Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry
at the

ANTIQUE CONNECTION MALL
and on the internet since 1996
12815 Central NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87123  USA
~
Jane Haley Clarke, owner
Copyright 1994-2017 All rights Reserv
ed ©

 


Welcome to the beauty, history and art that is vintage jewelry. We buy and sell vintage rhinestone, costume, designer, bakelite and antique Georgian & Victorian jewelry, purses and accessories.
To be alerted when NEW ITEMS are added to the site, please e-mail jane@morninggloryantiques.com and we will be glad to add you to the contact list.
All jewelry is in excellent vintage condition unless specified otherwise.  All items are subject to prior sale.
We work constantly to offer extensive jewelry research, pictures and information in our reference, " Jewel Chat " and gallery " Morning Glory Collects ". 
We share our reference material free of charge and work hard to make it accurate, but as with any research, mistakes can be made. We are not responsible for the use you make of the information here or the honest mistakes that may occur from time to time.
We do not offer identification, valuation or appraisal services. 

TO PURCHASE: You are on a reference page of Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry. Most of these items were photographed from private collections, and are for reference only.
Jewelry that is available TO BUY can be accessed by clicking HERE
.

© 1994-2017 All Rights Reserved

 


Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry presents
~

JEWEL CHAT
Costume Jewelry Magazine
 

 

MIRIAM HASKELL JEWELRY
1926-Present

By Sheila Pamfiloff 

Older unsigned Haskell densely beaded pieces in rich colors....

All the jewelry shown in this article is courtesy of Sheila Pamfiloff, Cathy Gordon and Jane Clarke.

Some are pins and some are clips, but all are magnificent!


When I first noticed Miriam Haskell jewelry many years ago, I quickly became aware that I was looking at jewelry that was quite unique. Unique in the sense that it was involved, hand made, exquisite in its complex use of glass beads, rhinestones, and metalwork, and it was immaculate in its execution. The pieces literally mesmerized me. My great appreciation for the jewelry has not diminished to this day, but I soon learned that there was more to collecting these lovely pieces than just scouting around for the name Miriam Haskell.

The difficulty in collecting these ĎOld Ladiesí, then and now, is in acquiring adequate information to be able to make wise decisions in purchasing. Anyone today can see by a search through eBay, while viewing countless numbers of signed and unsigned Haskells, that knowledge is crucial. How would someone know that the person selling this jewelry is correct in his or her declaration that this is unsigned, old, or is it even a real Haskell? This holds true at antique shows as well as antique shops. Is it a Miriam or isnít it? Is it old or isnít it? To quote just a few of the statements that can be read or heard from sellers, "This is an unsigned Miriam, because I got it from an estate belonging to an elderly lady who collected jewelry and they said........!"  Or, "This is an unsigned Miriam because only Miriam used unusual beads and pearls and filigree." Or, "I know itís a Miriam, because Iíve been a dealer for 20 years." My aim here is to give you a STANDARD for looking at Old Haskells, not the "exceptions."

For the purposes of this article, Iím narrowing the discussion from the vast area of designs produced by the Haskell company to include only those with distinctive Haskell traits.

 

    
A pair of Haskell pieces...   ...on the right a clip and on the left a pin back.      HASKELL fur clip combining glass beads, gold tone findings and painted leaves.    View    #H19523
 
The tools to be used in educating yourself are not hard to learn, but they can be time consuming. Considering how the values of older Haskells have escalated, the time would be well spent.  

The first tool is to invest in and read good books. Two exceptional books are "The Jewels of Miriam Haskell", by Deanna Cera and "Jewels of Fantasy", edited by Ms. Cera. Additional examples of Miriam Haskell can be found in many Costume jewelry books written by well respected authorities such as Harrice Miller, author of "Costume Jewelry: Identification and Price Guide," and other recently published books. Other examples may be found in vintage magazines and advertisements.  

The second tool is learning to use your eyes to compare. Always compare! Comparing what you know to be true to the unknown will help you develop a detectiveís eye. For example, collect visual examples of molded leaves, beads, stampings, filigree parts, findings, and link chains and then compare these to the piece you would like to identify. Look at the construction in era-specific pieces that you know, and then compare this to the prospective purchase.

