vintage finds...

genuine jade bangle from the sale
Jewelry is sometimes hard to procure at estate sales.  The display table is often small and manned - all the jewelry dealers rush to it, crowd around it vying for the seller to show them a certain piece before anyone else (and we often all want the same pieces).  If I am going to a sale I know has vintage jewelry I'm interested in, I get there crazy early and wait in line.

Recently, I did just that, was out of the house, across town and in line by 6:15 a.m. (the sale started at 8:00 a.m.).  I was the 6th person in the door (and the first one interested in the jewelry which makes my day).  Such is the (not so) glamorous life of this vintage jewelry dealer.  It was worth it though, picked up some wonderful pieces.

Trifari is a well known name in the world of vintage jewelry.  Founded in the early 1900s, it was, at one time, the second largest costume jewelry manufacturer in the world.  Their jewelry was, and still is, very sought after.  This necklace I found at that sale is one of the nicest Trifari pieces I've come across.  The woman who was running this particular sale knows me, I buy from her all the time, she was handing it to me to look at as I approached the table.  It went in my pile right away - gorgeous choker (sadly too small for me)!

The best piece I picked up at that sale was this gem.
The seller knew it was a nice piece but didn't recognize the name on the back.
I did and snatched it up right away.
It was a Nettie Rosenstein!

Nettie Rosenstein was a clothing designer of great significance, she designed Mamie Eisenhower's inauguration ball gown!  After retiring from fashion for a while, Rosenstein went on to produce high quality jewelry, her first major client was I. Magnin.  Rosenstein's company grossed $1 million in 1937 - very successful woman.  Rosenstein's pieces are still prized, highly sought after.  Often her jewelry is hard to find because the pieces are usually expensive and people who have them tend to pass them down, rather than sell.

Both are currently in my Etsy shop.
I have lots of jewelry under $20 but these two pieces are not, still, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the elegant pieces I find as I drive around this big old city scouring the estate sales.

Just to keep it real.
I also bought two of these because they reminded me of our beloved Coronado. I figured they'd fly out the door this summer for about $20 a piece.

You may notice the gold plating is wearing off.  I did not see this until I got home.  It's often dark in the sales and I've usually got my hands full and only seconds to decide.  Sometimes I get gold, and sometimes I get tarnish.  I'll probably wear one of them this summer because I don't mind a little shabby with my chic.

Do you ever go to estate sales?


julielorusso@gmail.com said...

Wow, you are a true vintage jewelry dealer getting there that early. I love the choker and the sand dollar reminds me of my high school days - we all had them and the gold rubbing off was part of it.

The whole experience you describe is exactly the same here. hoards of other jewelry buyers, Lines, darkness, having to make decisions fast...

Beatnheart said...

Many a tale flies around the early morning lineups at the estate sales... I've been at it for awhile now and am a little burned out by it. I still prefer the rush of waiting outside a gate at an English race track flea market or opening day at Brimfield..

. Beyond excellent score there Amiga!

KR said...

You know my answer to the estate sale question :).
The Trifari and Rosenstein are exquisite, great find!!
Back in the day in Glendale (AZ) there was a wonderful clothing shop set up in a 1930's house, it was named The Sand Dollar, that was the first time I heard the words and learned about the sand dollar. The gal sold great 'separates' at very reasonable prices. For me it was fun to roam through the different rooms of the old house admiring the original features. Yes, there was Sand Dollar jewelry for purchase.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I remember that shop! There was a basket with sand dollars on the stairs :)

Andrew H. said...

You know my answer to the estate sale question as well. ;-)

About Last Weekend said...

Oh my gosh - you are such a good finder, have loved hearing about the history of those top two pieces which are stunners. That looping necklace is sooo tempting but I have such a short neck....I'm going to forward this onto my swan-necked friends.

MJM said...

I have definitely been to an estate sale or two in my time... :)

Carol Schiff Daily Painting said...

Your blog is so much fun. You always seem to come up with the unusual. The jewelry is fantastic, but I really love superman waiting for a bus a few posts back!

Eclectically Vintage said...

Estate sales is my middle name!

Love the Rosenstein - and the history behind it!