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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

    Thanks Joules! :USETHUMBUP:

    As you can imagine, I spent quite a while totally obsessed with Jimmy and his costumes! What struck me most about the early part of his career is that he clearly tried to look like a very fashionable young woman and not, like many modern drag artistes, to parody or caricature them.

    Thanks for the kind words about mum's shop too. She did have some amazing stuff! And that Biba lady - it was a lamp would you believe. It still works too!

    Linn - I would be so grateful! Thank you so much for checking up on them.

    If this helps, Florrie Forde made her debut on the London stage in 1897, and was almost immediately a huge hit! These were originally her earrings so they probably pre-date Jimmy's career.

  2. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni


    Cool & enlightening info about about Florrie...wonder if late 1800s is a good assumption? :jawdrop: They certainly are THE talk. Can not wait to see on Tuesday.

    xox:kiss2: [no germs on this one]
  3. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am "on" it. I have looked through several books. The findings are the oldest and are still in use. They were used long before 1900. I have copied the picture and sent it to one of my friends who is much more of an expert on antique paste jewelry than I am.

    I think they might be "very" old but don't want to put down a date until I hear back from her.

  4. fauxbrit13

    fauxbrit13 Alumni

    Linn... the anticipation is mounting! How much fun...better than watching my telly now. BTW...the book resource list that you posted is great. I have bought several of your recommendations...very delightful!

    beth from the uk:hiya:
  5. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  6. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member

    My friend thinks the earrings are either late Victorian or early 1900's done in the Georgian style. That was what was stumping me - the style is Georgian but the execution is not as finely done as you would expect if they were really that old. Dating them to the late 1890's or early 1900's is consistant with when Florrie Forde started to perform.

    I have no idea what the value would be. I think it is more in their provenance than their actual value as vintage jewelry.

    Thanks for posting about these - it's fun to research!

    I looked in "Warman's Jewelry", "How to be a Jewelry Dectective", and "Old Jewelry". I also searched Ruby Lane, various websites for Antique Paste Drop Earrings - and then asked my friend!

  7. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Mary Jane - that was an amazing cape, thanks! I have a photograph somewhere of a whole troupe of Jimmy's chorus girls wearing those capes (I will dig it out and scan it asap).

    No idea what mum got for it, but I was the awful nagging daughter that kept saying "you should keep that one! And that one!"

    There's a few more photos of her shop here, so you can have a 'virtual' browse:


    Linn - you're my heroine! :saint:

    Thank you for all your hard work on these earrings, and I will make a note of your observations and store it with them in the Jimmy archive, which I intend to donate to a museum (eventually!)

    Your explanation makes so much sense, especially since they are evidently not the greatest quality! Its obvious that performers such as Jimmy used these accessories as tools of the trade and fixed them up as needed, rough and ready style. While that diminishes their intrinsic value, I think its part of their life story so that's not a disadvantage to me.

    Sincere thanks, Linn

  8. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Just coming back with the gold sequinned cape pictures I mentioned earlier - see what you think Mary Jane! :spin:

    This is like a finale or something! *Doing jazz hands* Ta-daaaa!



  9. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    I think these earrings are c1930's. They look to be what you would describe as costume jewellery which was pretty popular during that decade and fairly inexpensive. Possibly paste and lead. I can however see the possible date reference to the turn of the century and to Florrie Forde who died in 1940. The design would complement a Georgian costume.

    I was really interested in the provenance and the Jimmy Slater connection. The publicity photos are great! Did he acquire the accessories while Florrie Forde was still alive?
  10. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage VFG Member

    Yes, 20's - 30's is what I saw also. Looks like cast Britannia with silver ear wires and paste stones.

    P.S. Love those Jimmy pics! :)
  11. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Now things get interesting! :scratchchin:

    My initial reaction above was 20s/30s too, but I'm keeping an open mind on this.

    vertugarde - yes, he did know Florrie in his lifetime and idolised her as a friend and mentor. Among his publicity material and photos was one of her songsheets featuring this picture of her, wearing what looks like a Lanvin-style crinoline revival gown (Lanvin tried to revive the crinoline in the 20s) in black velvet with diamante:


    Jimmy acquired this dress and you can see his colleague wearing it here (Jimmy is on the right):


    In fact mum later bought that dress so I've seen it in real life!

    Incidentally, while I was searching my dissertation research folder, I found a picture of what Jimmy claimed was Florrie Forde's necklace, which I'll add just in case it helps:


    I'm not sure if mum still has that.

    Laura - thanks! :drinkingtoast:

    Jimmy didn't do anything by halves, did he?!

  12. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    This is very good information. Thank you. I was born in the North of England (now living in Canada) so all of this is very interesting to me and I hope reveals something of what is a particular British tradition of music-hall theatre. Florrie Forde was born in Melbourne, Australia. She looks lovely in that dress and so does Jimmy(!) - 'robe de style' it could be. There are probably panniers under the skirt. The necklace again could be from the 1930's.
  13. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    'Robe de style'!! Thanks, I couldn't summon up that term for the life of me!

    I found it interesting how much re-use of costumes there was in the theatre, and that items were often passed on to other performers.

    Jimmy was also a friend of Sophie Tucker and acquired quite a few of her stage frocks, which he wore in his later career as his figure started to resemble hers! :)

  14. Megane

    Megane Registered Guest

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


  15. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    Cheers christmas265! I'm feeling a bit festive already :)

    Megane - Oh certainly, he admitted as much! It was quite a common practise, as I've mentioned earlier in this thread.

    Didn't stop Jimmy from billing his shows as featuring "Million Dollar Gowns" though!

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