Tuesday 29 March 2011

Fake jewellery on the Internet - Warning

Yesterday I was browsing the list of companies after goggling "vintage jewellery"
Finding several blogs/websites referring to vintage jewellery that were not as described. I though I would just make it clear the difference between real vintage jewellery and fake/wrongly advertised that really should be called -vintage style new jewellery. It would be regrettable for some one to buy what they thought was real unique vintage jewellery; only to find that they had brought a new piece of jewellery available in their thousands on the high street/web at present.

The word "vintage" is an age definition - not a designer or type of jewellery or clothing, etc.
It means that if something is vintage then it is at least 25 years or over and can be up to one hundred years of age. At one hundred years and over it becomes antique.  If it is less than 25 years old then it should be refereed to as second hand.

Most of the long chain necklaces with charms on, are either new jewellery that should be sold as "vintage style" or "vintage inspired". Some sites have used old real vintage components or charms and this should be included as part of the description. There are of course a few genuine vintage necklaces with charms for sale.

Watch out for vintage Bohemian jewellery on EBay, from sellers outside the UK. Much of this is in fact new jewellery being sold at high prices as vintage. Not authentic vintage Bohemian jewellery as the descriptions imply.

Also, watch for misleading/fake Sphinx vintage jewellery. The Sphinx jewellery company used numbers on some of their products. But unfortunately many are now attributing any piece of jewellery to Sphinx  - if it has a number on. The only way it can be identified to the company is if you can find an identical piece with the Sphinx logo on. The same applies to many other makers/manufacturers including Haskell, Trifari, jelly belly jewellery, etc. There are unfortunately fake and of lesser quality items being sold as the genuine articles. Care needs to be taken. If unsigned, look at the genuine Haskell or other makers on the internet. Books are also available that takes you through the components used. (E.G. Miriam Haskell Jewelry: Cathy Gordon & Sheila Pamfiloff) Does it look at the same quality? Look at the plaque, does it look as though it is different from the coloured metal of the rest of the jewellery. It often looks as though it is not quite right.

Even if the bidding on eBay is high - does not automatically mean this is a genuine item. A vintage Haskell parure or set, sold in the last few hours on eBay US for $750.00 approximately £468.40 with 35 bids. One of the earrings only had a plaque with a signature, which did not match the colour of the back. This set was a fake Haskell.

 All pieces shown are genuine vintage and second hand jewellery. All for sale on our website.
We do have a growing range of vintage inspired jewellery which is all brand new. Link for Sphinx jewellery to buy

Monday 28 March 2011

Corocraft and Jewelcraft - Coro jewellery in the UK.

It has always puzzled me - why I have sourced plenty of vintage jewellery signed Jewelcraft. But very little marked Corocraft. When Corocraft was the biggest seller for international company Coro. In the sixties I can remember that most of the jewellery that I came across was Corocraft. My only conclusion is that many pieces were unsigned and sold only with a pad, tag, card or box which were named.
Both Jewelcraft and Corocraft were the names used by US company Coro. In the sixties, they were the biggest selling company of costume jewellery in the UK.  Exquisite jewellery by W A P Watson being the second.

Jewelcraft bracelet and clip earrings. 

Looking at information for Coro in the UK. This is what I have found out so far... 

Emanuel Cohn, a New York business man founded the Coro empire in around 1902 and called it E Cohn & Company. In 1904 Carl Rosenberger became a partner and the firm was renamed Cohn and Rosenberger. However Cohn disappeared and in 1911, his family sold their share to his partner Carl. He was responsible for the growth; and by combining his and Cohn's name - Coro was born.
They had started with one sale's room in New York. From there they welcomed their wholesale customers. As the business grew, taking on more salesmen, each was assigned to territories. Jewellery samples packed in large trunks were shown to jewellery and department stores across the United States.

