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Vintage Costume Jewelry Designers A-F, G - O, P - Z
C & H Co.
Carnegie, Hattie
Coventry, Sarah
de Lillo

Art (ModeArt):  Art made fine costume jewelry from the mid 1940's until the late 1960's. Jewelry collectors like the diversity of the Art line, comparable in quality and variety of their contemporary Hollycraft . Most Art jewelry incorporates high quality rhinestones of multiple colors and set in typically ornate metalwork or filigree in a style similar to that used by Florenza. (Reference Source: Costume Jewelers: The Golden Age of Design @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Avon:  The Avon Company began its existence as the California Perfume Company and used the CPC trademark when the company was founded in 1886. In 1929 just as the Great Depression was first taking hold, CPC introduced the Avon line and reincorporated as the Avon Company. They soon adopted the well known advertising phrase "Avon Calling", a perfect allusion to the fact that Avon products were sold directly to the American consumer by Avon representatives going door to door. The Avon Company contracted out their manufacturing and design to firms such as Krementz, and Avon door to door salespeople had great success introducing low cost, high quality American costume jewelry to middle America. (Reference Source: Avon Collectible Fashion Jewelry and Awards @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Barclay:  McClelland Barclay was an artist, sculptor, and Art Deco jewelry designer, a well known American artist and patriot killed by a Japanese torpedo in July, 1943 during World War II. Born in St. Louis, MO on May 9, 1891, Barclay studied art with Thomas Fogarty, H. C. Ives, and George Bridgman and in his early years worked as an illustrator for Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping magazines and created military posters for recruiting and urging the nation to action for the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps . He designed jewelry from approximately 1932 to 1938, often contracting out the manufacturing to other firms such as the Rice Weiner Company but always doing his own designs. He used both goldtone metal and sterling silver in his designs, usually coupled with high quality rhinestones. McClelland Barclay jewelry is usually marked with his signature impressed into the metal, and occasionally he signed a piece "Mac" which was said to be the case for one of a kind pieces commissioned by individuals. Early Barclay jewelry incorporated new "Verneiuil" man-made synthetic gemstones like sapphires and rubies; these synthetic gemstones emerged from the same industrial and creative marriage that was also now creating new plastics such as bakelite and lucite also used in jewelry and accessories. (Reference Source: Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960: The Wearable Art Movement @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Blackinton:  R. Blackinton & Company was founded in 1862 North Attleboro, Massachusetts by Rosell Blackinton and Walter Ballou as an outlet to sell sterling silver and 14k gold jewelry and accessories in a variety of functional forms such as flatware, compacts, cigarette cases, and all kinds of jewelry. The original trademark of a block B with a sword was used until about 1900, after which block letters in individual octagons R B and Co. with the hilt sword was used thereafter. R. Blackington was acquired by Wells, Inc. in 1967, and it continued to operate until its final closure in 1978. (Reference Source: Fabulous Costume Jewelry: History of Fantasy and Fashion in Jewels @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Bogoff:  The Bogoff, Spear Novelty Company of Chicago, IL made interesting and realistic costume jewelry in 1940s and 1950s meant to simulate as best possible the look of high cost designer fine jewelry. They used quality materials and craftsmanship to create their jewelry, with a rhodium framework and hand-set stones. (Reference Source: Fifty Years of Collectible  Fashion Jewelry: 1925-1975 @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Boucher:  Marcel Boucher was born in France and apprenticed under Cartier in Paris before emigrating to the U. S. and New York City in 1922. Once there, he designed jewelry for Mazer Brothers in the early 1930s before forming his own company registered Marcel Boucher et Cie in mid 1937. Boucher made very high quality costume jewelry and was constantly experimenting and seeking out rhinestones that really resembled true gemstones. Boucher quality was so good that even today many non-experts mistake Boucher for fine jewelry, and it's usually signed and has inventory and style numbers. While imprecise for definitive dating, the below ranges of inventory numbers can be used to approximate the age of Boucher jewelry:

