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Friday, April 25, 2008

I Love Lucy (and vintage jewels!)

Looks like Lucy, but it's not! I was perusing the May issue of Country Home Magazine when I came across an advertisement for Armstrong laminate flooring. What caught my eye was not the Lucy look alike, but the gorgeously large vintage rhinestone brooch! Here's a closeup shot:When I was in Arcola, Illinois shopping with my sister 2 weeks ago, I found a beautiful brooch look alike at an antique shop. My generous sister purchased it and other vintage pieces for me! Here is a photo of my brooch look alike:I'm hoping my treasure is a Weiss brooch. Albert Weiss was a jewelry designer in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The Weiss Company was founded in NYC in 1942 and closed its doors in 1971. The company offered high quality costume jewelry with Austrian rhinestones of the highest quality and clarity. Weiss jewelry is highly sought after by many collectors today.If a jewel is marked Weiss on the back, it may or may not be indicative of an authentic Weiss piece. There was a period of time when many designers did not mark their pieces. In fact, a majority of vintage, especially antique (pre-1930) pieces are unsigned. My brooch is not marked Weiss, but I'm hoping mine is one of those unsigned pieces! Here's a quick tutorial on how to spot authentic Weiss jewelry:
  1. Authentic Weiss jewelry has a smooth rhodium plated back which is quite pretty. A fake Weiss piece has a textured back which is not as appealing to the eye. Here are 2 photos of the back of my unsigned brooch:
2. Buy from only reputable dealers. If the dealer has a large stock of Weiss pieces with several of an identical piece, buy elsewhere. Weiss pieces are hard to come by, so if a dealer has a large quantity in pristine condition, the pieces were probably mass produced after 1971 when Weiss stopped production.I purchased my brooch from a reputable dealer in Chicago who had only one other Weiss piece for sale. My sister bought that one for me also! It is a smaller brooch, but it is marked Weiss, has the smooth rhodium plated back and it's brilliance is almost blinding! Here are some photos:I hope you enjoyed "Vintage Weiss 101" in a nutshell. More vintage jewels to come! Ladies, look through your old jewelry before you sell them in your next yard sale. You may have some Weiss definitely worth keeping!

36 comments:

Pink Icing on the Cake said...

That same ad caught my eye too. I love antique brooches. Yours is very pretty.

Hugs,
LeAnn :)

Donna said...

Thank for the lesson on vintage jewels. Both of the brooches are so beautiful! I will now be on the lookout for at least one for myself!

I love your blog!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Donna

Pink Icing on the Cake said...

Cindy,
I just had to come back and tell you that I was looking at your blog tonight and oh my goodness, your house is so so adorable. I love the front entryway and your outside pics of all your flowers and cute little tin buckets, oh so so pretty!! I just love everything.

Hugs,
LeAnn :)

Donna Lynn said...

Hi, found you on LeAnns blog and had to stop by for a visit! I love your vintage brooches, we should all have a show n' tell on our old rhinestone jewelry, wouldn't that be fun? Your blog is just lovely, enjoyed it so much, glad I found you! Donna Lynn

PAINT MINE PINK said...

Hiya Cindy,

Wowza i am just loving that brooch, its stunning. Hey yeah that girl does look like Lucy doesnt she (and she probably hears it all the time and gets tired of it too..LOL).

I enjoyed the lowdown on Weiss (ive never heard of it b4..um mah)...You learn something new every day!

Hugs,
Shann

Tracie said...

Hi Cindy,
Now this is a fun learning experience and so pretty.

Now, if I could just get to my magazines to look - I am months and months behind.

What a thoughtful sister you have you lucky lady!
Happy Weekend!
xo~Tracie

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Hi Cindy, fun lesson & a gorgeous brooch. Glad I dropped by today!

oxox
Jennifer

The Rose Cottage said...

YOU ARE SO LUCKY! Your sister is very special too, I know she spoils you :)
I am just about drooling over the keyboard here, both brooches are beautiful!!!! Thanks for the lesson too, I am going to look at one I have, that I am sure it has a smooth back like yours.

This was a great post, loved it.

Lynn

purpleflowerfairy said...

ooh, what pretty "bling" =) debbie p.s. you must have a very nice sister!!! lucky you =)

Lu Lu's Fluffy Ruffles said...

Hi,
great picutres thanks for all the info. I love old jewelry as you no but dont no alot about it.
hugs,
Sandy

GeorgiaPeachez said...

I'm drooling over those jewels! You are one lucky sister! xo, suzy

Cami said...

That ad made me pause too. I loved the brooch, but I think I stopped because my Mom and I use to watch I LOVE LUCY reruns when she came to visit and it's such a strong memory. And a happy one. So I smiled over that ad and smiled even more when I found it on your blog. Love, love your brooches. And appreciated the tutorial too.

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

Those are awesome! WOW! I try not to look at them on Ebay, so that I won't know they are there! But I have been weak occasionally...so, I try to find ways to use them other than just as jewelry...like on pillows and securing the coverlet that I have over one of my wing back chairs...I want to see them sparkling in the light!

M

m i c h e l l e said...

SPECTACULAR bling, Cindy!!! :-)

celestina marie said...

Hi Cindy, love this post and that brooch is exactly like one that I have, that was my mother's. I remember wearing it in the 60's when I was little. I am going to look for the markings now after reading your very imformative post. Thank you for sharing the details. Always enjoy my visit to your lovely blog.
Celestina,
La Rea Rose

cherished*vintage said...

Gorgeous brooches! What a sweet sister you have. I'm always on the lookout for Weiss jewelry at garage sales. I've found some pretty Weiss earrings, but no pins yet... Thanks for showing us your pretty pieces!
-Karoline

Lynne Laura said...

HI Cindy, love your brooches! I do have a Weiss one at home but I need to look to see if I have more after this post! Thank you for the information and I so love Rhinestone brooches and I wouldn't sell them...thank you for sharing.

Kindredly, Lynne Laura aka the pink chic

Karin (creativechaos) said...

So beautiful!! I just love them.....

Beth Leintz said...

Beautiful brooches- those Weiss rhinestones are just so much prettier and brighter than anything else.

Creating Myself said...

Oh, I have a very large rhinestone brooch, similiar to the one that "Lucy" is wearing (I'll use your tips to see if it is a Weiss later). I just love the look of it pinned onto a crisp white shirt. Now I'll have to go pull it off, whatever pillow it was, I stuck it on. ;o) I even have a pair little of rhinestone pins I could pin on my cuffs...what a great look! Thansk for sharing the inspiration!

Anne Fannie said...

Hi, I was just stopping by and I noticed your great article about vintage brooches and jewelry. I buy vintage jewelry lots and decorate picture frames and any thing else that looks cute. After reading this, I guess I should be checking the jewelry before I glue them? oops!
XOAnn

Anonymous said...

gorgeous brooches. can i go shopping with your sister?

Sherry/Cherie said...

Great tutorial, and i thank you. My mother had a brooch like this and I'm going to check tomorrow to see if it's authentic.

Diane said...

Cindy, Thanks for stopping by my blog, your brooch is beautiful, and I too noticed the flooring ad with Lucy look-a-like Wow!! I am Jenn aka Old painted Cottage neighbor we live on the same street (: I will have to go back and take notice of which garden is yours.
Hugs, Diane

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