Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a mid-century modern studio brooch in sterling silver by Esther Lewittes c. 1950. This interesting piece is a handmade whimsical representation of a pair of skis and ski poles. The piece is 2-1/4" long X 1-1/4" wide (maximum dimensions). The piece weighs 12 grams and has a flip safety closure. It is marked "Lewittes" (in block letters) + "Sterling".
Esther Lewittes, working in California, was one of the most original jewelers of the mid-century modern style. Lewittes came from New York City, where she received a degree from Columbia University Teachers' College. She also studied industrial design at the Art Students League of New York, along with holding a staff jewelry position at Cartier. Making her own jewelry beginning in the early 1950s, she sold her work at Georg Jensen and America House stores in New York City and Nanny's in San Francisco. She later had her own gallery in Los Angeles.
Modernist jewelry, or studio jewelry was designed and made by a single maker and was influenced by the modern art movement. The movement started during War II or slightly thereafter, and continued until the late 1960s. It was not necessarily about the materials, it was about the design. New York City and California, especially the San Francisco area were the centers of mid-century modern jewelry activity.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "Sterling".
When you own vintage handmade jewelry, you wear a design that is unique and represents the artist's vision. It is made by a skilled craftsman and can have features which are only found in this piece. The jewelry may exhibit the marks of the craftsman. It will not be perfect. The jewelry will show age appropriate tarnish, unless we state otherwise.
Whimsy Esther Lewittes Handmade Brooch c. 1950