Has your wardrobe ever experienced déjà vu? It is pretty common to see things from the past come right back into style several years later. As a jewelry designer, I enjoy creating pieces that are fashionable for today. Tassel necklaces are hugely popular right now so I have been busy making several styles, incorporating gemstones as well as vintage pieces:
I recently purchased a beautiful tassel necklace made of faux pearls and aurora borealis crystals. Although it looked like it could have been manufactured during this century, it was actually made during the 1960s!
It seems that so many trends come back if you simply wait long enough. I looked at the tag and saw that it was stamped Marvella. Curious to find out more about this company, I did a little research and was very surprised to learn they had been around since 1911…
The History of Marvella
A man by the name of Sol Weinrich founded Weinrich Bros. Co. in Philadelphia in the year, 1911. They were contracted makers of costume jewelry and accessories. It wasn’t long before they established their own trademark and called it Marvella, manufacturing high-quality faux pearls. Here is one of their beautiful faux pearl strands:
In 1950, they moved to New York and changed the name of their company to Marvella Pearls. Of all their lines of costume jewelry, their Marvella line gave them the greatest success. So they decided to change the business name to Marvella, Inc. in 1965.
They began combining pearls with aurora borealis beads which are known for their iridescence, reflecting luminous colors that change when seen from different angles. That is the look they used on my Marvella tassel necklace from the 1960s:
Rhinestone roundels were often used as spacers to add sparkle. Their jewelry line included earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, and pins.
Marvella used many different trademarks over the years with the first as Marvella in script on their pearl jewelry. Most of the others incorporated the company name in some form such as MARVELLESQUE, MARVELLETTE, MARVELLIER, and MARVELLESCENCE. They added a copyright symbol to the mark MARVELLA after 1955:
The Company is Sold
Marvella was purchased by Trifari in 1982. The Monet Group became a subsidiary of Crystal Brands Jewelry Group in 1989 which then included the jewelry names, Marvella and Trifari. Liz Claiborne bought the trio in July of 2000 and moved production out of the country to Puerto Rico.
Liz Claiborne is now known as Kate Spade & Company which has shed nearly its entire portfolio of fashion brands to be comprised of only one brand, Kate Spade.
I will enjoy wearing my trendy tassel necklaces no matter what era they are from, but it is quite special to own one from such a successful company with a history that began near the turn of another century. And although that century has come and gone, I can guarantee many of its fashionable trends will be back!
Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com
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