Lester Hess, who went on to establish Hess & Appel, designed this well-documented Band Leader clip (Patent # 119,857) for the Nat Levy-Urie Mandle corporation in 1940. Mandle, who had worked for Coro and Lisner, joined Nat Levy to form the firm in 1937 in New York. He was associated with various other firms, and worked independently, as well, until 1955. His son, Robert Mandle formed his own company (R.Mandle) in 1957. The Hess / Mandle Band Leader clip can be seen on page 286 of the Brunialtis' "American Costume Jewelry" book. It was enameled in various colors -- offered here in red, pink and black in a gold tone metal. Clear, brilliant chaton rhinestones adorn his pant legs. He did have a female counterpart with a consecutive patent number 119,858.
The Mandle fur clip measures approximately 2 1/2 inches x 1 1/2 inches with a 1/4 inch profile. Largest chaton rhinestones are about 2 millimeters. Weight of the clip is approximately 18 grams.
Condition is excellent vintage. Enameling is in fantastic shape with minor loss at elbow and tip of nose. Blazing reds, creamy pinks and strong blacks prevail. Some gold tone loss on ball of baton and breast sash. The photo does not simulate the incredible clear brilliance of the original rhinestones, all intact. No dents or improper bends to metal. Fur clip mechanism functions as designed with straight sharp prongs and secure snap shut closure. Clean. No damage / no repairs / no polish. Outstanding vintage condition.
The clip is signed: "Patent Pend.". It is a well referenced piece designed by Lester L. Hess in 1940 and positively attributed to the Nat Levy-Urie Mandle Corporation.
Celebrate the Band Leader's 75th. March to the beat of a different drummer. At Cody's.
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