Thursday, May 5, 2011

CFW Signed Jewlery

Tammy Grover
Eye Spy Jewels

All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without my written consent. If any part of this information is used, the following credit must be applied: "Information on ©CFW is the courtesy of Tammy Grover"

The bunny with the orange jacket
is marked ©HAR
and the bunny with the green jacket
is marked ©CFW
I purchased a small turtle brooch that had the ©CFW mark. Wanting to learn more about the origin of this piece, I began researching the ©CFW maker’s mark and came across some online listings and book references attributing the mark to Charles Frederick Worth. Nowhere in my research could I find any data relating the ©CFW mark with this prestigious company. The more I researched, the more I was convinced these two have absolutely no relation.

First, let’s discuss Charles Frederick Worth, or The House of Worth. Everything associated with The House of Worth was the height of haute couture. This company’s fashion designs were only able to be afforded by the rich and elite. These designs can be seen today in museums. Any costume jewelry sold by this company would also have been of the absolute highest standards. The House of Worth’s jewelry would be at least on the same caliber and as coveted as such brands as Chanel, Balenciaga, and Dior.

In 1968 The House of Worth was purchased by Sidney Massin. Massin brought together a team of designers to create groups of collections under the Worth name. These collections included couture, furs, jewelry, hats, resort wear, and men’s wear. Worth’s jewelry designer was Alan Gard, who had achieved success as a designer in his own right.

The only mention of Worth Costume Jewelry that we have been able to find, is an article, entitled "Couturiers Also Have Their Jewelry", in the book "Costume Jewelry for the Haute Couture" by Florence Muller. It has page from a 1925 Vogue editorial showing a gorgeous illustration of an art deco dress clip piece of sterling and marcasite from Worth in 1925. This info was provided, courtesy of Robin Deutsch.

Chances are, you have seen this pin
signed ©Har before.
This one, however,
bears the ©CFW maker's mark.
There is no information available that I have been able to substantiate about ©CFW. I have discovered enough information to confidently say jewelry bearing the ©CFW maker’s mark was not made by Charles Frederick Worth or the Worth company. The red flag is the actual mark ©CFW. The copyright symbol indicates the product was manufactured in the United States. The Worth company is and has always been a European based company. I contacted the Worth Foundation to further validate my suspicions. When I asked about the ©CFW mark, they replied "this is a USA mark". Although there is published information linking these two, the only thing ©CFW and Charles Frederick Worth have in common is the same initials.

Now that I’ve established the ©CFW mark is not associated with The House of Worth or Charles W. Worth, who exactly made the jewelry bearing this mark? For now, the origin remains a mystery. During my research, I have found several identical pieces that have different maker’s marks. Some are marked ©CFW and some are marked ©HAR. The marks also use the exact same font. I have no proof these two are the same company or in any way related. There are enough similarities to pique my interest enough to keep researching.

I would like to thank my dear friend and mentor Robin Deutsch. Her assistance and support with this subject has been invaluable. She, along with the members of Jewel Collect and The Jewelry Ring has been instrumental in the knowledge I’ve gained regarding vintage costume jewelry.

I would also like to thank Lilly Vittetow, of Lilly's Vintage Jewelry, for allowing me to use her HAR bunny, and also for photographing my CFW bunny with hers. The bunny images are owned by both Lilly Vittetow and Tammy Grover, with other references owned by the persons mentioned under photos, and may not be used or copied, in any matter, without our written consent.
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