  • 2300 - 2350 from 1945

  • 2351 - 2450 from 1946

  • 2450 - 2550 from 1947

  • 2550 - 2750 from 1948

  • 2750 - 3000 from 1949

  • 3000 - 3500 from 1950

  • Marks with copyright symbol after 1955

Early marks he used included a cartouche with either "Marboux" or "MB" inside, while later work is typically signed "Marcel Boucher" or simply "Boucher". Marcel Boucher died in 196 and was succeeded by his wife Sandra running the company until it was purchased by watch manufacturer Dovorn Industries in 1972. (Reference Source: Masterpieces of Costume Jewelry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

C & H Co.:  The Chapin & Hollister Company was founded in 1898 by William P. Chapin and Frederick R. Hollister in Providence, RI. Chapin & Hollister were known mostly on a regional basis for their gold and silver chains, cutlery, and jewelry before ceasing operations in 1923. (Reference Source: Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry: Identification & Values @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Carnegie, Hattie:  Hattie Carnegie was born in Vienna, Austria in 1886 and when 18 years old she emigrated to America with her family. Soon thereafter in the early 1900s, she opened her first dress and hat shops in New York City. From this humble beginning she built up her diversified fashion business incorporated as Hattie Carnegie Inc. in 1918. At around the time of incorporation, she introduced jewelry she manufactured largely to complement her dresses and clothing line. Her jewelry is always of the highest quality and was expensive even in its day, often worn by New York and Hollywood theater and movie celebrities. She was known for whimsical themes using multiple materials combined in interesting ways, with techniques utilizing enameling, faux pearls, rhinestones, and beads. Carnegie jewelry is usually marked either "Hattie Carnegie" or simply "Carnegie", while occasionally one sees an HC mark within a diamond. Hattie Carnegie accessories such as compacts and hair ornaments are also marked "Pooped Pussy Cat" or "Pooped Poodle". (Reference Source: Masterpieces of Costume Jewelry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Carolee:  Producing finer costume jewelry since 1973, Carolee designs tend to be classical in inspiration and include a popular 1980s line called the  "Duchess of Windsor". (Reference Source: A Century of Jewelry: Classy, Flashy, And Trashy! @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Celebrity:  Celebrity made finer costume jewelry from the 1950s through the 1970s in New York City. Higher quality rhinestones were usually handset in frames of silver, gold, and rhodium plate metalwork. (Reference Source: Fabulous Fakes: A Passion for Vintage @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Ciner:  Ciner Manufacturing Company began making expensive fine jewelry in approximately 1892 under the direction of its founder Emanuael Ciner. The company moved into the design and manufacture of costume jewelry in 1931 and produced a variety of styles replicating the look of fine jewelry but using rhinestones and simulated gemstones to make them affordable to the middle class through the nations emerging network of department and gift stores. Early Ciner jewelry is frequently unmarked, but following World War II most Ciner pieces are marked "Ciner". Ciner jewelry typically uses smaller stones than the norm in a rainbow of different colors and individually set in goldtone metalwork. The purchased many of their stones from the glassmaker Swarovski and had their faux pearls made especially for them in Japan using glass beads treated with a glaze that makes them appear as real pearls. (Reference Source: Costume Jewelers: The Golden Age of Design @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Cini:  Guglielmo Cini emigrated to the U. S. in 1922 from his birthplace in Florence, Italy. He settled in Boston where he worked until 1957 when he moved to Laguna Beach, California. Cini was known for making his costume jewelry in sterling silver and sterling silver plated with gold to achieve a higher quality common with the finer Italian artisans of the day. Cini was one of the few top costume jewelry artisans to have also done much silverwork, and only for the most part during the middle of the 20th century did he commonly incorporate colored rhinestones into his designs. Cini produced jewelry in Laguna beach until 1970. (Reference Source: Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960: The Wearable Art Movement @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Coro:  In 1901, Emanuel Cohn and Gerard Rosenberg founded a small New York City shop selling jewelry and accessories that later became the Coro company and the largest of all the American costume jewelry manufacturers with over 2000 workers. Early Coro jewelry was marked "CR", the initials of the 2 founders, while most jewelry produced from 1919 has the simple "Coro" mark The mark "Coro Craft" was used commencing in 1937 on some of the higher quality pieces in each year's line, shortened to "Corocraft" after WWII. Many different marks were also used from time to time including a Pegasus emblem and a line marked "Vendome" which became their highest end successor to Corocraft. The different lines and marks enabled the company to produce a wide variety of styles and quality to make Coro jewelry affordable to most all Americans. (Reference Source: Fabulous Costume Jewelry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Coventry, Sarah:  Sarah Coventry, Inc., was founded in Newark, NJ, in October, 1953, named after granddaughter Sarah of the founder of Emmons Home Fashion Company Charles H. Stuart. This propensity of naming companies after family members he had started earlier in naming the Emmons company after his wife Caroline Emmons. Emmons Home Fashion started marketing jewelry in 1948 and used an "Emmons" mark, and the Sarah Coventry brand was established the following year in November,1949. Emmons and Sarah Coventry did not design or manufacture pieces themselves but rather contracted with third parties for designs and outsourced their manufacture mostly in the Providence, RI area. True to their roots, much Sarah Coventry jewelry for both men and women was sold at home fashion shows until the mid 1980s when new owners moved to a more corporate and traditional distribution network. Early Sarah Coventry jewelry was marked simply "Coventry" until about 1950 they began using both "Sarah Coventry" and "SC". Other rather frustrating (to experts) variations were used periodically and almost ad hoc and included "Sarah", "Sarah Cov", and "SAC". (Reference Source: Fine Fashion Jewelry from Sarah Coventry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Danecraft:  In 1939, Danecraft was founded by Victor Primavera in Providence, RI although they changed their name to Felch and Co. during World War II and again to Felch-Wehr in 1977 after the death of Victor Primavera. Primavera served as president of the company for many years where he manufactured finer silver and vermeil jewelry sold in better department stores. Despite the changes in corporate name and structure over the years, they for the most part retained the Danecraft brand for their costume jewelry line sold in major department stores like Macys and Marshall Fields. The company specializes in quality sterling silver jewelry similar to but usually surpassing in vintage Mexican sterling silver jewelry and with designs reminiscent of Scandinavian sterling silver jewelry. (Reference Source: Fabulous Fakes: A Passion for Vintage @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

