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RESEARCHING COSTUME JEWELRY
originally created and published by Dotty Stringfield on IllusionJewels.com
I have been collecting this gorgeous jewelry for about ten years now, unfortunately compared to the size of some of my other collections this one is much smaller as it is usually hard to find. Each acquisition of a piece of KP has been a joy to acquire. This is just a small portion to give you an idea of the quality of jewelry made by this amazing company. Sometimes the KP punch is so small that you might not even know you have a piece. I have had pieces for a couple of years before I found the mark. Sometimes I will buy a piece of it missing stones knowing I might never be able to repair it just to have it in my collection.
Each piece is handcrafted from sterling silver, using the finest paste and imitation glass stones mimicking platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Sometimes they will use semi-precious stone colors such as amethyst and onyx. The pieces are constructed exactly as a piece of fine jewelry would be, and I am sure the same jewelers working on real jewelry also made these exquisite imitations. My saddest loss was not being able to buy a Cartier copy of an Art Deco Egyptian Revival scarab brooch they made but I will never forget that piece. You never forget the ones that get away...and sadly several have.
For years it remained one of those jewelry mystery marks that remained unsolved to us American collectors. I had noticed the company name listed in the Theodor Fahrner Jewelry Book not as KP, but as Knoll & Preziger (misspelled) and that piqued my interest. I tried researching the name every way possible and all I would get on occasion would be watch auctions on eBay. One day as I was researching I could not believe what I found. An eBay auction from a seller in Uruguay of all places who was selling a 1953 Atlanta Post catalogue containing German jewelry and accessory companies. The seller listed the names of the companies in the auction and photos of many pages. There it was. A photo of jewelry with the KP Trademark and the company name. In all my years of research this was probably one of my happiest and proudest moments. To be able to connect and confirm all of the information together.
This 1953 catalogue page confirms without a doubt the attribution of jewelry marked KP Sterling Germany (or KP 935) to Knoll & Pregizer of Pforzheim, Germany.
What is fascinating is in their long history they made Victorian Jewelry, the garland style jewelry popular in English Edwardian and French Belle Epoque and the MOST extraordinary (and my favorite) breathtaking Art Deco Jewelry. Because of the 1953 catalogue page you can see the fascinating change in their style of jewelry after WWII. They registered watches with the trademark KAPE in 1938. Amazingly, I have discovered several patents dated from 1908 thru 1975 registered in Germany, France and the UK. Many of their watches were made in 14K gold.
Other research yielded records in German archives that Knoll & Pregizer was registered post WWII as being in business from 1948-1973. This, along with the 1887 date of registration as a company from the Theodor Fahrner book and patent info confirms that Knoll & Pregizer were in business from 1887 thru 1975.
I was thrilled to have been contacted by Thomas W. Maguire, the lovely great-great grandson of T.E.G. Knoll after he read this article online. He is the keeper of the Knoll family history and was kind enough to share with me the following:
* Great-great grandfather Theodor Eberhard Friedrich Knoll -- Oct 2, 1851 - April 24, 1928
* Great-grandfather Theodor Knoll -- Oct 13, 1882 - Nov, 21, 1961
* Frederich Pregizer left the company in 1907.
* He shared wonderful family pictures that can be seen on my imageevent (linked below).
Please note that Pforzheim, Germany had hundreds of jewelry manufacturers on par with Providence, RI here in the US. I have many pieces of jewelry just marked Sterling Germany, but unless the piece is marked KP, it was not made by Knoll & Pregizer. This is important to note as it would be irresponsible and unethical to attribute jewelry to a company without their known trademark.
See pictures of Robin's wonderful collection of Knoll & Pregizer jewelry, pictures of marks, and photos of the Knoll family.
©Robin Deutsch 2009. No information or images may be used without prior consent.
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