Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l
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Researching Costume Jewelry
originally published by Dotty Stringfield on IllusionJewels.com
SELRO & SELINI JEWELRY: STYLES AND FINDINGS
Written by Susan Klein
Selro Unmarked “Thai Girl” Bracelets
Selro/Selini is best known for amazing figural components, often depicting Asian and African faces. It is interesting to note that even some of the plastic pieces themselves are stamped “Selro Corp”. Selenger must have had a copyright on some of the Asian faces that are so unique to his jewelry.
There are basically three different figural faces that are found in Selro/Selini jewelry: An Asian woman face (often called “Thai Girl” as depicted in the bracelets shown here), an old Asian man face (see article “Selro & Selini Jewelry Unmasked” linked below for examples) and an African face. These faces can be found in numerous colors and textures (i.e. pearlized), plus are often over painted and embellished with elaborate headdresses that are part of the metal settings (as with the bracelets shown here).
Selro Necklace with Herringbone Chain and Other Matching Pieces
Much of Selro/Selini jewelry is unsigned and may have been originally hang-tagged. There are some clues, however, to identifying unmarked Selro/Selini jewelry.
First, the heavy herringbone chain that Selinger used on his lariat necklaces is distinctive and unique. A finer herringbone chain can often be seen on the smaller, non-lariat necklaces (see image of necklace in elaborate blue cabochon parure in related article linked below).
Secondly, many pieces have a unique bracing structure on the back of the jewelry that can lead to its identification. The back of the lemon yellow bracelet set shown here is an example of construction typical of Selro jewelry.
Selro Bracelet Set – See Back Below
Selro Bracelet Construction
Finally, Selinger’s settings are extremely complex and detailed. Also, note the tiny cat faces in the setting that adorn the pictured purple lariat necklace shown below. Additionally, Selinger liked to use very decorative prongs in his settings with large, glass cabochon stones or heavily carved plastic stones and dangles.
The company was in business from approximately the late 1940s until about 1975. Selenger married quite late in life at the age of 52 and never had any children. He died at the age of 79 on December 16, 1990.
Necklace Component with Tiny Cat Faces
Selenger’s jewelry is coveted for its artistry and unique style. It seems there are numerous variations of his pieces incorporating figural components, so there is always something interesting for collectors to hunt. The unsigned pieces with other components like confetti Lucite are also in great demand now that they can be more easily identified as Selro.
For more information on this type of jewelry, read Selro & Selini Jewelry Unmasked.
Jewelry photographed by Allen Bagdade; Courtesy of D. Brett Benson of D. Brett Benson Jewelry at the Broadway Antique Market, Chicago, IL and Cheryl Killmer of Past Perfection Vintage Costume Jewelry (www.Pastperfection.com).
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