I have enormous admiration for this gentleman. He was Jeweler to the stars, First Ladies of our Presidents and has produced some of the finest costume jewelry of our time. His book (Faking It) has some of his most remarkable pieces featured. I happen to own a signed copy.. In his book, Linda Evans wearing his late 60's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's commissioned piece which later became part of his Jewels of India collection. If you are not familiar with the story, Mrs. Kennedy Onassis asked Kenny to copy a necklace that Onassis had given to her. She had gotten it out of her vault and Kenny went to her apartment to look at it. He told her "There's only one thing I can't copy exactly," He told her "The cabochons - They simply don't make fake stones of such poor quality." Jackie laughed.. They made a bargain that he would not charge her to make the mold, which was very costly, if she would let me put the necklace into my collection. She gave me her blessings and I copied it in every color, including turquoise and coral. Years later Bill Blass asked him to make the pendant drop into a brooch for one of his collections. "Every once in a while Jackie would whisper to me, I saw our necklace on Dynasty the other day." Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Lambert, Runway models for Oscar de la Renta, Vogue, The Duchess of Windsor, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodhamn Clinton are just a sampling of those who grace his book. ** Excerpts of Mr. Lane's book mentioned above..
The Lion Roars! This Absolutely Fabulous necklace is Big, Bold and Beautiful! I have spent nearly 2 hours going through all of Kenny's Lion pieces and cannot find this online. It may have been a special or very limited piece. He is signed with his earliest K.J.L. hallmark. He did come out with a line with a lion's head made of gold metal with a ring in his mouth that was made of rhinestones. Those were primarily with pearls. That line was called The DOORKNOCKER collection. Featured in his book, page 45 also shows DOORKNOCKER Earrings, Circa 1968. Kenny says "One of my great commercial successes. These were inspired by English Georgian drawer pulls and I have never been allowed to retire them. One version or another is constantly in demand. I used this motif for my first collection for Avon, as earrings and as a clasp for pearls..."
This bold necklace has an extremely three dimensional lion's head with paste eyes, an open mouth which shows teeth, a full mane and a knocker in his mouth which moves slightly. The links are gold colored with blue enamel links.
The necklace measures 16 1/2" from end to end. It has an open fish hook on one end and can be worn at any length between 12 1/2" ~ 16". His head is fixed to the first link on both sides. From the top of his mane to the bottom of the knocker it measures 2" east to west. Measuring from the left side of his mane to the right, 1 3/4". The lions head is 3/4" Deep... Each enamelled link is 1 1/8" x 3/4". His paste eyes give just the perfect amount of sparkle. The main focus here is the Lion's head..
Condition is Excellent! 99% of the gold metal is perfect. I see no rubs and no enamel loss.
He holds the K.J.L Hallmark which was used in 60's ~ early 70's. American Made 16 1/2" end to end. He weighs an impressive 86.7 grams.
He is so darn impressive and I will say, Rare. I reserve the use of that word and only use it on occasion. I sincerely feel he fits the bill!
I have had some of Kenny's really high end pieces but this really is so unique and unusual I will say, he is the best piece I have had in 20 years. Please do enlarge the photos. He Will Impress!
Questions are always welcome and encouraged ~ Enjoy
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Rare Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane ~ KJL Lion Head Door Knocker necklace with Enamel Links ~ 1960's