SANDOR GOLDBERGER: Early 1930s - 1972
SCAASI: 1958 - 1965
Arnold Scaasi, whose real name was Arnold Icaasi (changed it to add an Italian flair), was born in Montreal, Canada in 1931, the son of a furrier who studied fashion design in Montreal, moved to Paris in the early 1950’s and later to the U.S. obtaining a position with designer Charles James in New York and 2 years later freelanced for hat designer Lilly Drache.
Scaasi’s success brought a series of license agreements in the 1950’s for not only jewelry, but furs, fragrances, ties, bridal wear, sleep ware, accessories and dresses at a price on QVC. Scaasi designed fashion jewelry from 1958 to 1965, one line (known as The Scaasi Jewel Collection) for the hair, neck, and ears to match his famous butterfly prints that were designed in Paris. Mimi di N and Scaasi were partners briefly in the 1950’s producing a line of costume jewelry. Scaasi had teamed up with Jacques Jewelers (now known for their platinum and 18K gold metal base jewelry embedded with diamonds, pearls, and gemstones). The association, with Jacques Jewelers, because they were known for their fine jewelry produced, helped Scaasi gain celebrity status in jewelry. Scaasi chose the base metals, stones and the designed pieces to fit his fashions.
The Scaasi’s costume jewelry designs produced were big and bold, some with large cabochon stones, using the base metals of gold and silver plating, often with striking and startling color combinations of simulated pearls, superior rhinestones (Swarovski) along with synthetic stones supplied from Germany. The Scaasi jewelry complimented his original clothing creations. Mark: “Jewelry by Scaasi”
In 1962, Scaasi opened his own ready-to-wear business followed by a made- to- order enterprise, his own haute couture line (original clothing created by Arnold Scaasi) with a seamstress and tailor in Manhattan. Scaasi was highly creative and hard working catering to women who wanted luxurious clothes made to fit their bodies and lifestyles to perfection, from Jackie Kennedy, Mamie Eisenhower, and Barbara and Laura Bush (All First Ladies), along with film stars , socialites and entertainers. His runway jewelry pieces, appeared on and with his designer clothing and were accepted and worn with pleasure and satisfaction by movie stars to include Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, Mitzi Gaynor, Joan Crawford, and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few. It is said that Scaasi has a sense of style, color and shape seen on his creations. He has become very famous in the world of fashion for designing women’s glamorous evening wear, tailored suits, and cocktail dresses.
The Scaasi jewelry complimented his original clothing . In 1965, he gave over his jewelry factory to Kenneth Jay Lane who had been previously designing shoe and shoe ornaments for Dior and then designing the Scaasi rhinestone buttons and shoe ornaments. In 1967, Kenneth Jane Lane’s shoes/ornaments and costume jewelry were seen on the runway. Scaasi designs an original couture collection twice a year which he presents to clients and the fashion press.
On July 19. 2010, The New York Times announced that Arnold Scaasi on July
22, 2010, after 55 years in the Dress Business catering to First Ladies and
Celebrities who wanted luxurious clothing , is hanging up his shears and
closing his Maid-To-Order Dress Business. Scaasi had been making 20 custom
gowns a month. He will continue his glorious HSN (Home Shopping Network)
Jewelry line designing jewelry made with base metals, Swarovski rhinestones,
synthetic stones and simulated pearls. Signed: Scaasi. The jewelry pieces
are gorgeous and really well priced on HSN.
SCHIAPARELLI: Late 1920s - 1974
Eliza Schiaparelli was born in Rome, Italy in 1890. She moved to Paris in the 1920s where she opened her first couture fashion house. She left Paris in 1940 and opened her own fashion operation in New York City in 1949 and also opened a boutique offering ready-to-wear clothing, selling jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, lingerie, and swimsuits to complement her fashionable line of clothing. She licensed her name for mass production of costume jewelry and accessories made by David Lisner Co. which was also the authorized American agent and distributor for her earlier French-made pieces. In 1947, she created clothing in hot pink color, for before that time, black, brown and blue were the only popular and basic colors in women’s clothing. Top designers for her establishment were Jean Schlumberg (designed the Circus collection), Serge Matta, Pierre Hubert Givenchy, Cecil Beaton, and Jean Clement. In 1949, the Ralph De Rosa Company produced Schiaparelli jewelry.
