Kristian Hestenes vintage costume jewelry
Kristian Hestenes vintage costume jewelry (1904-1993)
Norwegian artist Kristian M. Hestenes (1873-1928) began his career as an apprentice in the workshop of goldsmith Theodor Olsen. After completing his studies and receiving an official license to become a jeweler, he founded his family business in 1904. His first workshop and boutique were located at 89 Strandgaten, Bergen, and in 1927 he opened the second shop at Olav Kyrresgt 1, AS Smaragd.
Initially, he handcrafted spoons and kitchenware, but gradually moved to the production of silver and guilloche enamel jewelry. The master’s products became popular and the business expanded, which allowed Kristian to open another shop. After Kristian’s premature death, his son Magnus (1901 – 1984) took over the company in 1928, which ceased to exist in 1993.
Noteworthy, part of the jewelry production was the creation of Soljer national jewelry adorning women’s bunads, or traditional folk costumes. Making Soljer jewelry, silversmiths used 830 and 925 silver, creating intricate filigree designs. According to belief, the round motif of solje brooches traditionally represents the sun, and the hanging “leaves” or “spoons” protect the wearer from evil. Women wore these jewelry decorations as part of their wedding dress, or on big holidays.