Tag Archives: Vintage Jewelry

Art Deco Beauty in Vintage Jewelry – Natty Creations Scarf Holder

I love Art Deco … anything and everything Art Deco! From architecture to fashion to vehicles … I just love it!

It reflects back to a time when “progress” was the be all – end all. Everything was meant to be faster, streamlined to get there quickly. As always, humankind over-did it and now humankind is trying to find a way to slow. it. down. NOW!

Another thing I love is finding something new and different – to me, anyway. I’m a research-aholic. So when I came across this incredibly pretty, at first glance – brooch, I was thrilled to discover that it wasn’t just a brooch. First, I thought it might be a hair barrette. That is, until I decided that big, long pin stem on the back would probably cause just a little bit of discomfort as it pierced through one’s scalp. Definitely not a barrette.

1930s Natty Creations Scarf Holder

1930s Natty Creations Scarf Holder

The fun part is that it is signed Natty Creations and the patent number is stamped onto the back. A little bit of searching and I found the patent, filed on December 29, 1936 by Nat Levy. It’s officially called a “scarf holder”.

1930s Natty Creations Scarf Clip Brooch Patent Full Pg 11140

1930s Natty Creations Scarf Clip Brooch Patent Full Pg 11140

Pin it to the front of your jacket or blouse, then the two leaves are on springs so fold those over the top of your scarf and the whole thing stays neatly in place and won’t slide off! Pretty nifty, I’d say! Especially when the scarf holder is a beautiful brooch set with sparkling crystal clear rhinestones and ruby red glass baguettes!

1930s Natty Creations Rhinestone and Red Baguette Scarf Holder

1930s Natty Creations Rhinestone and Red Baguette Scarf Holder

While it was easy enough to find the patent information, I wasn’t able to find much about Nat Levy. According to The Magic of Mandle by Lucille Tempesta and Marcia Brown, Nat Levy and Urie Mandle became partners in around 1938 forming the Urie Mandle Corporation to make costume jewelry. Nat Levy, based on the date of the patent, obviously was making jewelry under the name “Natty Creations” prior to joining Mandle. The Urie Mandle Corporation is said to have been extremely successful but not long-lived. The company closed sometime during World War II, according to Researching Costume Jewelry.

I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for more information about Nat Levy. It seems a shame that the creator of this practical and beautiful piece of jewelry seems to have disappeared into the pages of time. If you have more info about Mr. Levy, please be sure to leave a comment!

Happy New Year … Just a Couple Months Late!

Happy New Year! Gotcha! I’m late. It seems every day I come up with a subject to add to my blog, but going full speed ahead, I don’t stop to write it down. (I truly *am* sorry – I’ll get that death by corset article up soon!) I’m just going to just do a quick little update right now to let you all know what’s going on.

The good news is that I’m feeling pretty healthy and only gained back 5 lbs after the holidays and that I’ve got lots of great plans for my shops this year, including the addition of a booth in a new, local antique mall! For now, the majority of things in my mall space are antiques. But I have some vintage jewelry there, and vintage sewing things, hats, purses … vintage accessories — and there’s much more to come.

I’m planning on making a theme for jewelry each month – both at the mall and on the website here. Right now, I’m featuring green jewelry for St. Patrick’s day. Around March 18th, I’ll change over to spring pastels. Watch my Facebook page to see when the themes change and what the new theme will be. (And, when you “Like” my page, be sure to also click on “get Notifications” so you are more likely to see when I post. Facebook only allows between 5% and 10% of my followers to see anything I post!)

Working on the mall booth has taken me off my “routine” plan for a few weeks, but we still have lots of wonderful things to add to the website. Just a couple weeks ago, I added this great Juliana bracelet with faux hematite navettes , sparkling crystal rhinestones, and gold filigree beads. Definitely droolworthy! And there’s more where that came from!

Around Thanksgiving last year, we finally got our antiques website – Craig Antiques – back up and running. It’s still a little sparse, but good things are worth waiting for. I’m really excited about some of the great things planned for the site. There is a blog with the antiques website where I get to share a little bit more information about our antiques. I hope you’ll can stop by and hopefully learn some interesting information about different antiques, like this one about Old Paris Porcelain.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on our Etsy shop because we’re constantly adding lots of fun vintage fashion. There’s a little peek of some of the things you can find there in the right sidebar.

On the First Day of Christmas

We all love getting our holiday decorations out of the attic to decorate our homes.  Now admit it, you love getting those crazy Christmas sweaters out and wearing them (and because you only wear them a couple of days a year, they remain FOREVER in your wardrobe … never wearing out!).  But Christmas themed jewelry can be worn much longer – from Thanksgiving through Epiphany on January 6th.  Remember, the 12 Days of Christmas refers to the 12 days AFTER Christmas!