In 1933, a show room was established in London, at number 1 Argyll Street, just off Oxford street. At the time the show room, was in a warehouse. Famously the street also housed the London Palladium. In fact it is recorded number 1, became number 10 Argyll street, which was right next door to the theatre. Managers White and Barber took control and supervised the showroom. How long the showroom was in situated there is as yet unknown. Did it escape the ravages of the bombs dropped in that area in WW2? Did the company move to a larger premises in the 60s?
Possibly and unsigned Corocraft necklace.

From 1933, Coro wanted to build a factory in Sussex. They planned to sell jewellery across Europe from this base, but faced firstly a court case with Ciro Pearls and then the war. It was 15 years later in 1948 that their plan to set up a base in England succeeded. The court case with Ciro Pearls took many years to resolve. Ciro (a UK company) did not want the US company to use the name Coro. It was too similar, eventually after years of wrangling Coro agreed to use only the name Corocraft & Jewelcraft in the UK not Coro. So in 1948 production of Corocraft eventually got started.

Vintage screw back earrings in clear diamante signed Coro.

Corocraft was Coro's high-end range. Many pieces were in sterling silver with a gold plate, particularly during WW2 and in the 1950s, when other metals were in short supply.
The Sussex plant was involved in all areas of production - that is apart from the production of the main molds. Those were produced in the US. Hence Corocraft jewellery was produced in the US as well as the UK. But Corocraft was primary designed for the English market. So from 1933 to the seventies it became the highest selling range for Coro.

 White enamel necklace signed Jewelcraft

Jewelcraft branding by Coro had started in 1920s in the US. It was produced in England and was sometimes signed "made in England". The brand Jewelcraft is now owned by the company Gem-Craft. Gem-Craft was started by Coro's head designer in 1948. Gene Verri had been in employment since 1933 and with permission started the company that continued after Coro was incorporated into Richton and ceased in 1970.

In the late sixties, Swarovski brought the UK part of Coro. They intended to market more costume jewellery in Europe. But this did not happen and within a few years, the plant at Sussex and the London base closed.
  Vintage red leaf and berry brooch signed Jewelcraft

Today, vintage jewellery collectors will find many Jewelcraft signed pieces in the UK. In particular necklaces, brooches, earrings and bracelets.
Surprisingly their are less signed Corocraft pieces here. Mostly because they were produced unsigned and distributed on cards or boxes with the logo on. The gold plating on the Corocraft pieces has not stood the test of time and use either. Many of the pieces are showing rubbing to the plating.
 Star vintage brooch signed Corocraft

Coro signed brooches, earrings, necklaces, etc can be found in the UK. Having been imported into this country, but not in the huge and beautiful range as in the US.
 Jewelcraft signature - can be rubbed and difficult to read.

This is just a brief synopsis of Coro in the UK brought together from various sources. Including the excellent book by Marcia Brown Coro Jewelry: A collector's guide.
I would welcome more information from people employed by the company in Sussex and London with their memories.
Jewelcraft signature

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Black and Gothic jewellery anyone can wear!

Wearing jewellery is a part of every days attention to detail. A simple pair of earrings or brooch can lift a plain outfit. A necklace will draw attention to the neckline and a bracelet will show off your hands.

Today, I thought I would look at the black and Gothic jewellery . Wearing black jewellery with a white outfit will just offset the look from being too pale or wedding like. The two tone colours of black and white creates the biggest visual contrast.
Wearing black Gothic clothing can look somber. But add just a hint of a sparkling rhinestone can set you apart.

Just a simple pair of earring can lift an outfit without wearing any other jewellery.

Black will go with most other colours, so is the most versatile colour accessory to choose.
The Victorians were famous for their love of Gothic jewellery. When the country went into mourning, along with Queen Victoria, on the death of her husband. Black became the fashionable colour in jewellery. Black beads of jet and glass, earrings and bracelets. All in carved black jet or faceted black glass beads.

Medieval motifs were commonly used in the nineteenth century such as snakes, crosses, unicorns, lions and flowers.

