July 26, 2009

Florenza: Wonderfully Designed Costume Jewelry

I saw a lot of beautiful jewelry today at the local flea market and was struck by some pieces by the company Florenza and I thought I would share some things I have read about this company.

The company began in the 1930’s and stopped manufacturing in 1981. It was founded by Dan Kasoff and pieces were not signed until about 1948. His son Larry also joined the company. When marked it will say FLORENZA either in script or print. According to Julia C. Carroll author of "Collecting Costume Jewelry 101" (one of the books I recommend), the name was to honor his wife Florence. After the mid 1950’s the copyright symbol will also be shown. Many of their pieces have an antiqued look in either gold or silver color. Their metal work was excellent and many pieces have interesting colors combinations and wonderful stones.

You can see photos of some of the pieces I collect at the right of this posting. I always get compliments on the bird brooches! I love the Florentine finish and I am drawn to Mr. Kasoff's distinctive designs from quite some distance.

The company also made accessories such as photo frames, pens, lipstick holders. Mr. Kasoff also manufactured designs for other companies such as Kramer, Capri, Weiss and Carnegie.

References taken from “Costume Jewelry a Practical Handbook and Value Guide” by Fred Rezazadeh and "Collecting Costume Jewelry 101" by Julia C. Carroll. There is a great story in Jewelry 101 describing Mr. Kasoff's early days.