When we think of vintage jewellery dating from the 1950s and 60s, the picture that will probably come to mind is a short necklace of enamel-painted leaves interspersed with tiny AB diamanté stones, or perhaps with some tiny faux pearls too – or maybe a beautiful gold brooch, with deep blue AB diamanté stones filling the centre of a huge flower… or perhaps a matching set of necklace, bracelet and earrings – the popular look of the late 1950s. As you can see the 1950s weren’t just about twinset and pearls, although these played a huge part – it was also about cold-painted enamel flowers on brooches and necklaces – hand-painted leaves and flowers, shaded with the daintiest of brushes. It was also about AB-coated diamanté stones and crystal beads, laid into all kinds of jewellery. More importantly it was about really great branding !!
There were so many really great brand names in the 1950s, all producing the most beautiful costume jewellery – Trifari, Monet, Napier, Sphinx, Hollywood, Exquisite, Sarah Coventry, Eisenberg, Weiss, Joseph Weisner etc, etc…but the name that most people know from their own personal jewellery boxes is probably Coro…
Recently I have been finding an increasing number of the most beautiful jewellery pieces that date from the pre-copyright era, and these pieces usually have something like ‘Pat. Pend.‘ stamped on the back or ‘Patent Applied for‘ or something like that. Sometimes they have an actual patent number, but usually they have been produced prior to the patent being granted. Patents took on average about three – five months to process, and the jewellery companies really didn’t have the time to wait for that !!
Two companies, in particular, used to patent their best designs in a vague attempt to prevent copying by rival brands, which was absolutely rife back then. Trifari and Coro both used the Patent system which at the time was the only way to get proof that a design was theirs. The copyright system was in place for jewellery design as far back as 1947, but the jewellery brands were very slow to pick up this method of design protection. Until 1955 that is…
I have recently acquired quite a few of these beautiful pieces of jewellery which are truly from another era – more than any other piece of jewellery in my Etsy shop: Vintage Jewellery Fun !! these are so redolent of a bygone age. They hardly feature in the modern wardrobe at all – only in a vintage capacity – which is a big shame because they are just so appealing and beautiful. They really are little bits of glitz, to accent different parts of your attire and, it has to be said, your body. They are considered to have been worn usually on the neckline of a dress, blouse or jumper – however, if you take the trouble to Google up images from the 1930s and 40s, just to look at how they were worn, you’ll see they were used just about everywhere !!
Now that the Christmas Party Season is upon us, I have made the decisive leap into selling something other than vintage jewellery !!
Come and see my small but perfectly formed collection of vintage evening bags…
Last Saturday, we went off down to the RHS’s main garden at Wisley for a book signing and some Autumnal inspiration – the garden was simply resplendent in its beautiful autumnal colours, and this got me thinking about autumn-inspired jewellery.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when the biggest vintage brands were in their heyday – Trifari, Monet, Coro, Napier, and the smaller, more affordable brands too, like Sarah Coventry, BSK, Hollywood, and Exquisite, there was a huge trend for nature-inspired jewellery – matching sets of leafy brooches, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Coro was particularly good at leafy cold-painted enamel necklaces, adorned with diamanté, and Exquisite bought out their famously collectable Leaf series of enamelled brooches (available in two sizes) and all with matching earrings.
So I though I’d do a short piece about these gorgeous jewels and team them up with some of the best photos from Wisley for your entertainment – get inspired by nature and invest in some of these leafy beauties for the Autumn !!
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a bit of ‘Fabulous Darling’ bling !! The 1980s were not only the age of Power Dressing, with square-shouldered Armani suits, but also the age of the most fabulous big and bold jewellery:-
Gold-plated Swarovski emerald-green and cobalt-blue Turtle brooch with pavé diamanté head and feet – £20. Turtle
Gorgeous enamelled diamanté creations that were heavy and substantial, more often than not gold-plated, and absolutely brilliant quality that has really stood the test of time. Don’t forget, it’s staggeringly 30 years since most of these bits of bijoux fun were created, and frankly, all of them look like they were made yesterday !!
GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS 2015
Well, it was the first really big important awards show of 2015 last Sunday, and even though I haven’t been doing much in the way of fashion blogging lately, I couldn’t resist the lure of a really good red carpet !! So I thought I would take a look at the major red carpet trends that emerged from the Golden Globe Awards, and see the kind of looks we can expect from this red carpet season.
So do come on over and take a look:-
My Etsy shop is up and running now, and the prices are pretty reasonable I think – and most importantly, I can also send anything to anywhere in the world !! So come and see some of the brilliant seasonal goodies that have landed on my Etsy page this weekend:- For starters, this 1970s Christmas tree brooch by Beatrix Jewels, signed ‘BJ’ – for the princely sum of £10 only – in my Etsy shop:-
What have I been up to during my week off in November ? Well, my Etsy Shop has had a big boost with lots and lots of new items up for sale – come and see my newest vintage lovelies…starting with 3 absolutely choice brooches – as seen being worn by the utterly inimitable Joan on ‘Mad Men’ :-
‘Satin Petals’ by Sarah Coventry – 1966
I am a Visual Merchandiser with Peter Jones in Chelsea, London and also a Co-bookshop owner with my husband. We own two bookshops, one in Kew Village, next to the Kew gardens tube station, and one in East Sheen, opposite Waitrose. I am also a total Vintage Jewellery fanatic who sells what I find in my online Etsy shop:- https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VintageJewelleryFun
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