This Month's Vintage Designer - Kramer of New York
inJune 20, 2011 - 2:21pm
Collectors of better end vintage jewelry are probably well aquainted with the name Kramer. Their designs are very collectible today and highly sought after.
Kramer Jewelry Creations was founded in 1943 in New York by Louis Kramer and continued in operation until 1979-80, when they closed their doors.. He was joined by his two brothers, Morris and Harry. However, Louis is credited with the design of the superior Kramer Jewelry.
Kramer designs are known for using unique and rare specialty stones and beads. They also made a wide range of whimsical and figural pins. In the 1950s and 60s, Kramer made jewelry for Christian Dior. These designs were often made with clear, good quality rhinestones and larger center focal stones. If you collect Kramer, you know that finding a piece like this is a special jewelry treat.
The 1950s marked the introduction of Kramer's "Golden Look." These were simple designs made to go with the tailored look of the times. The quality was so good, it was hard to tell them from real gold. In the 1960s, they introduced the "Diamond Look". The Diamond Look line used top quality rhinestones meant to imitate diamonds.
One item for which Kramer is well known is their ear covers. These ear covers had a curved wire which tucked behind the top part of the ear and the earring covered the whole ear and was worn with upset hairdos.
Since the company focused on glamorous jewelry, the natural look introduced in the 1970s hit Kramer Jewelry hard and it closed its doors in the late 1970s.
Higher end Kramer pieces, such as full parures made from the finest rhinestones have risen the most in value. Many top Kramer parures will easily fetch $100-$250 or more today. The designs are top quality and have withstood the passage of time, so the pieces will continue to rise in value. As always buy what you personally like and be sure to get pieces in top notch condition. Extras such as original boxes or paper hang tags always add to the value of the jewelry.
Kramer pieces were made in both marked and unmarked designs and they had several different design marks. Some were made with only paper hang tags which were often discarded. The following photos show some of their design marks:
1943 - Kramer in block letters
1948 - Kramer with "The diamond look" in script on a hang tag
"Christian Dior by Kramer" Uncertain as to the first used but mainly 1950s and 1960s.
Kramer Sterling - dates unclear
Kramer of New York on a metal cartouche. Sometimes reads Kramer of New York City