Posted on

Francisco Rebajes – Master Modernist Jewelry Artisan

rebajes

A native of The Dominican Republic, Francisco Rebajes emigrated to the US in the early 1920’s. In the early 1930’s, while the nation was in the grips of the great depression, Rebajes was selling his small hand made metal sculptures on the streets of  New York  just to survive. Then one day, at the famous Washington Square Outdoor Art Show, Juliana Force, director of the Whitney Museum of Art, spotted his work and bought his entire inventory. With this seed money he was able to open his first shop on West 4th street in New York’s Greenwich Village.

As time moved on Rebajes opened several other stores in the Village gradually becoming a part of the overall artisan culture that was thriving there during the 1940’s and early 50’s.  Sam Kramer, the famed surrealist jeweler, and Rebajes were friends and you can see Kramer’s influence in some of Rebajes’ designs from this period. Kramer’s influence is evident in the biomorphic brooch pictured below.

Rebajes eventually became very successful and in the early 1950’s opened a gorgeous upscale shop on 5th Avenue. By this time Rebajes’ copper and silver jewelry was very popular and was being marketed to shops all over the country. It took a workshop of 100 people to churn out these mass produced designs.

Rebajes was a true master artisan. I especially appreciate his earlier works. The hand crafted pieces that were made before his jewelry went national and  mass produced are truly masterful.

Here are some examples of earlier hand made and rarer cast items…………………..

Posted on

Vintage Hair Combs – Hair Jewelry

Vintage Hair Combs

Hair combs have been around for centuries and have been used in all parts of the world. The earliest hair combs were made of bone, ivory and wood. Eventually materials such as silver, tin and brass were also used.

Later in time, during the 19th century, tortoise shell and bone hair combs came into favor. Besides their inherent beauty, they were also easy materials to heat and could be bent into any desired shape.

Then, in the late 1860’s, a new material was discovered. The material was called Celluloid and was essentially one of the first man made plastics. This discovery changed the whole dynamic of the hair comb industry. Celluloid was cheaper and easier to use then horn, ivory or tortoise shell. It could also be made to look like any of the fore mentioned natural materials. A happy day indeed for the beleaguered turtle and elephant populations.

During the 1920’s and 30’s the celluloid hair comb experienced its golden age. Fanciful designs in faux ivory or tortoise were adorned with all manner of gem stones and rhinestones. These beautiful objects were the height of fashion and a few survive to this day thanks to the efforts of diligent collectors who have taken it upon themselves to care for these delicate objects.

Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase a partial collection of vintage hair combs. They date from the 1920’s and 30’s and are wonderful examples of the style and design of that period.

Here are some images…………..please enjoy viewing them and let me know what you think.

Make sure to click on the picture to view the enlargement.

Posted on

Summer Necklaces

red-dot

The Memorial Day holiday has just passed ushering in the true summer season. Light weight and simple clothing is generally the norm for this time of year. How great to be able to liven up your wardrobe with a unique statement necklace. The trends are all over the place this season but I’ve picked out a few interesting and moderately priced pieces for your consideration that just might make summer even more fun.

Check out Elle online for the Michael Kor’s summer lucite fashion necklace.

Or check out Etsy for a more affordable alternative.

Lucite Bubble Necklace

Available at MissUFO

Below are some other fun summer necklace options:

Summer Rings

Find this necklace at nygstyle

Turquoise, Aquamarine,Crystal Quartz Necklace

From GiGi B Designs

Sterling Silver Swirls

strungoutdesigns

Art Glass Necklace

At 2 Sisters Jewels

And lastly a blatant attempt at self promotion……………… Direct from slapmefabulous:

Art Deco Lucite Disc Necklace
Posted on

Organic Artisan Jewelry at The Philadelphia International Flower Show

Flower Show

Nowadays it seems to be the fashion to go “green”. What could be more in keeping with this trend than making sure your jewelry is organic and all natural. If this concept piques your interest you would have been delighted to view the exhibition at The Philadelphia International Flower Show this past weekend.

The jewelry design competition is featured each year at the show. Floral and jewelry designers create fantastic necklaces, bracelets, brooches and tiaras, with international themes. All are made using natural flora and plant materials. I look forward to viewing the designs each year and this year, through this blog thingy, I can share them with you.

Please enjoy the picture gallery where I’ve listed the jewelry pieces with their component elements below.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and please feel free to leave your comments.

Posted on

Mod Girl Vintage

Mod Girl

Last weekend I took a trip down to Philadelphia to visit some friends and stop by the Antiques Center at 615 south 6th street. It’s always fun shopping there. Vintage clothing, vintage jewelry and a wide variety of collectibles abound.