de Lillo, William:  The Belgian designer William de Lillo worked for Louis Comfort Tiffany and Harry Winston in New York City before establishing his own company in 1967 with former Miriam Haskell designer  Robert F. Clark. Given their tutelage, it should not be surprising that their work is very innovative and high quality, using Swarovski crystal beads and stones in their jewelry and accessories. They moved to France in 1976 where they worked as freelance designers selling their services to Schiaparelli and Nina Ricci among others. (Reference Source: Fabulous Costume Jewelry: History of Fantasy and Fashion in Jewels @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

DeMario:  DeMario was founded in New York City in 1945, producing jewelry which combined materials of beads, faux pearls and rhinestones in unique designs and myriad colors. DeMario never had large production, serving mostly a regional Northeast market and thus rarer than most marked vintage costume jewelry. (Reference Source: Fifty Years of Collectible  Fashion Jewelry: 1925-1975 @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

DeRosa:  In the booming New York City of the Art Deco period, Ralph DeRosa founded this fine jewelry company in 1935, one of the earliest manufacturers of good quality costume jewelry incorporating the new materials and local craftsmanship. DeRosa was known as among the top quality producers of innovative, quality design although regrettably much of the DeRosa jewelry was not marked. As such, signed DeRosa pieces are very much in demand and command high prices, but as usual in such situations one must be extremely careful of fakes and reproductions. (Reference Source: Costume Jewelers: The Golden Age of Design @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

