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 March 2010
In This Issue
- Join Ruby Lane On Twitter and Facebook!
- Shop Spotlight: Welcome To Falls Avenue Collectibles
- Miriam Haskell - Part 1
- Shop Sampler: Porcelain on Ruby Lane!
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SHOP SPOTLIGHT: WELCOME TO FALLS AVENUE COLLECTIBLES
Rita Zappitelli of Falls Avenue Collectibles specializes in Estate & Retro Costume Jewelry & Sterling, Vintage Clothing, Textiles & Collectibles. Here's what she has to say about herself and her shop:
"I think some of us are born with a special affinity for all things old. We seem to gravitate toward these items when decorating ourselves and our homes. Perhaps it's a necklace to complete that runway outfit or maybe it's a glass bowl we intend to use every day. I believe it's knowing that purchase has a history which you will continue with pleasure. There's no argument that "they don't make them like they used to". We appreciate the quality workmanship and painstaking attention to detail, qualities so sadly unapparent in similar items produced today.
I know I was born with it because I have been frequenting secondhand shops since I was 14. I remember how thrilled I was when my mother finally gave me permission to go downtown by myself. I would spend hours in a dusty three-story shop called "Ye Olde County Antiques". I mostly bought books back then but once in a while I would treat myself to a hat or a bracelet. The shop has long since closed but oh what I would give to visit just once more! Throughout the years I have furnished my home and wardrobe with vintage gems and can honestly say I am overwhelmed by the compliments I receive. It seems anyone can spot quality instantly and beauty never goes unnoticed.
I hope you will be pleased with my selection of
items. I specialize in jewelry, clothing and textiles but always keep an eye out for uncommon items such as Victorian photography and ad wares. I base my purchases on their condition, rarity and overall look. Basically, if it's not something I would consider buying for myself, it's not something I will consider selling to you.
I am located in beautiful Niagara Falls, Canada. Being a border city, I have access to fabulous finds from the USA. Please don't be concerned that I am not located there. My customer base is over 95% American (God Bless!) and I have successfully shipped hundreds and hundreds of packages there. These have arrived safely in under 10 business days and most did not incur duties. I know many Americans are concerned about buying from non-US sellers but please rest assured the transaction will be just as smooth and comes with a full guarantee that includes return shipping."
We invite you to visit Falls Avenue Collectibles
MIRIAM HASKELL - PART 1
Miriam Haskell, a woman who may have never actually designed a piece of jewelry in her life, is actually remembered for the company she created and kept. The designs her company created inspired imitators at the time and counterfeiters today. The company's attention to detail and the workmanship shown on the pieces sets them far above the many lower quality imitations.
THE EARLY YEARS
Born in Indiana in 1899, Haskell attended the University of Chicago before moving to New York City. She opened a gift shop in the city's McAlpin Hotel in 1926. Soon after, in one of the few business decisions we hear associated with Miriam, she hired Frank Hess, a window dresser at Macy's. Hess had a great eye for color and design, and by the 1930's was creating the first pieces to exhibit "Haskell" style. While the first creations had natural themes, the designs became increasingly sophisticated. A new boutique was opened in Miami, at the Hotel Roney, and a new shop on 57th Street was opened. In 1933, manufacturing operations and the showroom were consolidated at 392 Fifth Avenue.
The company used components from various sources. Beads were obtained from Italy, France, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, Findings were primarily from the manufacturing shops of Providence, Rhode Island. Plastic, wood, and shells were obtained from various local sources.
The pieces developed a certain consistency of workmanship. The company did three major collections a year and had three levels
of complexity-lines A, B, and C. A theme could carry over to any of the lines. Items produced in the 1930's included lariats, bib necklaces with fringes or beads, beaded collars, beaded necklaces with large and dramatic focal centers, "pompom" beaded necklaces, fur clips, dress clips, brooches, bracelets, and multi-strand necklaces.
In addition to the Fall, Spring, and Holiday Collections, the company had several other buyer events. Items were normally made up as ordered. The company also had a Basics Line, of non-themed pearl pieces. Haskell was geographically exclusive with their distribution, with better known Department Stores or specialty retailers handling the sales, including Marshall Fields, Garfinckels, R. H. Stearns, and Halle Brothers. The Miriam Haskell company also operated their own boutique in Saks, from 1936 to the 1970's. The line was represented in London by the Harvey Nichols department store from the 1930's.
World War II had an impact on materials, with many metals unavailable and the supplies of European beads cut off. Haskell has always had a tendency to keep and use all components on hand. They also developed sources for beads and plastic components in the United States. They also switched from the metal backings that many beads had been wired to, using plastic backings instead. Some very creative designs using alternative materials were created.
Frank Hess served in the Army, but created a large portfolio of designs, which were used
in his absence.
After the war, style came back in style. The Signature Look was established. Metal backs were used again, but not the plain backs of the pre-war years. The well-known Haskell filigrees came into use. These were obtained from sources in France and Rhode Island. Haskell had the items plated, using special proprietary plating solutions. The pieces were lacquered after the plating process. It was during this period that the name Miriam Haskell began appearing on the pieces.
