Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent moved to Paris from Algeria where he was born in 1936. He was apprenticed with the House of Dior in 1954 at the remarkably young age of 18. When Dior died in 1957, the crown was passed to this exceedingly young man who must have stunned the fashion world by taking over such an esteemed French fashion houses.


He wasted no time in producing collections that were seen as pretty maverick and having made quite a name for himself, exploited it by leaving Dior in 1961 to open his own fashion house to launch his first YSL couture clothing collection the following year. He introduced France to the beatnik look, which was regarded as supremely chic.


Having built up his business, YSL Enterprises was purchased by Lanvin-Charles leaving Saint Laurent free to turn his focus to prêt a porter fashion and accessories. He opened his first boutique in 1966, naming it YSL/Rive Gauche boutique store and wasted no time in expanding throughout the world. It was in the early 70's that he introduced jewellery and enhanced his career even further. As he entered his 40's in the mid 70's he had built a fashion empire of significance. He was generous in citing other designers who he felt influenced his own designs, one of which was Elsa Schiaparelli, who he made no secret of being a massive fan of her jewellery design abilities, spotting a fellow maverick. He also admired the jewellery collections from the House of Chanel.


Chanel’s rich history could be cataloged and measured in infinitely many varieties of units. Seasons. Designers. Years. Pieces. Styles. Yet, because of the many ubiquitous themes and designs throughout such a history, it can often be hard to contextualize an individual piece historically. Luckily, from the precious little branding present on each piece, the date marks, we can glean when in Chanel’s history a piece came from. It seems then, that the eras of Chanel’s history may be best demarcated in terms of the date marks present on each piece.

Find a fantastic Link incl. to read more about Chanel.



Christian Dior Jewelery

Christian Dior - Heinrich Henkel & Florentin Grosse
Heinrich Henkel and Florentin Grosse began manufacturing jewelery in 1907 in Pforzheim, Germany under the company name of Süddeutsche Gold- und Haar-Bijouterie, which they changed to Henkel & Grosse in the 30’s. It was in 1937 that the company was awarded the diplome d’honneur for their designs at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la vie Moderne in Paris.

They primarily specialised in manufacturing for leading designers such as Dior (for whom they began manufacturing in 1955, maintaining their license to do so for fifty years), Lanvin and Schiaparelli but also with high class stores to include Harrods and Saks 5th Avenue, New York. In addition to this they also made pieces under their own brand name of Grosse. Pieces made for Dior had several markings such as - Henkel and Grosse for Chr. Dior Germany or Henkel and Grosse for Christian Dior Made in Germany and also Chr. Dior Germany together with the year of manufacture.
The jewellery was made to a very high quality from gold plated and rhodium plated base metals with prong set stones. The company, which was family run from founding through several generations, finally sold their business to Dior in 2005.

Trifari Vintage Jewelry
Alfred Philippe was its most famous chief designer (and remained so for over 40 years) and he also designed collections for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. After 1955 the Trifari trademark incorporated the copyright symbol.

Trifari was set up in 1912 by Gustavo Trifari who was later joined by Leo Krussman and then Carl Fishel and the Trifari trademark was used on each piece of the company's jewellery from 1937 onwards, which was rare as many jewellers were still issuing unmarked and marked pieces. This helped them to protect anyone from copying their designs and in fact was the platform from which the use of patents to provide protection evolved into copyright law.

Napier Vintage Jewelry

Napier was set up as a silversmith's in 1875. It later evolved to producing silver tone costume jewelery instead but that maintains the elegance of fine jewelery. In the 1920s and 1930s, Napier produced necklaces and designs featuring Oriental motifs, such as obras. In the 1950s, they produced fan jewelery. Napier Jewelery is noteable for its simple, modern, geometric and floral designs. Some of the metalwork bears resemblance to Mexican and Scandinavian designs.

The Napier Book will give you a very deep Intro in 125 years of Vintage Costume Jewelry.


