Opening of the exhibition "Vintage Spring"

18 March 2014
Press Office of the Amber Museum

An exhibition "Vintage Spring" is opened at 18.00 on 28 March in the Kaliningrad Amber Museum, it  includes American costume jewellery  of the 1930 - 60s from private collections (Kaliningrad, Russia - Riga, Latvia).

Growing interest in vintage costume jewellery in the 20th century is quite explainable. Fashion of the past is source of inspiration and fashionmongers combine such jewellery with contemporary clothing emphasizing the personal touch of their image. When it comes to collectors - they are in constant search for the best pieces, antique value of which is rising with time. 

Democratic and attractive bijouterie is regard as competitor to expensive decorations adding a note of elegance gives every dress its personal expression. For costume jewellery such characteristics are peculiar as innovative for its time design, rich colour palette, new approach to the choice of materials like alloys of different metals, gilded silver, plastic, strasses, olivet.

In the exhibition things are presented that were created in the USA in the period of “the golden century” of costume jewellery. That was the time , when the whole pleiad of talented designers worked – Adolph Katz, Gene Verrecchio, Alfred Philippe, Alfred Spaney, Paul Selenger and others. Artists were free from limitations that work with precious materials imposed, they got the possibility to give rein to their fantasy. Costume jewellery was widely spread in the USA, many jewellery companies committed their work to production of highly artistic works available to the middle class.

Rise of the Hollywood, increasing popularity of the cinema and advanced film industry contributed popularization of bijouterie. As soon as a movie star appeared on the screen wearing some spectacular decorations, jewellers were in haste to create something similar. Historical costumed films revived the antique style – old motives, bows and medallions. Need for artificial jewellery can be also explained with the fact that to much shining of the natural gold under powerful border lights was a problem for shooting, jewellery alloys used for bijouterie looked more realistic. Many companies specialized on delivery of jewellery for movies.

Costume jewellery presented in the exhibition is unique evidence of the past epoch. Today they are owned only by private collectors or museums. Big number of specialized books is written about these objects and pictures of various objects from the exhibition can be found on pages of these books



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