Help Identifying Pair of Silver Clips w Red Stones Signed "EB" hallmarked 925?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by helenheven, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    This pair of clips is a mystery - they appear to be silver - and the tiniest squiggle (too small to photograph), centered on the inside of one looks like "925" but the numbers are not in a straight line - could this be a hallmark?
    Also, the red stones are beautifully faceted and appear to be very carefully set with four beads of what appears to be solder on front and secured with rivets-like settings on back - would the maker go to so much trouble to secure glass or paste?
    Both backs of this pair is stamped "EB" and I assumed it was "Engel Bros" - but the EB are not within the sharp-lined traditional diamond shaped stamp I have seen in photos of other Engel Bros pieces...
    Finally - Can anyone tell by the construction if these are Dress or Shoe clips - or possibly Belt Buckles? They are hinged and have a confusing tab that looks like it was intended to be threaded with something -
    I have searched online for weeks - any help would be gratefully appreciated! EBClipsFFBck2Views.jpg EBClipsOpnEn439.jpg
     
  2. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Firstly - what size are they?

    I don't think they're either dress clips or shoe clips. If we know how big they are, it will help but I wonder if they're for collars, or perhaps you're right about belt buckles, but I can't see how they connect.
     
  3. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Thanks for your response Nicole - they are about 1 .25" in length. The open area at the bottom (or on the side depending on how they're oriented) suggests a belt buckle, but I don't see a way they could fasten or how the belt could thread through the hinged side so I ruled that out. Collar tips also occurred to me but more because of the style - they have a slight late 1930's- 1940's western style to the design , but they're an odd shape for collar tips. I am posting another photo - although they're on the small side, do you think they could be shoe clips? Thanks - I am at a loss with these!! EBClipsFFOpnUn517.jpg
     
  4. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage Trade Member

    Those are great looking! And look like strap slides (but not sure for what garment -- fancy western overalls? ;) )

    The 925 refers to it's silver content (sterling) and the beading that you mention are prongs or claws -- and seeing the careful and open back setting for the stones, they could possibly be synthetic rubies or similar. Love the hand engraved foliate design.

    I'm sure one of the sleuthers will identify the EB mark for you.
     
  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    suspender clips?
     
  6. pinky-a-gogo

    pinky-a-gogo Administrator Staff Member

    Some American EB hallmarks that you may want to research are...
    Edward Ball
    Ephraim Brasher--looks the closest.
    Ezekiel Burr
    Everard Benjamin

    They do look like some kind of slide or suspender clip..They are really cool looking -- keep us posted on what you find out.
     
  7. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    They're similar in design to suspender/braces clips but there's no place for the elastic to go through - unless it's so small it didn't come up in the photos? Also, they're rather big to be suspender clips.

    I think the key is the slot at the bottom. Something goes through there and does something, but what I do not know. They're quite beautiful.
     
  8. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Thanks for all your responses - suspender clips is an interesting idea - many of the vintage suspender clips seem to have teeth so I'm not sure these would function as suspender clips - and there's not a lot of room through the top for the suspender to be threaded, but it's possible... as to the "EB" mark: I have been searching and although I did see marks of Ephraim Brasher, Ezekiel Burr & Everard Benjamin but they were more silver flatware /tea service makers whose marks were most seen on work from the late 1700s - 1800s .... More likely I think is "

    ENGEL BROTHERS: 1930s - 1960s

    The Engel Brothers Company was an American maker of Art Deco rhinestone jewelry starting in the 1930s through 1960s. The jewelry consisted of sterling silver, rhodium plated, and gold plated metal. Retros were done in the 1940s. Mark: "EB", "EB" in a diamond shape.
    - this firm seems to fit the time frame and products - they seem to have been renowned for making clips - the only problem is that the mark, while close isn't exact - the diamond shape is more defined on the pieces I have seen - is it possible that the clips have an early mark? I have posted 2 photos I found - the larger photos show a silver set ofbracelet & earrings -they are is stamped EB -and the earrings have a similar shaped cut-out on the back
    The smaller photos are actual Engel Brothers marks from pieces that seem later than my clips - Again, thanks for your help with this, I have been going crazy trying to solve this & cannot figure out the intended use or the maker!
    RhinestoneEBSet3Views.jpg EBMarks4Views.jpg
     
  9. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    EUREKA! They ARE suspender clips! THANK YOU!! Also - I guess they're older than I originally thought. Now I'm leaning towards Victorian - Wild West era - does anyone want to take an educated guess at how old these might be?
    Again, thank you all very much for your help!
     
