Victorian jewellery is immensely popular today. The superb craftsmanship, artistry, beauty and charm ensure that this genre is highly collectible. Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901) reigned for sixty four years and during this era fashions of jewellery changed considerably, usually as a response to trends that Queen Victoria started. It is helpful to divide the Victorian era into three parts - Early Victorian or “Romantic”, Middle Victorian or “Grand”, Late Victorian or Aesthetic periods.
The firm was established by William Neale in 1850 in Birmingham. His mark was entered at the Birmingham assay office in April 1862 and in the Chester assay office in September 1882. Later the firm was known as William Neale & Sons as a partnership of William Neale senior, William Neale junior & Arthur Neale. The partnership required new larger premises and so a purpose built premises was erected at 29 Warstone Lane, Birmingham (1896). In 1905 the firm became a limited company - William Neale & Sons Ltd. In 1910 they relocated to 34 Cox Street, St. Paul’s Square, Birmingham. In 1942 the firm was absorbed by Suckling Ltd.
The Stratton “Piccadilly” is one of our all time favourite powder compacts. It is as beautiful as it is so elusive. We have only seen this model finished with turquoise, red and maroon enamel. There were only two known years of production 1959 & 1960 & this is the only Stratton compact with the lucky four leaf clover shape. It has the most beautiful enamel with gilt accents - the elegant quatrefoil design so splendid to see. The lid decoration shows work of the highest calibre. Tiny flowers surrounded by cream enamel set off by gilded borders, the red borders are the perfect colour / color contrast. This model is noted in the 1959 catalogue as “clover leaf shape”.
In 1860 Stephen Jarrett and Charles Rainsford joined in partnership. Jarrett was a pin manufacturer and jeweller. Rainsford was a commercial traveller. The partners took on premises at 7 Broad Street, Islington, Birmingham. The success of the venture enabled Jarrett & Rainsford to move new premises at 48 Broad Street in 1870. In 1898 the firm took on an office boy who exhibited much promise. This young man was named George A. Laughton. The partners were so impressed with him that by 1904 he was rewarded with the position of assistant manager.
In 1892 Emanuel Ciner established his jewellery firm. Ciner specialised in making fine jewellery / jewelry. The premises were located on Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan. A small and highly skilled set of jewellers, artisans & artists created pieces that would have been described today as high jewellery. Ciner was a remarkable man and his work ethic propelled the company to be one of the most well known in America. Emanuel Ciner was still working until 1958 when he was aged 92. In the 1920s Emanuel’s sons, Irwin & Charles joined the business as apprentices. Their children would go on to follow in their footsteps.
Guccio Gucci was born in Florence on 26 March 1881. Gucci was an Italian-British businessman and a legendary designer and it is said that he became fascinated by the stylish guests at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he worked as a lift boy in the early 1900s. It was not just the high quality clothes of the wealthy guests that inspired Gucci but also their well made luggage. On his return to Florence, Gucci created travel bags. The House of Gucci was founded in 1921. Originally it was a small family-owned leather goods shop. As the business grew so did Gucci’s reputation for high quality craftsmanship.
This post will answer these questions:
1. What is Celluloid?
2. Who invented Celluloid - when & how?
3. Are Celluloid powder compacts and accessories valuable?
4. How can I find the value of my Celluloid collectibles?
5. Where can I find vintage & antique Celluloid powder compacts?
6. How should I store Celluloid items?
7. How can I tell if an item is made from Celluloid?
8. How do I clean Celluloid accessories?
What is Lucite?
Lucite is often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is not technically a type of glass, the substance has also been referred to as acrylic glass. Plexiglas, Lucite & Perspex are registered brand names for what is known as acrylic glass. The Kigu archive regularly refers to vanities having been fitted with a 'Perspex insert'. Lucite acrylic was invented by the Dupont Corporation in 1931. When not coloured it is a clear material with high transparency. Lucite is a high quality product which will retain its clear appearance even when subjected to UV rays. It is expensive to produce and highly versatile. This superior quality acrylic can be embedded with many beautiful colours and carved into a wide variety of shapes. Hence it popularity with manufacturers of accessories.