Alice Caviness began her career in the garment industry like many other women in
design..Her jewelry was produced in her own factory from the 1940's to the early
60's. Highly imaginative jewelry designs were her calling card. Her pieces are
rare or hard to find due to her jewelry being sold only in exclusive specialty
shops and boutiques. According to Cathy Gordon, Camille (Millie) Petronzio,
currently head designer for Haskell (started in 1980), worked for Alice Caviness
for 25 years, beginning in the mid-1950s. Millie won two Swarovski awards for
her designs while with Caviness.
Her company was based in Long Island, NY. Alice Caviness designed most of her
costume jewelry and was also involved in every step of designing, production and
sales of her jewelry.
Alice Caviness died in 1983 and her partner, Lois Steever, continued the jewelry
production until 2000.
Miriam Haskell (1899- ) was a costume jewelry designer who designed feminine, intricate jewelry. Haskell frequently used "antique"-gilded surfaces, pearls, intricate beadwork, and naturalistic themes. Miriam Haskell started signing her jewelry in the early 1950's although she began selling jewelry in 1924. Her jewelry is still manufactured and is widely collected.
Thelma Deutsch produced her colorful vintage jewelry from 1980 to 1995.
Many of Thelma Deutsch's costume jewelry pieces were made from vintage molds, including those from Hollycraft, Trifari and Eisenberg. She changed the look of the originals by using different platings and color combinations. Thelma Deutsch was known for bright colorful brooches and elaborate earrings. Her colorizations would not be confused with pre-1980's vintage jewelry.
Thelma Deutsch was best known for costume jewelry with japanned finishes with "tropical" color combinations, i.e. fuchsia, teal, and hyacinth or teal with purple. Thelma Deutsch produced beautiful costume jewelry in more conventional colors and metal finishes as well. It is believed that her earrings, which are huge and colorful, were her own designs. [There is no evidence that Thelma Deutsch ever made necklaces; bracelets are scarce.]
Originally established in 1927 in New York by Joseph and Louis Mazer, this company has a long and interesting history. During the early 1930s another famous designer named Marcel Boucher worked for the company. In 1946, Joseph Mazer and A. Lincoln Mazer founded a separate company Joseph Mazer & Company. Joseph Mazer retired in the mid-1960's, A. Lincoln Mazer headed the firm until his death in 1976. The company produced new collections annually until 1981.
Judith Leiber was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, where she studied the craft of handbag making during World War II. At the end of the war, Judith met and married Gerson Leiber, an American GI stationed in Budapest. In 1947 the couple immigrated to the U.S. and after many years working for various New York handbag manufacturers, Mrs. Leiber launched the Leiber Company in 1963. Since then, the Company has created world-renowned handbags, evening bags and accessories. Our bags are included in the permanent collections of museums around the world. Although Mrs. Leiber retired in 1998, her significant impact on handbag design continues. Many of her original designs are still sold today. "The Artful Handbag", a coffee table book that chronicles the colorful history of the Company may be purchased today at any of our four boutiques.
The inspiration for Mrs. Leiber’s crystal evening bags has become as legendary as the woman herself. Mrs. Leiber had ordered a gift for a friend via mail. Upon receiving it, she realized that the gift, a polished metal box, was terribly scratched. She creatively decided to cover the flaws with crystals. 40 years later, the use of signature crystals and exotic skins on handbags has gained world-renowned fame and attention.
Today, Leiber consistently adds new and exciting designs, fabrics and colors to their classic collections, much to the delight of their loyal customers and devoted collectors. The use of buttery leathers, exotic skins, luxurious satins and velvets as well as signature crystals have become distinguishing trademarks of each masterpiece. One of the few luxury products still made in the United States by hand, Leiber accessories are infused with elements of sophistication, style and whimsy. Leiber creations have always been more art than fashion, a factor that has undoubtedly contributed to their enduring popularity.
Leiber handbags are part of the permanent design collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Each First Lady dating back to 1953 has carried custom-made bags to Presidential Inaugurations. Leiber bags can also be seen in the hands of many celebrities on red carpet events around the world.
The highly regarded collection of evening bags has been extended to include day bags, shoes, eyewear, giftables, small leather goods and fine gloves. They are available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman stores and Leiber boutiques in New York, Atlanta, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.
VOLUPTE, was a famous compact and cigarette case manufacturer established in Elizabeth, NJ in 1926. They were most prolific during the 1930's through 1950's and created many different compact shapes, styles as well as a small line of fine quality costume jewelry. In addition to compacts they created beautiful carryalls and unique swing lock compacts.
(The other famous costume jewelry companies that also manufactured ladies powder compacts are Hobe, Eisenberg, Coro, Hattie Carnegie, Trifari, Original by Robert. These compacts are especially sought after and tend to be the most valuable, expensive and collectible.)
Hattie Carnegie (1918 - 1970) was a clothing and jewelry designer who produced many beautiful costume jewelry pieces, including many figural pieces. Carnegie (nee Henrietta Kanengeiser) was born in 1886 in Vienna, Austria but moved to New York City, NY, USA around the turn of the century.
