"Sparkles" Brown: The legacy of Alice Caviness is in the bold,
imaginative colors of costume jewelry that truly reveal the
personality of the woman behind the sparkling rhinestone reflections
and flowing design lines of each piece bearing her name.
A raised oval tag with Alice Caviness emblazoned in block letters
soldered on the back of her jewelry proudly proclaims the reason that
buyers eagerly add her jewelry to their collections. Alice Caviness
opened her jewelry business in 1945. Not only did she design her own
jewelry line, but she was involved in every step of design, production
and sales. She made many trips to Europe where she charmed the French
with her style and mode of dress.
Failing health dimmed her eyes , and she retired from active jewelry
work in 1970. She died in 1983, but her legacy lives on in the fine
jewelry proudly worn by today's collector's.
Characteristic of Alice Caviness jewelry:
Imported beads, striking colors, bold color combinations, cross motif,
sold in high end boutiques.
From Marcia Brown's book, "Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry":
Frenchman, Marcel Boucher, came to the United States as a young man in
1925. He became a jewelry designer for Cartier, one of the finest
jewelry companies in New York City. He designed jewelry for Mazer
Brothers in the early 1930's and established his own company, "Marcel
Boucher and Cie Company," in 1937. Boucher jewelry is usually signed
and carries an inventory number. Early marks are "Marboux" or "MB" in
a cartouche. Later marks are "Marcel Boucher" and "Boucher." Marcel
Boucher died in 1965 and his wife, Sandra Boucher, ran the company
Boucher created a line featuring six bird pins. But, oh what birds!
They were birds of imagination with ornate colored stones, bright
enamels, very three-dimensional..."ready to soar!" Boucher jewelry is
"high-end" and can be tough to tell from the "real thing." It is very
collectible and highly desirable.
Emanuel Ciner came to America in 1866, leaving Austria when he was
only one year old. By the time he was 27, he had opened his own fine
jewelry store in lower Manhattan, offering outstanding wedding and
engagement rings. his son, Irwin apprenticed at his father's side in
1920 and spent 59 years in the company.
The year 1930 marks when Ciner offered their first costume jewelry
line, making history as the only fine jewelry company to convert
completely to costume jewelry. Ciner continued to use only the finest
quality materials. Swarovski rhinestones, European glass cabochons,
and simulated pearls with a cultura finish, never plastic. Each pearl
and every bead was hand strung and hand knotted.
Some call the company the quiet giant because of their contribution of
so many fine designs, ones so timeless that Ciner is still using some
from the 1940's and 1950's, They proudly use the company logo, "the
Tiffany of Costume Jewelry."
Characteristics of Ciner jewelry:
Look of fine jewelry, high quality, well-designed, timelessly
CORO, COROCRAFT, CORO DUETTE
Coro, Corocraft and Coro Duettes. Corocraft, founded in 1901
by Emanuel Cohn and Carl Rosenberger, enjoyed great growth and success
which may be due to a large extent to the skills of their chief
designer, Adolph Katz. After the second World War, Coro became the
largest costume jewelry manufacturer in the world, producing a
bewildering range of jewels designed by an army of designers under the
coordination of the chief designer. Over 50 trademarks were issued to
Corocraft including one of the most collectible marks ‘Duette’ which
was applied to pieces in which two or more dress clips were mounted
upon a frame so that they could be worn individually or together as a
Faberge - Russian Egg Pendants
The most important feast of the Russian Orthodox Church calendar is
It is celebrated with the exchanging of eggs and three kisses. The
Faberge eggs began in 1884 with an Easter egg made for the Czar that
became a gift for his wife, Czarina Maria. The egg reminded the
empress of her homeland, and so from then on it was agreed that
Faberge would make an Easter egg each year for Maria. Faberge designed
Easter eggs for another eleven years until Alexander III died. Then
Nicholas II, Alexander's son, continued the tradition. It was agreed
that the Easter gift would always hold a surprise. These projects
became the top priority of the company and were planned and worked on
far in advance - a year or longer. The surprise was always kept a
secret. The Imperial Easter Egg Collection commissioned by the last of
the Russian Czars is known world wide.
Now you can discover the magic of owning a "small treasure" in the
grand artistic tradition of the legendary Carl Faberge. Skilled
Russian craftsmen, now working in the United States, are creating
miniature jewelry eggs, designed to be worn as pendants, pins or
Each egg is created in sterling silver, then gilded in 24 karat gold
and hand enameled with several layers of multicolored enamel. This
technique of enameling is an extremely delicate and highly labor
intensive one involving hand application of translucent colored enamel
and then firing the enamel at very high temperatures. Each egg is
enameled by hand with up to seven layers of enamel.
Some styles are embellished with genuine Swarovski crystals, while
others are accented with beautiful semi-precious stones. Each treasure
is entirely hand crafted by the most talented artisans.
From the dawn of time eggs have been exchanged with loved ones as a
symbol of birth, love and life. The miniature egg is a true work of
art, created in the style of the famous Russian Imperial Court
MARENA jewelry creations are 18kt gold plated. They may be worn as
pins or pendants since each one has attached openings through which
you may use a chain or hoop, as well as the typical pin closure. They
combine genuine materials such as semi-precious stones,
mother-of-pearl and other rare shells in perfection with Austrian
crystals, among the most typical jewelry stones of the turn of the
Made in Germany, each one is created by hand, most are one-of-a-kind.
