A favourite of the Ziegfeld Follies and a success with Hollywood starlets, Hobé jewellery shines among the many most interesting costume jewellery collectible manufacturers.
Desirous about Hobé, a model with French roots that thrived for greater than 60 years, I can’t assist however keep in mind assembly Don Hobé at a jewellery collector’s occasion again within the early 2000s. His look was placing with darkish hair and an “previous Hollywood” fashion pencil skinny mustache. His gentlemanly demeanor impressed us all through the weekend. He was additionally very flattered that the jewellery marketed by his household garnered a lot consideration amongst my gathering associates.
When you’ve began trying on the diverse wares offered beneath the Hobé model, it’s straightforward to know why collectors turn into enamored with this explicit classic jewellery. That is very true for the early, intricate sterling silver items adorned with colourful stones. However earlier than we delve into the jewellery, a quick overview of the corporate’s historical past is so as.
Hobé Historical past
Hobé et Cie was based by Jacques Hobé in France in 1887. Whereas he was educated as a grasp goldsmith, his enterprise targeted totally on finely crafted sterling silver jewellery. William Hobé, his son, moved to the US round 1920 bringing his household’s acuity for producing top quality jewellery with him. He based the Hobé Button Co. first after which a fancy dress jewellery enterprise referred to as Hobé Cie Ltd.
William Hobé labored as a goldsmith and costume designer in Europe earlier than his large migration to America so it’s no shock that he was employed to costume Flo Ziegfeld’s Broadway productions through the Twenties. Actually, Ziegfeld was the primary to make use of the time period “costume jewellery,” in line with Hobé household historical past. That will or might not be true since different well-known people have additionally been credited for the time period, however that chance did give William Hobé the prospect to produce different theater productions and Hollywood movies with costuming. A number of starlets have been photographed carrying Hobé jewellery through the Nineteen Forties as effectively together with Carole Lombard and Ava Gardner. Marilyn Monroe additionally had items of Hobé in her private jewellery cache.
The Hobé tagline utilized in promoting through the Nineteen Thirties and ‘40s was “Jewels of Legendary Splendor.” Which may appear moderately haughty for costume jewellery if it weren’t for the truth that Hobé did design some remarkably intricate and finely crafted designs through the interval. They have been made used unfoiled stones to simulate coloured gems together with, from time to time, lesser worth pure gems like moonstone. They have been set in sterling silver that was complexly twisted, braided, and coiled to create floral designs lots of which included bows. Whereas the silver prototypes have been created by William Hobé himself, the precise producer of the jewellery was a enterprise owned by Ralph DeMassa of Windfall, Rhode Island.
These designs, various which have been patented, have been typically primarily based on vintage jewellery whereas others integrated Asian motifs. The patents filed through the Nineteen Forties credit score both William Hobé or his spouse Sylvia Hobé. Jewellery bins and purse frames have been additionally made in the identical intricate kinds encrusted with fake gems. All Hobé merchandise offered for good sums in boutiques in addition to upscale department shops once they have been new.
As time handed, Hobé, like so many different costume jewellery corporations, altered the fashion of their merchandise to fulfill the calls for of their prospects. Now not did they’ve a particular look related to their jewellery. From fabulously faux rhinestone suites to multi-strand beaded ensembles, the jewellery marketed beneath the Hobé model coordinated with the mode of the day from the Nineteen Fifties onward. They continued to have varied producers, generally known as jobbers within the trade, produce their items together with DeLizza & Elster (the agency chargeable for “Juliana” jewelry).
The late Don Hobé, son of William, was one of many Hobé relations that continued to run the enterprise by means of 1995. He additionally owned his personal jewellery enterprise in Florida based in 1987.
Extra Concerning the Jewellery
Amongst avid jewellery collectors, the sterling silver items marketed through the late Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties have essentially the most followers. A number of the most fascinating of those items are the “Bandora” designs, lots of which have been patented by Sylvia Hobé within the late Nineteen Forties. These items typically incorporate darkish brown resin figures or faces made to resemble wooden. Different motifs from the Ming sequence embody ivory-look elephants and coloured glass Buddha figures. Some are embellished with sterling silver chain tassels as effectively.
Hobé additionally marketed an abundance of different sterling silver kinds, a few of that are extra plentiful and fairly priced within the collector’s market. Brooch motifs vary from hearts to floral sprays to bows adorned with coloured glass stones. Many coordinating bracelets, necklaces, and earrings have been made as effectively. A number of the designs mimicking vintage jewellery are embellished with small portraits surrounded by intricate sterling silver metalwork.
Later Hobé jewellery runs the gamut by way of fashion. Many items are moderately priced together with multi-strand beaded necklaces offered through the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties in addition to these incorporating polished pure stones transferring into the Nineteen Seventies. The extra fascinating exceptions are mid-century items laden with jewel-toned glass stones and enameling made to emulate Austro Hungarian designs. These are typically mistaken for jewellery made many years earlier.
Hobé sytles additionally embody a restricted variety of items made with sapphirine (typically referred to as saphiret by mistake) stones, that are widespread amongst collectors. A few of these have been heart-shaped lampworked glass stones made by Marner in Windfall, Rhode Island. Jewellery utilizing these stones in a wide range of colours was marketed by Hobé in 1962 as a line referred to as “Mayorka Petals.” Earrings marked Hobé made throughout this era typically have patented curler clip backs that make them simpler to slip off the ear comfortably.
Though Hobé used jobbers to fabricate their jewellery strains, most every bit is marked. On uncommon events, chances are you’ll run throughout a sterling silver piece that’s distinctively Hobé with out a mark. These early items will even be marked Sterling though typically the stampings are truncated and onerous to learn.
Unmarked jewellery from the Nineteen Fifties and past is tougher to peg as Hobé. A number of the corporations making jewellery beneath this model additionally made the identical or very related kinds for others. Moreover, multiple firm used the heart-shaped glass stones by Marner (together with Marner’s personal founder Julio Marcella beneath the Jewels by Julio model). Some items of Hobé jewellery from the Sixties are dated as effectively.
Additionally remember the fact that some marked fantasy items (that means that they aren’t technically reproductions as a result of they weren’t primarily based on unique Hobé designs) have been offered within the early 2000s. In case you discover a piece of Hobé that appears too new and doesn’t match the corporate’s documented kinds, it could be one in all this stuff.
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