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VIntage rhinestone brooches from Modern Vintage Style
Modern Vintage Style has a variety of rhinestone, flower, pearl and old gold and silver brooches for sale
Trifari Animal Jelly Belly Pins
Early on, the manufacturers of vintage jewellery understood the brooches powers of expression. Alfred Philippe, a designer for Trifari was also one of various firms to make animal Jelly Belly pins, where the bellies were formed from just a solid Lucite “pearl.” In the 1940’s Trifari produced Jelly Belly pins of roosters, seals and other creatures—its poodles are particularly rare and are one to look out for when collecting and dating
Away from the crowns and Jelly Bellys, other types of vintage Trifari brooches and pins to look for are the floral type displays of the 1930s and the fruit and vegetable pins from the 1950s. In particular, collectors like the small fruit pins (apples, grapes, strawberries, and pineapples) seen from the late 1950s through to the 1960.s. Also admired are Trifari’s pins from the 1940s which showed patriotic American flags or red, blue and white eagles.
Philippe’s counterparts at his competitor Coro were Adolph Katz, who became the company’s main design director in 1924, and Gene Verri, who designed vintage jewellery for Coro ( including vintage necklaces, vintage earrings and bracelets) from 1933 until 1963. Katz created Coro’s floral pins, which featured small metal springs that allowed parts of the pin to vibrate when its wearer moved about.
Among the most collectible vintage Coro jewellery pins are the Coro Duettes from 1931 to the 1950s. The first Duette pin designs were monochromatic and Art Deco in style, but further pins include pairs of enamelled owls with small aquamarine eyes and pavé-set rhinestone bodies, cherubs with crowns , horse heads, and an Indian brave and squaw. Though their popularity had ups and downs in the 1950s, today a vintage Coro Duette, especially one that trembles like the Quivering Camellia, is much sought after.
Coro’s Corocraft brand was a further step up in quality, prestige, and price. Corocraft had its own line of Jelly Belly pins that were quite similar to those made by Trifari. Although most pieces of vintage costume jewellery were built on metal frames, vintage Corocraft pins and brooches were often of better quality made of sterling silver or plated with gold.
Vendome replaced Corocraft in 1953 as jewellery of the Coro jewellery line. This was quality, serious, simulated glitzy bling—by the 1960s, Vendome’s Helen Marion had made a set of six gold-plated pins influenced by the work of the much admired Cubist artist Georges Braque.
Equally sought after are the Christmas tree pins of Stanley Hagler, who started his career as a business advisor with Miriam Haskell before starting his own jewellery firm in the late 1950s. Hagler’s Christmas tree brooches ranged from small triangular pins dripping with Murano glass beads to trees made of red-glass flowers and mother of pearl.
Another former Haskell employee to excel in the art of Christmas brooches and pins was Larry Vrba, whose tree pins were really outrageous, resembling medals honouring yuletide achievements more than jewelled depictions of actual Christmas trees.
The vintage brooches and pins created by Eisenberg and Sons the 1930s and ’40s were covered with aqua, ruby, and crystal glass. Many Eisenberg pins were vaguely organic and abstract, but others resembled kings, queens, ballerinas, and mermaids. Animals were also particular Eisenberg favorites. Some were straightforward embellishments of horses, zebras, butterflies, and birds, however, other Eisenberg brooches told mini-stories, such as the one depicting Puss in Boots.
Another important, vintage costume jewellery designer to excel in the art of brooches and pins was Marcel Boucher, who designed for Mazer Brothers and Cartier before going solo in 1937. His abstracted animal figures of owls and elephants are classics—many were handmade rather than being mass produced, which makes them very collectible today.