How many versions of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” have you heard?  I know there are many, many more but Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck version always makes me laugh and the one done by the GPS company always gets stuck in my head.  I admire the creativity of those who do parodies; I suppose I could do one, but it would take more than 12 days to complete!

As with the song, here are a few different versions of the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” pin.

And … for your viewing pleasure an entire collection of vintage partridge in pear tree pins!  Here is a sample of what you’ll see

We all love getting our holiday decorations out of the attic to decorate our homes.Now admit it, you love getting those crazy Christmas sweaters out and wearing them (and because you only wear them a couple of days a year, they remain FOREVER in your wa

We all love getting our holiday decorations out of the attic to decorate our homes.  Now admit it, you love getting those crazy Christmas sweaters out and wearing them (and because you only wear them a couple of days a year, they remain FOREVER in your wardrobe).  But Christmas themed jewelry can be worn much longer – from Thanksgiving through Epiphany on January 6th.  Yes, the 12 Days of Christmas actually refers to the 12 days AFTER Christmas!

How many versions of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” have you heard?  I know there are many, many more but Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck version always makes me laugh and the one done by the GPS company always gets stuck in my head.  I admire the creativity of those who do parodies; I suppose I could do one, but it would take more than 12 days to complete!

As with the song, here are a few different versions of the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” pin.

rdrobe).But Christmas themed jewelry can be worn much longer – from Thanksgiving through Epiphany on January 6th.Yes, the 12 Days of Christmas actually refers to the 12 days AFTER Christmas!

How many versions of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” have you heard?I know there are many, many more but Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck version always makes me laugh and the one done by the GPS company always gets stuck in my head.I admire the creativity of those who do parodies; I suppose I could do one, but it would take more than 12 days to complete!

As with the song, here are a few different versions of the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” pin.

Changes and Additions .. it’s all good!

Notice something different?  I changed the name of my blog!  Why? Because my love of vintage really IS Barbie’s fault.  I’ll tell you all about it shortly … I’m also in the process of trying to make some updates to the whole blog in general so hold on to your vintage hats, because the jury’s still out on how computer literate I really am.  Be afraid, very afraid ….

In the meantime, here’s a peek at some items that were added to our website last week:

Vintage Sarah Coventry jewelry … with lots more to come:

And several Unsigned Beauties:

Coming very soon – hopefully this week – Carpet Bag Purse, Velvet Coat, and some hats!

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Didja ever wonder how I ended up with such a … lousy … shop name?  (I do.)  No fair.  I *know* how I ended up with this name and now, I’m going to tell you!  Let’s go in the Way Back machine ………

Many moons ago (many!) back when my husband I had just started dating, we had a standing joke that we were having too much fun together and, therefore, we were doing something BAD.    (As you might have guessed, our ex-spouses had managed to make anything FUN out to be BAD.)  One thing led to another and to make this long story short, we ended up calling ourselves Bonnie & Clyde.  NO, it is NOT our real names!

Many more moons passed and we decided to follow a dream and open an antique store.  I chose the antiques because a location smack in the middle of north central Indiana is NOT really conducive to becoming vintage fashion central.  But I could still have an area for vintage clothing and jewelry in the shop.  We combed the area for antique and vintage items for the shop and were soon calling them “treasures”.  (See where this is going?)

When it came to putting a name on the sign in front of the shop, I was just at a loss.  Some people have a talent for coming up with cute and creative names.  I don’t.  (Obviously!)  We were coming down to the wire and needed a name for our sign painter and “Bonnie & Clyde’s Treasure Trove” came out as the best of all the terrible ideas we were having at the time.  Exhaustion will do that.

Since that time, I’ve been called “Bonnie” or asked if our names really are Bonnie and Clyde.  (NO, they’re NOT!).  Repeatedly.  I have had people ask me if I want to buy the shoes the real Bonnie was wearing when she was killed.  (SERIOUSLY??? NOOOO!)  Some have asked if they can buy Bonnie’s clothes.  (Um, no .. at least not here.)  People have asked if we are related to Bonnie & Clyde.  (No!)  It really didn’t take long to see that we’d picked a terrible name for the shop, but it was too late and we learned to live with it.

Then came the internet.  I did a little bit on ebay, but honestly, never really got on well with it. Back then, it was a struggle to just get a website up and running but we got a little website going.   After a few years, the website actually became a viable stand alone shop and my vintage clothing and jewelry were overwhelming people looking at antiques, so we broke the antiques off to another website (craigantiques.com) and left the clothing and jewelry on the original website because we discovered our page rank was doing well and we had repeat internet customers.  Now we were REALLY stuck with the name!

