About the Artist:
Almost unheard of in today’s marketplace, Miriam Haskell’s creations are still made entirely by hand. The value of a Miriam Haskell piece was — and still is — a reflection of this workmanship and meticulous detail. Each bead, each crystal, each pearl is picked up by hand, hand-wired to an intricate brass filigree backing, and ultimately backed to a second filigree, concealing any trace of its construction. One piece may take as long as three days to create.
An authentic desire to create the impossible. Miriam Haskell was elegant. She knew how to entertain. Her friends were “the” New York and Hollywood glitterati. Many were in theater and film, and they appreciated her clever, eccentric manner. Fame was not foreign to her, nor was it something to which she aspired. She designed it.
At the heart of a Miriam Haskell piece is a filigree base made of stamped brass. These come from France, Germany, and the United States. The filigrees are plated separately in signature Russian gold or a specialty finish, then assembled, and then embellished. Vintage filigrees that are difficult to find are often used. Each element is first picked up by hand. Depending on the nature of the design, the element, no matter how diminutive, is then threaded, encrusted, or wrapped by hand onto a wire, a chain, or hand-set into a channel or finding. It’s the tight embroidery of the elements — which bears no sign of the base underneath — that is one of the most distinctive features of Miriam Haskell jewelry. In addition to meticulous construction practices, sophisticated, unique materials are used. Colors are characters unto themselves. Asymmetries, or the composition of the piece, are also emblematic features.
This large porcelain brooch with a hand-painted floral design and wrapped in Russian gold-tone metal was designed by Miriam Haskell in the mid-1960s. The porcelain is prong-set in the gold tone, while white seed beads surround the prong setting. All of this is then laid upon the gold filigree with the four flower leaves on the brooch. The name of the designer appears on the backside of the brooch.
This gorgeous jewelry piece has a modern take on a Victorian brooch of the late 19th century, and it remains in great vintage condition. The porcelain is not chipped or scratched, no beads are missing, the gold-tone metal is bright, and the pin and clasp mechanism is in good working order.
This stunning vintage brooch would do well both with formal and informal wear. Buy this beauty for a friend or family member, or add it to your own costume jewelry collection.