Vintage Jewelry Workshop - Part III

Discussion in 'Vintage Jewelry 2010 by Linn' started by Linn, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    The beginning of the 1930's was a time when most people were feeling the effects of the Great Depression. One of the most important pieces of jewelry in a woman's wardrobe in the 1930's was the Dress Clip. Worn singularly but more often in pairs, dress clips served to change the look of a garment by changing the neckline. Dress clips were first used in the 1920's. When they were worn in pairs they were identical although large singular clips were worn both in the front and at the back!

    Films offered an escape from the hardships of daily life, and had a great influence on fashion and jewelry. The 1930's are often called the "Glamour Years."

    Dress Clips:

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    Dress clips were made at various prices and from many different materials. Women who could not afford new dresses might be able to save to buy a pair of dress clips at the 5 and Dime.

    Here are some examples made of potmetal with rhinestones and crystal stones, rhinestones and "shoe buttons," celluloid, beads with rhinestone rhondelles, brass,etc.

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    Some Bakelite examples:
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    And a pair of dress clips set in pewter colored metal set with simulated moonstones - with matching screwback earrings:
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    Here's a WMCA (White Metal Caster's Association) dress clip:

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    Some larger clips - meant to be worn alone - with fabric from the dress peaking through! The V-shaped one is adjustable -so it can be worn at a narrow or plunging neckline.

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    During the 1930's "high end" costume jewelry was rhodium plated. Here are two examples:
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    Jewelry in the early 1930's was quite similar to jewelry from the preceding decade.

    Here's a C. 1930's ad from Aspreys:
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    A very important invention - first used in fine jewelry is the double clip or convertible brooch clip. The Coro version, known as Duette was designed by a French fine jeweler, Gaston Candas in 1931. Coro purchased the rights to this patent. Many companies had their own versions. Coro had "Duettes" - Trifari - "Clipmates" and there were other patents for other mechanisms. The convertible brooch clip allowed women a lot of flexibility with one piece of jewelry!

    Here are two examples:
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    This is the back of the top one:

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    This example is a late '30's Coro Quivering Camellia "Duette" designed by Gene Verrecchia, who was the head designer at Coro for 30 years. It is shown with a pair of late '30's- '40's earrings. We'll be talking about earrings again in a little while so please look at the backs of the earrings, too.


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    Here are a few '30's bracelets. The first is marked 935 which is the German mark for Sterling:

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    Two KTF rhodium plated bracelets:
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    and a Pot Metal plastic version - probably sold at the 5 and Dime store:


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    Not all jewelry was "dressy" - some was streamlined and influenced by the architecture and machines of the day. We saw these earrings in Part II:

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    Celluloid and Rhinestone Pin:

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    This necklace is Czech - made of Galalith and Chrome:

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    I wear it with these Bakelite and Chrome earrings:
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    Galalith is a plastic that looks very similar to Bakelite but has different chemical properties. It does not "test" the same way and was used primarily in Europe.

    This is brass:
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    This piece has many characteristics of Pre-War German jewelry, but I have been unable to find out anything about the company. It is nickel plated - marked DoSo and Germany.


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    Fashions in the early '30's were very different from the '20's. The boyish cut was gone. Hemlines were far longer, the bias cut accented the curves of a woman's body and as mentioned earlier, films had a huge influence on how women dressed.


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    This is an early '30's Pouchoir - a hand colored French fashion drawing:

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    Some 1930's jewelry was whimsical and fun like this celluloid and Bakelite necklace:

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    It's easy to picture Dorothy Lamour wearing this!

    Another example of "fun" jewelry is the plastic pin set in aluminum that I showed in Part I:

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    Plastic jewelry was a big part of the 1930's. Here's a Bakelite and Celluloid dangle brooch:
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    The "Scotty" was a very popular motif in jewelry because of President Roosevelt's dog Fala. Here are a few celluloid Scotties who exemplfy "whimsy."


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    Earrings became very fashionable in the 1930’s and were a very important part of a woman's wardrobe. The patent for costume clip findings was assigned in 1934 in the U.S.

    Here is a copy of the patent along with a pair of earrings with the early findings. Remember that findings are used for years so it does not mean that the red rhinestone earrings date to 1934, but you know they are no earlier than that date.


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    Here's a pair of early clip earrings that are from 1934:
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    This pair of Art Deco style earrings are screw-backs and very unusual!

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    These are very long and dangly '30's earrings - hard to photograph:

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    Screw-back earrings were first used in the mid-1890's and were still in use in the very early 1960's. Some early clip findings were used for decades, too. When you try to "date" a piece take the over-all design, the materials and the findings into consideration.

    Here are some "early" earring clip earrings and two style of Trifari clip backs, used in the '30's and '40's:

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    Later in the decade, earrings became larger and assumed the shape of flowers and clusters of leaves. Scroll back and look at the back of the earrings shown above with the Coro duette.

    In Part IV we will talk about the Retro Period and the 1940's.
     
  2. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails Super Moderator Staff Member

    I love the 30s! You have sent me scurrying off to look again at some pieces I assumed were 50s. But after reading this post I think at least a coupe of them may be earlier.

    Will try to post a couple later to see if you agree.
     
  3. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Happy to take a look, Brenda.

    Linn
     
  4. joules

    joules Trade Member

  5. yumyumvintage

    yumyumvintage Trade Member

    Lovely!!!!!!!!!!In love with the celulloid and bakelite necklace!


