About the Artist:
Hollycraft was founded in 1938 as Hollywood Jewelry, but its name was soon changed to Hollycraft because of possible confusion with Josef of Hollywood. Other sources suggest that the Hollycraft Corporation originated in the late 1940s in New York City under the aegis of a Turkish immigrant called Joseph Chorbajian, but a definite origin and detailed history remain obscure. However, it is clear that an interesting and distinctive body of costume jewelry bearing the Hollycraft mark emerged in the 1950s, a fact well known since the company dated all jewelry made in the early 1950s, and then disappeared by the end of the decade.
The Hollycraft look is based on a profusion of variously shaped stones set in burnished “antique” gilt metal. Designs, particularly on necklaces, have an 18th-century feel, with floral swags and dangling pastes. Rhinestones are accentuated by ropework borders or beaded frames. Although it is best known for its unusual pastel palette, Hollycraft also used other colors not commonly found in costume jewelry such as lime or olive green, along with deep purple faux amethysts, aquas, citrines, olivines and dark fuchsia pinks in rich and complex patterns. Some of the items have become classics and are sought after by many collectors as they are pieces almost always done in gold-tone metal settings. Hollycraft became a leader in the creation of much of the 1950s costume jewelry.
Hollycraft designs were sold to jobbers, who were then responsible for the production and distribution of the actual pieces. Because coordinating sets of jewelry was so popular in the 1950s and early 1960s, Hollycraft created wonderful complete sets, or parures, which included necklace, earrings, bracelet, brooches and sometimes rings.
Not all the Hollycraft pieces of the 1950s were done in pastel-colored stones and gold-tone metal. Some were rhodium-plated and done entirely in dazzling clear crystal stones.
Hollycraft was sold by founder and designer Joseph Chorbajian in the early 1970s, and manufacture of Hollycraft jewelry ceased sometime in the late 1970s. But with the excellent craftsmanship and designs, the legacy lives on.
This gorgeous leaf-shaped brooch with aqua rhinestones, navettes and cabochons complemented by faux pearls was designed and released by Hollycraft in 1957. The stones and pearls are set in silver-tone metal, and the brooch has been stamped "Hollycraft Copr 1957” on its backside.
The brooch is in good vintage condition, missing only one small faux pearl in its upper-right quadrant. The navette adjacent to the missing pearl has two small scratches. The pin and clasp mechanism is in good working condition.
This eye-catching leaf brooch would make for a delightful gift for any occasion anytime of the year. It would also be a lovely “first piece” for a young woman’s costume jewelry collection.