Schiaparelli’s earlier jewelry, was showy, imaginative, and bold with innovative designs but in her later years, the jewelry lacked the "off the wall" look of her earlier work. She is best known for her whimsical designs taking inspiration from nature, the circus themes, and the signs of the zodiac. Her jewelry designs also include Native African Art, and Jungle Primitives. She designed chunky suites with prong-set molded iridescent glass stones (called watermelon) and aurora borealis rhinestones (developed by Swarovski in 1955) or large faceted colored glass stones that were produced in the mid 1950s. The company used pot-metal, sterling silver and gold plated backings. Eliza retired in 1954 with the Schiaparelli line discontinued around 1955. She sold the rights to her name and business in 1973, therefore, American manufacturers continued producing her designs up to 1974. Lydo Coppola (married name Toppo), in Paris, designed pieces for Schiaparelli early in her career. Schiaparelli’s early 1930s pieces were unsigned and are rarely ever seen today. In the late 1930s, jewelry pieces were signed "schiaparelli" in lower case block letters up until 1949 and "Schiaparelli" in script after 1949, and "Designed in Paris--Created in America" 1949. Eliza died in Paris in 1973. Her jewelry is highly sought after and very collectible.
SHERMAN: 1947 - 1981
Gustave Sherman opened his business, the Sherman Costume Jewelry Co. in Montreal, Canada in 1947 with just one employee, Jimmy Koretza, a Hungarian jeweler, who is said to have provided the expert craftsmanship for Sherman’s exquisite designs. Sherman was considered by many to be Canada’s premier jewelry designer. His jewelry created from the late 1940s through the 1970s frequently copied the look of fine or real jewelry pieces but was recognized as costume jewelry using the best top quality Swarovski stones, including some trade and fancy stones Swarovski made to Sherman’s liking along with some stones with reverse foil to obtain much sparklier stones with a prism-like appearance and multiple color flashes. Because Sherman was willing to pay more than the going market rate for the stones he purchased and used in his jewelry pieces, he acquired the finest stones Swarovski had to offer, and as a result, his finished pieces reflected jewelry lines of superiority. Sherman insisted on top quality workmanship, the finest materials, and, with the beautiful Swarovski stones, created and produced one price range of jewelry sold and that was expensive. It was not uncommon for a piece of Sherman jewelry to sell for prices ranging up to $50 a piece in the early days of production. The best Swarovski crystals were prong-set to last, backing were usually highly polished in rhodium-plated, japanned (black backing), and gold-plated settings.
From 1941 to 1981, Sherman produces some of the world’s best and finest costume jewelry that is know for its superior and exquisite designs using meticulous details. Sherman’s choice of crystals with Aurora Borealis coatings were often employed in the composition of his designs. He favored navettes and elongated marquise stones which contributed to the flowing lines of his creations. Round stones were also incorporated, particularly in necklaces and bracelets. Sherman leaned towards monochromatic color combinations using subtle variations of the same tones, champagne to topaz, sapphire to light blue, fuschia to pink, and emerald to peridot are just some examples. Over one thousand different color combinations can be found in his designs with many of his color combinations off beat and nontraditional and only produced for one season. He integrated Aurora Borealis highlights of pinks, purples, blues and greens that exploded like so many brilliant fireworks. Clear crystal designs sparkled like diamonds, creating a blaze of rainbow colors. Sherman jewelry must be seen to be truly appreciated. All Sherman pieces found today may not contain the Sherman mark. On some of these set pieces, the tags, boxes or cards have disappeared, been separated, or been lost through time. Marks: “SHERMAN”, “Sherman”, in script, and “SHERMAN STERLING”.
Marketing of Sherman’s modest designed jewelry pieces was done through department stores and leading shops in Canada including Birks. The huge ultra glamorous jewelry pieces were sold in small shops and local boutiques in every region of Canada. Sherman would not compromise the quality of the jewelry pieces the company designed and produced with beautiful rhinestones and crystal beads, when current fashions of the 1970s was switching to the faux gold and silver look. Therefore, a decline in his business occurred in the mid 1970s. He did however, start producing quality gem jewelry in large quantities with precious metals but the price of gold had skyrocketed. His jewelry pieces still demanded high prices due to higher cost of production. Sherman was forced to close his jewelry store in 1981. He died in 1984 in Montreal, Canada. Sherman jewelry is highly sought after by collectors who are paying high prices for the outstanding designer pieces.
SCHRAGER (Jonne): 1925 - 1962
The Schrager Jewelry Company was founded in 1925 producing costume jewelry under their name up until the 1959s and then produced jewelry under the name of Jonne. The costume jewelry produced was usually of high quality with classic designs with intricate bead work, exceptional detailing and beautiful clear and colored, rhinestones, pearls, and poured glass stones using gold and silver plated base metals, Mark: "House of Schrager 5th Ave.", "Jonne" on tag with "House of Schrager" on the reversed side. The company ceased operations in 1962.
