steinberg, who discovered this material. It consisted of layers of painted rhodoid – cellulose acetate sheet, close to Bakelite. The layered structure of rhodoid allowed the inclusion of other materials, usually metal or fabric, such as lace. Making the cut and working on shapes, Léa Stein received a polychromatic “plastic”, varying in color and texture.
Jewellery, created in the 1970s includes rings, bracelets and earrings, but mostly brooches. The subjects are various: insects, cats, dogs, birds, children figurines, and ornaments copies Joan Crawford and Elvis Presley. Other favorite motifs included machines images, stars, hats, hearts, rainbow, eyes and flowers.

Brooch 'Ballerina' (or Scarlett O'Hara). rodoid layered with lace inclusions. 1980

Brooch ‘Ballerina’ (or Scarlett O’Hara). Rhodoid layered with lace inclusions. 1980

The charm of the film “Gone with the Wind”, in particular the costumes and decorations, influenced the design of brooch, known as “Ballerina”. Brooch resembles the famous Scarlett O’Hara dress of red velvet, so it has the second name “Scarlett O’Hara”. Considered very rare.

foxes have received the status of a masterpiece

Foxes brooches received the status of a masterpiece. Metal and textile inclusions with a variety of multi-colored texture. Neither of Lea Stein collections will be complete without these foxes

By the 1980s in the company successfully worked almost 50 people, and the jewellery was popular in France. However, Stein jewellery became known overseas only after the majority of its stores had been bought by a US dealer. By the end of 1980s decorations han been in a such high demand that she had to return to her unique rhodoid brooches. All products had marking “Lea Stein. Paris”. However, to determine the year of creation of unique products of the “first” and “second” generation is not so easy. So, it is better to buy jewellery from dealer with established reputations.

French jewelry designer Lea Stein

'Rick Dog' and Leader of the Indians brooches. Rodoid layered with metal inserts. 1980

‘Rick Dog’ and Leader of the Indians brooches. Rhodoid layered with metal inserts. 1980

Paris Cat Pin

Paris Cat Pin

Sacha Cat Pin

Sacha Cat Pin

'Joan Crawford' plastic brooch. 6 cm. 1970s

‘Joan Crawford’ plastic brooch. 6 cm. 1970s

Swallow plastic brooch pin. 8.5 cm. 1970s

Swallow plastic brooch pin. 8.5 cm. 1970s

Art Deco girl brooch

Art Deco girl brooch

Lea Stein costume jewellery

Owl, cats and Art Deco brooches

Leopard and Egyptian eye brooches

Leopard and Egyptian eye brooches

Penguin, black cat and flower brooches

Penguin, black cat and flower brooches

Swallow Plastic Bird Brooch Pin

Swallow Plastic Bird Brooch Pin

Umbrella girl brooch

Umbrella girl brooch

Walking jaguar brooch

Walking jaguar brooch

Winged fairy brooch

Winged fairy brooch

Bee brooch

Bee brooch

Clocks brooch

Clocks brooch

Lady in a hat round brooch

Lady in a hat round brooch

Panda brooch

Panda brooch

Rose flower brooch

Rose flower round brooch

Frog brooch

Frog brooch

Owl brooch

Owl brooch

Poodle brooch

Poodle brooch

Maker's mark

Maker’s mark