Miriam Haskell connoisseurs, here's one for the collector history books!
It's a "barn find" necklace and coil bracelet set from the 1940s, showcasing dark red glass beads, large baroque pearls and gilt foliate.
I thought all the Haskell creations from the era have been unearthed and already out there in the market or in the reference books. Then comes along this classic early set in a very rare dark red color motif! What a marvelous find indeed!
This set is the handiwork of the Haskell company's first (some say most eminent) head designer Frank Hess and was made during the World War II era, the 1940s. All Haskells from the period were unsigned, but bear unmistakable construction details that identify them as such.
Our set checks off all of these tell-tale details, including the type of clasp and findings, the beads and elements used, the design itself. We've made a collage of confirmed early Haskells that show the same elements as our set (see the last picture).
Both pieces use about 4mm dark red glass beads. I'd call them medium maroon, or maybe dark red coral; not bright, but elegantly muted. (Tried but couldn't find this exact shade in any of the Haskell galleries available online and in the books).
The beads are paired with large gilt flowers and lush gilt foliate. Plus, the flowers have large (10mm) baroque glass pearl centers.
In the coil bracelet, the beads are meticulously woven onto a metal coil sheathed with braided dark maroon cord. Each column of red beads also have grey seed beads at both ends.
At the ends of the coil are a pair of large gilt flowers with pearl centers. Each large flower has a trail of gilt leaves and red bead topped gilt floret, plus a gilt bell-shaped end cap.
The bracelet expands to about 8" long, but at rest only has a girth of about 4 1/2" (a sign it was probably hardly, if ever, worn). Each floral accent is about 1 3/4" long. Across the floral centerpieces, the width is about 1 1/2".
The necklace has an oval centerpiece with a large gilt flower and a lush swag of gilt leaves and a pair of red bead topped florets. The floral bouquet is wired onto a mesh base. The rest of the necklace consists of three strands of the dark red beads.
Necklace has a gilt flower topped push-in clasp. It measures 16" long, of which the centerpiece makes up 2 1/4". The width is about 1 1/2" across the centerpiece portion.
Unsigned, but according to the books and online galleries, ours is an unmistakable Haskell. Overall design is similar to confirmed pieces. Haskell elements are used in our set. In the bracelet, these include the cord-covered coil and bell end caps. In the necklace, the mesh base for the centerpiece, the solid covering at the back, the type of clasp used. In both, the hand-beaded glass beads, the gilt flower and leaves, the baroque pearls, even the red thread used to string the beads. Check our pictures, including the last photo, for comparisons.
In overall very good condition. The bracelet is especially exceptional as everything's all there plus it looks unused. The necklace is sturdy in construction. There's patina to the gilt metal, so there's some darkness, but no visible verdigris.
Calling all Haskell collectors! This set's a must-have — a one-off that none of the reference books have!
Early Haskell Frank Hess Red Glass and Gilt Leaves Necklace & Coil Bracelet Set
USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
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