Albert Weiss Jewelery
Started by Albert Weiss in New York, the Weiss Company sold jewelry from about 1942 to 1971. Some of their nineteen-fifties and -sixties clear rhinestone pieces share a look with Eisenberg pieces of the same era, even though there is no relationship between the two companies. Weiss used high quality brilliant rhinestones, so many of their pieces look as good today as the day they were fashioned.

Albert Weiss was a jewelery designer in the 1940s and 1950s, and Weiss jewelery designs are valued today for their astonishing style. Weiss jewelery may be marked 'Weiss,' 'Albert Weiss,' or 'A.W. Co.' Many of these pieces are considered collectibles, and all embody unmistakable style. Like most of the other pieces designed in this era, Weiss jewelery is intended to stand out and augment a women's beauty with shine and design.Weiss costume jewellery needn't only be worn by those who are attempting to create a sensation. A Weiss brooch can be worn today with scarves and sweaters, or to liven up a dark winter coat. Now that hats are coming back in style, brooches can be sported on the brim or crown or, if you are feeling decidedly rakish, to pin up one side of the brim. Weiss Costume Jewelery Makes a Timeless Statement. In fact, a piece of Weiss jewellery could turn 'boring' into 'sophisticated.'

Bulgari Vintage Jewelery
Bulgari is a leading Italian jeweler and luxury goods retailer. It is popularly known and written as "BVLGARI" in the ancient Roman style. Named after its founder, Greek Sotirio Bulgari, the company was established in 1884, in Rome, Italy. Ever since it has been setting and influencing Italian style in jewellery. It markets several product lines such as high-end watches, handbags, accessories, gifts, fragrances, and even hotels. It's flagship store was opened in 1905 and was soon popular among the world's rich and famous who sought the unique, high quality jewellery designs offered by Bvlgari. The first international Bulgari shops were set in New York City, Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo during the 1970s. Today, the company has more than 150 retail locations across the world. Bulgari jewelery is heavily inspired from Greek and Roman art with deep emphasis on creativity and innovation. Their products feature a unique colourful finish. Bvlgari jewellery comes with varied colours including blue, pink, gentle-pink, green, yellow and purple. Their jewelery products are popular among people for their quality and diversity. They have been successful in mixing both natural and man made materials for creating high-quality, fashionable personal adornments.

Miriam Haskell Vintage Jewelery
Miriam Haskell (July 1, 1899-July 14, 1981) was an American designer of costume jewelery. Like Hattie Carnegie, Haskell founded her own company, one that still bears her name. With her creative partner Frank Hess, she invented affordable pieces of stunning originality from 1920 through the 1950s. Vintage examples and samples of Miriam Haskell designs are now much sought, held in both private collections and museums internationally.

Miriam Haskell jewelery became a hot commodity during the Art Nouveau period. Her pieces were inspired by the outdoors; many of her pins, necklaces and earrings reflected animals, flowers and other gifts from Mother's Nature. She began her commercial jewelery business in 1924 with the help of Frank Hess, a leading designer with unmatched technical skills. Together, they created jewelery that is still coveted by women today, nearly a century later.Vintage Miriam Haskell jewelery is ornate. The time and effort that went in to her handmade pieces were reflected in price. She used only the highest quality materials from France, Italy and Bohemia and put those materials to work through complicated, challenging techniques. The public quickly adopted her styles, pushing her onward toward success.World War II slowed business dramatically. Without the ability to import fine materials from Europe, Haskell was forced to use materials closer to home. For the first time, Miriam Haskell jewelery included plastics and local crystals and beads. To maintain consumer interest, Haskell began designing patriotic jewelry in an effort to support the war. These pieces are now highly collectible.When the war was over, fine clothing and jewels returned to the social scene. Vibrant colors and playful and feminine designs were signature Miriam Haskell in the 1950s. At this point, Miriam Haskell brooches, earrings, and necklaces were now being marked or signed, a move that still has jewelry collectors on the hunt for Haskell's original work. Much of her use of beads and colors has resurfaced in today's jewellery trends. And while it may be difficult to find authentic signed Miriam Haskell vintage costume jewelry, her inspiration can be found in many current pieces

Hobé et Cie was founded by Jacques Hobé in Paris in 1887. Although his jewelery line used non-precious metals and materials, it was made to the same high standards as fine jewellery. In 1915 his son William, transferred the business to the US where it found favour with Hollywood stars. It continues to be highly collectable due to its design strength twinned with production quality.

