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Jewellery kaleidoscope

Nina Ricci vintage costume jewelry

Nina Ricci vintage costume jewelry

Black enamel gold tone abstract design brooch. 6 cm. 1980s. Nina Ricci vintage costume jewelry

Nina Ricci vintage costume jewelry

French fashion designer of Italian descent, born Maria Adeland Nieli, she became known to the world as Nina Ricci. In 1904 she married Luigi Ricci, a gardener and flower seller. They had a son – Robert. But the marriage did not last long. Soon Luigi dies and Nina Ricci is left alone with her little son in her arms. She will marry again only in 1916 for Gaston Morel. After the death of her first husband, Nina Ricci spent days and nights behind sketches and threads with a needle. In 1908, she was accepted into the Rafen fashion house as a designer. At the House she will work for over twenty years and even become a business partner. But Rafen House went bankrupt by the early 1930s and ceased to exist. Nina Ricci was going to retire, because she was already 50 years old.
But in 1932, at the insistence of her son Robert, she opens her own Fashion House – Nina Ricci. Dresses from Nina Ricci were certainly elegant and feminine. They had a certain sophistication and romance. Initially, the Nina Ricci Fashion House dealt exclusively with wedding dresses, and until now, wedding dresses from Nina Ricci are known all over the world.
Nina Ricci died in November 1970. Then her son Robert headed the company and worked there until his death in 1988. After him the management passed into the hands of her son-in-law – Gille Fuche.
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Lee Angel NY vintage costume jewelry

Lee Angel NY vintage costume jewelry

Cameo brooch. Metal alloy, rhinestones, art glass. 1990s. Lee Angel NY vintage costume jewelry

Lee Angel NY vintage costume jewelry

The history of American jewelry brand Lee Angel began in 1997, although its founder, Roxanne Assoulin, began making innovative jewelry more than forty years ago. Then, in the 1970s, she created hair accessories and leather bracelets, and already in the 1980s, she began making costume jewelry using semi-precious materials.
Founded in 1997 in the heart of Manhattan, New York, Lee Angel has been producing fashion jewelry for popular retailers and brands, such as Club Monaco, J. Crew, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and others. Noteworthy, Roxanne Assoulin has many years of experience working with such iconic designers as Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, and Stephen Sprouse. According to sources, among her “star” clients are Madonna and Kate Hudson.
Traditionally, Lee Angel decorations are made from metal alloy of metals, brass, 12 K gold and semi-precious stones. Also, crystals of different cuts and colors, lucite, faux pearls, art glass, enamel, etc. She signs her private-label fashion jewelry “Lee Angel NY”, or just “Lee Angel”.
Despite the fact that Lee Angel jewelry is a new vintage, it is popular with lovers and collectors of vintage jewelry.
In 2013, Roxanne registered another brand, Lee By Lee Angel.
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Signed BB vintage costume jewelry

Signed BB vintage costume jewelry

Pink flower brooch. Sterling silver, gold plated, art glass, rhinestones. 8.4 cm. 1930s. Bennett & Bradford. Signed BB vintage costume jewelry

Signed BB vintage costume jewelry
Very often you can get confused in the markings of vintage costume jewelry, especially if they are almost the same and consist of two letters, for example, the initials BB. In fact, these pieces belong to completely different jewelry companies. Among several such brands, the most famous are four respected jewelry companies that produced costume jewelry in the 20th and even in the 19th century with the BB mark. In particular, Bioren Bros, Bennett & Bradford, Binder brothers, and Bliss bros. They can be distinguished, first of all, by the style of marking, and perhaps, by the technique and materials.
Noteworthy, the oldest of the three is Bioren Bros, located in Newark NJ, USA, and active in 1887-1929. Their hallmark was “B B” in a rounded rectangle.
Second, Bennett & Bradford, founded by E.A. Bennett in 1892 (renamed to BB in 1898). Traditionally, this company’s products are made of sterling silver with gold plating. The markings include two capital letters BB in an oval frame, and sometimes the word “sterling”.
Third, jewelry company Bliss bros began producing jewelry in 1896 and ceased to exist in the 1950s. Located in Attleboro, MA, they marked their products, mainly lockets, charms, buttons, pins and bracelets with two letters B. However, the style of marking differed greatly. Inside the large capital letter B was a smaller B in the top half, and CO in the bottom half.
Fourth, Binder brothers, New York-based company, which began operating in the 1920s, which gold plated jewelry is highly valuable and highly collectible. They marked their pieces with with double, overlapping circles with upper case B’s inside, and this is what sets it apart from the others. In addition, their markings also include the purity of the material, most often either 12 carat gold filling or sterling silver.
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Ellen Designs vintage costume jewelry

Ellen Designs vintage costume jewelry

Square shaped gold tone purple rhinestone clip on earrings. 1980s. Ellen Designs vintage costume jewelry

