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Friday, March 6, 2009


Just before I left for vacation over a week ago, I was watching the ebay auction for the gorgeous art deco style bangle shown on the right. It's by vintage designer, McClelland Barclay. You can click on that photo for more details on the auction for as long as eBay keeps it listed.

For some insane reason, I thought I might have a chance of winning this auction. In fact at the point I entered a bid, about 12 seconds before the auction closed, the bidding was only around $130. Well my bid didn't even take because in the last 5 seconds this beauty jumped to finish at $346.77!

Until that auction, I'd never heard of McClelland Barclay. I just liked the bangle. Of course, that got me started on a search to learn more about why this particular piece commanded such a high price. I consulted my costume jewelry books and learned that finding info on this designer is just about as hard as finding pieces by this designer! No wonder the bangle went for such a high price. It's RARE, and hence highly collectible. Why is it so collectible? Because there's not that much of it around and because of the man behind the designs, McClelland Barclay. Seems he was quite the character, a society and ladies man. He was also an artist who liked painting nudes and apparently even landed himself in prison at some point. But fact is this artist/designer was behind some of the most stunning vintage jewelry ever made and according to Frank Rezazedah's primer in his book, COSTUME JEWELRY: A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK & VALUE ,

"If you ever come across a piece of jewelry marked McClelland Barclay, buy it without hesitation, for if you don’t you may never see it again. Barclay jewelry is not only extremely rare, but also among the very best costume jewelry ever made in America." (p. 111)

So I went on a hunt and found that one of my colleagues at Ruby Lane has sold several pieces of McClelland Barclay, like the fabulous set shown below:

Sharon sold this set for $575 USD!! She also sold the set shown below for $445 USD! WOW!

So you know what I'm on the lookout for now, don't you LOL! McClelland Barclay. If you come across some, let me know will you? Oh sure. I hear ya! Why tell me about it? Go buy it yourself. Looks like a top investment in vintage jewelry!

Oh, by the way, right after I published this post, I did a search for McClelland Barclay at Ruby Lane and came across THIS PIECE that was sold on there. Prepare to gasp at the price!

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