For the sake of identifying and dating Haskell pieces, it is easier to impart information if that information is broken down into smaller specific categories. When I think of the companyís years of production, in helping with identification, I think in terms of three broad categories: pre-signature era (1926 to late 1940s), early signature era (late 1940s through the 1960s), and the later signature era (1970ís to the present). Then I think of the other more specific categories such as the designers, findings and metalwork, beads, materials, assemblage, and, very importantly, styles or colors that were predominant in any given period in the history of fashion.

There is a warning that I would like to give when dating Haskell jewelry, however. The theme of tapestry beading on filigree runs from the late 1940s to the present, coupled with the fact that the company purchased mass quantities of materials, which they used decade after decade with some still in use today. This makes accuracy a problem. However, by keeping in mind these ideas, much can be established in identifying Haskell jewelry and dating it.


1926 to the late 1940s ~ the unsigned years

    
Haskell beads unsigned, but with a variety of color and form. Haskell glass beads, a great example of an unsigned piece to which an insecure dealer probably added the hangtag.  Another great example of dealer insecurity. This Haskell parure came with a glued oval on the bracelet and a drilled oval acting as a hangtag on the necklace. The earrings were made to match.
 
When Miriam Haskell first opened her doors she had a unique vision as to what her jewelry would be like. Nature would be used as a reference for these handmade pieces of art. This passion for nature played out in a multitude of designs using metal and glass for leaves and flowers, round pearls, colored beads, many with irregular surfaces, and wonderful little creatures. Her nature theme extended to the use of organic materials, such as wood, shells, nuts, coral, silk threads, and woven cords.  

Her vision was enhanced when she hired FRANK HESS to be her head designer. Through his career with the company, asymmetry would be the hallmark of his designs. In thinking of his tenure as head designer, think detail: "The beauty is in the construction."

During the early Hess years these designs were sometimes playful, and very often complex and luxurious. Era fashions tended to be sophisticated with high culture and European designers being the model. Much of the Haskell jewelry was created to enhance the necklines of these fashion garments, making a statement of crafted art complementing sophistication.  

Hess's art can be seen in the designs where beads terminate in tiny little glass beads, prong set rhinestones, or brass findings. Tiny motifs such as flowers or berries were often placed in such a way as to cover the entire backing. If there were bead fringes, they would usually be in uneven lengths.  A single bead could very often be treated as an artwork by surrounding it with smaller accent beads or rhinestones, enhanced with additional complementary beads and findings in elaborate treatments.  

Before WWII, beads were from France and Venice and crystals from Bohemia and Gablonz. The connecting wire threading moved from layer to layer, linking beads, motifs, and metal backings in an intricately planned process. The first metal backings were mostly hand-cut perforated metal shapes with fitted solid back plates. At the beginning of WWII, a variety of stamped pierced-metal backings came into use.

 

    
Pink and purple glass leaves combine in this wonderful unsigned 1940's Haskell parure.   A nice example of the mixture of beads and pearls. Note the rectangular clasp. This is still a Hess design. (Closer view). Another Haskell oldie with asymmetry, chains and layering.
 
During the war, clear plastic perforated backings and colored plastic components were used (see the article on Unsigned HASKELL). Although European beads were not completely out of use, they were scarce and locally found materials made their way into the jewelry, such as natural materials and plastics. Womenís fashion tended toward the masculine and frugal. Jewelry now accented the garments with whimsy, novelty, and unusual combinations of new materials.

There are many many claims about jewelry being unsigned Haskell. For the sake of argument, I would guess that at least 90% of these claims are incorrect. Unsigned Miriam Haskell pieces are rare and for most people are difficult to identify. Because of the irregularity of materials, findings and other components, be sure that you have some examples of documented attributions when confirming unsigned pieces. Again, comparing the eraís components, construction, and correct style help greatly. If it looks like 1950s or 1960s, it probably isnít unsigned Haskell.

 

    
This Haskell set is similar to a lariat shown in Cera's "Jewels of
Haskell".
A lovely older Haskell bracelet in the beloved bead-encrusted style.    Clear sparkling rhinestones enhance this Haskell set of bracelet and earrings. 