SCHREINER: 1939 - 1977
Henry Schreiner founded the Shreiner Jewelry Company in 1939. He had been a blacksmith in Bavaria, Germany and emigrated to the U.S. in 1923. He started to work for the Better Buckle Company working with metals designing and fashioning belt buckles, buttons and dress fasteners. His daughter and her husband joined the firm in 1953 and soon the three of them were creating jewelry for Adele Simpson, Norman Norell, and Christian Dior with the use of the clients names on the jewelry produced. Jewelry designed include flower pins of daises, geraniums, sunflowers, cornflowers, and white marguerites, dragonflies, carrots, pineapples, peas in a pot, turtles, acorns, in different colors. The stunning, unusual and distinctive Shreiner jewelry used gun-metal plating, bronze plating and gold plating for backing along with very expensive custom made special shaped stones made in Germany by skilled Czechoslovakian craftsmen. Some of the designs had inverted-set or upside-down rhinestones and unusual color combinations of the stones. These stones are no longer being manufactured. Schreiner pieces of jewelry were never mass-produced (the company did only fine handwork), but the pieces made were highly fashionable and attention getters, therefore, no media advertising was necessary to sell their costume jewelry. Henry Schreiner died in 1954. Some of the earlier pieces were not signed. The jewelry marked "Schreiner", "Schreiner of New York", and "Schreiner Jewelry" was the firms own original designed pieces made for retail sales. The company also designed ornaments for Elizabeth Arden. The family ceased operations of the company in 1973. It has been said that the Schreiner Jewelry produced is some of the finest made, and most admired of the vintage jewelry found today. It is highly sought after by collectors.
SELINI: 1930s - 1960s
Note: Research by AOL.Hometown indicates the Selini Co. and the Selro Corporation were believed to be owned by Paul Salinger.
It is said that, as jewelry designs were improved upon, the name of the
company changed. The Selini pieces of jewelry were identical in style and size
to those produced with the Selro name. Research found the face jewelry to be
similar or identical including the cabochons and rhinestones. Many Selini
jewelry pieces were sold with hand tags, not signed on the pieces themselves,
and, therefore, the hand tags were discarded when the jewelry was worn. It is
said that Selro jewelry pieces were always signed on the pieces. See Selro for
additional information on the costume jewelry produced. (For additional
internet information on Selini: http:hometown.aol.com/kitticitti/SeliniSelroCombined.html
SELRO: 1950S - 1960S
Selro Corporation was founded by Paul Sellinger in NYC in the 1950s. Selro jewelry is highly collectible due to its striking designs of silver-toned , antique silvertone filigree, and gold-toned base metals. The design clusters utilized clear and beautiful colored rhinestones, faux pearls, lucite and plastic stones, and glass moonstones. Some of the outstanding jewelry pieces have large glass moonstone cabochons surrounded by teardrop glass pedals of gorgeous faux colored stones and faux pearls. The smaller stones are glued in with the larger ones prong set. Selro also produced devil and figural images and faces that included dragons, Asian faces, black Oriental Siamese or Tribal and Warrior faces, and Princess faces with headdresses and flowers. Mark: Selro". The company ceased operations in the 1960s.
SHERMAN JEWELRY: 1947 - 1981 in Canada
Gustave Sherman, considered by many to be Canada’s premier jewelry designer, founded the Sherman Costume Jewelry Company in 1947 in Canada producing quality pieces with the best Swarovski stones and crystals beads including aurora borealis, crystal beads (navettes and/or marquise cut stones), some stones with reverse foil to obtain much sparklier stones with a prism-like appearance and multiple color flashes. Jewelry pieces were prong set, with quite heavy and highly polished rhodium plating, gold plating, Japanned plating and other metal platings for base metals. Foiled stones were used extensively with unfoiled stones in open settings rarely seen in the jewelry designs. The bracelets had safety chains and hidden clasps. Sherman costume jewelry produced was known for its superior and meticulous details on design. Mark: "Sherman". The company ceased production in 1981.
SORRELLI: 1982 -
Lisa Oswald had been designing jewelry since she was a little girl graduating from Kutztown State College with a B.F.A. in Jewelry in 1982, and then, working as an intern in New York City for jewelry designer Debra Fine Yohai. In 1983, with her twin sisters, Susie and Sandy, she started her own business naming the costume jewelry “Sorrelli” (which means sisters in Italian).
The Sorrelli jewelry is handcrafted from the original designs, worked by hand using no casts or jigs, and was first being made in the Oswald kitchen, then in their Brooklyn loft and now today, in a barn studio at their Pennsylvania home in Kutztown, PA. producing nearly 300 new jewelry styles per year and employing 12 crafters. Each piece of jewelry produced with the help of the crafters who used Lisa's original prototypes to guide them through each step of the production, insures us of the creativity and design distinction that one finds in the Sorrelli signature and each piece produced is guaranteed
Lisa Oswald uses genuine semi-precious earth stones, Swarovski Austrian rhinestones and crystals that are prong-set or glue-set and, soldered cluster for movement, in antique bronze colored metal manufacturing and producing bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pins, rings. The stone settings are of multi-dimensional sizes, shapes and colors. Sorrelli jewelry comes with a "SORRELLI" tag or on a card (Earrings): "SORRELLI Chandeliers for the ears with Certificate of Authenticity and Guarantee." The Sorrelli costume jewelry is worn by celebrities and career women, and is available on the internet, Sorrelli Jewelry.com, Nordstrom.com, Regencies.com Designer Jewelry, and is found in high-end department stores and boutiques throughout the US and in Sorrelli showrooms in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Manhattan, San Francisco, Tokyo and Switzerland.
