Looking at this finely detailed gemstone and Marcasite Flower Basket done in pure Sterling Silver one would think it was from the turn of the last century. This is because the manufacturer Murray Shapiro, along with his wife Mildred and son Drew believed the old ways of designing, and manufacturing fine jewelry were the best.
The basket measures 1 1/2” high and 1 1/2” wide. The 4 large flowers and 5 small buds are made up of prong set Amethyst, Peridot, Citrine and Garnet Gemstones. Sizes of the stones are 3mm buds and 5mm flower centers. Each flower's petals are surrounded with prong set (the company called them bead set) Marcasites, unusual because most jewelry does not prong set but rather glues Marcasites when paved with them. The basket and bud leaves continue this Prong set Marcasite pattern and mill-grain beading outlines all. Which when taken all together presents a dazzling and twinkling array of color flashes that do no less than draw attention to the fine craftsmanship. A hefty weight of 0.6 ounces (17.7grams)is because it is solid Sterling Silver.
Turning it over we see the maker's mark, a stylized H 73 for Murray Shapiro's “Heirloom 73” Jewelry. Just above is the word VINTAGE, beside the makers mark the word STERLING. Vintage is the name of the line they produced “Vintage Creations” which was started in 1979, Shapiro however started his Heirloom 73 Jewelry business in 1973.
Condition: All stones and marcasites are present and in excellent condition. No marks or scratches visible with the unaided eye. Fine marks show up in my high resolution close up photo's on the basket rim, bottom and reverse side. They give a satin finish to these components of the pin, and may have been made in manufacture to achieve this look. It is a lovely counterpoint to the sparkle of the settings. Any colors you see in the basket other than the stones is reflections of me, that is how beautifully reflective the marcasites are.
Not a reproduction, rather a finely crafted piece made by a contemporary Jeweler in the form and art of the master jewelers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. One finds Vintage Creations pieces only in the better jewel boxes of the world.
The manufacturing of Heirloom 73 moved from New York to Freehold New Jersey in late 1987 and assumed the name “Jenna Nicole Collection LTD. Inc” while the showroom in Manhattan continued to market their product. In 1998 the company name changed again to “Jenna Nicole Inc.”
Through researching I found that the company name was listed as Heirloom 73 (2073) Jewelry Lt. d.b.a. Vintage Creations as late as 1990. However trademark registration has not been renewed And is considered “not in use”. Designer Jewelry brands, a resource for information on better jewelers lists them as having “had been” in business 33 years. I could find no name listed in the Official New Jersey State Business directory at this time.
Your pin dates from around 1983, as this is when my late Mother-in-law Catherine bought it at the Shapiro showroom in Manhattan, NYC. Catherine often made shopping trips to the major destinations.
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