The Jewelry History Series Returns for a Second Year

U.S. Antique Shows recently announced that they will host the Jewelry History Series prior to the start of The Original Miami Beach Antique Show on January 30. The jewelry event, now in its second year, will take place on January 28-29 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

JEWELRYSERIES_2014Open to retailers, wholesalers, appraisers, new collectors, seasoned veterans, or anyone with an interest in antique jewelry, the series will consist of a variety of educational sessions as well as a complementary tour of Bass Museum of Art. In addition, series attendees will be one of the first to see The Original Miami Beach Antique Show before it opens with a tour of select jewelry exhibitor booths on Thursday, Jan. 29.

I recently got the opportunity to talk with some of the scheduled speakers about their background, their session, and what they’re most looking forward to for this January jewelry event.

Barbara Schwartz

Barbara Schwartz has had many careers in her life – librarian, researcher, editor, and records management consultant. However, when she retired, she wanted to pursue her life-long passion for vintage costume jewelry incorporating both her research and analytical background. “I started my own business, TruFaux Jewels, a virtual boutique of my collection of vintage costume jewelry from 1920-1960. I also started to write (see her blog here) and lecture regularly,” she says.

Schwartz’s session at the Jewelry History Series will discuss costume jewelry of the 20s and 30s, which will highlight the eclectic artistic and design style of the Art Deco era. “The Art Deco style is my favorite, and I’m most interested in the period between the two World Wars. The jewelry conference gives me the opportunity to lecture on the time period I’m most passionate and excited about. I look forward to passing my knowledge on to the attendees. I want to pique the interest of people that may not be familiar with or already fascinated by costume jewelry by giving them some historical context. I also want to motivate women to make a statement with their jewelry and help them find their personal style.”

Yvonne Markowitz

Yvonne Markowitz is an egyptologist by trade and worked in the Art of the Ancient World department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for over two decades, where specialty has always been ancient jewelry. She now serves as the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the museum, and her position is the first endowed curatorship dedicated to the study of jewelry in a U.S. museum. “In 2006, I became a jewelry curator at the museum, and in 2009, a trustee of the museum donated a partial archive of jewelry from Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin.”

Through her work with the exhibition, Markowitz wrote a book on Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin that was published earlier this year (Find her book here). She’s thrilled to speak about the firm at this year’s jewelry series. “It’s exciting because it’s new research and attendees will learn about a firm that they may have often wondered about in the past. People are usually aware about the firm’s existence, since many of their pieces are available on the market today, however they may not know its history or the vital role Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin played in the late 30s/early 40s in the U.S. It will expand their appreciation of the contributions American company’s made to fine jewelry industry.”

Laura Mathews
Many of us are curious about our family history and discovering our ancestors’ background by tracing the lineages of our family tree. Magazine editor and freelance writer Laura Mathews was always interested in learning more about her great-grandfather, famed jewelry maker Gustav Manz. So when Parsons/Cooper Hewitt graduate student Courtney Bowers contacted her family about writing her thesis on Manz, Mathews knew this was an opportunity she wanted to further explore.

Gustav Manz Mermaid Ring, retailed by F. Walter Lawrence c1905 private collection photo Laura Mathews“When Courtney reached out to us, we were very interested in what she had uncovered and have been exploring Manz’s life and legacy ever since. We inherited an archive of his original jewelry drawings in our family. His career in New York spanned from 1890-1940 (with a few years in Paris and London prior to that), and he produced hundreds upon thousands of pieces for some well-known retailers. It became my project to study all the resources possible, try to trace what happened to his pieces, and meet with jewelry historians to determine the information they knew.” One of Mathews’ most exciting discoveries was Manz’s mermaid ring (see picture at left; courtesy of Amanda Joy Rubin Collection), which was at a firm in London and later surfaced in New York City.

Today, Mathews writes a blog on Manz (see here) where she posts her discoveries about Manz and his associates. She looks forward to the January series, where she will share more about her great grandfather’s work with the attendees. “The Jewelry History Series will mark my first trip to Miami. I’m excited to ‘reintroduce’ Gustav as a maker and designing jeweler and share the knowledge we have about him.”

During the two day Jewelry History Series, an array of sessions will take place discussing important periods in antique jewelry history.  Below is the complete list of speakers scheduled for the 2015 jewelry series.

January 28

Elyse Zorn Karlin, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau & Edwardian Jewelry: Diverse Style in Early 20th Century

Barbara Schwartz, Costume Jewelry in the 1920s & 1930s: The Evolution of the Art Deco Style

Yvonne Markowitz, The Jewels of Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin

Gail Brett Levine, Shopping in the Aisles of History of Designs

January 29

Panel Discussion: A Curator, Historian, Dealer and Appraiser – Four Views on Jewelry (Panel Members: Elyse Zorn Karlin; Yvonne Markowitz; Suzanne Martinez and Gail Brett Levine)

Laura Mathews, Chasing Gustav Manz: A Jewelry Adventure

Gloria Lieberman, Designer Jewelry Drives the Market

Eric J. Hoffman, Jade: the Precious Stone of Heaven

For more information on the scheduled speakers or the jewelry conference, visitwww.MiamiBeachAntiqueShow.com. If you sign up for the series before October 31, you will receive 10% discount on registration.

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