We are in love with the Modernist ethos of Jakob Bengel jewelry, and this extraordinary vintage necklace is one of our favorites.
After leaving the locksmith trade, Bengel founded his company in 1873, in Idar-Oberstein. In the 1930's the company began to produce amazing pieces like this necklace inspired by French Avant-Garde and the Bauhaus school.
Jakob Bengel jewelry cataloged between 1924 and 1939 combined brass and chrome components with colored shapes of galalith to achieve new and bold looks.
Galalith is a synthetic polymer derived from formaldehyde and milk casein; this is why the plastic smells like milk when heated.
This necklace is a gorgeous example of Bengel's Modernist works, featuring a dramatic combination of yellow, black and chrome.
As you can see, two enormous yellow shapes on each side surround two reflective chrome balls. These flank a black cylindrical bead in the center.
The motif is echoed on the sides with small chrome balls neighboring a black on in the center.
Finally, two curved silver-toned tubes are met at the ends with small chrome balls; this is where the luxurious, articulated snake chain is attached.
The necklace joins with a simple spring-ring clasp.
The necklace is unsigned (as are most Jakob Bengel pieces from this era). It shows some slight wear, particularly on the chrome components, but remains in very good condition overall.
Aside from just being a fantastic collector's piece, this fantastic necklace is so versatile and wearable.
Measurements: Total length: 18 ¾" Center measures 7/8" at widest point and 5/8" deep Snake chains are 3mm wide Weight: 32.4 grams (1.14 oz)