Vintage Renoir clamper bracelet in a modernist design. The bracelet is 1-3/8" height, 2-1/4" across when closed. The hinge is in excellent condition. There is a little subtle pitting, visible to the naked eye on the back but not the front, and a couple of light scratches. These I can see with my reading glasses up close, but it is nothing anyone would notice unless inspected up close. The bracelet is quite shiny , except for the decorative etched areas in the front. My wrist is 6-1/2" and it fits me well, with no looseness, but the ends do close together. It would not fit a larger wrist as well. The bracelet is signed Renoir in script with the copyright symbol on the hinge. I am pricing this low because although it is in really good condition, there are a couple of age related imperfections.
1946 - 1964 - Renoir was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1946 by Jerry Fells [along with a partner and his brother- in- law] a native of Brooklyn NY, USA. At first the name of the company was Renoir of Hollywood. After a fire in 1948 that destroyed the building they were working in, the name was changed to Renoir of California. The jewelry created here was inspired by the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement copper designs. Jerry Fells trained at the Arts Students League and at the National Academy of Design in New York. Fells freelanced as an Art Director for departments stores before taking a permanent job at Gertz department store. Jerry Fells joined the Air Force where he was a fighter pilot during WWII. During the Korean War copper was scarce. The company began making some jewelry using copper and aluminum. In 1952, Fells opened another company, Matisse LTD. Here the designs were copper with colorful enameling. The jewelry produced here had a "Modernist" look and was inspired by abstract and expressionists art. Matisse pieces were more expensive to create because of the use of enamel as you might suspect. During the 1950s a line of sterling silver was introduced that was more conservative then either of their copper lines. This jewelry bore the makers mark "Sauteur and Sterling". In the 1960s yet another line was introduced, this time with a brushed gold plated finish, however the mark changed to "Golden Glow" during this time. Materials and techniques included: Copper and enamel. Geometric and abstract forms. African inspired, flat and coiled wire work. The cuff bracelets and the fringed necklaces command the highest prices in the vintage collectable market. Sterling and gold plated designs made for a limited time during the 1950s and the 1960s.
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