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    If they were mine I would take them to a jeweller and pay the $2.00 (metaphorically speaking) to have them appraised. I suspect the stones are real, but if they are rubies they could be worth a lot or almost nothing depending on the quality. There is something about the simple chasing that suggests to me they are from the 'fringes' perhaps American, or maybe Mexican - or perhaps Hungarian or German?
     
  11. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Thanks Jonathan, that seems like sound advice! I have never taken anything to be appraised before - any tips on basic protocal - and selecting someone reputable? I am in Los Angeles, if you happen to have any contacts here...
     
  12. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    And... what is "chasing"?
     
  13. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    Chasing is that particular kind of silver work....basically gouged out (but artfully!!!). Definitely suspender hardware, silver, handmade by a Western silversmith, ca late 1800s. I'd look for a cowboy collector. And be careful. I think they're quite valuable---and those butch guys hate to see a 'little lady' owning something they think THEY should have. Take your time on those.
     
  14. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Thank you very much for your informed and protective response - I really appreciate your concern and your point is well taken. I was a little worried about the "safety" aspect of this myself, that's why I asked Jonathan about "protocol" in my post above.
    I was going to list these for auction online but I think it's best to at least find out what they actually are first. Do you have any tips on choosing a reputable appraiser? These are quite "specialized", but I guess anyone trained to recognize a real gemstone needn't be an antique jewelry expert. I'll look online and see what appraisal services are available in Los Angeles. Thanks again for taking the time to help me!
     
  15. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    Look in your yellow pages for jewelry appraisal; I use the local gem lab, and get a 'verbal' appraisal. They jot down everything and show you what's what, but don't do photos and certificates. It's MUCH cheaper. Or you can run them past a pawnbroker! I would GUESS they're going to be synthetic rubies, first widely available and popular in 1904, which is ballpark for your silver. You could also list them on eBay under Western memorabilia (or wherever you find the sterling buckle sets) with EB in the title and plainly pictured, start em out for what you think is a big price, and let em rock n roll.
     
  16. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    If you have a good jeweler's loupe, remember natural rubies are almost always flawed, synthetic ones are flawless.
     
  17. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    I have a good photography loupe and the stones are definitely "flawed", definitely not flawless. I guess it's possible these are real rubies, but I'm sure they vary wildly in quality..... I found one local appraiser who seems reputable & lists verbal appraisals as a service for $30. That seems expensive to me - does that seem high to you? I have also emailed a local antique jewelry appraiser with the photos so I'll see what they charge. I was going to list these on ebay, but am not sure I have enough info about the silver and the "rubies" - I guess I could just describe what I know and "let em rock & roll" ! Thanks - your message made me smile!
     
  18. wire9vintage

    wire9vintage Registered Guest

    I've had luck just dropping into a good but quiet jewelry shop and asking the jeweler to take a look. I've had this done for free and also had this done for about $10. Look for a "mom and pop" shop that's got a good reputation. They are often very happy to help. You might not get a very in-depth appraisal, but you should get enough to "go on" for an Ebay listing.
     
  19. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Thank you so much for your help - I was going to try something like that - definitely with an escort!
     
  20. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Has anyone heard of Edward H. Bohlin? He was a master silversmith who made amazing ornately engraved pieces for all the western movie stars - he worked a lot with rubies. My clips are stamped "EB" and do not match any of the hallmarks I have spent weeks researching. Although he had a distinct mark later in his career, some of his early pieces -some really incredible custom spurs and saddle/ horse paraphanalia - were unsigned. I wonder if these clips could be early Edward Bohlin?
     

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