News-Antique.com - Oct 24,2008 - I have been collecting Antique and Vintage Costume and Fine Jewelry for over three decades. Most of what I bought was from the Saturday and Sunday flea markets at the local drive-in theater and at a once a month massive open air antique market held in the mountains near where I grew up. I never paid much, a quarter here, a dime there and sometimes a few dollars however over the years until I really became a serious collector, I probably had no more than $500.00 in an amazing collection of over 2,500-3,000 pieces.
I collected many types of jewelry. At first it was bracelets, then rings and when I got out of college and pursued my career as an interior designer, I found pins and earrings to be practical and suitable. In the mid-60’s to early 70’s I bought a lot of colorful and heavy “plastic” pieces and most were bracelets. I just loved the dull clunk they made when they hit against my desk… well I am sure you know where this is going… you’re right most were Bakelite. One in particular is a wonderful art deco black, red, orange, yellow and green fins clamper bracelet and it is like having a carnival on your arm. It fits great and feels sturdy andit brings me joy. It wasn’t until I received Harrice Simons-Miller 2002 third edition Official Price Guide to Costume Jewelry, that I realized the bracelet is called “Philadelphia” and has a market value of up to $5,000 making it the Holy Grail of Bakelite jewelry.
I also became quite passionate for the charm bracelets made in the 1960’s by Napier. At one point I had over 30 of them and I rarely wore them I just loved holding them. I had the colored fruit, the Asian theme, and my favorites was the marine theme with seashells and seahorses. Over the years I paid between $1.00 - $5.00 each for them and in early 2000, I sold them individually on eBay for $125.00 and up to 245.00 each. What a great return, right. Well yes but a day does not go by that I regret selling them. They gave me more happiness than the monies they brought.
As I became more sophisticated in my jewelry search I began to love all things Miriam Haskell, Eisenberg, Pennino and Boucher. All of these names seemed to come with a higher price but still affordable and all quite luxurious. Then there came Staret, McClelland-Barclay, Schreiner, Dujay, DeMario, Reja, Deja and Alfred Philippe and Alfred Spaney’s extra special pieces made for Crown Trifari. Needless to say I was smitten and would never turn back.
After a while and as I was getting older, I started to understand the beauty of 19C Victorian and Art Nouveau and in particular the mourning pieces made during and after the Civil War. The Art Deco period pieces also caught my attention because of their architectural angled designs. Well enough about me…
Throughout the years it