A sliding charm has two parts, usually conntected with a tiny pin, where it can be slid open to expose the design on the inside. Sometimes these charms have a religious theme. Sometimes, they are designed to be used as lockets.
What Is a Bubble Charm?
Bubble charms are charms with a rounded glass top. Most of the time, there is an image or reverse painted design underneath.
Coppini Made in Italy 800 Silver Box
Matisse Copper Jewelry
Matisse was a well-known maker of copper and enamel costume jewelry.
Matisse’s sister line was Renoir, which featured copper jewelry with no enamel.
This maple leaf design is a classic Matisse motif.
Vintage Poured Glass Jewelry
Trifari was known for some designs using glass poured into molds. You can find such jewelry from the 1950s, with leaves and flower petals made from poured glass. This pin is unsigned but dates to the 1960s.
Weiss Blue & Green Rhinestone Starfish Pin
I’ve seen lots of Weiss butterflies but this is my first starfish!
Czecho Slovakia Early Plastic / Celluloid Painted Flower Pin
Like the Japanese floral dress clip from my earlier post, makers in Czecho Slovakia molded and painted cute pins and other pieces of jewelry using celluloid. This little pin pre-dates WWII.
Sweet Enamel & Sterling Bluebird of Happiness Charm
Enamel and sterling silver charms in the shape of the Bluebird of Happiness were manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s by companies such as Wells Sterling and Beau Sterling. You may find variation in the designs but almost all depict a flying bluebird with red breast.
1950s Japan Painted Floral Celluloid Dress Clip
After WWII, celluloid and plastic were used in Japan to make fashionable dress clips as well as pins, hat pins and shoe ornaments. Some were painted. Others were made from layered of laminated celluloid.
This cute clip is made from celluloid, molded into a flower design, then details were hand painted on the front of the dress clip.
Excellent Vintage Costume Jewelry US Patent Reference Web Sites
Let’s say you have a piece of vintage costume jewelry with a patent pending stamp or a patent # on the back. There are excellent web sites that are dedicated to identifying costume jewelry which was produced when jewelry designs were patented in the US. Patenting as a practice died out in the early 1950s and the heyday of patented costume jewelry was from the 1920s-1940s. The Trifari pin featured above is patented and is dated to 1953.
These sites can help you determine who manufactured and sold a piece of jewelry, the name of the designer, the date of patent, as well as other details. This information is extremely important in determining the value of a piece of vintage costume jewelry.
The following links show sites with comprehensive research resources. The sites are organized by jewelry maker and dates, along with design drawings and patent dates.
Also, if you want to see a site with loads of high-end magnificent costume jewelry that was produced during the hey-day of design check out the link below. Many of these pieces have the patent information provided.
My site: www.midcenturyjewelry.com.
1970s Lanvin Enamel Pucci-Inspired Pendant Necklace
Where To Find and Buy Vintage Jewelry
I get asked fairly frequently where I get my vintage costume jewelry. Below is a list of the different sources I use to obtain jewelry. I’ve listed the sources in descending order based on my personal success in finding quality jewelry there.
1. My Contacts — over the years I have cultivated different people who I’ve met while conducting business. These people know that I am always looking to purchase jewelry. I contact these people every couple of months to see if they anything to sell me. Most often, these “pickers” are my best and most reliable source for jewelry. These pickers are often out in the market doing the same thing I’m doing…working their own contacts, attending sales and auctions and garage sales.
2. Auctions — I read the auction section of my local classifieds each week and also check a website named www.AuctionZip.com. Both of these sources advertise local auctions in my area each week. I only attend auctions which advertise a decent amount and quality of jewelry. I like www.Auctionzip.com because sometimes photos are posted that allow me to preview the auction. I have a pet peeve about auction listings, though….if an auctioneer is going to feature jewelry as one of the main highlights of an auction then he/she should PLEASE post some photos!
3. Local Jewelers — Sometimes local jewelers (I’m talking about independently owned jewelry stores, not mall stores or chains) come across vintage costume jewelry in the course of doing business. I’ve fostered relationships with a few local jewelers who do not consider me to be competition and are happy to sell me costume jewelry in bulk. I try to reciprocate by telling everyone I know how wonderful these jewelers are. I respect these guys and have confidence in their honesty and am happy to refer potential business their way.
4. Pawn Shops — I’ve visited local pawn shops and have found very good deals in the past. Again, pawn shops sometimes end up with vintage costume jewelry in the course of doing business. The only way to find which particular shops do deal in this type jewelry is to go in and ask.
5. Scrap dealers (AKA Jewelers and Coin Dealers) — Some jeweler and coin dealers will be happy to let you pick through the scrap jewelry that they originally intended to sell at scrap value. Lots of jewelry is scrapped when there is absolutely nothing wrong with it other than scrap value has, at times, exceeded the value of the jewelry itself (but jewelers don’t know costume jewelery and will scrap a real treasure). Don’t be embarrassed to go into a store and ask if they are willing to sell you scrap jewelry. The worst thing that they can say is “no”.
6. Antique Stores/ Antique Malls — I do walk through antique stores in the hopes of finding unidentified or underpriced “treasures”. This technique takes a lot of patience since it’s typical that once something is being merchandised in a store that there’s not too much profit margin there for me. But if I have time to kill and really need jewelry, I will visit stores in my area. I have found some wonderful things over the years.
7. Craigslist — I look at Craigslist every day and most of the jewelry there is not what I’m looking for. Every once in a while, though, I’ve been successful in contacting a seller and making a good deal.
8. Goodwill — Not usually a good place in my experience but I still visit periodically. Usually low end items are there.
9. Garage Sales — I don’t attend too many because I’m not interested in getting up at the crack of dawn and fighting other people for jewelry. I haven’t found too much good jewelry at garage sales. But when I do attend a garage sale, I ask the seller if they have any additional jewelry. Surprisingly, the answer is sometimes “yes” and then they bring out the jewelry still in the house.
10. Estate Sales — I went through a spell where I attended these for a while. However, estate sales often require you to get there and line up to get a number hours before the sale starts — only to get into the house and see that there’s nothing there. It can be a crap shoot but is an option.
11. Online auction sites — there are sites that conduct auctions in real time online. I’ve had some excellent but spotty results at these auctions. Read the terms of the auctions closely so that you are aware of shipping costs and additional charges.
Maximal Art Jewelry
I have a large group of Maximal Art holiday motif jewelry, some of which is listed on eBay now. Maximal Art, designed by John Wind, features images from vintage postcards and other printed materials, Austrian crystals and 14K gold plated settings. This jewelry has charming, vintage-inspired designs. My Maximal Art jewelry is new old stock.
Antonio Pineda Mid-Century Modernist Sterling Silver Link Bracelets
Modernist Denmark Molten Silver Cuff Bracelet — Jacob Hull?
I obtained this bangle recently. It’s a little different from things I’ve had in the past. The bangle is made from a heavy base metal with a silver plated finish on top. It has a modern design with a molten looking texture on the front.
The maker’s mark is “DS Handmade Denmark”. Another well-respected site shows a simliar piece of vintage jewelry with the same mark and attributes it to Jacob Hull. Hull was active in the 1960s-1970s and was know for using silver plating.
If anyone can help me with further info, I’d much appreciate it!