This is another example from a large multitude of fantasy jewelry pieces that have made an appearance on the Internet in the last few years. It exhibits popular Egyptian Revival jewelry motifs of scarabs, Pharaoh or Sphinx, papyrus blossoms, and it is busy with deep red glass beads and multi-colors of inset rhinestones. Add in the old semblance of 'wear' given by the method of exposed soldering on back, along with a chemically 'antiqued' metal finish on the front and its easier (and tempting) to represent a piece like this as old. When these items first started hitting the on-line market they were indeed said to have come from a sudden 'warehouse find' of jewelry pieces from the Victorian, Art Nouveau or Art Deco eras (depending on who is telling the tale). Many experienced dealers and collectors were initially taken in by this story which was told in order to help to remove any misgivings about the sudden arrival and easy availability of large numbers of similar objects. Whenever sudden groups of any type of antique or collectible suddenly appears their advent must be viewed with some healthy scepticism until sure proof of authenticity can be had. This is because the euphemism, 'warehouse find' generally equates to 'period reproduction,' or 'new fake.' While finding an old store, a special warehouse, or some closed factory buildings full of authentic, aged collectibles can happen, such a discovery is a very rare thing, indeed. And one could surely expect excited press reports to have followed the discovery.
This individual piece bears the letters SBK and a mark stating only, 'Czecho' on a metal oval pad soldered on the back. Inexperienced buyers often misinterpret the word 'Czecho' to mean 'Czechoslovakia.' But, except for some dissolution that occurred due to Nazi occupation during World War II, from 1918 until 1993 the Czech and Slovak nation states were one country. Products exported from that conjoined country should more correctly be expected to bear the designation of having been made in 'Czechoslovakia,' as indeed most vintage jewelry items produced there during the span of time noted will be marked, if they are marked at all.
The 'Czecho' mark is currently being used by jewelry companies in the Czech Republic and as more and more new Czech Republic jewelry enters the market via the Internet, more buyers make incorrect assumptions about its age based on this mark being present. The fact that many items such as the one present in this listing also will have had a false chemical patina applied to metal components only increases the likelihood that incorrect identification and misrepresentations (accidental or otherwise) will occur.
The sudden availability of a continuing stream of supposedly 'rare' or hard to find jewelry pieces marked with SBK and Czecho marks has been explained away with a quite plausible sounding story of a respected old jewelry factory or warehouse forced to close because of war, and its remaining closed (packed full of jewelry) for more than 50 years. Conveniently, SBK marked jewelry pieces would seem to have just been waiting for the creation of the Internet and the boom in costume jewelry collecting before its sudden rediscovery.
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This item measures 13 1/2 inches long from the centerpiece top to bottom on the edge that connects to the beaded neck section. Around the neck is over 18 inches.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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