I still try to think of a better name for my vintage clothing and jewelry shop … when (if) I think of something … YOU will be the first to know!

Fishing – Outside the (Jewelry) Box

I confess.  I’m totally weird.

During a recent raid of my mom’s jewelry, I came across a huge black and white zebra fish pin.  I really adore it, but at the time, I couldn’t think of a single thing to wear it with (of course, right now I can think of several things but I’m already dressed and … well, I’m too lazy to change).

Instead, I continued to fish around (haha .. get it – fish around?!) in the jewelry box and came up with all sorts of interesting oceanic items.  By now, I couldn’t decide WHAT to wear and ended up entertaining myself by making a little diorama.

And yes.  I was late getting to the shop.

Fishing in my jewelry box - huge fish brooch, sea shell earrings & sweater clip, starfish earrings, and underwater dangle earrings.

Fishing in my jewelry box – huge fish brooch, sea shell earrings & sweater clip, starfish earrings, and underwater dangle earrings.

Here we have the big 1970s zebra fish pin and two pairs of earrings acting as bubbles.  The yellow, red, and green earrings fill in the “water” with more fish and color.  And, across the bottom are a matched set of 50s earrings and a sweater guard with a pair of 1980s starfish earrings.  And don’t forget the darling little 1950s screwback shell earrings!

It’s a shame to keep all our pretty jewelry stashed away in dark boxes and I’m thinking of making a shadowbox of it.  It might also be fun to find an old glass top coffee table, paint it, and display jewelry under the glass.  My fish would be particularly fun decorating a Florida room or a sunroom.

Why not take a look at your own jewelry box from outside the box and have a little fun enjoying your jewelry in a decorative way!

Migration Patterns of Vintage Costume Jewelry

I noticed an interesting phenomenon a couple mornings ago as I was putting together the jewelry I wanted to wear that day.  It moves.

Some years ago as I was sorting through my mom’s old costume jewelry – and my grandma’s because Mom had it until I inherited it – I kept finding things like earrings in Grandma’s jewelry box and the matching necklace in Mom’s.  At the time, I thought it was interesting to see the types of costume jewelry Mom liked well enough to move it into her own jewelry box.  It was fun to match up the sets again

Vintage 40s 50s Costume Jewelry

Vintage 40s 50s Costume Jewelry

and then I started to wear them.

Over time, I’ve pretty much tried to keep Grandma’s costume jewelry in her jewelry box and M

om’s in hers.  And of course, mine in my jewelry box.  There’s an interesting difference among all three of our jewelry boxes.

Vintage 50s 60s 70s Costume Jewelry

Vintage 50s 60s 70s Costume Jewelry

Grandma wore mostly pastels and she had a lot of bracelets.  Most of her jewelry dates to the 1940s and 1950s.  (Can you believe she gave me that sparkly blue set to PLAY with?)

On the other hand, Mom wore mostly fall colors and pins, and her jewelry mostly dates from the early 1960s through the 1970s. (Lots of Sarah Coventry there, which probably explains part of why I’m so drawn to it.)

They also had two sets and two brooches that were identical except for color (the earrings are a bit different).  I was surprised the blue was in Mom’s jewelry and not in Grandma’s.

Vintage Costume Jewelry 3

Vintage Costume Jewelry 3

I would include a photo of my jewelry, which dates from the 1970s with a big gap to post 2001, but really, until post 2001 when I really became interested in vintage costume jewelry – mine is, let’s face it, boring crap. LOL

And then it hit me.  My jewelry box is beginning to sprout some of their jewelry inside!  Some moved from Grandma’s, then it moved to Mom’s and now it’s in mine.  I’d say that’s absolute proof that vintage jewelry IS truly timeless!  AND migratory.

Now, go raid your mom’s jewelry box!  (with her permission, of course!)

A Cameo Appearance … Well, I wish they WOULD! (appear, that is)

I’ve talked about my dear grandma in a previous post about vintage Swirl dresses, and I guarantee I’ll continue to do that because she is the one who really led me to my love of antiques and vintage clothing and jewelry … and accessories, and … you get the general idea.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t wish I could “go shopping” in Grandma’s closet.  Well, all over the house.  Down in the basement was a trunk of “old clothes” that would transform me into The Princess.  That’s a blog for another day, though.  Today, I’m going “shopping” in Grandma’s jewelry box.

Grandma loved cameos.  Our family was aware of that and so you can imagine what Grandma got for every gift-giving occasion.  I’m sure at one point, she wished she’d never mentioned cameos.

