Friday, June 25, 2010

Miriam Haskell Vintage Jewelry

Miriam Haskell (1899 - 1981) was an American designer of costume jewelry.  But that's like saying that Babe Ruth was a baseball player; or Albert Einstein was a mathematician. In a fashion world dominated by men, Haskell, like her distaff contemporaries Coco Chanel and Hattie Carnegie, founded her own company to pursue her ambitions. The company persists today making high-end costume jewelry, much of it in the same design genre as the designs of the forties and fifties. With her creative partner Frank Hess, she invented affordable pieces of stunning originality from 1920 through the 1950s. Vintage examples of Miriam Haskell designs are truly collectible, held in both private collections and museums internationally, and are equally wearable, as the quality and designs are long lived.

Born in 1899, at the height of the Art Nouveau era, Haskell’s jewelry reflected the opulence and voluptuous curves of those times, even into the 1950s. She opened her first boutique in 1926, “Le Bijou de L’Heure” in New York’s McAlpin Hotel. Along with her talented designer Frank Hess, she created collections for the society women of her day. Her jewelry ranged from simple to over-the-top. Beautiful Swarovsky crystals, custom made Baroque pearls, Gripoux molded glass beads, and specially designed metal findings are hallmarks of all her pieces.

We search out affordable and beautiful examples of Miriam Haskell jewelry, as well as those of her contemporaries DeMario and Originals by Robert, whose high quality designs often mimic the motifs of Haskell jewelry.  Below is a gallery some of the pieces we currently have in our jewelry cases.
This gorgeous Haskell necklace is made of blue art glass beads of varying sizes, clear beads that have been scored with a spiral design, tiny pearls, crystal rhinestones in both clear and blue, along with the signature Miriam Haskell gilt findings.  This necklace is from the 1950s.
This next piece is a fantastic vintage Miriam Haskell Pate de Verre necklace. It has mint green art molded glass beads of varying sizes, with a few translucent milky beads included. There are two molded leaves of green glass and several amethyst glass flowers.  This is an example of a 1960s piece.

Below are photos of several other pieces that are currently in our collection.
These last two pieces are from Original by Robert and have a distinctly Haskell feel.

All of these are available through our online antiques sales site

There are several excellent informative online sources for further research on Miriam Haskell.  Cathy Gordon's marvelous jewelry collection website is the best first stop.  Cathy is the co-author of the definitive book on Haskell jewelry.  Morning Glory Collects is another fine resource, as is the Miriam Haskell Official Website.

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