March 2, 2009

Vintage Costume Jewelry Finds

Yesterday my friend and I went to a local flea market and I wanted to share some of my vintage costume jewelry finds. Today I cleaned each piece and was able to admire the workmanship that went into each one. I love the diversity in my selections and was so lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

The first piece is an early Art Deco dress clip by Trifari. It has the very early mark KTF which stands for Trifari, Krussman and Fishel. The T in the middle extends past the K and F. For those of you who don't know what a dress clip is, it was popular in the 1930's and 1940's and was usually a broad hinged clip that attached to your clothing. Unlike today where the jewelry is held in with an actual pin that goes through your clothing. This clip is from the Art Deco period that was popular from the mid-1910's until the mid-1930's. Art Deco pieces are characterized by geometric lines and angular shapes, zigzags, bold colors, molded or faceted Czech glass beads, plastics and chrome. Sleek animals such as Borzoi and Greyhound dogs were featured in some designs.

The next photo is of a Chinese carved Cinnabar set consisting of a dress clip and screw back earrings. This is called a Demi Parure which is a set of two or three matching pieces of jewelry, usually consisting of a necklace, pin, bracelet, or earring. A full or grand parure would include all the matching items. Typically Cinnabar is layers and layers of laquer that is then carved. The color resembles the mineral Cinnabar thus the name.

I rarely come across Sorrelli jewelry and I was thrilled to find this gorgeous bracelet. I love the variety of stones both in shape and color all accented with a variety of colored rhinestones. Sorrelli is Italian for sisters which is most appropriate as the company consists of three sisters. All pieces are handcrafted from the original designs, worked by hand using no casts or jigs, done in a barn studio at their Pennsylvania home in Kutztown, PA. producing nearly 300 new jewelry styles per year and employing 12 crafters. The company started in 1982.

The final piece is a guilloche enamel piece from Norway. Guilloche: (pronounced ghi-LOWSH) is when an intricate interlaced pattern that is engraved by an engine-turned lathe. When a translucent enamel is applied, the engraving can be seen through the enamel. There is a lot of really beautiful Scandinavian jewelry using this technique.