Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry: Hobe' - Vintage Jewelry Designer Extraordinaire
inDecember 1, 2010 - 10:23am
Jacques Hobe' (Pronounced Hoe-bay. ) was a well known jewelry designer from France dating from about 1883. There were four generations of the Hobé family who were involved with jewelry. The early days of the company in the United States, about 1915, saw Jacques' son William selling theatrical costumers for the Ziegfeld Follies in New York at the start of his career in the US. While the Hobé name was under the direction of the Hobe' family, the company enjoyed many years of fame as a premier manufacturer of high quality costume jewelry.
The jewelry designs included real jade, turquoise and other semi precious stones - often bezel set. Many of the pieces were sterling silver, often plated with platinum or gold. The designs were often reproductions of fine jewels from the royal courts of Europe. Hobé earrings are known for their interesting cushion rollers, which made the clips comfortable to wear.
Williams sons Robert and Donald continued the family business. Much of their business catered to Hollywood stars who wanted jewelry that looked like the real thing without the price tag normally associated with fine jewelry. The company is still in operation.
Hobé jewelry has held its value well. Because of the quality of the construction, most Hobé pieces on the market are in very good condition today. Still, you should examine any that will be bought for investment purposes well. The early sterling silver pieces with elaborate rhinestone construction are very much in demand and command relatively high prices. A good piece of Hobé jewelry is a wise investment.
The company changed its logo approximately every 20 years, so it can be a challenge to keep up with the markings. There are 6 recorded changes in the almost 120 years of business under the Hobe' family name, and many were used imprinted in metal, on hang tags and on metal cartouches on the back of the settings.. I have photos of the later Hobé marks, but not the earlier ones. The earliest marks are 1883-1902 Crossed Sword Logo, 1903 -1917 Hobe' written with an accent in an oval cartouche,l and 1918-1932 Hobe' with an accent inside a house shape. These are photos of some design later markings.