She later opened a chain of high-priced boutiques and founded Hattie Carnegie, Inc. Carnegie jewelry is collected by many people and is marked Carnegie, Hattie Carnegie, or HC within a diamond and a half oval. The Carnegie mark was first used in January, 1919. Carnegie also designed hair jewelry, shoe buckles, and jeweled cases, which were sold with the marks "Pooped Pussy Cat" and "Pooped Poodle."
Ciner is a jewelry company that was founded in 1892 by Emanuel Ciner, originally producing fine jewelry. Since 1931, Ciner began producing high-end costume jewelry with very good quality stones (including Swarovski rhinestones) and 18-carat gold plated finishes. Their "pearls" are specially made by coating glass beads with pearl luster many times. Many Ciner pieces have a multitude of tiny, good-quality stones.
DeLillo jewelry was founded by William deLillo and Robert Clark (formerly a designer for Miriam Haskell). DeLillo, originally from Belgium, came to the U.S. in the early 1950's and worked for Cartier and Harry Winston. Clark left Haskell in 1967 to begin his venture with deLillo.
Considered art jewelry, deLillo pieces were created more exclusively than most, with their unusual "sculpture jewelry" extending into the 1980's and special designs created on a private-client basis.
Both deLillo and Clark were responsible for designing many pieces for haute couture collections of Nina Ricci and Schiaparelli.
The Weiss company made high-quality costume jewelry from 1942 until the 1970's. The company was founded in New York City by Albert Weiss, a former employee of the Coro Company (the largest costume jewelry manufacturer). Weiss' jewelry was often studded with Austrian rhinestones.
Trifari is a pre-eminent jewelry manufacturing company that produces high-quality and beautifully-designed pieces. The company began as Trifari and Trifari in 1910, founded by Gustavo Trifari and his uncle; a few years later, his uncle left and the company was simply Trifari. Leo Krussman joined Trifari in 1917. In 1918, when Carl Fishel joined the company, they renamed the company Trifari, Krussman and Fishel (their hallmark was T.F.K.).
Alfred Philippe, who had been a jewelry designer for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, designed pieces for Trifari for many years. Some other Trifari designers included Jean Paris (1958 -1965), Andre Boeut (1967 - 1979), and Diane Love (1971 - 1974). Trifari was owned by the Hallmark Company from 1975-1988, and by Crystal Brands from 1988-1994. It was then part of the Chase Capital division of the Monet Group, which later went bankrupt and was bought by Liz Claiborne (2000).
Hobe jewelry originated in France by Jacques Hobe in 1887. He was a master goldsmith recognized throughout Western Europe as a producer of fine jewelry. Jacques had three sons who continued his tradition. His son Jacques believed costume jewelry could be manufactured in much the same way as fine jewelry without sacrificing quality.
William Hobe, Jacques' grandson, immigrated to the US from France in the 1930s. When he arrived in New York he approached Florence Ziegfeld to purchase costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies. Mr. Ziegfeld placed a large order and made a request to William to create inexpensive but real looking jewelry to compliment the showgirls' costumes.
Hobe costume jewelry was in great demand by Hollywood because of its high quality and diversity and became known as the "Jewels of Legendary Splendor." The Hobe tradition continued by William's sons Robert and Donald until their retirement. Robert's son Jim continues the tradition today in Rhode Island. Hobe is one of the very best costume jewelry manufacturers in America because of their imaginative designs with the use of semi-precious stones, silver and gold plated metalwork.
The CORO jewelry company started doing business about 1900. It was the largest of all costume jewelry manufactures, and marked the jewelry in many different names. The list is too long to publish here but the top of their line was Coro Craft with Coro in script and with the Pegasus emblem in block or out side of block. Later the top of the line would become Vendome, and they could compete with some of the most famous manufactures of costume jewelry. Adolf Katz was the leader or head of the company and had many designer's doing work for Coro. They became famous for duettes, tremblers, door knocker and crown pins they produced. The Coro company went out of business in 1979 after 80 years of making costume jewelry.
For over 35 years, Carolee has offered distinctive jewelry collections that reflect a contemporary woman's lifestyle and the finest in quality, prestige and sophistication. Carolee jewelry collections span from sleek and modern sterling silver, to classic and colorful pearls, to fashion-forward seasonal trends. Carolee jewelry is made using the same techniques and care as used in making fine jewelry. One design takes three months to complete from the drawing board to the final inspected piece. The materials used in Carolee jewelry are chosen for their exceptional quality and beauty. The Carolee Bridal Collection features a wide range of exquisite adornments for the bride and her bridal party. Carolee is THE destination for brides. The Carolee brand has built strong ties to its customers representing a sense of style, taste and quality - and has become known for such attributes as trust, integrity, sophistication and confidence. Carolee Jewelry makes the perfect gift for all occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, or just because!
Carolee is distributed in premier department and specialty stores worldwide including: