This is the first Schreiner jewelry piece that I’ve ever seen, recently sold on eBay. Isn’t it gorgeous?
I hadn’t heard of Schreiner before, and was impressed by the number of bidders on this piece, so I decided to see what makes Schreiner jewelry so desirable. Here’s what I found:
- Schreiner’s jewelry is considered one of the finest costume jewelry ever made. Today Schreiner jewelry is highly sought after by collectors.
- The Schreiner company never produced a commercial type of jewelry; it did only fine hand work and never mass-produced pieces.
- Schreiner is known for his unusual settings. He used open prongs that cap his stones. He also set stones in an inverted position, with the pointed end up, which created dazzling prismatic effects.
- Schreiner’s signature stone cut was the “keystone” or “kite-shaped” stone, which he employed to create undulations in his famous “ruffle pins”, which featured kite-shaped crystals overlapping and radiating from a central, signature gem
- Schreiner jewelry was first created in 1939 and continued production until the early 1970s.In 1951, Terry (his daughter) and her husband, Ambros Albert, joined the business. The designing of Schreiner jewelry was a family affair. When Schreiner died in 1954, Terry and Ambros continued the business until 1975.
- The Schreiner company was known for its imaginative use of color, which is attributed to working for the courturiers and having the color swatches before anyone else. They often set the stones upside down, with the point at the top, in order to pick up the color of the material better. They used unfoiled stones for the same reason. If they put the “cracked ice” stones over a peachy color, it would pick up the peach tone and look like it was made for that garment.
- Henry Schreiner got his start designing costume jewelry for Trigère, Norell, and Christian Dior in the late 1940s, but he’s best known for the necklaces, pins, and earrings produced by his own firm, founded in 1951. The firm designed jewelry for Adele Simpson, Norman Norell, Teal Traina and Christian Dior, and other high-end shops whose models wore his costume jewelry on the catwalks. The company also designed ornaments for Elizabeth Arden. Only jewelry made for retail sale was marked Schreiner or Schreiner of New York. Sphinx was also a trademark of Schreiner.
- Movie stars such as Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe promoted Schreiner‘s jewelry.
- Schreiner’s jewelry used gun-metal plating; bronze plating and gold plating for backing along with very expensive made to order special shaped stones which he obtained from the skilled Czechoslovakian craftsmen in his country, Germany. These stones were very expensive, exclusive to Schreiner, and are no longer manufactured. Schreiner favored unusual shades of smoky grey, light brown, pale yellow and green faux peridots.
- The attention that Schreiner’s pieces commanded in the media made extensive advertising unnecessary.