Sorrelli Collections are color grouped and release together with similar matching colors each year by seasons. The Limited Edition Collections are stocked for a 6 week period only, until they have been purchased or can be purchased by special order. Some of the product lines are labeled: Blue Sunrise, Bright Haze, Brilliant Bronze, Captain N Teal, Gum Drop, M & M, Miscellaneous, Pink Coral, Purple Rain, Red Delicious, Southwest Bright, Spring Rain, Tropical, and White Bridal. Sorrelli is said to be one of the most renowned costume jewelry lines available today because of the excellent workmanship, designs and the use of quality semi-precious gemstones stones, Swarovski rhinestones and crystals. It has been said that "each Sorrelli piece is created to last and to be treasured through time".
NOTE: Sorrelli jewelry is hand crafted from genuine
semi-precious stones and high quality Austrian crystals. The prototype jewelry
piece is designed in their studio, and then sent to their factory in China to
be reproduced by hand which explains the "Made in China" tag that you'll see
on some of their pieces. This has been the way their jewelry has been
manufactured for the last 5 years. The Sorrelli vision, to create beautiful
jewelry which brings enjoyment to those who wear it, continues today.
SORRENTO: 1911 - ?
The Vincent Sorrento Company, bearing the founder's name, was founded in 1911 but the name was changed to Uncas Manufacturing Company before 1922. The costume jewelry produced used sterling silver and gold plated metals. Mark: "Sorrento" since 1957.
SPEIDEL: 1913 - Present.
The Speidel Chain Company was founded bu Albert Speidel in Providence, RI in 1913 manufacturing 14K gold watch chains before and after WWI, pendants, bracelets, brooches, scarf pins, earrings, and cuff links. Edwin Speidel invented the Speidel expandable bracelet watch chain in 1930. Mark: "BONA-FIT". The name was later changed to the Speidel Corporation in 1935 now producing jewelry, ornamental hearts, Star of David, necklaces, ankles and ornamental charms. Mark: "DEFENDER since 1930. The jewelry was Marked: "SPEIDEL" starting in 1932 with the company producing ornamental chains of all types, pendents, bracelets (identification and chain), brooches, pins, clips, earrings, lockets, religious crosses, charms, and cufflinks of Sterling Silver, 14K gold, gold plated and silver plated metals. "OLD WORLD JEWELS" was the company mark since 1949 producing bracelets, pendants, broaches, lockets, earrings, jewelry and ornamental clips and pins. In 1965, Textron Inc. bought the company. Hirsch Ambaender AG acquired the Providence Watch Hospital in July 2001 (company has been in business since 1940) and Speidel in Dec. 1997 who also now sells medical jewelry. The Speidel product lines as well as the Providence Watch Hospital are again located back in the U.S. The Speidel Company is still in business today.
SPHINX: 1948 - 2000
The Sphinx Company, a renowned company making quality costume jewelry was founded by S. Root in 1948 employing about 200-300 people in a factory in Cheswick, England. The jewelry produced was said to be well made, of high quality construction, beautifully designed, and had the look of real jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, earrings, rings, and charms were produced in gold tone or silver tone base metals with pave set or prong set aurora borealis, clear and colored rhinestones, simulated pearls and colored glass stones.
Sphinx produced jewelry for Kenneth Jay Lane, Butler & Wilson, Saks 5th Ave., Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and other department stores with some pieces unsigned for customers who wanted to sell the pieces on their own, and because the jewelry was produced in a rush, had to meet the public demand. Mark: “SPHINX” in an oval cartouche with some having a “LETTER AND NUMBER” included or without the Sphinx name, having only a “LETTER AND NUMBER” in a cartouche.
Some of the Sphinx jewelry is highly collectible and can now be purchased at low, moderate and high prices depending on the make-up of the jewelry settings, stones and metal content. Sphinx ceased operations in 2000.
STANLEY HAGLER N.Y.C.: 1953 - Present
(MARK MERCY: M & M DESIGNS FLA.: 1996 - Present)
Stanley Hagler, a jewelry designer, founded the Stanley Hagler Company in New York City in 1953. His company produced jewelry pieces that were opulent, complex, hand made, hand wired-embroidered and usually colorful. The company was a one-man operation until 1979 when designer Mark Mercy joined the company. Mark: oval disc tag, “STANLEY HAGLER” (1950 through 1982). Stanley Hagler and Mark Mercy worked together in New York City until 1983 when they moved the company to Florida and added “N.Y.C.” to the “STANLEY HAGLER” oval disc designer tag to keep the New York City connection in Stanley Hagler’s work.
