NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
Ruby Lane's Past Times Newsletter for October 2003
Past Times __________________________________________________________________ Joy Bradley of Joy's Antique Dolls is Even before this collecting was a mania that could affect whole __________________________________________________________________ November is almost here, and it will soon be time to think about __________________________________________________________________ Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Jewelry
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o October HOT SHOP: Welcome to Joy's Antique Dolls
o Juliana Jewelry Identification By Sande Kattau of Kattslair
o The Numismatic Heritage of the Pilgrims by James C.
Johnston Jr. of The Journal of Antiques & Collectibles
o Share Past Times with A Friend
celebrating three years on Ruby Lane. Her shop's offering
includes antique shaving items, vintage dolls, antique tools,
pottery and Victorian items. Here you'll find such fine items
as an antique porcelain creamer with pink roses, Borgfeldt
($35), a vintage artist doll "Gibson Girl" by RMB ($110), a
nesting set of vintage ashtrays ($60), and a Volume II:
Collector's Encyclopedia of Dolls ($225).
Joy's Antique Dolls pledges outstanding customer service and fast
response to all orders - always within 24 hours. And she
guarantees the authenticity of each item. Joy carefully
researches and photographs every item and guarantees each one to
be "as described or better". We invite you to visit Joy's Antique Dolls at Joy's Antique Dolls.
populations. Speculation upon the markets, Ever since Marcia
Brown's book "Unsigned Beauties" was published, the discussions
about and hunt for Juliana Jewelry has been intensifying among
vintage costume jewelry sellers and collectors. Not long before
some important new information came to light, I had an inquiry
from a visitor to my Ruby Lane shop, Kattslair, wanting to know
how I could be sure a particular piece of jewelry was a Juliana.
I learned to attribute a Juliana piece from experts & once you
learn the basics, you will usually be able to identify a
Juliana. We must remember that we cannot ever be 100% certain
without the signature.
Juliana Jewelry was unsigned and only in 1963 and 1964 did they
use identifying hang tags. DeLizza & Elster Co., a costume
jewelry manufacturing company in the New York City area, was
recently identified as the designer and maker of Juliana
Jewelry. They were selling their jewelry designs for a long
time before and after that. They supplied more than 800 jewelry
customers and their client list reads like a Who's Who of
costume jewelry. It was a self-contained manufacturer, doing
their own casting, plating, stone setting, etc. The DeLizzi &
Elster Co. always used the highest quality materials and
construction for their Juliana products.
The method of identifying unsigned costume jewelry is similar
to that used when attributing a piece of 18th Century fine
furniture, which was rarely signed. Things to consider are
construction characteristics and materials used.
Following is the basic list that I sent to the shopper who asked
1. The first and best way to identify a Juliana style piece is
to find or at least see, the matching bracelet. It will have 5
heavy rectangular links with connecting bands. The rhinestone
design was built on the links. A few necklaces were made with
the same 5 links system.
2. Another notable feature in the construction of a Juliana
style is the combined use of both rivets and soldering. They
used closures that consisted of three parts. They soldered a
joint and a catch in place, separately, and then put the pin
stem on after the piece was plated.
3. A combination of open and closed back mountings for the prong
set rhinestones were used. The designs often had 2 or 3 tiers
of jewels assembled and soldered together.
4. You may see some or all of the following: Elongated navette
stones, various art glass stones, painted "easter egg"
cabochons, and aurora borealis stones.
5. Another design component used was several jewel clusters on
heavy wire arms that look like they are floating slightly above
the piece. They are found on all pieces. You may also find
designs with dangling beads for sparkle and motion.
Frank DeLizzi and his New York company still own the original
Juliana designs. He was the subject of the feature article in a
recent Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry Club's quarterly
magazine. According to Lucille Tempesta who is the publisher,
Mr. DeLizzi plans to re-issue some of the old designs.
Hopefully, they will attach permanent signature plates for
future identification and to differentiate them from the vintage
Happy Juliana hunting!
We invite you to visit Sande at Kattslair.
C. JOHNSTON JR. OF THE JOURNAL OF ANTIQUES &
Pilgrims, Plymouth (Plimouth), turkeys, and all that. But how
about Pilgrim money?
The Pilgrims had money ˝ not much, but some. Money was in very
short supply in Plymouth, and therefore it had a great deal of
value. According to Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin
Franklin: An American Life, a pound had a value of more than 160
dollars in today's money. That was true during much of the
First, a quick review of denominations is in order. An English
pound was made up of four crowns, or eight half crowns, or ten
florins, or 20 shillings or 240 pennies or 960 farthings, or 60
groats, which are four penny coins. Now, if your head has
stopped spinning around like that kid in The Exorcist, you can
see that any people brave and strong enough to have impossible
money like that would have no trouble taking on the wild and
rocky New England of 1620, not to mention the Wampanoags.
The Pilgrim saga has been told over and over again, but never so
well as in the book Saints and Strangers. That 1940s monumental
expos╚ of the Pilgrim fathers and mothers tells us a lot, like
the Pilgrims stealing the Wampanoag's corn. The attrition rate
among the Pilgrims (who had no clue that future generations
would call them by that name) was over 50 percent. Their life
was hard and uncertain. Food was in short supply as late as
1623, and new arrivals to the "Plimouth Colony" were so upset
that the only food to be had was lobster that they sat on the
beach and cried.