MARENA jewels are unique creations which will enhance the
individuality of each woman. Each pin comes with a certificate of
authenticity that is written in both German and English.
The Mazer brothers opened a jewelry business in 1917 in
Philadelphia and started producing costume jewelry in 1939 after
moving to New York. One of their designers, Andre Fleurides, used to
work for Van Cleef & Arpels, and designed for them from 1940. In 1946,
the brothers split and Joseph Mazer set up on his own under the name
of Jomaz. In the same vein as Boucher, their pieces were exemplified
by the highest quality of design and manufacture.
The Pennino brothers, of New York grew from a fine jewelry company
started in 1926 in New York by Frank Pennino. They produced the most
wonderful naturalistic designs in gold plated metal, commonly silver.
Large bows and tassels ware much sought after favourites and are of
superb quality. Regency jewels are well known for their brilliance of
crystal stones and innovative use of colors. Eminently wearable, they
are always in demand.
LEDO is the name given to the Leading Jewelry Company in 1949,
originally founded in 1911 by Ralph Polcini. The company produced
hand-set rhinestone jewelry often in deco designs, resembling genuine
jewelry in style, design and quality. After Ralph Polcini death, the
company was inherited by his son who later renamed the company POLCINI
in the 1960's. POLCINI companies produced very good quality hand set jewelry.
Their designs were traditional and conservative. Range of pieces with
reconstituted opal was very highly successful. The company appears to
have gone out of business in 1980.
From Marcia Brown's book, "Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry":
The jewelry is believed to have been produced by the Regent Jewelry
Company, located at Number 20, either on 36th or 37th Street, deep in
the heart of the jewelry district of New York City, and in business
during the 1950's closing its doors in the 1970's.
This company, with the most spectacular colors of rhinestones, proudly
marked their jewelry, "REGENCY," always in capital letters. You will
never see one of their stones that is not filled to the brim with a
depth of hue that is almost blinding. Their beauty is eternal.
Every company usually included butterflies in their line, but no one
made them like Regency!
Manufactured in Canada from 1947 to 1981.
Gustave Sherman is considered by many to be Canada's
premier jewelry designer. The Sherman Costume Jewelry Company
produced the highest quality pieces using only the best Swarovski
crystals. Meticulous detail was paid to each and every item.
The plating on most Sherman jewelry is highly polished, with rhodium
plating being the most common. The Sherman jewelry offered by
"Let's Get Vintage" attests to the excellent reputation enjoyed by this
This highly collectible jewelry has always been
popular in its native Canada and is becoming even more desirable as it
gains popularity here in the United States.
STANLEY HAGLER NYC
Stanley Hagler created some of the most extravagant pieces of
costume jewelry ever. After designing a bracelet for the then Duchess
of Windsor, Mrs Simpson he went from strength to strength and award
after award. His most desirable work is those in which faux seed
pearls were hand wired onto Russian Gold Plated filigree backing. The
amount of work involved is remarkable as are the designs, which all
help to make Hagler jewelry very desireable, collectable and wearable.
Swarovski is an Austrian company that makes high-quality rhinestones,
beautiful cut crystals, costume jewelry, and other glass-related
items. The company was founded by Daniel Swarovski (1862-1956),
the son of a glass faceter. In 1892, Daniel developed a new mechanized
technique for faceting glass crystals, creating a sparkling,
diamond-like chaton." He then started a factory (and company) in
Wattens, Austria (in the Tyrolean Alps) in 1895. In the 1970's, the
company expanded to Providence, Rhode Island ,and then later moved to
Cranston, Rhode Island. In 1955, Swarovski and Christian Dior
developed the iridescent Aurora Borelais stone. The company began a
line of rhinestone costume jewelry in 1977. Since 1988, the Swarovski
logo has been a swan. Before this date the logo was an edelweiss
Trifari is without doubt the most famous
design house and manufacturer of costume jewelry the world has ever
seen. From its inception in 1912, named after its founder Gustavo
Trifari, it made hair ornaments, buckles and bar pins in silver and
base metal set with rhinestones. Leo Krussman joined the firm in 1917
and the name was changed to Trifari and Krussman. The addition of
Carl, the third business partner, completed the famous three:- Trifari,
Krussman and Fischel, and the firms signature became the famous KTF so
loved by collectors. In 1930, Alfred Philippe joined the firm as chief
designer and a measure of his genius is that he was regularly
contracted to design whole collections for Cartier and Van Cleef &
Arpels. Alfred Philippe designed for Trifari for over 40 years and the
firm became the greatest of the great. A vast amount of designs were
produced, all of which were in the highest quality and style. Up until
the 1960’s Trifari lead the world in the industry and their pieces are
among the most loved and collected.
Vendome was a line of jewelry produced by Coro. Using
wonderful crystals in prong settings Vendome pieces are highly sought
after. Albert Weiss, a former Coro employee set up his own firm in
1942 and went from success to success in the 1950’s and 60’s. Very
well known for imaginative use of rhinestones some of the most famous
pieces include the ‘Christmas Tree’ and fruit pins.