Vintage Costume Jewelry - Who is BSK?
inApril 19, 2011 - 5:49pm
One of the more undervalued vintage jewelry designers is from BSK. There is very little information about the designer or design mark BSK, either online or in research books. The company was founded in New York in 1948 and was in business until the mid 1980s. (I've seen one reference book listing the 1970s, but most seem to agree that they closed their doors in the mid 1980s. The letters BSK stand for the first initials of the three owners: Benny Steinberg, Slovitt and Kaslo.
Some designs are above average in looks, particularly those with rhinestones or other colorful stones. Overall, though, their designs are of average style, although very good quality. The jewelry sold well in the 1950s, when the demand for affordable jewelry boomed after the war time period. The BSK line was reasonably priced and was sold in department stores such as Woolworths.
Often mothers and teachers received BSK designs as gifts because of the price point. Many of their designs were of the typical brushed goldtone finish so popular at the time with Trifari and other designers. One very interesting series that the company did was called My Fair Lady, and this is featured in many vintage jewelry reference books at better than average book values.
BSK jewelry is not particularly expensive to buy and is relatively easy to find. The value for the quality is superb. Don't buy pieces with flaws, since they will not warrant repair costs to fix them. If possible buy sets instead of single pieces. BSK is prized by some collections of vintage jewelry for the lovely combination of enameling and rhinestones, so the pieces should slowly rise in value. If you can find any of the My Fair Lady pieces, consider yourself lucky. They are not easy to find and always command good prices even when the enamel is worn.
The design mark of the usual pieces is normally the letters BSK in Capitals on a metal cartouche, similar to that shown below. The My Fair Lady mark is normally found on a metal cartouche which is oval in shape.