The story of Juliana jewellery, additionally recognized by the identify DeLizza & Elster, isn’t nearly discovery. It’s about collectors coming collectively to share data and the way these exchanges nonetheless have a far-reaching affect on our interest. It’s onerous to consider that greater than twenty years have handed since this all occurred.
When the particular person most instrumental within the deep dive for Juliana’s roots, Cheryl Killmer, handed away in August 2023, many within the jewelry-collecting group mourned her loss. However, as at all times, saying goodbye typically triggers some fond recollections. One reminiscence was the thrill a number of collectors felt because the items of the Juliana puzzle got here collectively, and I depend myself amongst that lucky group. Others picked up the place Killmer left off, and identifying this beautiful jewelry is now simpler than ever, because of all these early efforts.
How the Quest for Juliana Data Started
Within the early 2000s, many collectors exchanged data and assets by means of newsgroups hosted by numerous platforms. Posts have been made on a bunch board, and you could possibly go online to learn them or obtain day by day emails detailing all the data being shared there. Collectors mentioned their assorted pursuits, shared images of recent acquisitions, posed questions, and a few even met up at conventions after attending to know one another on-line. I used to be one of many individuals who did all of that, together with Killmer.
As we have been having these on-line interactions, Killmer talked about that she’d discovered jewellery marked with a foil hold tag marked Juliana and that the matching items she’d put collectively appeared to have some figuring out traits. Others chimed in that they’d observed the identical factor. One of the vital apparent was the hyperlink and band building of unsigned bracelets tagged Juliana. That’s all it took for a number of of us to start out pulling out what we regularly name “unsigned beauties” and inspecting them for extra figuring out traits.
One of many issues collectors typically get caught up in is what we name SCS, which stands for “Set Completion Syndrome.” As our discussions continued, we found a number of of us had put collectively units of this unmarked jewellery by look alone. We observed issues the assorted designs had in frequent, like the way in which parts have been soldered and the findings that have been used. We additionally noticed stones that have been often included in these items, in addition to different extra minute particulars. One of many issues I introduced as much as the group was the usage of heavy rivets to connect gildings like dangling beads and ornamental florets of stones. They have been totally different than rivets with swedged building present in marked items by Beaujewels and Judy Lee. They have been additionally used far more sparingly.
The identify Juliana caught since that’s the one one we needed to affiliate with this jewellery as our discussions continued. Issues took a flip, nonetheless, when Killmer made one other connection on-line.
Attending to Know Frank DeLizza
As Killmer continued her quest for extra data, she discovered an internet site that held some promise. When she reached out to the proprietor to ask concerning the identify Juliana, which appeared to be associated to her analysis, she discovered that they have been one and the identical. The location’s proprietor, Frank DeLizza, was certainly a principal of DeLizza & Elster! The corporate, as Killmer found, made Juliana jewellery as a home model, however they jobbed for others starting from Kenneth Jay Lane to Yves St. Laurent.
This discovery was certainly thrilling as phrase traveled by means of our group. Shortly thereafter, DeLizza was invited to a conference for jewellery collectors that Killmer attended, and I used to be fortunate sufficient to be there, too. He was humbled to study that so many individuals admired and picked up the adornment his firm produced. He freely shared particulars concerning the jewellery business, his firm, and, in fact, the jewellery the enterprise marketed.
We realized that unmarked jewellery offered with Juliana hang tags and earring cards was solely created from 1963 to 1964 as the corporate tried to make a reputation for itself, wholesaling on to shops like Macy’s and smaller boutiques. The enterprise was largely unsuccessful and thus short-lived, however many designs with related building have been offered to different companies. These embody Tara Fifth Avenue and Movie star residence celebration jewellery, amongst others. That’s why we discover so many items we dub “Juliana” or “DeLizza & Elster” as we speak, although they’re unmarked.
Collectors Creating Assets for Collectors
To proceed what Killmer began, Katerina Musetti—one in all my private mates who can also be a proficient jewellery artisan in her personal proper—wrote The Artwork of Juliana Jewellery, stuffed with lovely examples from her assortment in 2008. Her work continues to be accessible by means of Schiffer Books. Then got here an much more complete e-book in 2009: Juliana Jewellery Reference, DeLizza & Elster: Identification & Worth Information by Ann Pitman, one other avid collector I’ve had the pleasure of assembly at jewellery gatherings.
Hardcover variations of Pitman’s e-book can promote for tons of as we speak, so preserve a watch out for them at property gross sales and thrift shops. Or, higher but, you’ll be able to entry it within the WorthPoint Library on-line. Pitman additionally introduced on Fb that she is engaged on getting her e-book republished. Collectors who don’t need to wait can e mail her at email@example.com to order a flash drive eBook. As a facet observe, the one factor actually missing with Pitman’s e-book is an in depth index, so I made one a number of years in the past that collectors can download as a .PDF on the Costume Jewellery Collectors Int’l web site.
A web based search also can yield many different assets for figuring out this unmarked jewellery, together with a number of articles I’ve written myself. Different collectors have established a Fb group devoted to Juliana and even arrange an “Is it Juliana Jewelry” on-line database to help collectors. When utilizing all these assets, do not forget that the fervour, dedication, and diligence of collectors led to Juliana being the recognizable and standard classic jewellery that it’s as we speak.
Pamela Siegel is a contract author and writer who has been educating collectors for greater than twenty years. Along with three books on matters regarding antiques and collectibles, she often shares her experience by means of on-line writing and articles for print-based publications. Pamela can also be the co-founder of Costume Jewellery Collectors Int’l (CJCI) and the proprietor of Stylish Antiques by Pamela.
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