Wow! What a find! Adele Simpson, haute couture designer extraordinaire, “Fashion Designer for First Ladies” ( Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, and Barbara Bush) designed clothing in the 1950’s and 60’s. She also created a very limited quantity of jewelry pieces, mostly created to accessorize her dresses. The jewelry became in high demand, and because of its fine design, quality materials, and limited quantity, Simpson’s jewelry pieces went for a fortune in those days. As you can easily see with a little research, what little Adele Simpson jewelry is available today is very collectible and valuable. To find a set is very rare indeed! Here we have a chatelaine swag brooch and earrings set. The larger, round pin has a large and beautifully faceted faux onyx as its center, bezel set with a gold tone raised circular border, surrounded by a subtle white enamel design, and then 2 braided rope designs on the edge. The other pin in the chatelaine is a filigree design with branch coral and faux turquoise beads hand wired onto the filigree. Two of the dangles match in design this second pin. There are also 2 dangles with large faux pearls. The swag chains are a wonderful cable chain; a perfect choice (if I may say so myself!). The larger pin is 1 ½” diameter, the smaller is 1”. The dangles measure 7/8” long by 1 1/8” wide. The faux pearls are ½” and 3/8” across. The longest chains are all about 3” in length. The clipback earrings match the filigree dangles in size and design, about 7/8” ht. by 1 1/8” across. The earrings are marked Pat 1967965, a patent from 1934 for the clip. The larger brooch is marked Adele Simpson in script. The condition is pretty fantastic considering all of the delicate wiring. Some of the wires are a little loose – I actually had my artist daughter with tiny fingers carefully tighten some of the wires just a touch to make them more secure, but some remain a little loose. There is a little verdigris on some of the filigree. The coral is in good condition - maybe a little dried out here and there, easily darkened with a little oil if you so choose. Although I consider the condition pretty fantastic, I have taken these small issues into account in the pricing. This is a true collector’s set, a set to keep for generations, but oh my! When you wear it, what a delight!
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