In 1989, Ian St. Gielar joined the firm as a contributing designer and designed many of the jewelry pieces. Hagler jewelry can be identified by the layers of elaborately detailed hand work with some jewelry hand wrapped on colored seed beads and seed pearls set on Russian Gold plated filigree along with Swarovski rhinestones, colored stones, crystal pearls, and various colored cabochons.
Downsizing of the company appeared in 1993 due to health problems of the founder and Ian St. Gielar left the company in 1994. Stanley Hagler died in 1996 but the company continued to produce jewelry under the Stanley Hagler name. A Common Law Trademark allowed Mark Mercy, now a partner in the company, to keep the rights to the Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. name after the death of the founder. In 1996, Mark Mercy also founded M & M Designs Fla. Labeling creations of tiaras and large custom pieces. Ian St. Gielar, in 1996, gave his own name to his new company Ian St. Gielar. Both men continued to design jewelry.
Mark Mercy retained all legal rights to use the Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. name on his jewelry and has all of the original, vintage, component pieces of the Stanley Hagler lines. Therefore, the same high quality jewelry pieces were and have been produced. The jewelry is still handmade today, has elaborate detailed designs using vintage materials, from a huge collections of jewelry parts, assembled over many years including synthetic flowers, color glass beads and seed pearls, Swarovski rhinestones and crystals, head pins and parts. The jewelry produced is comparative to Haskell, Boucher, Christian Dior, Schiaparelli, and Chanel. Through the years, the Stanley Hagler Company produced jewelry pieces for Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks 5th Avenue.
The jewelry name Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. and M & M Designs Fla. are well known throughout the finest stores and boutiques in the U.S. and other countries including Japan, England, Germany, France, Australia and Switzerland. Their designed pieces have been worn by the Duchess of Windsor (Mrs. Simpson), Ivana Trump, Barbara Walters, Madeleine Albright, Susan Lucci, Candice Bergen to name a few with jewelry designs seen in TV shows, and movies.
Marks: oval disc tag "STANLEY HAGLER" (from 1950 - 1982), "STANLEY HAGLER N.Y.C." (from 1983 to present). For more information on Stanley Hagler jewelry, see Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. Jewelry by Mark Mercy since 1979 on his internet website. Stanley Hagler jewelry can be found on eBay and on the Stanley Hagler NYC Collection from Cristobal of London‘s website.
Note: For Your Information: Ian St. Gielar departed the Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. company in 1994. Ian St. Gielar, after Stanley Hagler’s death in 1996, designed his signature disc tag as follows: “STANLEY HAGLER N.Y.C” which did not include the period after the C in N.Y.C. confusing the public and also disc tag “IAN ST. GIELAR”. Some of his jewelry contains both of these disc tags.
STAR AND STARET: 1925 - 1960
Star and Staret jewelry was originally produced by the Star Novelty Company, Inc. of Chicago. The company began making costume jewelry, marked: "STAR" in 1925-1940. The company changed its name to Staret in the 1940s. Staret jewelry pieces are known for their exuberant design and exceptional use of enameling and high quality rhinestones. The style and sometimes excessively showy shapes of costume jewelry stamped Staret, recalls to mind, the more famous jewels of Eisenberg & Sons but does not have the Eisenberg quality. Novelty jewelry was also designed and made by the company. Overall, the quality of Staret designs is good quality with good quality stones with some pieces being exceptional with better quality of workmanship and design. Mark: "STAR", "STARET". The company ceased operations in 1947.
JEWELRY: 2003 - Present
Suzanne Somers was born in October, 1946 in San Bruno, CA. She has been a TV actor (in Three is Company), a model, writer, and in 2003, a costume jewelry designer.
Suzanne Somers’ designs and manufactures costume jewelry consisting of rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, watches and brooches that are said to be bold, with exciting colored accent stones. The stones, faux pearls, imitation mother-of-pearl, simulated turquoise, black, lavender, clear, and champagne color crystals, peridot gems, aurora borealis, rhinestones, chalcedony beads and glass stones are bezel set and prong set into silvertone, goldtone, sterling silver and vermeil metals.
Suzanne started selling her Somersize products (such as pjs, clothes, shoes, kitchen appliances, diet and exercise videos, books etc. on her own internet online store as well as costume jewelry: Suzanne Somers.com. In 2003, she started to sell her costume jewelry on the internet, HSN.com and on the HSN TV Network. HSN has stated: “About Suzanne Somers Jewelry…If you’re not wearing at least one of Suzanne’s bold, exciting stones then you simply haven’t lived! These fun pieces are created with Suzanne’s bubbly personality in mind. You’ll find spectacularly colored stones such as “Margarita”, “Fruit Punch“, and “Caribbean Mist” set in silver and vermeil.” Her jewelry’s price ranges from low to medium with design, workmanship and makeup of stones a factor.