Philippe Ferrandis, Paris

Philippe Ferrandis has been designing costume fashion jewelry and accessories since 1986. Based in Paris, France, he creates two distinctive and spectacular costume jewelry collections each year. With a unique style all its own, Philippe’s statement jewelry appeals to elegant and bold women. Each piece is created with carefully selected and high quality materials including semi-precious stones, wood, Bohemian or glass crystal, all of which are mixed with finely worked pieces of metal. Philippe specializes in statement necklaces and clip on earrings. All of the jewelry is made in Philippe’s Paris studio, located in the Viaduc des Arts, a famous location renowned for the finest in French designer jewelry and art. He was most recently featured in American Vogue.com’s 45 Most Desirable Accessories story.

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) was a great rival of Coco Chanel. She was born September 10th 1890 in Rome, Italy .


Schiaparelli designed the wardrobe for several films starting with the French version of “Topaz” in 1933. In 1930 she had created the first evening dress with a jacket, and the first clothes with visible zippers. Her style was startling at the time as she experimented with acrylic, cellophane, a rayon jersey called “jersela and a rayon with metal threads. For the first time synthetic materials were used in couture.


From 1936 to 1939 Elsa worked with surrealist arts, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti. The 1939 Lobster dress was a simple white silk evening dress with a crimson waistband featuring a large lobster painted by Salvador Dali. It was famously worn by Wallis Simpson in a series of photographs by Cedil Beaton taken at the Chateau de Cande shortly before her marriage to Edward VIII. She designed Zsa Zsa Gabors costumes for the film Moulin Rouge in 1952.


Schiaparelli was the first to use shoulder pads and a new colour-hot pink known as shocking pink which became her signature. She became well known for her hats including one resembling a giant shoe and one a giant lamb chop. Like Chanel she designed and produced a range of costume jewelery to enhance her fashion.


Schiaparelli's jewelery output included very distinctive costume jewellery in a wide range of novelty designs. One of her most directly Surrealist designs was a 1938 rhodoid ( a newly developed clear plastic) neclace studded with coloured metallic insects giving the illusion that the bugs were crawly directly on to the wearer's skin (see picture on our facebook page)


During the 1930's her jewelery designs were produced by Jean Clement and Roger Jean-Pierre who also made up designs for buttons and fasteners. During the 1940's and 1950's Schiaparelli's jewelery tended to be more abstract or floral themed.



In 1954 the Schiaparelli couture house went bankrupt. Elsa moved to the USA where she lived until her death in 1973.

Les Bernard

Founders and Owners: Bernard Shapiro and Lester Joy ~ Early 1960s- 1996 -The trademark Les Bernard is a combination of the founders names. Bernard Shapiro is the son of another well known costume jewelry maker, Harold Shapiro founder of Vogue Jewelry Company. Their pieces were innovative, utilizing techniques not seen before in costume jewelry. Les Bernard made jewelry for others, using theire own Materials and Techniques. Quality pieces using techniques not tried before such as the setting of flat backed marcasites and rhinestones in the same item. Combining different shapes and stones. Sterling. The use of fabric, crystal and enamel.

Marcel Boucher

Born in Paris, Marcel Boucher worked as a jewelry designer for Cartier, who brought him to the United States. In the 1930s, he took a job with Mazer Bros., where he worked until he founded his own company in 1937. Boucher made a name for himself creating bold, imaginative, enameled pieces that were individual works of art, with brooches shaped like fruits, animals, and human figures. In particular, collectors covet for his fantasy bird pieces from the 1940s.

