I was very fortunate recently to acquire a stash of estate rhinestones that had been purchased in Europe, coming primarily from postwar Germany, Austria, and Italy. There were enough "toys" in this collection to keep the most dedicated of us up to our proverbial ears with new projects for months!
To start with however, I decided to do some repair work on a lot of vintage pieces whose rhinestones were yellowed, or repaired with yellowed glue, or just poorly repaired. I have a stash of mountings that I've cleaned out and have been (let's face it!) hoarding, hoping that something would come along to restore these graceful designs.
I displayed some of the repaired pieces recently at a local craft show and I was surprised at how many younger women fell in love with these vintage designs...I think that that alone shows the artistry of those long ago designers!! Here is a sampling of a few of the pieces...if you like them, I'll be more than happy to share more (this is much like having your kids' pictures with you...always happy to share!!)
This is more than likely a 20's-30's era piece. It's the only one that got to retain some of its original parts, basically because I couldn't find anything else that fit those large "flowers" of the mounting at all the way they were made. The blue "stones" are plastic, rhinestones are new, and the 4" piece is rhodium plated.
This graceful 2-1/2" "leaf" style brooch is so elegant. Can't you see this on the lapel of a suit or along the scoop neckline of a black dinner dress?
The swirl of the leaves or petals and the graceful circle at the top (almost like a crown effect) gives this piece such a classy look.
This next one is quite a large brooch, measuring 3-3/4" x 2-1/2", and is quite heavy for its size.
I hadn't planned to do two brooches with blue, but it so happened that the only marquise or navette stones that were the right size on this one were that deep blue.
The effect with all the rhinestones made it an incredible re-do! Pot metal casting, probably 20's-30's also.
This sweet smaller brooch is, I think, probably 50's or a bit later. It is rhodium plated, about 2-1/4" tall, and signed Coro.
Poor little thing had had a really rough life and since it has been redone, I don't think it qualifies to stand on its name alone, but its beautiful design makes it a worthwhile "save."
It took awhile to find enough baguettes alike to make this little one shine again!
Hope these few tidbits will whet your "vintage" appetite...there are lots more on the work table...dress and fur clips, as well as brooches large and small.
Maybe I'll share some more of them soon!