SWAROVSKI (S.A.L.and Swan Logo): 1862 - 1956 and 1970 - Present
Daniel Swarovski founded the Swarovski Company in Austria in 1862 and, in 1892, developed a new mechanized technique for faceted glass crystals creating a sparkling, diamond-like "Chatons" that still bears the Swarovski name. Swarovski was a top supplier of rhinestones and crystals from Austria to American jewelry manufacturers. In the 1970s, Swarovski expanded the company to Providence, RI, U.S.A. and then later moved it to Cranston, RI. Daniel Swarovski and Christian Dior also developed the iridescent Aurora Borealis stone in 1955. In 1977, the Swarovski American, Ltd. company started producing costume jewelry of bracelets, ornament chains, pins, clips, and earrings using their own high quality rhinestone and crystal stones. The jewelry was, in the beginning, first manufactured in limited quantities and offered only to members of its Collectors Club. Mark: "COMET" for imitation jewelry artificial precious stones and beads made of glass or plastic since Oct. 1957, "S.A.L." until 1989 and then replaced with the Swan Logo tag "SWAROVSKI" 1977 to present. The company is now known as the Swarovski Consumer Goods Ltd., the change being made when the giftware and jewelry divisions merged and is still in business today.
SWEET ROMANCE: 1980 - Present (Newer Costume Jewelry)
Sweet Romance jewelry was founded by Shelley Cooper in 1980 reproducing jewelry designs from the 1920s in the Art Deco and Victorian themes and exotic designs of the 1940s and 1950s. Mark: "Sweet Romance". The jewelry is still being made today.
SWOBODA: 1956 - 1985, Reestablished as N.W. Jewels by Nathan Waxman June 2000- Present
Edward Swoboda, a talented jewelry designer, founded Swoboda Inc. in Los Angeles, CA in 1956 after having had an extensive knowledge of gemstones that were used in his manufacturing enterprise. The jewelry is characterized by magnificent thick gold plated metalwork, set with semi-precious stones and cultured pearls. Mr. Swoboda traveled extensively to South America where his gemstones were imported from. It was said that his polished gemstones and cultured pearls were unequaled in costume jewelry. The jewelry produced was designed with the Oriental and Victorian influences. In 1957, Nathan (Nate) Waxman joined the company as a trainee and quickly learned the art of casting, plating, and molding allowing him to create many of the designs. In the early 1960s, the Swoboda firm maintained showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas and the jewelry was sold in leading department stores Dillard’s, Goldwater’s, Marshall Fields, Saks Fifth Ave., Bloomingdale’s, Gumps, Ciros, Harrod’s of London and Neiman Marcus. Swoboda jewelry lines consisted of complete sets, necklaces, broaches (most popular) and earrings. The jewelry was not marked but had a hang-tag "SWOBODA" until 1966 when "SWOBODA" OR "SWO.INC." appeared in the metal cast. Swoboda retired in 1979 and lives in Los Angeles. The jewelry is extremely rare, especially the more elaborate pieces that are highly prized by collectors who will pay nearly $800.00 per set and or above $400.00 for a necklace. Lower priced pieces consist of figural pins, some with carved jade or other semi-precious stones on gold plated metal. Nathan Waxman ran the company until 1985 when the company ceased operations. In June 2000, Nate Waxman established his own company, N.W. Jewels on an internet website that offers a wide variety and collection of Swoboda Costume Jewelry from vintage collections to limited quantity reissues.
SYMMETALIC: 1902 - Present
The W.E. Richards Company was founded in North Attleboro, MA in 1902 producing wRe and Symmetalic costume jewelry of sterling silver with 10K and 14K gold overlay metal with jewelry consisting of Art Deco, Edwardian and Victorian designs using finer high quality materials, cultured pearls, Austrian rhinestones and aurora borealis rhinestone crystals, with some pieces produced containing semi precious stones. The costume jewelry included broaches, rings, scarf and hat pins, links, emblems, and pendants. Mark: "wRe". "Symmetalic" since 1936. The company is still in business today and the jewelry is highly sought after.
AVON November 1993 to Present
House of Taylor Jewelry, June 2005
Elizabeth Taylor born in 1932 in Hempstead, England is best know as a movie actress and her sales of fragrances (White Diamonds perfumes) cosmetics, gaming and publishing through the years. She was said to be the 11th Greatest Movie Star of her time by Entertainment Weekly and the 40th Greatest Movie Star of all times by Premiere Magazine. She has owned some of the world’s most magnificent jewelry including “The Krupp Diamond” and “The La Peregina Pearl”
In November 1993, Elizabeth Taylor collaborated with Avon Products Inc. on a collection of fashion jewelry signed and designed by her and carrying her name. The initial costume jewelry lines would consist of five collections with prices ranging from $40 to $200 and the lines will be sold directly to the consumer by Avon representatives nationwide going door to door or scheduling house parties using the company’s direct-mail catalog. The company did not make their own jewelry but other firms (like Krementz) manufactured and designed their product lines. Mark: “Elizabeth Taylor with a Script E, and Avon” embedded in a plaque on the back of the base metal piece of jewelry. Her collection consisted of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches and rings with themes, Egyptian Collection sets, Shah Jehan sets, Elephant Walk sets, Eternal Flame sets, Midnight Romance sets, Passion Flower Sets, Radiant, Brilliance, Gilded Age and Sparkle Kiss rings and earrings, Katherina Cross sets, Hearts in Tandem sets, Sparkle Earrings, Signature Gold Coast sets, Sea Coral sets and Zebra sets to name a few. Some of these creations have been seen on eBay auctions the past few years. Avon is still producing some of her jewelry lines.
