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Costume Jewelry

Identification And Price Guide

Costume Jewelry
Identification And Price Guide
by Leigh Leshner
Krause Publications, 2004

This large format volume presents over 500 pieces of costume jewelry from more than a dozen distinctinctive periods in sharp color photos with descriptions and values.

"Costume jewelry is an art form unto itself," writes author Leigh Leshner. "Each piece is representative of not only the designer's imagination, but of the culture and customs of the times."

Leshner, writer and producer of the Hidden Treasures video series, is an avid vintage jewelry collector and dealer. She has also authored Vintage Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide, 1920 to 1940s, Rhinestone Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide, and Collecting Art Plastic Jewelry.

Written primarily for collectors, this new text helps readers identify specific pieces by their style, period and, in some cases, the artist who created them. A small chapter on hallmarks explains, but does not illustrate, the various hallmarks used by some countries to indicate their origin, date of manufacture and metal content.

Sources or advice on where to find collectible costume jewelry are not provided in this text, but there is a section of helpful hints on what to look for in a piece and how to judge its value. And, of course, perusing the photos, descriptions and prices for specific pieces is helpful training and inspiration for any new collector. 1922 Pochoir Renaissance Costume Jewelry
1922 Pochoir Renaissance Costume Jewelry
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Costume Jewelry
Collectible Mid-century Modern Jewelry Artists

From 1945-65, there was a movement similar to the Arts & Crafts movement that emphasized the artistic approach to jewelry making. It is referred to as mid-century modern. This modernistic approach was occurring at a time when the beat generation was prevalent. These avant-garde designers created jewelry that was handcrafted to illustrate the artist's own concepts and ideas often manifestingf themselves in abstract and modern designs. While many of the pieces designed are unsigned or made by unknown artists, there are many artists whose pieces are sought after. They include: 

Sam Kramer
Margaret De Patta
Paul Lobel
Art Smith
Ed Weiner
Ronald Pearson
Harry Bertoia, Jules Brenner
Alexaner Calder
Betty Cooke
Ed Levin
Earl Pardon
Olaf Skoogfors
Henry Steig
Bill Tendler
Irene Brynner
Esther Lewittes
Francisco Rebaje
Peter Macchiarini

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