Although I’ve discovered only two brooch versions of my 1930s Mystery Jewelry Maker’s bows (the Large Bow and the Nouveau Small Bow), I did notice several other bow brooches with two alternate stampings from the same ‘blank.’
Many thanks to Lauren Campbell-Reichert of Lucy Isaacs Jewelry who tipped me off that the Guyot Brothers findings company catalog currently contains two entirely different stampings of the the Mystery Jewelry Marker’s small bow shape! Guyot was founded in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1904; could they possibly have been the source for my MJM’s bows during the 1930s?
The small bows used by my Mystery Jewelry Maker are these which I have named the Nouveau, Tailored, Nubbly, and Ribbon stampings. The two Guyot findings are not the same stampings but there is also another important difference: the construction.
The MJM’s small bows were all constructed in one of these three ways, with the casting’s side pieces/wings wrapping around to the back.
However, the Guyot findings are “flat”, i.e., they do not have wraparound side pieces.
Let’s take a look at how the Guyot findings designs were used. Several examples appear to date from the same decade as my Mystery Jewelry Maker’s output.
The Guyot 8600 stamping has an allover design of flowers and swirls; many were produced as locket brooches like the ones below.
Almost all of these examples were found in both brass and silvertone versions. Coro made something similar to the round locket during the 1940s but theirs had a “pocket-watch type” latch at the top and was a different stamping; those, of course, were all signed.
Here is the 8600 bow produced as a simple brooch and with a glass-stone mounting added in the center. According to their website Guyot supplied their findings only in brass, so their customers would need to have them plated elsewhere if they wanted a different finish.
The Guyot 5916 stamping retained just the “edge trim” design from the 8600 version and left the rest of the bow plain except for the center.
The woman’s hairstyle and small-collared dress are styles that do date from the 1930s.
Obviously at least one Guyot customer wanted a “topless” version of the 5916 bow finding! I have only found this bow used in a locket brooch. Although the second example looks like plain brass, the seller’s description noted that “top is rose colored enamel or paint, most of which has flaked off.”
Mercedes Benz logo knockoff brooch??
This brooch most likely dates from the 1960s; it’s the Guyot 5916 bow but with the addition of overlays and drops.
My best dating guess for this one is late 1950s into the 1960s.
It appears that Guyot also made this bow finding in a smaller size suitable for earrings. The bow portion is just about 1″ wide and ½” high. I think that these too probably are circa 1960s.
I contacted Elise Pittelman who was the owner of the Piddidly Links company; she indicated that she did indeed place an order for this bow finding from Guyot during the first half of the 1970s.
This Victorian Revival/taille d’epargne/steampunk brooch and earrings set is probably from the 1970s (or later) as well. The crescent shape is also a Guyot finding (#01905.)
Guyot Brothers never offered their findings in a precious metal, which means that someone else produced this finding in sterling silver (perhaps by making a casting and then a mold.) Without any other identifying signature it’s impossible to know when or who (other than that it definitely wasn’t Forstner, who only reproduced the MJM’s large-bow brooch) The seller of this brooch gave its weight as 5.8 grams.
A portion of the Guyot Brothers’ catalog is viewable online; it is divided into Filigree stampings, Ornaments, and Charms & Novelties. Their #5916 and #8600 bows appear on page 5 of the Ornaments section. All of the Ornament and Filigree findings appear to be “flat” like the vintage brooches shown above; what I’d like to find out is whether they supplied the ‘wraparound sides’ bows to my Mystery Jewelry Maker, perhaps with custom stampings as well, during the early to mid 1930s. If my MJM did get their findings from Guyot, and if Guyot still has records of their Depression-era orders, I may at last find out who the Mystery Jewelry Maker was!