Elizabeth Taylor, in April 2005, has formed the House of Taylor Jewelry in Los Angeles, California in collaboration with Mirabelle Luxury Concepts (Jack and Monty Abramov creating the jewelry designs) and Techline Jewelry Corporation (technology on the jewelry designs). She will be developing her signature collections for the firm as well as consult on all brands distributed by the company including those by Kathy Ireland who is opening her fashion and bridal collection lines of jewelry to the mid-tier company pricing for the company. Ireland will design a beautiful and diverse collections and will lead design direction not only for her own collections, but will also serve as an Ambassador for the House of Taylor Jewelry all under the direction of Elizabeth Taylor. Kathy Ireland’s collections pricing will range from less than $200 to approximately $2,500 and will be based on her best selling Style Guides, a mission to “finding solutions for families especially busy moms”. The goal of the House of Taylor Jewelry is to produce fine jewelry, making marketing and direct source partnering, to serve the best jewelry retailers worldwide and their costumers with the most diverse jewelry creations that are marketed.
The House of Taylor Jewelry is slated to be introduced at JCK (Jewelers Circular Keystone), in Las Vegas in June 2005 with keynote speaker Kathy Ireland and in New York, July 31-August 3, 2005 at the JA International Jewelry Show at the Jacob Jarvits Convention Center. Because of Elizabeth Taylor’s love and interest in jewelry through the years, her collections will include a traditional fine jewelry assortment as well as one of a kind couture pieces with price points of over one million dollars. In addition to developing her signature collections, Ms. Taylor will consult on all brands distributed by the House of Taylor Jewelry and the Abramov brothers will acquire additional licenses to support the firm’s operation.
THEODOR FAHRNER: 1883 - 1979
Theodor Fahrner, at the age of 24, in 1883, took over his father’s business and workshop in Pforzheim, Germany manufacturing high-quality and mass-producing rings, gold and silverwear, and jewelry designs by artists in the Mathildenhohe artists colony located near Frankfurt, Germany. By 1887-1895, the firm expanded into manufacturing other jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings employing artists who designed jewelry. Jewelry artists included were Franz Boeres, Rudolf Bosselt, Max Joseph Gradl, Hermann Haussler, George Kleemann, Ferdinand Morawe and others creating jewelry of Art Nouveau and/or Jugendstil style (an artist style that arose in Germany about the mid-1890s and continued through the first decade of the 20th Century that was a combination of English Art Nouveau design before 1900, (floral in character), Japanese applied art and prints, and later more abstract phase of Viennese work).
Fahrner allowed the artist/designer’s name to appear on their pieces along with his own TF trademark with the new trend of streamlined modern designs inspired by the major European Art movement or Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Art Moderne and Contemporary styles in affordable silver jewelry. Working in silver, enamel, marcasites, iron and semi-precious stones, the designers made each contemporary style of jewelry in hundreds of jewelry pieces available to a wide segment of the population exporting large quantities to near and distant cities including London and the U.S.A.
Theodor Fahrner’s firm manufactured and mass produced high quality rings, gold and silverware, and sterling silver jewelry in necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings designed by artists in the Mathildenhohe artists colony. Some of the jewelry has produced high selling prices in 2001, from $3,700 to $11,500 (made in the 1920s era).
Fahrner’s jewelry designs contained lots of enamel, sterling silver metal of various silver content, and faceted colored stones of turquoise, green agate, amazonite, chalcedony, rock crystal, pearl, marcasites, hematite, coral, onyx, and amethyst. In 1901, the TF trademark was introduced. In 1919, Theodor Fahrner died and the firm was purchased by Gustav Braendle and the firm’s name became Gustav Braendle, (Herbert Braendle in 1952), Theodor Fahrner Nachf.
In the 1920s and 1930s into WWII, the Deco style jewelry of Fahrner was produced by the firm with filigree jewelry produced in 1932. In 1945, a bomb destroyed all of the archives. In 1952, Gustav Braendle died with son Herbert now leading the company. 1954 brought on a reduced workforce due to changing jewelry fashions and by 1960, the company was producing modern silver jewelry with stones expanded by the Antique Art series of gold and silver with Roman and Egyptian motifs. Marks: “Germany Sterling TF 935“, “TF ‘ 950‘”, “Theodor Fahrner Germany 935“, “TF (in circle) Sterling Germany“, “TF and Germany“, “TF (in circle) 925 Original Fahrner” (after 1932), “artist/designer name, TF (in circle) for trademark and silver content # (925, 935, or 950)”.
