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I'd love some help with these earrings

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by TinTrunk, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    I\'d love some help with these earrings

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on these earrings, which my mum has just given me.

    Now there's a story behind them, so I'll try (and fail) to be brief: When mum had a vintage clothes shop she used to buy old stage costumes from a performer called Jimmy Slater, who specialised in female impersonation (but was also a singer, comedian, dancer, and later on a producer of pantomimes in the north of England). His career started just before the First World War, and he retired from the stage some time in the 1960s. If you're curious to know more about him (he was amazingly glamorous in the 20s and 30s) I have a flickr set of some of his publicity photos and related material here:


    One of his idols was Florrie Forde, at one time a famous music hall artiste - she was the performer who launched the song 'Its a long way to Tipperary' during the First World War. Jimmy actually knew Florrie Forde and acquired some of her stage wear, including the pair of earrings I'd love some input on.

    I've been told that they are silver, with diamanté (or paste) stones. Because Jimmy used them himself as stage wear, they have suffered the same kind of clumsy repairs that you see on a lot of costumes and stage accessories! There's big blobs of glue, mismatched diamantés, and some are still missing. They really are a bit of a mess. All that mattered was that they looked good from the stage!

    Obviously, there's some interest because of their provenance, but I'd love to hear your ideas on their probable age (I'm guessing that Jimmy acquired them in the 20s, or maybe 1930s - I'm not sure about the length of Florrie Forde's career) and their style, and whether they really are silver (I suspect they are plate).

    And any other thoughts or observations you might care to contribute! :)

    I will be so grateful! :clapping:



    Grateful Sarah
  2. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Can't help with pinning down the date on these, Sarah, but wow, those really do have an interesting provenance!

    Thanks for providing the back view pic--I'll be very interested to see what the jewelry mavens around here have to say about when these date to...

    They look as though they're very long?
  3. Just wanted to drop by to say :jawdrop: and :wow22:. What a fabulous story and your Flickr photo set is so interesting. :) I love it when you can put a story to the piece and this is just 'too cool for school'!

    Sorry I can't be any help with the earrings, which are quite lovely by the way. I suspect these will be going in your own personal collection. How can you put a price on something like this?

    Loved reading about Jimmy. He must have been some guy!
  4. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Thanks Carrie!

    I totally forgot to add the dimensions :embaressed:

    They measure approximately 2 3/8 inches (6 cm) in length, not including the wire loop at the top.
  5. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Hi Louise! :hiya:

    I'd like to keep these with the archive I have of Jimmy's publicity photos, posters and press clippings, you're right!

    I wrote my BA dissertation about Jimmy's stage costumes in the early part of his career, which earned me a first that I always like to credit to him and the wonderful material he left us with.

    But I'm a terrible cynic, and mistrust anything that I'm told second or third hand, so it would be interesting to see what the VFG jewellery experts make of these - disregarding the lovely story behind them!
  6. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Just to give you an idea about Jimmy's style in the 1920s, here's a great example:


  7. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member


    The earrings would have matched nicely with that ensemble!
  8. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  9. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    SASSY S! You have got the sass to go with "this BLING BLING"! Marva!!!!

    They remind me of the "art deco*ish" paste brooches & shoe clips (L like the ones you bought at the Vin Fair in M/C) that were made 20-30s. Backed on "potmetal" or are these on brass? (the wires look golden) flashed with a silvertone plate...thus Jimmy did not feel too badly about wearing the rhinestone bling on stage...sweating and messed with make*up. I would love to know who else has touched these!!! ?????? A MYSTERY!!!!

    Bring them Tuesday!!! PWEASE!!!!


    b [ox]
  10. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    You bet she did, Mary Jane! I'll dig up some pics asap, but think solid sequins, lots of diamanté and glitter.

    Jimmy's costumes were amazing, but I'm sure a lot of them were bought secondhand after big budget shows had finished, somewhere in the West End of London.

    I'm sure that still goes on to this day - wait for the big show to finish, then make sure you don't miss the costume/prop sale after it closes!

  11. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Beth - those earrings do look more 20s to me, or possibly 30s. I can't see them as pre-1st World War, but I could be wrong.

    I'll bring them on Tuesday, and I'm chuffed that you're interested to see them.

    Yes, I suspect they're not solid silver, especially as the ear loops look distinctly brassy!
  12. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    My kind of jewels!!!! BIG, FAUX & BLINGY!!!!! Can not wait to actually touch them (with gloves, of course!:duh2:)!!!!

    b[ox] ps...these hugs & kisses :bisou:are protected :) but still FOR YOU!!!! :P
  13. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Cheers Beth!

    Here's a picture of some costume items from Jimmy in mum's old shop. Its a gold sequinned cape with an extraordinary headpiece, which was supposedly designed by Frederick Fox (I have no proof of this, just what I was told!)


    btw, the black lady figure was said to have come from the big Biba department store, although again there's no proof of this! But she stands now in mum's hallway.
  14. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    They are absolutely remarkable! You two have "good eyes" for good stuff!!!!:drooling22:
  15. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Mum managed to source the kind of stuff I have not a hope of finding in my lifetime!

    But then, as I'm sure you know, these things get harder to find as time goes on. And this was about 15 years ago!

  16. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    Yes... Ido! G;ad that I was collecting (as well as my mom) years & years ago!:excited:
  17. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Well, I'm going to give this one a little bump because I'd dearly love to know more about the possible date of these earrings, and any other thoughts or insights about them.

    Anyone?! :help:
  18. joules

    joules VFG Member

    I wish I could offer an opinion about the dating of the earrings, but I just want to say, what a wealth of fascination herein, and in your flickr set. That photo of Jimmy above, captures my imagination, completely!
    And your Mum's shop photo, oh that is really great too. The black figure sure looks as if it came from Biba, and the gold cape, well, WOW!
  19. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member


    I think the earrings are "pretty" old. Much older than the 1920's. I will check my books and if necessary ask one of my jewelry friends her opinion.

    I'll get back to you later.

  20. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    Cool!!! I have my jewellery resource books out...that is one step...according to Julia C. Carroll, Costume Jewelry 101, "the fish hook or shepherd's crook ear wire is found on jewelry dating before the 1900 and of course, is still in use today".

    So Sassy S...Linnis on it...could be very old...:drooling22:

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