Whiting & Davis Cameo Earrings

Whiting & Davis Cameo Earrings

The one cameo I remember she wore the most was her Whiting & Davis cameo earrings and the matching bracelet.  I’m sure it must have been her favorite cameo set because I do remember her wearing it often and I always admired it – particularly the bracelet.  So pretty and delicate … of course, I thought it must have been ANCIENT antique jewelry at the time.  I’ve never found a date for when this particular design was produced, but my best guess is the 1950s and 1960s and I’d consider it a Victorian Revival style.

Fast forward some (mumble, mumble …) years and Grandma’s jewelry box is now in my possession along with all its glorious wonders.  Grandma didn’t have “fine” jewelry but she had some GREAT costume jewelry from the 40s and 50s.  I wear the pretty silver filigree cameo bracelet often and it’s one of my favorite pieces.  It always seemed like a fairly large – bold – bracelet to me so you can imagine my amazement when I came upon a LARGER version!  Oh I knew it existed – I know there are several more pieces in the same design, but I just hadn’t come across one.  And then I did. And Wow.  It’s big.  At least for someone with short, stubby limbs (yeah, that’s me).  I put it on and felt like Wonder Woman.  With one on each wrist, I could defeat all evil!  Maybe not, but some days a girl just NEEDS that attitude, right?

Whiting & Davis Cameo Bracelets - Large & Small

Whiting & Davis Cameo Bracelets – Large & Small

Looking at the two bracelets side by side, you can really see the difference.  I also noticed that the cameo centerpiece on the smaller bracelet is the same size as the cameo earrings and the centerpiece on the larger bracelet is the same size as the cameo pendant on the matching necklace.  Now I have to find the ring and the pin and find out how big the cameo is on them.  And, it makes sense that there might also be a necklace with a smaller cameo.  I need to know.

What makes me crazy is that I’m almost positive I have additional pieces to this Whiting & Davis set in my STASH.  Now … where to start looking ?

See the vintage Whiting & Davis jewelry at Belle à Coeur Treasure Trove Vintage

Finding Buried Treasure – Juliana Jewelry

Exquisitely Sparkling DeLizza & Elster (aka Juliana) Crystal Bead PinExquisitely Sparkling DeLizza & Elster (aka Juliana) Crystal Bead Pin

Exquisitely Sparkling DeLizza & Elster (aka Juliana) Crystal Bead Pin

One of my latest finds was a lovely vintage crystal bead and rhinestone pin. Immediately upon spotting it, I was excited because it had all the hallmarks of jewelry made by DeLizza & Elster, also known as “Juliana” jewelry.  These pieces are quite sought after by those who collect vintage costume jewelry because they are always especially beautiful in design, color, and artistry.

Jewelry made by D&E is never “signed”.  For the most part, the company made costume jewelry for other companies like Weiss, Kramer, Coro, and even Sarah Coventry just to name a few.   But during the mid-1960s, the company sold a line of jewelry while trying to build their own name recognition.  The only identification on this jewelry was a hang tag or a card that held the jewelry.

So how did I realize that I had found one of the coveted pieces of Juliana jewelry?  I’m not telling – that way I get to keep it all for myself!

Reverse Side of Crystal Beaded Juliana Leaf Brooch Reverse Side of Crystal Beaded Juliana Leaf Brooch

Reverse Side of Crystal Beaded Juliana Leaf Brooch

Oh ok .. I’ll spill the beans.  The first thing I look for is exceptional quality, beautiful design, and lovely stones.  DeLizza & Elster always made first-rate costume jewelry.  It is solid.  Turn the piece over and look at its construction.  A particularly notable feature of D&E construction is what many collectors call “figure 8 puddling”.  And then there are the rivets, and stones with open backed settings and … well, there are so many features that are distinctive to Juliana jewelry that after studying and handling them, you begin to just “know”.

One of the very best ways to learn how to identify Juliana jewelry is to go to the DeLizza & Elster Jewelry Education Site.  This site is put together by a devoted group of people who work with Frank DeLizza to identify this jewelry.  Here, you can not only learn about the distinctive features of Juliana jewelry, but you can also look at numerous pieces of jewelry that have been previously identified.  If you think you’ve found a piece of Juliana, you can even submit photos and find out for certain.   Frank DeLizza personally reviews photos and results are posted to the site.  Just browsing this informational site is fun – talk about eye candy!

For an exceptionally interesting in-depth look at the jewelry business, Mr. DeLizza has written a book detailing his decades of experiences.  It is an absolutely fascinating read and shouldn’t be missed.  You can purchase the book, “Memoirs of a Fashion Jewelry Manufacturer” on Mr. DeLizza’s website.

I’m proud to say that any piece of vintage jewelry found in my shop – online or brick & mortar – that I’ve identified as being D&E/Juliana is guaranteed to be just that.  And if you ever want to know how I’ve identified it as such, just ask!  I’m always happy to show you.

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