NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Past Times Newsletter for June 2010
In This Issue
- YouTube Video: Happy Father's Day from Ruby Lane!
- Ruby Plaza Update: $49 Set-Up Fee Waived Through June!
- Join Ruby Lane On Twitter and Facebook!
- Decorating With Pottery by Jack Becklund of The Pottery Nuts
- Vintage Jewelry: The Splendor of Eisenberg
- Shop Sampler: Antiques on Ruby Lane!
YOUTUBE VIDEO: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY FROM RUBY LANE!
Father's Day is June 20th! Click here to see a special Father's Day message from Ruby Lane, or go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMgwK8z9ImA
RUBY PLAZA UPDATE: $49 SET-UP FEE WAIVED THROUGH JUNE!
As you may already know, in April we launched Ruby Plaza, an exciting new home to individually-owned shops offering Home Decor, Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories, and Handcrafted items, powered by Ruby Lane. www.rubyplaza.com
Currently in Beta mode, Ruby Plaza is designed to offer a wider selection of items than does our flagship sister site, Ruby Lane. Unlike Ruby Lane, new items in all categories, as well as reproductions, and handcrafted items of all types are welcomed. Ruby Plaza's selling guidelines are different than those of Ruby Lane, in order to reach a different audience of both buyers and sellers. www.rubyplaza.com
Ruby Plaza continues to offer exciting promotions for sellers who want to join this amazing new site. Now that the popular Ruby Plaza Flagship promotion has come to a close, we continue to make it affordable to sellers who want to join us, with a brand new promotion: We are waiving the one-time shop set-up fee during the month of June for shops who do not also sell on Ruby Lane. Now sellers who choose to open only on Ruby Plaza can save $49 when they set-up a Portico or Galleria shop on Ruby Plaza. You must request to open your new shop by June 30th. For shops who already sell on Ruby Lane, the set-up fee is automatically waived.
How it Works... You will receive a $49 credit toward your Ruby Plaza shop once you have opened. This credit can be used toward your second monthly fee, search clicks, or featuring - it is up to you.
With more than 600
shops, and over 117,000 items already on Ruby Plaza, this new online mall is reaching new buyers all around the world. Check us out at www.Rubyplaza.com
For more information visit www.rubyplaza.com, then under SELL, choose Open A Shop.
Click here to see a special video introducing Ruby Plaza, powered by Ruby Lane or go to:
Click here to Take A Video Tour of Ruby Plaza or go to:
For more information visit www.rubyplaza.com, then under SELL, choose Open A Shop. We hope you'll join us!
JOIN RUBY LANE ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!
Ruby Lane is now active on both Twitter and Facebook, and we invite you to join us. Both services are free to join and participate.
Follow us on Twitter: Twitter
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DECORATING WITH POTTERY BY JACK BECKLUND OF THE POTTERY NUTS
If you ask a hundred people about pottery, about half will guess you're talking mugs and soup bowls. The other half might make the leap to the kind of pots and vases that you stick flowers or cattails in, the kind you could get at Pottery Barn or Pier One, the kind that match the color of the couch or the bedspread. That's the kind I grew up with. They were all blue-green and I have no idea whatever happened to them. You see a lot of them in furniture stores that specialize in decorating Florida condos. Or in flower shops.
Until a few years ago, I would have fit right in with the crowd. My favorite piece of pottery was a tall vase that stood on the floor and held a bunch of things I could only describe as bullrushes. I couldn't tell you what color it was or where it went. We probably paid $36.99 for it, including the bullrushes. It was what I now think of as disposable pottery. Eventually it goes into the garage and you hit it with the mower and that's all she wrote.
There's another kind of pottery we now decorate with and it's definitely not disposable. Not on purpose for certain. It falls under the broad heading of Art Pottery and you keep it around not to hold the bullrushes or cattails, but because it looks good all by itself. And because if you buy it for your 30th birthday, or your 20th anniversary, it will probably have appreciated in value a fair amount when you hit 60 or celebrate 40 years of marriage.
Instead of the look-alike styles of the
pottery you buy with the "made in China" sticker on the bottom, Art Pottery comes in all sorts of colors, textures, decorations and sizes. It looks good in a New York penthouse or a Maine camp. The heyday of the Art Pottery surge was from about 1880 until the 1940s, so a lot of it is already officially antique and the rest soon will be. This big surge in making art pottery passed through several eras in decorating, including art nouveau, arts and crafts and art deco, so you've got choices there, too. Finally, because art pottery was made by many companies for several different levels of customers, you've got a wide range of prices. Something for everyone, even now after all those years.
We could start you out with a mind-numbing description of various brands and the styles and price levels they represent, but if you're not already an advanced collector, there's a better way. Go on Ruby Lane and under the "Shop" category, click "Pottery". After that, you get more choices. Go to art pottery and a list of brands will appear on the left. Now you can decide what to look at. If you really have no idea what you might like, start with price levels. On the high end you'll find brands like Greuby, Newcomb College, and artist-signed Rookwood. Down a bit are typical examples of Roseville, Weller and Van Briggle, although you can find those brands on the high or low side because they made so many different styles. If you're into art nouveau, look at Amphora or Royal Dux. Well,
you get the idea.
Now start looking. Find something you'd like to live with in your house. And when you're just starting, make sure it's well marked. People can tell you most anything, but the marks on the base seldom lie. Of course, if you're like us, you buy things just because you like them and then you have to buy books to try to figure out what they are. As a result, we have a hundred books and we still have a shelf full of mystery pots. Sherlock Holmes indeed. But all that is down the road. For a start, just look and enjoy. You will find amazing things that people have made from clay. Hopefully, you'll want a piece or three for your home. And who knows where that may lead.
