How the time flies – is it really months since I last posted any new 1930s “mystery jewelry maker” discoveries?? Apparantly so…. and an omission that will be remedied forthwith!
Back in an April 2015 post I showed an unusual chocolate-brown bracelet and theorized that there must have been a necklace to match. Voilà, here it is; 15″ long and a perfect match although this photo makes the mesh color seem darker. Now the question becomes: What other colors did they make these in?
Also in that same previous post is what I, at the time, believed was originally a bracelet because the front and back sections didn’t match at all; I assumed (always dangerous) that someone had affixed a chain to what was originally a bracelet in order to turn it into a necklace. But now I have found the exact same necklace in this yellow colorway. Ooops. This one is 16 1/2″ long. The clasp on this necklace differs from the one on the blue example, so obviously one or the other is a replacement. The resolution of that question will need to wait for the discovery of a third example!
A chain style similar to the one above is seen in this necklace which uses three other typical MJM components: their watchband style flat chain, their typical box clasp, and the shell-shaped finding connecting the front section with the sides. For some reason this necklace reminds me of those “big eyes” paintings so popular during the 1960s even though it is definitely an Art Deco era product! It is 16″ long. Perhaps this necklace was also offered in brass.
Heretofore I had only seen this dome-shaped pendant necklace in green, but here it is in their medium blue. The green version can be seen in this May 2013 post. The pendant is 1 1/4″ diameter and the chain is 16″ long.
This is another case where at first I thought a piece might not be original as made, but then found the same in an alternate colorway; a single example may be a one-off, but not two. The first was a bracelet made from two short lengths of the MJM’s typical open rectangular link chain accented with green; I thought perhaps someone had repurposed it from a damaged necklace (it is shown here.) However, the existence of this matching 15.5″ long double-chain necklace in blue shows that the green bracelet was indeed as-made. The clasps on the blue necklace and green bracelet pieces are identical, and I have not yet found them on any other MJM pieces. I expect they made these in other colorways as well.
Two really poor photos of a newfound colorway for one of my favorite MJM necklaces, which sadly I do not yet own. This one is black and white (but you’d be hard pressed to know that except for the short description.) Two other colorways can be seen in the Mystery Jewelry Maker Returns post. This necklace is 16″ long.
This set exhibits an “airbrushed” effect seen in several others found previously. Although the photos make the metal look like brass, the seller’s description included the comment “I believe the metal is chrome” and so this must be their silvertone finish, similar to the ones seen at the end of this November 2015 post introducing the patterned necklaces. The necklace is 15 1/2″ long and uses their 3/8″ wide fine mesh flat chain. The bracelet is 7″ long and has their wider mesh which the seller cited as being 3/4″ but is more likely their 5/8″. If it is indeed a 3/4″ wide chain, that would be a newly discovered width for them.
The following two pieces are necklaces which I have a very strong hunch were made by my MJM but am not 100% certain, so I’m including them with the caveat of “probable but unconfirmed.” Adding to my hesitation is that both are slightly longer than I usually see in MJM necklaces.
Obviously this 22″ brass necklace uses the same circular finding that they used in the necklace style shown above. The method of attachment is interesting because instead of using separate links, each circle has an integral tab at the top that folds over and connects to the circle immediately preceding it. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from MJM designs, so this is actually a point in favor of its’ attribution, in my book! But of course if these were produced by a findings company instead of the MJM themselves, any Deco Era company could have made this neckace. The clasp is a simple spring ring so no hint provided there.
This triple snake chain necklace is even longer, at 24″. Two of the three shades of blue are theirs, and so is the technique of combining them (although the darkest blue looks almost black, that may be a photography artifact.) What’s a bit odd is that there’s no clasp, but at twenty-four inches a clasp isn’t needed so that’s a moot point. The chains are no doubt joined at the back of the center station, which is a casting that is new to me but the painting technique is right in line with theirs. The base color of that oval piece appears to be black at first glance but a closer looks seems to show that it’s a dark metal – perhaps an oxidized silvertone, or simply poor lighting because the metal edge showing in the second photo appears to be lighter.
This September 2014 post includes a triple strand green snake chain necklace whose longest chain was 21″ long. It did have one of the MJM’s typical multi-chain box clasps. Unfortunately the seller of the triple-blue necklace didn’t photograph it in a way that displayed how the chains “fell”, so I don’t know if the lengths were similarly graduated.
My next Mystery Jewelry Maker post will feature more of their unusual patterned mesh necklaces with ornate front clasps.
If you have any information about this jewelry or photographs of examples that do not yet appear in this blog series, I would be delighted to include them in a future post! Please use the Contact Form on the About the Chatsworth Lady page.