I am one of those fortunate people who has had the pleasure of meeting Ann Pittman, the author of one of the most comprehensive guides to Juliana Jewelry. Being a member of the Vintage Fashion and Costume Jewelry Club (VFCJ which sadly no longer exists), I became acquainted with Ann as a fellow member of the club and, also, was privileged to meet Frank DeLizza, whose family was the "D" in "D & E" (DeLizza and Elster) and who for more than 50 years was part of that great family owned and operated manufacturing company which not only produced Juliana Jewelry, but many other important pieces which were sold under many famous jewelry labels! I have to say that this Mr. DeLizza is a fascinating speaker.....one who gave the inside scoop on a part of the costume jewelry world that most of us would never have known about....if not for him! But, getting back to Juliana Jewelry, Ann Pittman by compiling and documenting the many pieces of this astonishing jewelry in her now famous book, Juliana Jewelry Reference, DeLizza & Elster, Identification & Value Guide first published in 2010, made it possible for all of us to know the facts behind this "headlight" jewelry! Ann was able to employ Frank's knowledge of when the pieces were made and exactly what the many unique stones used in the making of the pieces were actually named!
In this particular demi parure, the stones that are used have sometimes been called the "Tower of Pisa" stones, but Ann is quick to put out that D & E called these same stones, Round Birthday Cake which is what I will choose to call them here. These lovely stones came in two color selections.....pink and gold or, as we have here, beige and gold. These BC glass stones are not flat, but appear to be as the tiers or levels of a cake and there is, also, the appearance of gold birthday candles surrounding the tiers! Juliana jewelry is most often known to be well "over the top" and to add to that factor, there are several sizes of round aurora borealis rhinestones surrounding the birthday cakes on the brooch and on the earrings there are smaller versions of the same rhinestones, some of which have a pink tint. And, then there are the honey amber colored glass in the shapes of teardrops placed amongst all that glitter for just the right balance.....these glass stones have just a bit of the quality of a star sapphire with that roll of light refection. When these pieces are being worn, you actually see little reflection of light splashed upon objects which are in the immediate vicinity.....making us think of the actual light reflected by the real Northern Lights from which these rhinestones take their name.....Aurora Borealis! All of these fabulous stones are prong set by hand in gold plated settings. The brooch closes with a secure mechanical catch and the earrings have a secure clip. Ann Pittman dates this statement making demi parure to 1963.
Because these pieces had many hand made details, everything is not totally uniform. For instance, on one of the earrings, the back clip is soldered slightly askew....this has not been caused by damage! On this same earring, the middle tier of candles look as if the gold paint was applied a little less liberally as compared to the other tiers. There is one large AB rhinestone on the brooch that appears to have several very slight scratches in the AB coating....not on the glass stone. I believe this can be seen in the first photo and it's on the upper right side of the brooch. These things I mention seem to be have resulted from individual hand manufacturing techniques.
Originally, these pieces probably had paper labels to identify them as Juliana Jewelry, so there is no signature, but just check out Ann's guide, Page 215, and no signing is necessary to identify these as the hightly coveted Juliana Round Birthday Cake creations!
Brooch: 2 ¼" Diameter
Earrings: 1" x 1 ¼"
This seller is a proud member of The Costume Society of America (CSA) and The Vintage Fashion Guild (VFG).