Review by Mary Ann Docktor-Smith
Ann Pitman’s book, “Juliana Jewelry Reference” has something for everyone. Do you like looking at tons of great photos of dazzling vintage costume jewelry? Do you have an interest in vintage jewelry history? Are you a DeLizza & Elster AKA “Juliana” collector or dealer? This book is for each of you! I typically think of the jewelry books in my library as being primarily either “picture” books or “reference” books. Ann has done a masterful job of creating a book that admirably fills both of these categories.
“Juliana Jewelry Reference” begins with insightful and interesting information and history about the jewelry and about DeLizza & Elster as a company. The bulk of the book is organized into sections that highlight particular designs and types of D&E jewelry, illustrated with multiple photo examples of fronts and backs, and also enlarged photos of stones, beads and elements. Uniquely, each section and each photo has extensive commentary describing the design elements including details, dates and correct terminology. And I’m not talking about a few sections; there are hundreds of these pages.
Most people familiar with D&E jewelry think immediately of showy rhinestone pieces identified by open-back stones, figure-eight “puddling” and five-link bracelets. Well, you’re in for lots of surprises including belts and ear wraps and chatelaines and many pieces without a single rhinestone and others without a single open-back stone in sight. Not to mention cameos, beads, scrollwork, rivets, transfers, multi-prongs, twisted metal, plastics, enamels and much, much more.
Since D&E jewelry was never marked with the company’s name, this book is an invaluable tool for identification using the photos and the commentary to cross-reference types of stones and other decorative elements, styles of findings such as hooks, clasps, earring clips and other components. Specific styles of texturing, riveting and some unique design features can be used as important identification clues. As any experienced collector or dealer can attest, an unmarked piece of jewelry can never be identified by a single element, but has to be examined in its totality. This book provides all of the tools you’ll need for accurate D&E identification.
One of the wonderful side benefits of the book is that it contains so many D&E designs, I would dare any collector or dealer to NOT find something on these pages that they did not realize was a D&E piece. With its amazing eye candy and excellent educational tools, “Juliana Jewelry Reference” is a must-have book for all who have interest in vintage costume jewelry.
Copyright © 2010 Mary Ann Docktor-Smith – All rights reserved.
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