The colonists of Plimouth held on, celebrated a Thanksgiving
with their Wampanoag friends, and went on the colonize Cape Cod
and the District of Maine. In time Maine became a state, and in
1920 a commemorative half dollar was struck to celebrate the
centennial of her statehood. In the same year and the year
following, commemorative half dollars were struck in
Philadelphia honoring the tricentennial of Plimouth's founding
by the English Separatists or Pilgrims.
Thanks givings (two words) were often proclaimed after a
military victory or for some special or divine favor in England
and Europe. The harvest time feast was generally a New England
event, until 1864 when Abraham Lincoln made it an official
holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thus
it has been for these 139 years.
In that same year, 1864, the United States struck a new two cent
coin. By President Lincoln's personal mandate, the words "In God
We Trust" appeared on the coin. 1864 was a tough Civil War year
for our still young nation, and the Thanksgiving holiday and the
spiritual appeal of the new coin seemed to Lincoln to be a good
But one must concede that there just was not much around in the
form of specie (silver and gold) in Pilgrim days. The Native
Americans themselves either bartered or used wampum. Wampum came
in the form of beaded belts. The beads were made up of polished
and drilled shell fragments.
In this regard the European world would make a great impact. The
English traded Venetian glass beads, made on the island of
Muraw, to the Native Americans, who delighted in making wampum
out of the new material. Wampum production increased to the
point where there was actually a wampum inflation. The value of
wampum fell from a shilling an inch to a penny an inch.
Richer people might have used gold "Quarter Laurel" coins of
James I or crowns of Charles I to buy land. The shilling or
12-penny piece was more commonly used. Five shillings were equal
to one crown, and 20 shillings made a pound.
By 1646, the Separatist Church of Plimouth linked up with the
Puritan Church of Massachusetts Bay Colony and became the
Congregational Church. This was a very important event because
only members of this church could vote and hold office in
Massachusetts Bay Colony. This made it a sort of theocracy where
the rule of the church was the law of the land.
By 1691, Plimouth (which also contained Cape Cod and Maine) was
merged with Massachusetts into one political unit. More money
had begun to circulate by the 1640s, but there still was not
enough silver and gold around to "grow the economy."
Massachusetts Bay Colony saw a way out and began minting silver
shillings and other minor coins in 1652. At that time, England
was a "Commonwealth," a republic, which had dealt a blow to the
monarchy with the stroke of an axe, when Charles I was separated
from his head in 1649. During this period, the colony was on its
own. England was ruled by the Puritan "Long Parliament" until
1653, when Oliver Cromwell and the army seized power. He ruled
as "Lord Protector" and dictator until his death in 1658. It is
interesting to note that all those Pine Tree and other shillings
were minted with the date 1652 so that England would never know
how many coins were minted in Massachusetts.
Commonwealth crowns made their way across the Atlantic, but were
not as widely circulated as the shillings were; crowns were
serious money. But all sorts of coins from many nations were
circulated in New England from 1620 onward. Wampum was only
accepted to a value of a shilling, and then not at all. After
the Revolution, Massachusetts minted half cents and cents in
bronze. They were once considered rather common, but they are
now scarce and highly desirable.
Fascination with the story of the Pilgrims has grown over the
decades. As my old United States history professor, Dr. Jordan
D. Fiore, said, "Plymouth looms large in the American mind,
because it is such a good story." Part of that story is a 1820
bicentennial banquet, which was held in Plymouth. Daniel Webster
was the keynote speaker, and for the first time the word
"Pilgrim" was publicly applied to the early settlers. The word
had appeared in print in the 18th century, but it had never been
used officially. Special plates made in the Stafforshire
district of England showing the landing of the Pilgrims were
used on this occasion. It was a very big deal indeed.
On August 20, 1907, the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Monument was
laid in Provincetown, Massachusetts. A semi-official seal marks
the occasion on a postcard. President Teddy Roosevelt turned out
to do the job in person ad to make the major address at the
dedication. In 1920, along with the "Pilgrim Half Dollar," a set
of stamps was issued to mark the tricentennial of the Pilgrims
The numismatic heritage of Plimouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony
is considerable, and many collectors love it for that reason. I
have my own reasons for loving the Pilgrims: if John Alden and
Pricilla Mullins had never met and fell in love after the
landing of the Mayflower and had 18 children, I would not be
here. They were my great, great, great, great, great, great,
great, great, great, great, great grandparents.
Have a good month, and try to remember the Pilgrims kindly.
This article may also be found at The Journal of Antiques &
others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you forward this
issue on to others. Happy reading!
Joy Bradley of Joy's Antique Dolls is
Even before this collecting was a mania that could affect whole
November is almost here, and it will soon be time to think about
Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
© 1998-2013 Ruby Lane Inc. ® All Rights Reserved.
Press the Back button on your browser to return to the previous screen.