The original family-owned and operated Hobe Cie jewelry company began in 1927. The company was sold in the late 1990's or 2000. Jewelry with the Hobe mark is still being made. Through four generations the name "Hobe" stood for quality and elegance. Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Mae West, Mary Martin, Edith Head and Cecil B DeMille were among the Hollywood clientele.
During the late 1930's and 1940's they created wonderful figural pieces which are most sought after by today's collectors of vintage jewelry. The Oriental figures were made of different materials including wood, fired enamel and plastic. This were adorned with colored rhinestones and set in sterling silver mountings.
This fantastic Asian figural brooch, circa 1940, is the best I have ever seen. The Royal Lady figure is faux ivory and stands 2 1/4" in height. Attired in a floor length kimono, hand-tinted in shades of violet and rose, she holds a green tinted rolled scroll in her left hand. Her plain black hat is gilt decorated as is the sash of her kimono. Her facial features are very realistic. Her massive headdress is composed of round and marquise, unfoiled, open-back, rhinestones in shades of amethyst, pink and peridot. The hand-crafted mounting for this brooch is gold-washed sterling silver, with each rhinestone in a bezel mount.
The brooch measures 3 3/4" in height and 2 3/8" across. It is marked "Hobe" in block letters on a rectangular cartouche. Because of the early date and little available space, it does not carry the sterling stamp. The pin and safety clasp works fine. The brooch is in excellent vintage condition with these comments. The tip of the rolled scroll has been chipped and is somewhat shorter than it should be. You need a lope to see the damage. Also there is some paint missing on her hat, mostly on the back side.
This beauty and elegance of this art object is impossible to fully describe or photograph. It perhaps was a special order as I can find no record or photo of this particular item. An absolute "find" for the serious collector.
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