Ellen Designs vintage costume jewelry
The history of the vintage costume jewelry brand “Ellen Designs” is closely related to another, more famous and older brand, “Fashion craft Jewelry Company NYC”, founded in 1942. In 1951, when one of the three founders of this company, Robert Jeffy, took over the company, he renamed “Fashion craft” to “Robert Originals, Inc”. Robert Jaffe retired in 1975, and his daughter Ellen Jaffe Wagman and her husband John Wagman took over the business in January 1976. Initially, her pieces had markings “Ellen Designs for Robert Originals”. Apparently, the use of the name Robert was necessary for a more successful promotion of the new brand. However, having gained some popularity, already in 1979, Ellen changed the brand name to the shorter “Ellen Designs”. Ellen Designs Jewelry Company has worked for less than two decades and ceased to exist in the late 1990s. She started new job as broker at an American real estate company Prudential Douglas Elliman in March 2004. The jewelry of this brand, mainly earrings and clips, is a collectible vintage.
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Vogue Bijoux vintage costume jewelry

Vogue Bijoux vintage costume jewelry

Bird in flight vintage brooch. Gold tone alloy, rhinestones, enamel. 8.5 cm. 1980s. Vogue Bijoux vintage costume jewelry

Vogue Bijoux vintage costume jewelry
The history of the Italian jewelry brand Vogue Bijoux spans about four decades, from 1950s to 1990s. Noteworthy, Vogue Bijoux is not the same as Vogue Jlry – an old American company located in New York City, which began producing costume jewelry under the “Vogue” label in 1936. American Vogue company ceased operations in 1973.
Located in Italy, Vogue Bijoux produced handcrafted fashion jewelry for high-end stores and boutiques. Known for the use of high-quality components, Vogue Bijoux pieces are rare and highly collectible. Traditionally, the jewelers of this company used gold tone jewelry alloy, pave clear rhinestone, shiny enamel and art glass. The company was most active in the 1980s, having created exquisite statement Haute Couture jewelry. All items are labeled Vogue Bijoux on the back.
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McClelland Barclay vintage costume jewelry

McClelland Barclay vintage costume jewelry

Triple maple leaf brooch fur clip. Gold, silver and bronze tone textured metal alloys. McClelland Barclay vintage costume jewelry

McClelland Barclay vintage costume jewelry
A member of the Artists Guild, US Naval Reserve officer, McClelland Barclay (1891-1943) was a real hero, killed in Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Before the war, such famous jewelry company as Rice – Weiner collaborated with McClelland Barclay. During 1938 to 1943 he created wonderful collections of geometric jewelry, as well as the famous leaves and wonderful silver brooches and bracelets. The jewelry was labeled McClelland Barclay.
In the mid-1940s, Alvin and Robert Rice, together with designer Louis Mark, create Barclay Jewelry Inc. The company continued to move on by bringing in new designers. Collections were created under the Jeray and American Beauty Pearls brands.
Most people know McClelland Barclay as a talented illustrator, jewelry designer and sculptor, who patented his works in 1931-33. Also, in the 1930s Barclay formed a small company, McClelland Barclay Art Products Inc, which produced lamps, ashtrays, book stands and other household items from bronze or patinated base metal. The company had offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Toronto. Noteworthy, the first items released under the McClelland Barclay name date back to the late 1920s. Products were usually labeled McClelland Barclay with a copyright mark, sometimes with the year of manufacture.
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Leo Askhim vintage costume jewelry

Leo Askhim vintage costume jewelry

Maple leaf brooch. 925 sterling silver, gold plated. 4.7 cm, 1970s. Leo Askhim vintage costume jewelry

Leo Askhim vintage costume jewelry

Stylish vintage jewelry by the skilled Danish silversmith Leo Askhim is a gift from nature itself. Real flowers, plants, flower buds were first covered with silver, then with a layer of gold. The frozen, bewitching, undying beauty of nature in the Master’s jewelry.
The history of Danish “Leo Askim” jewelry brand began from a silver plating factory in Malling. Its founders and owners were a businessman and self-taught inventor Leo and his wife Inger (1930-2017). A trained goldsmith, Inger had a great talent for both drawing and modeling. She met Leo in 1952 and graduated in 1954. In 1953, Leo and Inger opened a workshop in Frederiksgade Aarhus and started silvering coffee pots and cutlery. The couple got married on 21 August 1954. The next year, Leo begins experimenting with silver-plating children’s boots and succeeds. The work was truly innovative, and the workshop was the only one in Denmark that could do the work. Although the use of electrolysis for silvering is an old technique, the trick lied in getting the silver to stick to all sorts of materials.
Soon the workshop in Aarhus became far too small. Askhim bought a large plot of land on Bredgade in Malling (1959), and built a workshop and villa in 1960. The buildings designed by his neighbor, architect Børge Christensen, expanded to two floors in 1961 and to three floors in 1964.
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