Eugene Schultz. Young and Hollywood handsome, designing for Broadway shows in the '20s and '30s with a stint at Cartier, he began his jewelry company in NYC in 1952. Whether he was employed at Miriam Haskell remains a matter of much discussion. There is a general consensus that the similarity of their styles is undeniable. His use and arrangement of faux pearls, rhinestones and glass beads in Russian gold tone settings, methods of construction and wiring, usage of fancy filigree back plates and general design of the pieces had a definite Haskell flavor. That said -- his designs (exclusive to him) and execution are superb in their own right. Quality is outstanding. Inventory is extremely limited. The company existed only from around 1952 to 1962.
The wonderful demi offered, circa 1950s, includes a large brooch, set profusely with simulated pearls, glass faux turquoise beads, and clear chaton rhinestones among gatherings of Russian gold tone leaves. An arrangement of three small faux turquoise beads and one large dangle at bottom. Many of the components are affixed via wires, a la Haskell. A fancy filigree back plate conceals brooch wiring. Clip earrings complete the set, sans faux pearls. Interestingly, the earrings have a cut to fit piece of gold brocade fabric affixed to reverses to protect the ear and conceal wiring beneath. Although extremely uncommon to find in production jewelry, since each piece of Eugene jewelry was hand made, it may be original to the piece. I have opted to leave the unblemished fabric as found.
The brooch measures approximately 2 7/8 inches x 2 inches at it's widest point with a 1/2 inch profile. The earrings are about 7/8 inch x 13/16 inch. Smaller beads and faux pearls measure from about 1 millimeter to 2 millimeters. Large dangle bead is approximately 8 millimeters. Weight of the demi is about 40 grams.
Condition is excellent vintage. All components intact. Faux pearls retain nacre and luster. All glass beads intact with even, rich turquoise color. Rhinestones intact and sparkly. Russian gold tone finishes intact with age appropriate patina. Some slight wear on a leaf or two. No verdigris. No polishing has been done. Wiring / soldering secure. Pin back straight, strong and secure. Earring clips secure. Brocade fabric clean and unstained. No damage / no repairs. Near pristine vintage.
Reverse of the brooch is signed within an oval cartouche in familiar script: "Eugene". Commonly encountered, the earrings in the set are not signed. An exceedingly rare demi by the talented and qualified young designer Eugene Schultz (1911-1964).
For the collector. For the aficionado. For the fun of it. Cody's.
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