I especially enjoy shopping at MOD GIRL. It’s the first booth you see as you enter the building. There’s Jill, seated behind her jewelry counters chock full of bakelite bracelets, rhinestones necklaces, marcasite brooches, sterling, copper, glitz and so much more. A staple in this center, as Jill says, she’s been there forever. And she has been there for a long time indeed filling her customer’s needs for fine vintage clothing and jewelry.

People come from New York, California and even a few Philadelphians stop by. Many New Yorkers now have second homes in Philadelphia finding it very cosmopolitan and much more affordable than the big apple.

This past summer Jack Nicholson was in town shooting scenes for a film by James L. Brooks and the director himself stopped by and bought two bakelite bracelets.

Searching through the clothing racks I spotted dresses of many different styles and periods. There were a lot of nice wearable dresses from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. I also found a good variety of  classic formal numbers, along with a lot of fun kicky pieces. Coats, sweaters, scarfs, bags, shoes…….…it’s all there. I even noted some designer items as well. Pauline Trigere, Pucci, Adele Simpson, YSL, Schiaparelli, Valentino and many others. It’s definitely worth the trip. I know I’ll be back again soon.

Posted on

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show

car

The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show takes place in New York City this Friday and Saturday and we’re going to take it in. Always an interesting show it draws more than 80 dealers featuring vintage clothing and accessories for almost everyone  –  from the aficionado of the Victorian cinched waist to the high style fashionista hoping to emulate the big shouldered look of the1980’s and 90’s. It’s all there. We’ll be speaking with some dealers about collecting trends and their merchandise and will also be taking tons of pictures. It should be a great series of posts starting next Monday or Tuesday.

See you then.

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show

125 W. 18th Street

New York City

Friday February 5        1pm – 6pm

Saturday February 6   11am – 6pm

UPDATE    ———

Oh well, it seems That Mother Nature had other plans. We’ll just have to wait until the spring edition of the show.

Snowed In
Snowed In
Posted on

Vintage Fashion Accessories

stacy

It was a busy weekend in New York City last weekend. After covering the Stella Pier Antiques Show I  cabbed down to the gallery launching of  Stacy LoAlbo’s new book entitled, “Vintage Fashion Accessories”.

Pulling up to the MH gallery, on west 20th street,  I was pleasantly surprised to see a large and lively crowd all gathered to celebrate the culture of vintage fashion.

LoAlbo, seated in the front of the gallery, was busy signing copies of her new book. As she explained to me;  not everyone can or wants to dress in full vintage mode. However, there are many who could easily spice up their contemporary wardrobe with some smart and unique vintage accessories. A mod handbag, a pair of vintage snake skin boots, a feathered hat, a sparkling vintage costume brooch or even a Salvador Dali necktie can all create a unique fashion statement.

Stacy LoAlbo, who owns the Incogneeto vintage boutique in Somerville, New Jersey, has also written numerous articles on vintage fashion for several newspapers, participated in dozens of shows in the field, given symposiums and lectures and has held several vintage clothing fashion shows. Her long experience in the field of vintage fashion has given her an evolved sense for fashion modes and trends.

Quoting the gallery notes

There are historical and cultural associations with vintage clothing and accessories. LoAlbo, in her new book, has given us lessons on that sentiment. The pages are filled with photography of dresses, hats and accessories with artfully cropped images of product shots by Jimmy Lin and Marguerite Ruscito. A book more for the fashionista or vintage collector, it easily crosses the boundary of art as it emphasizes the beauty, uniqueness and sensuality of these vintage items spanning an era that starts in the stylish early 1900’s to the plaids of the 1970’s.

Tons of great vintage accessories, people dressed in all their vintage finery, lots of books being signed and good conversations made for a great night.

Posted on

Bakelite jewelry, Vendome, Trifari, Hobe, Alice Caviness, Regency and so much more.

Marcy Drexler

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Stella Pier Antiques Show in New York City. There were a myriad of beautiful booths displaying folk art, fine art, antiques, vintage clothing and vintage jewelry.

One of my favorite booths was that of Marcy Drexler aka – Little Shiny Objects. Marcy is a long time vintage jewelry dealer who consistently presents a gorgeous display of vintage Bakelite as well as an exciting assortment of costume jewelry.

I captured a few images that I thought you might enjoy.

Check out the incredible green and fuchsia necklace by Vendome and the staggering rows of carved and inlaid vintage Bakelite bracelets. I’ve been fascinated by Bakelite for many years and have always been attracted to the fun shapes and colors. I really think the appeal comes from the fact that it all looks like candy. Subconsciously, I probably want to taste every piece.

I should also mention Marcy’s collection of poodle purses, in the gallery above, which soon will be gracing the pages of Italian Vogue. Look for them at your local newsstand.

All in all a great booth filled with shiny vintage treasures.

If you’d like to get in touch with Marcy her contact information is –

sunshinegirlmd@yahoo.com

For her store and auctions click here

Enjoy the pictures.