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Next year (2015) will mark 125 years since Napier moved its costume jewelry & accessories company to Meriden, CT, and I have been immersed in Napier since the recent publication of Melinda Lewis’ iconic book, “The Napier Company: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry” (Fall 2013).  My online shop collection has now grown to 45 pieces of this company’s vintage beauties, the largest and longest standing costume jewelry producer in U.S. history.  From the Art Deco period to the chunky and bold 1980’s, Napier dominated the jewelry counters of most fine department stores, from Filene’s to Macy’s to Bloomingdale’s.  Not to mention, who doesn’t remember their silver plated wares, such as the piggy bank (popular baby shower gift), the chic sterling diaper pins (engravable for silver-spooned tykes), or their barware (jiggers, cocktail shakers, etc.)?  …Which are now making a comeback, thanks to retro-homage TV shows like AMC’s Mad Men.

Napier developed many of the classic styles that became staples for the American woman’s working and cocktail party wardrobe, from the Gucci-link designs to their infamous and best-ever made charm bracelets from the 1950’s-60’s.  Feast your eyes on a fashion timeline that might recall your mother’s or grandmother’s favorites!

Napier 1950's moonglow fruit charm bracelet

Napier 1950’s moonglow fruit charm bracelet

Napier 1968 Eugene Bertolli design set

Napier 1968 Eugene Bertolli design set

 

Napier 1940s sterling silver bracelet

Napier 1940’s sterling silver swirl bracelet

Napier 1950s chatelaine earrings

Napier 1950’s over-the-ear chatelaine earrings

Napier gauntlet bracelet

Napier 1955 flexible gauntlet bracelet

 

Napier Gucci link bracelet

Napier “Gucci” link anchor bracelet

Napier bell earrings

Napier 1950’s Bell Chime earrings

 

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My actual “keep forever” collection may be small, since I rotate many items in and out of my personal collection, my Christmas tree pins among them. 

First among them are my charm bracelets…my Chauncey (son) “critter” charm bracelet and the story of my life bracelet.  I have acquired these charms over the past 8 years and am still collecting. 

Next are my beloved trees, many of which I acquired from my arbor guru friend and author, Kathy Flood.  She is truly a Christmas tree pin connossieur!

Then come all the rest, the Kramer pieces with inverted stones (like Schreiner), my Art Deco sterling silver, enameled cornucopia brooch, Saphiret ring, my mother’s wooden flag ring, funky blue crystal ball ring, rare Vendome brooches, Trifari A-Z initial letter pins, a small Accessocraft & Corocraft glass pin collection, and a few more.  Next post, I’ll take photos of the rest and publish them!ImageImageImageImage

8.  Holiday & Christmas tree pins (Of course)!

9.  Statement-making sterling earrings (Georg Jensen, Art Deco, Taxco)

10.  Diva Rhinestone & Crystal necklaces for special occasions

Stay Tuned for next post:  Fabulous Figurals!