We invite you to visit The Pottery Nuts
VINTAGE JEWELRY: THE SPLENDOR OF EISENBERG
The icy jewelry creations of Eisenberg are part of one of the more unique jewelry success stories, and a case of the tail wagging the dog.
Jonas Eisenberg moved to Chicago in the 1880's, from his native Austria. He started his exclusive ladies ready-to-wear business in 1914. His sons, Samuel and Harold, became active in the business at this time. At first, various jobbers made the clothing, but by 1927, production of the clothing was done by the Eisenberg firm. Shortly after this, around 1930, jeweled accessories accompanied the clothing. Perhaps remembering the rhinestone pieces of Austria, Jonas Eisenberg had found something to make his clothing stand out as the economy of the United States and the world entered the Great Depression.
Various jobbers made the jewelry, with ORA of Chicago being one of the first known suppliers. This Chicago manufacturer was actually known as the Oreste Agnini company at the time, and did not become ORA until the 1940's, at the earliest. They used rhinestones from Swarovski exclusively in later years, and this may have been the case when they were producing jewels for Eisenberg. It is unclear who actually designed the jewelry at this time.
By the late 1930's, Eisenberg appears to have forged an exclusive arrangement with Fallon and Kappel of New York. Some sources date this arrangement as early as 1935. They made all of Eisenberg's pieces from about 1940 and worked only for Eisenberg. Ruth Kamke, of Fallon and Kappel,
did many of the designs for Eisenberg from about 1940 until 1972. She was responsible for most, if not all, Eisenberg Originals and Eisenberg Ice designs during this period. She later did design work for Panetta.
Some design patents for Eisenberg pieces are registered to Florence Nathan. Nathan was employed at Fallon and Kappel, and married Murray Silverman, who bought the company after WWII. It is assumed that her name on the design patents is merely a legal matter and that she was not actually the designer.
Eisenberg phased out the clothing production by 1958 and focused totally on jewelry. Karl Eisenberg, grandson of the founder, became president of the company in 1969, and oversaw a tumultuous time at the company. Fallon and Kappel closed quite suddenly in 1972, and many incredible records of Kamke's design work were apparently just thrown away. By 1975, the firms making jewelry with the Eisenberg name had moved away from the handset standards that had always been in place and items were produced with glued-in sets. It is difficult to determine who actually designed and made what for Eisenberg in this period. In 1977, Eisenberg became a division of Berns-Friedman.
The hallmarks used on Eisenberg have varied over the years. Marks have also overlapped, and older marks have been altered and re-used. This can make precise dating of Eisenberg a challenge. Eisenberg used a script "Eisenberg" and script "Eisenberg Ice "in the mid-1930's, on clothing and
-Some of the earliest pieces were either unmarked or just marked "Sterling"."Eisenberg Originals" saw use from the mid-1930's to the mid-1940's.
- Some items were marked with just a script "E", or a script "E" and "Originals" from about 1942-1945, and some sources claim this was used throughout the 1940's.
- A block letter "E" was used the 1940's, possibly from 1942 on.
- During some of the years of World War II, Eisenberg used sterling silver, from approximately 1943 to 1948.
- Some of these silver items may have been marked "Nordic Sterling" or " Mexico Silver", along with several different "Eisenberg Original" marks. However, documentation for this is questionable.
- "Eisenberg Ice", in block letters, was used from the early 1940's until the late 1950's, with a copyright mark sometimes added after 1955.
- A script "Eisenberg" was registered in the early 1980's, but may have been used as early as 1935.
- From the late 1950's until about 1970, most pieces were unmarked. Some sources also report much unmarked production from 1970 until the 1990's. Some items from 1970 to about 1985 appear to have been marked "Eisenberg Ice", in block, with copyright mark. After 1985, script was favored, also with copyright.
- A script "Eisenberg Ice" mark was used from the 1970's onward, and some sources report a block letter "Eisenberg Ice", with copyright was also used during this time.
- Classic Series reissues were dated, either 1994 or 2000, with "Eisenberg Ice" in
- The enamel pieces produced under Karl Eisenberg's direction in the 1970's appear to have usually been marked "Eisenberg", with a copyright symbol. Matching earrings are reported to only be marked with an "E".
- Some 14 karat gold jewelry was allegedly made towards the end of WWII.
- Pieces may have a number or letter, in a circle, identifying the stone setter or craftsman involved in production.
- The current Eisenberg company does show a list of copyrighted or trademarked images on their current site, along with first dates of use.
Eisenberg also used branded packaging at times, with blue velvet boxes marked "Eisenberg & Sons Originals". Department stores also used packaging with the Eisenberg name, that noted the jewelry was an exclusive to the store. Eisenberg was never inexpensive, and in the 1940's and 50's, pieces were often priced at more than a working woman's weekly wage. The price and exclusivity of venues helped create a desirable mystique for the line.
Eisenberg appears to have used Swarovski Crystal for all rhinestones. Some ads at the end of WWII used the phrase "American Ice" and implied the stones were of American manufacture, but this appears to be an isolated incident.
The main focus of the company today is on Christmas theme pieces. However, they make many non-Christmas items as well, in their Social line, as well as pieces based on older designs in their Classic line. Old and new pieces are sought after by collectors. Fakes, including
authentic looking recasts, can be found in today's market. The jewelry line, originally created to aid in the marketing of ladies ready-to-wear, is still going strong, although the clothing line it originally promoted has been gone for over 50 years. The "dog" may be gone, but its rhinestone studded tail still wags on proudly.
SHOP SAMPLER: ANTIQUES ON RUBY LANE!
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