DeNicola:  The DeNicola jewelry company was the creative outlet designer Jerry DeNicola established in 1957. In the 1960s, DeNicola became par of the Capri Jewelry Company before ceasing operations in about 1973. (Reference Source: Fifty Years of Collectible  Fashion Jewelry: 1925-1975 @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Diamonbar:  Specializing in bracelets and bangles, Diamonbar was the trademark of the Wachenheimer Brothers Company, one of the many American costume jewelry manufacturers who congregated around the Providence, RI area. Wachenheimer began making costume jewelry in 1907 along with many contemporaries about the same time and finally ceased operations in 1931. (Reference Source: Art Nouveau Jewelry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Eisenberg:  Jonas Eisenberg, an émigré to the United States in 1880 from his native Austria, founded his company in Chicago in 1914 to make and sell high quality but ready-to-wear clothing. Jewelry was not introduced until 1930, mostly as a complement to their clothing line, and their accessories were typically sold as part of the garment but was also sold individually in a blue velvet box marked Eisenberg & Sons Originals. Jewelry eventually became predominant and they stopped selling clothing in 1958. while mostly producing very fine costume jewelry, they also produced some outstanding sterling silver pieces mostly during the years of World War II and up until 1948. The costume jewelry was some of the finest ever produced in the U. S., using Swaravski Austrian crystals and rhinestones, the best plating and metalworking techniques available, and other high quality materials that made their jewelry expensive even when originally marketed. This is a trend that has obviously continued in the collectible market as their pieces are highly sought by vintage costume jewelry collectors. The company was purchased by the Berns-Friedman group in 1977. Most early Eisenberg jewelry was unmarked although some sterling silver pieces made during World War II due to restrictions on other materials were marked "Sterling". About 1935, Eisenberg began marking their jewelry either "Eisenberg", "Eisenberg Original", or the script letter E used during World War II. In the early 1950s they also began marking some pieces marked "Eisenberg Ice", but throughout their history some number of pieces emerged from the factory absent any markings to identify the piece as made by Eisenberg. (Reference Source: Masterpieces of Costume Jewelry @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

    Approximate Date Marks
    Eisenberg Original (1935-1945)
    Script letter E alone or with Originals (1940s)
    STERLING along with block EISENBERG signature (1943-1948)
    Block EISENBERG and block E (1945-1950)
    EISENBERG on marker in small block letters (1950s)
    Script Eisenberg (1935 onward)
    Eisenberg Ice in block letters (1941-1958)
    Script Eisenberg Ice (1970s onward)

Florenza:  Florenza was the marketing trademark of Dan Kasoff Inc., of New York City, founded in 1937 as a diversified manufacturer. They did not begin producing jewelry until 1950, creating the Florenza name to market the line and create brand identity for the company. Florenza was a very successful line with some unique designs reminiscent of Renaissance Revival style of the Victorian period. Florenza tended to use more antique finishes on their metalwork, favoring an antique goldtone metal finish to the more polished pieces more common at the time. They also used more pastel colors in their selection of rhinestone colors, and they always used very high quality materials. The company finally ceased operations in 1981. (Reference Source: Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry: Identification & Values @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Francois:  Francois was a marketing name created by Coro in 1933 to market a higher end line of costume jewelry to a wealthier clientele. While Francois was modestly successful, marketing was interrupted by the advent of World War II and subsequently it was determined that a new marketing image was needed for the line. As such, Coro introduced the Vendome line in 1944 and positioned it was their highest end line. (Reference Source: A Century of Jewelry: Classy, Flashy, And Trashy! @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

Freirich:   Solomon Freirich began his fashion business career in the 1920's by acquiring Maison David, a French manufacturer of clothing and accessories such as hats, hat pins, couture buttons, and trimmings and ornamentation for various garments. Expanding into the U. S., Freirich decided that the Maison David name was too French for the Americans so he decided to market the company's wares there under his own name Freirich while retaining Maison David in Europe. Solomon Freirich's son Arthur joined the firm in 1955 and dramatically expanded their line of fine costume jewelry in the Victorian style. Early Freirich jewelry was mostly unmarked, but they began marking pieces "Freirich" in about 1964 and continued thereafter until they ceased operations in 1990. (Reference Source: Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960: The Wearable Art Movement @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore)

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