In 1979, Herbert Braendle died and the firm of Gustav Braendle, Theodor Fahrner Nachf was dissolved with most of the firm’s records destroyed. The jewelry pieces produced by Theodor Fahrner’s company are sought after by collectors with pricing exceptionally high.
TORTOLANI: 1934 - 1976, ? - Present
Francis Tortolani, the son of a jewelry maker, became a jewelry designer in Italy and came to the U.S.A. in 1923. He founded the Metalcraft Jewelry Company of Providence, RI (in business since around 1934 - 70 years ago) producing the Tortolani lines of costume jewelry. He moved the operation, after WWII, to Los Angeles, CA and changed its name to Tortolani Jewelry. The Max Factor, Avon, and Vivian Woodward companies, have, through the years, commissioned copies of the company’s original exquisite designs and crafted pieces. The company also designed jewelry gifts for movie stars, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and John Wayne. The Tortolani pieces were hand crafted and hand polished with enamel overlay and contained simulated stones, pearls and rhinestones made with sculptured metalwork of solid pewter, gold and silver plating, some having blacken finish on the backs. Designed pieces include flowers, birds, elephants, swans, pixies, cherubs, sport figures, turtles, sea horses, ballerinas, scarecrows, faux pearl pieces, zodiac sign pieces, devil and angel pieces, leaves and ribbons. The company ceased operations in 1976 but is back in business today. It is still a family owned business producing a new line "Corina" which features pins in the shape of musical instruments or crowns. The company is also reproducing and will continue to produce, in limited quantity, for a short period of time, some of their best costume jewelry pieces of innovative design for more people to collect and enjoy. Mark: "TORTOLANI", and "TORTOLANI with a mark next to the signature" for the reproduced pieces. Other product lines include key chains, tie tacks, money clips, lighters, paperweights, awards and desk accessories, frames, object of art and advertising speciality for industry. The original Tortolani costume jewelry pieces are highly sought after. (See Tortolani.com on the internet for additional information).
TRIFARI (TKE OR TRIFARI, KRUSSMAN & FISHEL: 1918 - Present
Gustavo Trifari emigrated from Italy to the U.S. in 1904 and founded Trifari NYC in 1910 after being a partner and jewelry designer with his uncle in Trifari & Trifari for several years. Gustavo’s grandfather Luigi Trifari, a goldsmith, had a small workshop in Naples, Italy in the mid 1800s producing fine jewelry where Gustavo, working in his workshop, learned the jewelry trade.
In 1917, Leo Krussman joined the Trifari Company as a sales director and later became a partner, leading to the forming of the Trifari and Krussman Company. A third partner, Carl Fishel, an experienced and well known salesman also became a partner in the firm, in the early 1920s. The company again changed its name to Trifari, Krussman & Fishel.
Trifari was considered one of the largest and best known producers
of costume jewelry. It started producing hair ornaments, buckles, and bar pins
in silver and base metals set with rhinestones and later manufactured, a broad
range of costume jewelry creating superb designs and workmanship at different
price levels. The Trifari jewelry produced had a distinctive look, resembling
fine jewelry, which can easily be recognized by collectors. Much of this is
due to the work of a great designer, Alfred Philippe, who worked and designed
jewelry for Trifari, for approximately 38years, from 1930 to 1968, using high
quality imported Swarovski rhinestones that were hand-set in the jewelry
piece. Philippe worked as a designer of fine jewelry for Cartier and Van Cleef
& Arpels, and brought to Trifari many imaginative ideas. He is largely
responsible for the creation and development of Trifari's distinctive and
classic look. There were also other well-known designers who joined Trifari:
Jean Paris (1958 - 1965), Andre Boeuf (1967 - 1979), who had worked for
Cartier, and Diane Love (1971-1974) who designed the company's modern and
contemporary jewelry in the early 1970s. Up until the 1960s, Trifari lead the
world in the industry of costume jewelry producing the highest quality and
styles from imaginative sterling vermeil figurals of the 1940's to its classic
gold and silver-tone jewelry of today. The Trifari figurals, retro florals,
and jelly-bellies from the 1930s and 1940s are sought after today by
collectors. Mark: "TFK" 1917, "Trifari with a crown above the T" 1930s, "Trifari,
Krussman, Fishel", "Trifari with a crown and copyright symbol", and "Diane". The Trifari figurals, retro florals, and jelly-bellies from the
1930's and 1940's continue to be in high demand by collectors. The Trifari
Company was purchased by Hallmark in the late 1970s, Crystal Grands Jewelry
Corp. 1988, Chase Capital Partners, Lattice Holding Division of the Monet
Group 1994, and Liz Claiborne in July 2000 with production moved out of the
Vintage Costume Jewelry Makers And Designers