bracelets made by my grandfather during world war II

I had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the Minnesota Historical Society, back in 2007. The presentation was sweetheart jewelry of World War II ; about the souvenirs and sentimental items sent back to loved ones during the war. It was especially popular during World War II. During the war many people here at home would wear jewelry reflecting the branch of service a loved one was serving as well as patriotic themed jewelry.


burt cassell gold filled cameo

Shown above is a Burt Cassell cameo brooch. Burt Cassell was a high end designer from the early 1950's. The pieces were gold-filled and often included semi-precious gemstones, carved ivory, or carved shell cameos. His line included many beautiful carved rose pins, scarab jewelry, and cameo pieces. Here is a link to the signature on the back of a rose pin.


krementz roses bracelet

Krementz jewelry was established in 1866. Originally their pieces were made of 14K gold. Later, during the 1880's they begin the thick rolled gold plating giving costume pieces the look of fine jewelry.
They were known for their cufflinks and collar buttons and later, during the 1930's, they expanded into women's costume jewelry. During the Great Depression costume jewelry was in greater demand as many could no longer afford fine jewelry. The rolled gold overlay is a base metal between two thick layers of gold and fused.


marquise crystal french barrette

It is getting colder and the evenings are getting darker soon. Add some brightness with a bit of festive sparkle. Brooches can be worn on more than just sweaters. You can pin them to jackets, scarves, your mittens, and hat! Along with pins, hair accessories are always fun for the upcoming holiday parties. Our hair jewelry is retro in style and includes some fascinators. And, some of our pieces are a blend of old and new, such as this one of a kind Crystal French Barrette, shown above.


retro jewelry materials Michelle's Vintage Jewelry

From the 1930's through the 1940's jewelry had lots of feminine curves and sweeping lines. Franklin Roosevelt began his first presidential term in 1933- his Scottish Terrier traveled extensively with him. You will find many pieces of jewelry with the Scotty dog.
During the 1940's the war affected the materials used in costume jewelry production. Wood, plastics, and sterling were popular to use in jewelry production due to rationing and conservation of strategic materials.
Sweetheart jewelry was popular; pieces soldiers sent or brought home for mothers and sweethearts.


1930's WPA National Arts Week photo
1930's Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

This Saturday is Museum Day Live (Smithsonian magazine). Here in Minnesota, the Minnesota History Center is offering free admission on Saturday. And, they have the exhibit "1934: A New Deal for Artists". Paintings created under the New Deal's 1934 Public Works of Art Program will be on display. The Public Works of Art Program was the first federal program to support the arts nationally. It is also known as the WPA artworks.
The first photo was taken during WPA national arts week. The bottom photo is WPA Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (This photo is from 1941)



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