About the Artist:
The Jonette Jewelry Company was started by Abraham Lisker. Before he decided on his career path, Mr. Lisker trained as a physician, until he changed directions and entered the jewelry industry, working for several years in Rhode Island. In 1935, he started his own business, “Providence Jewelry Company,” and produced costume jewelry in East Providence, Rhode Island.
In 1937, when his brother Nathan joined the business, the name was changed to “Lisker & Lisker.” Following the sales success and popularity of their ballerina and mother-of-pearl pins, Abraham Lisker directed the company towards novelty figural pieces.
When World War II began, Abraham Lisker closed the factory (due to government restrictions and shortages of materials), then enlisted and served a two year tour of duty in the U.S. Army. At the war’s end, the Lisker brothers decided to rename the company, and they combined the names of their parents, John and Etta, to form the name Jonette. Records show that the “Jonette Jewelry Co.” was established in 1944, incorporated in the state of Rhode Island.
1970 marked the start of the copyrighted “JJ” mark, which was signed on all pieces from that point forward. Abraham Lisker decided to retire in 1972, and his son, B. Gordon Lisker took over the business. After nearly 70 years as a family-operated business, the company closed in 2006.
Recently found at an estate sale in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, this Merlin wizard brooch was designed by the Jonette Jewelry Company in the mid-1970s. The silver-tone metal image of Merlin shows the finery of his wizard’s garb, from the beautifully designed floral rim of his cloak to his hat, which bears tiny rhinestones. Merlin’s facial features along with long hair and beard are wonderfully etched. In his hand, Merlin holds an iridescent crystal ball into which he gazes, and a smaller one appears on his hat as well.
This brooch is in great vintage condition. The pin mechanism is in good working condition. And, the “JJ” hallmark appears on the back of the brooch.
For those who have a bent for fantasy literature and its figures, for those who love the mystical, or for those who just like the unexpected or unusual, this brooch of Merlin is right for you! The brooch would also make a charming accessory for a Halloween or Medieval fair costume.