Miriam Haskell appears to have become quite delusional during this period and Frank Hess was actually running the business. When Miriam's brother, Joseph Haskell, bought the company from her in 1950, Frank Hess stayed on as designer. Morris Kinzler became owner of the company in 1955 and owned all or part of the company until 1983. During the 1950's, Sanford Moss began the process of standardizing inventory, which enabled consistent production of pieces on a larger scale.
Frank Hess left the company in 1960. He went on to partner with Josef Morton Glasser, and then did some design work for Kramer. The pieces produced by the Hess-Morton collaboration were marked "Josef Morton", and were produced until 1963. These pieces, along with the Kramer "Amourelle" line, resemble some of the work Hess did at Haskell.
Robert Clark, who had assisted Hess since 1958, became head designer and stayed on until 1968. His designs were more symmetrical than the
designs that Hess had done, and Clark was known for some large pieces. Peter Raines served as head designer from 1968 until 1970. In 1970, Larry Vrba, who had briefly worked for Haskell in 1968, returned and was the chief designer until 1978. Vrba's Egyptian-themed pieces were very popular in the early to mid-1970's. The volume of production was increased during this period, and more and more outsourcing was used for components and assembly. A "bridge" line, featuring genuine stones was also introduced. Several staff members from the marketing and sales departments, Carol DuPlaise and Ann duBe, were also important in the development of Haskell at this time.
CONTEMPORARY MIRIAM HASKELL
Designs featuring large crystal designs by Roberta Stone were popular in the late 1970's, and Camille Petronzio became head designer in the 1980's
In the 1990's, Frank Fialkoff became the sole owner of the company. The Signature line became the focus of the company for 5 years, with standard collections only returning after that time. In addition to the signature line, there are currently three trendier Haskell lines in production, along with private label production and the J-Lo line. After 80 years, Miriam Haskell is still a major player in the world of fashion and costume jewelry.
Next month we will have more information on Miriam Haskell, with a focus on the styles they produced and the components they used. We also recommend Miriam Haskell Jewelry, by Cathy Gordon and Sheila
Pamfiloff, for those interested in more information on this company.
SHOP SAMPLER: PORCELAIN ON RUBY LANE!
Childhood Memories: Specializing in early childhood antiques
Child's Toy German Silhouette Coffee Set
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Hand Signed Limoges France Peint Main Chamart, Sailor Pig Trinket Box
What a find! This cute pig is looking up because he is hiding a toy yellow sailboat behind his back. He is dressed in his short pants, sailor shirt ...
Cameleon: Fine Antique, Fine Art, Collectibles, Vintage Jewelry, Porcelain
Lovely Darrell Bush Canada Geese Collector Plate
For your consideration is this collectable plate by the artist Darrell Bush titled Golden Flight - Canada Geese . It is the only limited edition. It ...
Artes-Trouveaux: JEWELRY- Estate, Victorian, Native American, Mexican, Designer more Fine Antiques Collectibles
German Porcelain Gilt Figural Boot Vase
Such a pretty porcelain piece - marked Germany on the bottom. Gold, cobalt and pink design. Sweet applied gold rosettes. Transfer of a lovely ...
Bellacasa: Estate Items Added Daily from the Heart of California!
Lovely 6 1 2 Porcelain Plate~Doulton Burslem Transfer Pattern~ Madras
This beautiful plate is in the Madras pattern by Doulton, Burslem. It is a lovely transfer pattern with Oriental motif in Cobalt, Persimmon and ...
Kathy's Kloset: An eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles at affordable prices
Blue Glazed Porcelain Vase with Pastoral Scene: Czechoslovakian
Beautiful blue glazed porcelain vase with pastoral scene of three women on the shore of a pond and an angel child (or Cupid?) in the water. The rim ...
Seraph Co Antiques and Treasures: A lifetime's worth of collectibles ranging from antique to artsy!
Pair of Cabinet Plates, Melon Eaters; Marked with Thomas Bavaria Germany Featuring Children, ca Early 1900's
Darling set of cabinet plates featuring two transferware scenes featuring peasant children in a pattern known as Melon Eaters. The first plate is...
California Girls: Antiques, Vintage Collectibles, Jewelry and More!
Vintage Dragonware Lusterware Hawaiian Hula Girl Oil Lamp
Circa 1960, this is a souvenir, miniature oil lamp that has a green, lusterware base with an applied dragon. In the center is a picture of two ...
My Grandmother Had One: Things you remember at prices you can afford!
Lady Head Vase with W- 1940's
This is one item that you need to be careful of. There are many reproductions of this style of vase. This beautiful lady has a light blue dress, pink ...
The Blue Canary: Fine porcelain, art glass and pottery from around the world
Exquisite Hand Painted Dresden Cabinet Vase, Victorian Couple w Pug Dog
A gorgeous antique Dresden miniature cabinet vase beautifully hand painted with two Victorian couples taking their pug dog out on a leisurely stroll. ...
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