About a year or so ago, I was searching for old Czechoslovakian jewelry. Every so often, I get a bee in my bonnet about one thing or another and that day it was Czech pieces from the 1920s. It was through this search that I stumbled upon this gorgeous bracelet. The older lady who owned it thought it was probably Czech. It certainly had the high quality stones and workmanship that was typical of jewelry of that era and from Czechoslovakia.
The high design, quality craftsmanship, and brilliant stones immediately caught my attention and that place in the center of my gut was saying “Acquire this stunning bracelet!” I had never seen anything like it. I thought the bracelet was older than the 1920s; it definitely had the look of the Victorian period. The older lady had a paper receipt for the sell of it in 1974 which she gave me after we struck a deal.
The name at the top of the receipt is stamped Zel Adcock Fine Ambers. Ms. Adcock was a dealer of costume jewelry in Manhattan in the 20th century. She passed away in 2001. In her hand written script the receipt reads, “bracelet sterling silver gold plated genuine cameos paste stones” And then a word that is difficult to make out, but I think reads “Yemenite craft handmade.”
So I cleaned the bracelet, checked the stones…the clear and blue stones are high quality paste and the pink stones are actually natural crystal doublets, priced the bracelet and displayed it. Then about a month ago, a young man passed by my counter and asked to see the cameo bracelet. I took it out and he said to me, “Do you know this is an unsigned early Hobe piece?” Wow! Just like that, I started my research anew with this added tidbit. Scouring the internet and pulling out every book in my library mentioning Hobe I discovered that I did indeed have an early piece of Hobe.
William Hobe, the founder of Hobe Cie Ltd. was the grandson of Jacques Hobe a master jeweler in Paris, France. In the late 1800s, Jacques and his son Jacques, William’s father, began producing costume jewelry featuring intricate workmanship and quality stones. The younger Jacques, began implementing techniques developed through the industrial development of jewelry production, which produced jewelry at a lower cost, making jewelry more affordable to a greater number.
In the early 1920s, William worked for a firm which created elaborate costumes for the stage. As a saleman for the firm, William met Florenz Ziegfeld of the Ziegfeld Follies. Mr. Ziegfeld place a large order with William and also commissioned complementary jewelry for the costumes. In 1927, William founded Hobe Cie Ltd for the American production of costume jewelry. Hobe jewelry was hand crafted, with intricate details using sterling silver and 14K gold plate, set with semi precious stones and simulated stones cut as fine gemstones. The high quality of these handmade pieces is why they survive through time. And why I am fortunate to be able to offer this exquisite piece of costume jewelry to you!
In the season of love that February brings to the forefront how exciting to be included in the February issue of Cary Magazine! Our beautiful springtime bouquet, Romancing The Flowers can be found on the We Love! page. Laura Edwards Orcutt and I are pleased to have our heirloom bouquets recognized as one of the up and coming trends in weddings.
A King’s Ransom in Gold!
Weighing more than 8 ounces, this incredible collection of charms was accumulated over time through our help at Monte Cristo’s. The charms include Victorian and Art Nouveau lockets, Italian jeweled fobs, 18K Blackamoor, a plique a jour enameled butterfly, a turn of the century cigar cutter, a nutmeg vinaigrette, and a Dankner Living Charm, among others. It is truly the most stunning and amazing collection of charms I’ve ever seen in a collection.
Rare Betty Boop Katherine Baumann Bag! I’m working on a full blog post on the Baumann bags which I will post in the next couple of weeks. This is just a teaser!
Have you heard of Toshikane jewelry? Do you own any?
This company is something of a research enigma. Highly collectible, vibrant colors, and distinctly Asian in design and I can find next to nothing about the company.
A friend, and fellow dealer and collector turned me on to Toshikane jewelry. She showed me her exquisite Toshikane bird bracelet and I was hooked!
To date I’ve acquired two pieces, one of which sold today, which is what inspired today’s post. I wish I was a wealth of information about this company, but here is the little bit I’ve discovered.
The Toshikane Company made porcelain buttons and in turn created jewelry including, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks, tie tacs and hair ornaments. Their pieces are usually square - rectangular, flat with raised detail and black background. Occasionally, pieces are made in three dimensions, most notably the 7 Gods of Fortune series.
Popular motifs include the 7 Gods, flowers, birds, butterflies, dragons, geishas, pagodas and fans. The jewelry is usually set in silver. Marks typically include, Toshikane, a fan shaped banner with the Toshikane logo in Japanese writing, Japan, and Silver.
The company produced at least as early as the 1940s (possibly older) through the 1960s (possibly longer?). Swank produced a line of men’s dress jewelry including cufflinks and tie tacs using the Toshikane porcelains during the 1960s. Located in Tokyo Japan.
If you can add any knowledge, please comment. And if you own any of this beautiful jewelry please share your photos!
Here is the Geisha Hair Ornament that sold today.
And a pair of cufflinks in the highly collectible three dimensional form. This is Jurojin, God of wisdom and longevity.