About the Artist:
Born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, Hattie Carnegie (15 March 1880 — 22 February 1956) was a fashion entrepreneur based in New York City from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Hattie Carnegie was originally a milliner and owned a successful shop on East Tenth Street in New York named Carnegie – Ladies’ Hatter. Despite the fact she had never sewed a seam in her life and had no formal training, she swiftly opened a dress shop on the Upper West Side, and finally in 1923, she opened the famous Hattie Carnegie boutique at 42 East 49th Street, close to the current address of Saks Fifth Avenue. Her shop, at its peak, carried her own “Hattie Carnegie Couture” collection, Paris couture imports from Chanel, Vionnet and Dior, a fur line, her several ready-to-wear lines under different names, a costume jewelry line, a cosmetic line and even a chocolate line. Her dress designs were a massive success, and soon she had such clients as Joan Crawford and the Duchess of Windsor. Hattie Carnegie’s colorful clothing and ultra-chic costume jewelry, even today, are greatly sought after by fashion and jewelry collectors.
Carnegie enjoyed tremendous success throughout her career, but the proudest moment came when she designed the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) uniform in 1950. They were adopted for wear on New Year’s Day 1951. On June 1, 1952, Hattie received the Congressional Medal of Freedom for the WAC uniform design and for her many other charitable and patriotic contributions. The WAC design was so timelessly elegant that it was still in use for women’s U.S. Army uniforms in 1968.
This charming Indian elephant brooch was designed by Hattie Carnegie in the late 1950s. The elephant’s body is made from a translucent white, solid, composite plastic, which is decorated with clear crystal rhinestones set in silver-tone metal. The rhinestones appear on the elephant’s tusk, head and eye as well as the side saddle and surface upon which the beast walks.
This brooch is in great vintage condition. All the stones are present, the silver-tone metal remains quite shiny, and the pin and clasp mechanism are in wonderful working condition. Hattie Carnegie’s signature appears in an oval on the backside of the elephant’s head.
The beautifully designed Carnegie elephant brooch would make for a perfect gift for that special lady or friend in your life (or, even yourself) who admires high-end, collectible costume jewelry. So, don’t let this brooch pass you by!