The sixties and seventies saw a rock, hippie and semi Gothic style of heavy rock music influencing dress. Bikers and rockers mixed together. Dragons, grotesque jewellery and braided bead necklaces were in fashion. What do you wear with a long flowing dress but lots of beaded jewellery.

When the eighties world were going all out for large and focal jewellery. A Gothic and rock culture flourished also. In the post punk years, the "look" changed to the black Gothic style of the late twentieth century.  Black with red creates an anarchist feel. Or jazz black up by adding a great big bold splash of red - A large red rose brooch on a black hat. Or if wearing red adding black accessories can look stylish rather than coquette. 
Jewellery creates an individual and no matter what style or era. If you feel good, comfortable and confident, then go ahead and wear it.

Collectible jewellery from to-days Gothic age will be the Alchemy Gothic's range and almost certainly fantasy necklaces produced by Anne Stokes. Enameled rock band merchandise and crafted Steam-punk jewellery, with its cogs, wheels and chain, recycled into works of art.Although this type of jewellery has been around since Victorian times. 
We have lots of different vintage jewellery that will suite everyone.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Showing Jewellery Signed Hollywood

Its a beautiful bright sunny spring morning here in Solihull, UK. So I thought I would write a short blog on vintage jewellery signed Hollywood.

For a long time now I have had a suspicion that this jewellery was linked to Birmingham. Not only because the designs were similar to vintage jewellery by Exquisite - another Birmingham/Solihull company. But in the Birmingham Rag market there was a stall named "Hollywood Jewellery"
I would like to thank Trevor for confirming this and giving me the name of the company.
So just with a little research so far:

Hollywood flower brooch

Hollywood jewellery was produced by the Bloxidge Brothers in Birmingham. Two addresses so far are Regal Works of Icknield Street and Soho Road, Handsworth. Soho Road is not confirmed though yet.
The company were producing jewellery as early as 1929 and possibly earlier. They ended production around the 1980s.
Most of their jewellery supplied the Woolworth Stores.

Hollywood stamp on jewellery

If anyone worked for the Bloxidge brothers, or knew anyone who did or for Woolworth and can shed a bit more light on the company or jewellery I would love to know.

Cream Hollywood leaf brooch

Not to confuse the jewellery with two other companies that are entirely different. That is "Joseff of Hollywood" and Hollycraft" both US companies.

Hollywood signature on jewellery
 Hollywood signature - our photographs should enlarge.
More Hollywood jewellery below:

Leaf brooch with aurora borealis diamante by Hollywood

Textured leaf brooch by Hollywood
Golden leaf brooch stamped Hollywood
Wavy gold vintage brooch by Hollywood
Curled leaf brooch by Hollywood
Jewellery set by Hollywood in pink diamante

Marcasite brooch by Hollywood

Golden pendant with a navy blue Art Glass by Hollywood

Hollywood signature on pendant

Small enamel pixie pin by Hollywood

Small enamel pixie pin by Hollywood stamp

Totem pole brooch necklace by Hollywood

We will be adding more images of Hollywood jewellery as we source and photograph them. Please remember that all our blogs and images are copyrighted and no part should be copied without our permission.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Part 8 on jewellery by Sarah Coventry 1976

Just a couple of pages from the Spring 1976 booklet published by Sarah Coventry jewellery for today.
We have a photographic schedule arranged for today and have lots of "new" vintage jewellery and second hand jewellery to add. As well as some of our vintage inspired jewellery.

So back to Sarah Coventry's vintage jewellery from the seventies. We hope this will help with dating some of your jewellery and naming the pieces. As well as seeing what other items were available for that set:

Page 30

A = Candelight bracelet, silver tone.
B = Button pearl earrings in small simulated pearls, silver tone.
C = Fashion wrap necklace/belt 43" in silver tone
The above was also available in gold tone

Page 31

A = Snow Lace earrings, clip on.
B = Snow Lace earrings for pierced ears.
C = Snow Lace pendant 24"
D = Tassel Magic Necklace/Bracelet 30"
E = Tassel Magic Earrings, clip on

About Me

My photo
Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.