 

Late 1940s through the 1960s ~ the early signed years
 

    
Similar to the pieces on  page 125 of Cera's "Haskell Jewels", this Haskell necklace has nice layering of beads. (View back) This dynamic Haskell set has elements of both Hess and Clark.  Haskell floral necklace, a nice example of Hess's asymmetry.
 
After the War, fashions changed dramatically. Clothing became feminine, with beautiful necklines and flowing skirts. Evening and casual wear became important in a womanís wardrobe. Designers made jewelry to fit these occasions and many, including Haskell, started signing their work to take credit for their creations. New styles included high chokers, multiple strands of beads, large involved bracelets, pearls, and oriental themes. Some of the color palettes were pastels, aqua blue, white, black, coral, garnet, citrine, and topaz. Frank Hess was fond of pale colors in blue, green, pink, and yellow.

In the late 1940s, the famous Haskell filigrees started being produced by a lengthy gold electroplating process, resulting in an antique gold finish, which was then lacquered for protection. These filigree backs came in a variety of shapes and sizes, often laced together, and were entirely covered by the motifs created of beads and stones. At this time, the 'Hess' signature look was introduced, with tapestry beading, and expanded use of pearls and rose montťes in wonderfully busy pieces.

Note: Very soon after starting the use of these filigrees, Haskell started signing their work. Unsigned Haskell with filigree is very, very rare!

When identifying Haskell of the late 1940s through the 1950s, think of pearls, asymmetry of construction, and look for perfection. Pay careful attention to the way the pieces are wired together. Think about the back of the piece. Is it wired carefully to the front? Is it all hand made? There should never be glued-in pearls or rhinestones. Pay attention to the spacers. Are they consistent with Haskell metal or seed bead spacers and are the pearls capped? Are the marks correct? Hess was an artist and made sure the colors worked together; if they don't, be suspicious.

 

 

    
 A Haskell lariat with detachable clasp that can be worn as a double brooch. Silver tone Haskell necklace, a good example of asymmetry, checking chains and layered work.  Haskell faux coral necklace with glass beads, another good example of the asymmetrical style. (Matching pin and earrings).
 
Signatures, earring backs, patented findings, and closures are helpful tools in dating Haskells. However, the subtleties deserve a very lengthy chapter of their own. In short, the hang tag, horseshoe, incised hook with a tiny floret attached to its back, applied plaque, and cartouche came into use within a few short years of each other, each being used according to the individual design of the jewelry. The general use of the horseshoe mark was soon discontinued, with occasional later use. The remainder of these marks and closures are still in use today, with subtle changes over time due to different manufacturers. Because Haskell bought findings in great quantities and used them over time, signatures are only one clue in identifying Haskell and the period of manufacture. A Horseshoe mark could potentially be found on a very contemporary piece.

When identifying Haskells, remember that hang tags can easily be removed and placed on non-Haskell jewelry. Other Haskell signature forms and closures are also often used on non-Haskell jewelry. Beware of the glued on oval tag, and the sometimes glued on hang tag. All of these various marks have been used on non-Haskell jewelry and used with various combinations of Haskell parts and non-Haskell parts to make re-creations. Look for the other correct traits and make sure that the construction is consistent when identifying a Miriam Haskell. In the older Miriam Haskell necklaces, the stringing is unique. They always used silk thread and backstrung the thread through the tiny jump ring and back through 3 to 5 beads, for strength.

 

 

    
This Haskell set is also in Cera's book identified as a Clark design, but it does have the look of a Vrba.   Pretty in pink, the Haskell set is an early Clark design. Early classically Clark symmetrical design in faux pearls.
 
Robert Clark joined the company in 1958, and in 1960 Frank Hess retired. Although Clark maintained many of the traditions of Frank Hess in style and construction, he added his own style preferences and some innovations in construction. The festoon and bib style necklaces seemed to be a favorite style for Mr. Clark. Chokers tended to be large, involved and chunky. The jewelry tended to be symmetrical, with repetition of design carried through the entire piece, such as in the collarettes and fringes. Pieces made with mother of pearl or pearlized metals joined the repertoire of materials. Sometimes a bit of solder was used in joining components. The overall look of the Robert Clark pieces has a high sophistication and a very elegant finish.

