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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SPRING IS IN THE AIR: TIME FOR COLORFUL COSTUME JEWELRY


Well I don't know what it's like, weather-wise, where you are but up here in Canada where we still sometimes get snow in April, Spring has surely arrived. We've been enjoying summertime temps going as high as 27 C ... record-breaking for our city at this time of year. The funniest part for me was returning from our trip to Venezuela for the last week of March: it  was hot and humid on Margarita Island and I was almost looking forward to returning to cooler temps. What a shock to come home to this! No complaints of course, but it was a reminder that when it comes to jewelry, it's time to start thinking Spring. And not only Spring: Mother's Day is just over a month away. So what will those shoppers who still have some money left after tax time be looking for now? 

One of my loveliest recent finds is the delightful pink glass bead necklace and earring set by DeMario shown above. No way could I pass this up. Everything about it, from its pretty color to its design suggests spring and flowers.  This is an 82 gram necklace; yet it doesn't feel or look heavy. It's satiny smooth on the skin and feels cool to the touch. 

For those not familiar with DeMario, he designed between 1946 and 1960. In both design, quality, construction and the use of beads and findings, he's comparable to Miriam Haskell. He later worked with Stanley Hagler, one of the most lauded vintage designers.  According to the book, COSTUME JEWELRY 101 by Julia Carroll,  DeMario's pieces, especially those in good condition are hard to come by, getting pricier all the time, and definitely worth collecting. So this lovely set above should be added to your wish list: it's in fantastic condition and the gorgeous pink color is always popular. You can see more photos and learn more about this DeMario set HERE

Speaking of Stanley Hagler, before I went away I began looking into that designer too. I'd seen his pieces in books on costume jewelry. They were always expensive and from what I was reading, highly collectible. Since starting that research, I've acquired several remarkable pieces signed Stanley Hagler N.Y.C. and will be featuring them in time as we get our photos done. But one that is available now is this incredible brooch shown below: 




Now let me tell you: no books nor photos ever prepared me for this one! For starters, it's "huge" at least by my standards.  It measures 4" X 2.5". But wow ... what an amazing example of the work of a master! The glorious intricate bead work that must have taken hours to complete is mind-boggling. And the lovely combination of colors! This brooch represents a butterfly in a garden, resting near a massive amethyst colored cabochon. You just have to go see this brooch in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Note its construction, condition and workmanship. Then realize that no photos, not even ours which are very good, shows you just how beautiful this is. Now wonder Stanley Hagler is revered amongst vintage costume jewelry designers.