    -Chris
     
  6. joules

    joules Trade Member

  7. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Hi Julie -

    No - the shoe buttons are not reall "shoe" buttons but a nickname for that design. Julie your dress clips all look "period" - C. 1930's. The one on the left looks like pot metal - it probably was a "pair" at one time. The one in the middle has brass findings that are stamped and older cut prong set aqua colored stones. The clip on the far right might be applejuice Bakelite - in the photo it appears transparent. Have you tested it?

    Nice collection. I love dress clips. Chris - that is a fun necklace. I bought it in Florida but it's perfect in Hawaii.

    Linn
     
  8. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

    Drooling over some of these pieces, Linn! Love the chrome and galalith and that celluloid and bakelite necklace is stunning!

    Also, really like the German delicate rhinestone necklace & earrings, what a beautiful setting!
     
  9. joules

    joules Trade Member

  10. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Thanks, Mary Jane -

    I love that German set, too. I'm not 100% sure that it's Pre-WWII but I think it is. This is the back - really interesting construction!


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    This is another piece that is German. This one is from the 1930's and is just marked 935:

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    Julie -

    I'm not sure about the cloudiness and Bakelite. If you rub it really hard you should get "the" smell or do a hot water test. I don't think I would try to clean the brass dress clip. If it has any verdigris (looks like it may on the leaf) I would dab a Q-Tip with white vinegar and try to remove just the "greenies." You could also do a really gentle swipe with a Sunshine Cloth just restoring a slight gleam to the brass but you don't want it to be too shiny.

    Linn
     
  11. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails Super Moderator Staff Member

    Linn here are the pieces I was talking about earlier.

    I thought these earrings were dress clips. :BAGUSE:

    I have even worn them as such and of course they looked fine. But looking at your Trifari examples above, they have the same kind of backs. Do you think they are 30s or 40s?

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    Then this brooch reminds me a bit of the one you have posted in the gold tone with rhinestones that resemble the machinery and architect of the period. I could be all wrong about that! Maybe these are paste? They do protrude quite high up from the setting. Is this what you mean by high "table"?

    I tried to get a photo that would illustrate that, but I was losing the light and my Son has taken off with my lights...Grrr :)

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  12. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Brenda -

    The earrings are from 1940 or possibly 1939. Is there a Trifari mark on them? I think I see a faint one but I could be imagining it! The design looked familiar so I looked up a fur clip I have and found the patent D. 122092 - granted in August 1940. Sometimes pieces were made prior to the patent being granted. Here's my piece and you will see that the center motif is the same!

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    The goldtone pin is from the '40's probably post-WWII in the Retro Style which we will talk about tomorrow. I think the center stone is an old cut rhinestone.

    I have a pair of dress clips that are very "moderne" in style from the '40's that I wear as earrings! I didn't include them but they will fit right into tomorrows topic. They are marked Industria Argentina:


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    Linn
     
  13. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you Linn! No marks at all on any of the pieces, I have looked them over good with a loupe. But the earrring design sure does match your Trifari piece!

    The "stem" does too, although shorter and hard to see on mine but it is red enamel with the small rhinestone at the tip. Exactly the same!

    Did Trifari ever have unsigned pieces, or perhaps they are just a copy from a lesser known maker?
     
  14. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails Super Moderator Staff Member

    You know what? There is a tiny mark on that earring that you might see. I forgot about it. But it is odd and looks like a 5 or possibly an S in block style lettering. But it almost looks scratched on and not really like a makers mark.
     
  15. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Brenda -

    Trifari marked "almost" all their jewelry but there are some pieces from the late '30's - early '40's that are not marked but are clearly Trifari. Your earrings are definitely Trifari. They are the only company that used those earring clips.

    Some Trifari, Eisenberg, Mazer and Boucher pieces are marked with letters or numbers that were the stone setter's marks - so it's possible that's what it is.

    There were period copies. I have a couple of pieces done in potmetal that are the same design as Trifari pieces, and some companies copied the designs and made them in rhodium plating. Even in the '30's and '40's not every company manufactured their own jewelry so you might find similar pieces or identical pieces in several lines.

    Linn
     
  16. joules

    joules Trade Member

    Thank you, Linn! I'll do the vinegar dab for the bit of green, which bugs me. Otherwise, I love the aged look of that clip.

    That cool sort of industrial looking German set is awesome, and reminds me of a bracelet I have, the way it's made.
    This one, which I found at a flea market, in St. Louis, which has many German inhabitants, as you know. Maybe it is German? I had it chromed a long time ago. Perhaps it had been nickel-plated orginally.
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  17. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Great bracelet!

    Some chrome pieces were not plated. Can you take a photo of it from the top showing the links?

    Linn
     
  18. amandainvermont

    amandainvermont Trade Member

    LOVE all this information Linn. I'm pretty sure way back I sold dress clips and listed them as shoe clips. :BAGUSE: I imagine other folks have done the same.
     
  19. cmpollack

    cmpollack Trade Member

    OK, just got my dose of eye candy here! Wow! The dress clips and necklaces are just gorgeous...

    And you've given me inspiration for another way to wear a dress clip--to accentuate the back of a neckline! (My bag of tricks so far includes putting a clip on a chain to wear choker-style, and sprucing up plain fabric bags by attaching one or more fur clips).

    Thanks for sharing your expertise and your collection once again, Linn. (Love everyone else's examples, too!)
     
  20. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Carrie -

    Please share photos from your "bag of tricks!"

    I'm off to an appointment but will post a bag or two with pins and fur clips attached when I return!

    Linn
     

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