Boucher items, which are usually signed, can be roughly dated based on their inventory number and mark. In 1944, he changed the company name from Marcel Boucher Ltd. to Marcel Boucher & Cie. Early pieces may be marked “Marboux” or with his initials in a cartouche. “MB Sterling” was used between 1942 and 1944. Pieces made between 1944 and 1949 may be marked with a Phrygian cap above his initials. Later pieces are marked “Marcel Boucher” or “Boucher.” After 1955, the copyright symbol appears before his name. When Marcel Boucher died in 1965, his wife, Sandra, took over the company. In 1972, the company became a subsidiary of watchmaker Dovorn Industries.

William de Lillo (deceased 2011) was born in Belgium and moved to the United States in the 1950′s. After working for Cartier and Harry Winston, he started The House of de Lillo with Robert F. Clark, the head designer for Miriam Haskell Jewels creating in 1968 the first fashion jewelry collection targeted specifically for men. De Lillo jewelry was incredibly detailed and mostly created exclusively for wealthy private clients including the Duchess of Windsor and Elizabeth Taylor. While living in France in the 1970′s, the designers also produced jewelry for Nina Ricci, Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Norman Norell & Chanel.

Hattie Carnegie (Henrietta Kanengeiser) was born in Vienna in 1886, immigrating to America in the early 1900's. Her career started in the garment industry, she opened several shops in New York selling high-end dresses and millinery, thereby creating Hattie Carnegie Inc. in 1918. As with many of the other designers she created lines of jewellery to compliment her dresses. Due to the popularity of her designs, they began to mass-produce pieces selling them through exclusive department stores. Among the clientele to her boutiques were prominent socialites and movies stars such as Joan Crawford. Her jewellery was expensive at the time and remains so, it is highly collectible today.

Alice Caviness, like so many of the other designers, started her career in the garment industry. Just after the Second World War she moved into the production of costume jewellery, with two designers, Camille Ketronzio and Lois Steever. Her jewellery exhibits bold designs and bright colour combinations. Alice retired from the Company in 1970 and subsequently died in 1983. Piece by Alice Caviness are not readily available in the collectible market.

Butler and Wilson

Established by Nicky Wilson and Simon Butler in London in the early 70's. They originally started with a market stall selling art deco pieces, which they later drew inspiration from when creating their own lines. In the 1980's they became known for their bold whimsical interpretations of animals and, in particular, their spider brooches. Famous celebrities including Joan Collins and Diana Princess of Wales wore their designs. Their jewellery has glamour and glitz. The duo split in the 1990's with Simon Wilson retaining the Butler and Wilson name.

De Mario NY

Robert DeMario founded his Company in 1945, in New York. The work produced by him is reminiscent of that created by Miriam Haskell, using intricately hand wired clasps and centrepieces to decorate necklaces of glass beads and artificial pearls. They made exquisite jewellery, which is highly sought after by collectors. The company ceased production in the 1960's when Robert retired and moved to Florida.

Laurence (larry) VRBA

USA. Er war der Chefdesigner von Miriam Haskell und arbeitete über 40 Jahre erfolgreich für Constume Jewelry Production.



Larry Vrba is a wonderful jewelry maker and a good friend. He has been making jewelry for over 40 years, and was the head designer at Miriam Haskell Jewelry in the 1970's. Larry makes jewelry for the Broadway Stage as well as for boutiques, balls and vintage jewelry shops. His pieces are almost always quite large, usually four inches or more, and he has a huge collection of vintage beads and rhinestones from which to fashion them.

De Mario NY

Robert DeMario founded his Company in 1945, in New York. The work produced by him is reminiscent of that created by Miriam Haskell, using intricately hand wired clasps and centrepieces to decorate necklaces of glass beads and artificial pearls. They made exquisite jewellery, which is highly sought after by collectors. The company ceased production in the 1960's when Robert retired and moved to Florida.