Robert Clark left Miriam Haskell in 1968 and for a brief period Peter Raines took over as head designer.
 

 

    
Fabulous Haskell collar. Cera says 50's, I think late 50's, a nice transition piece. Haskell brooch with a wonderful layered effect.  A Haskell corsage of crystals hinged bracelet by Bob Clark circa 1960's.

 

      
An older Haskell necklace, with newer earrings to match made by Larry Vrba.   An unsigned Haskell lariat with signed earrings.  

 


1970s to the present ~ the late signed years

 

    
Vrba pink glass flowers and faux pearls brooch. HASKELL Egyptian scarab motif aqua, blue and orange 2-5/8" brooch designed by Larry Vrba circa 1972-4. Larry says thousands of these were made because this was an extremely well-received group which stayed in the line for about 2 years due to it's popularity. That is a long time, as many pieces from that era were only sold for one season.   View   #H22991 Vrba faux pearl three flowers brooch.  #V18111
 
Larry Vrba joined the Haskell company in 1968 and became the head designer for the Haskell company in 1970.  From the 1970s on, the Miriam Haskell company has continued to produce their hallmark look, but jewelry fashion had changed remarkably. Fantasy jewelry had arrived and Hippie power was at its height. Most of the non-traditional looking Haskell jewelry started here, including long chains, medallions, exotic themes, woven chains, simple center drops, and jewelry made with strictly metal components, just to name a few.

A long thin rectangular necklace clasp, with a 1969 patent number on one side and Miriam Haskell imprinted on the other, was used from 1975 to about 1982.

 

    
1990's designs by Millie Petronzio of HASKELL. Faux seed pearl encrusted, this BUTTERFLY brooch is large and the workmanship is without equal.   HASKELL huge bib made up of many smaller bows.   View    View    View     HASKELL bangle.   View
 
In 1980 Millie Petronzio became the head designer was until about 2010. Millie loved the traditional pieces and makes custom pieces, often in the style of the old Haskell pieces, provided that the old beads and findings can be found. A cherished old Miriam can be remade, or a traditional looking Haskell can be made with a new twist. She was responsible for a wonderful limited edition Retro Line in 1992 incorporating old designs.

These designers were and are important to the company in sustaining the old traditions and adding to the new. You should be familiar with the distinctions in different approaches and influences brought to the Haskell company during each period.  

Armed with some information in methods of construction, types of materials used at different junctures in the history of the company, the styles and colors favored in any given era, and knowing the appropriate marks, you can go far in identifying old Haskell jewelry, with a possible date approximation. And, much better, youíll be able to eliminate the non-Haskells and the risk of purchasing a BAD HASKELL!

© 2001 Sheila Pamfiloff, All rights Reserved

All the jewelry shown in this article is courtesy of Jane Clarke, Sheila Pamfiloff and Cathy Gordon.

 

Miriam Haskell Jewelry


BOOK: Miriam Haskell Jewelry
By Sheila Pamfiloff and Cathy Gordon
Schiffer Publications

A comprehensive collector's guide to
Miriam Haskell Jewelry.
Over 600 Illustrations of delicious collectible pieces, with the mysteries of identification unveiled.


 

 Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry                 

TO PURCHASE: You are on a reference page of Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry. These items were photographed from private collections, and are for reference only.
Jewelry that is available TO BUY can be accessed by clicking HERE
.

                       

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PLEASE NOTE: Regretfully, it is no longer possible to respond to individual questions regarding jewelry history, identification or value, or to offer written or verbal appraisals or opinions. The demand for this kind of information is absolutely too overwhelming for one dealer to fill. 
I love jewelry, but appraising and selling are two entirely different businesses, and I choose selling and research as my business.

Instead, articles are added on a regular basis to JEWEL CHAT on line Magazine, a wonderful reference for  information on many makers and styles of vintage jewelry. 
For information on valuing your jewelry, click HERE.