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Dorothy's Designer Notes

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Dorothy has been taking notes on some of the talented designers, makers and design styles of vintage costume jewelry while she's been skipping down the yellow brick road in Emerald City Enjoy this information and the jewelry examples!
[most images are linked to full size views]


~ Cini ~

Founded by Gugliemo Cini in 1922, the Cini company has long been associated with intricate jewelry, primarily in sterling silver, and all of splendid quality.  The designs display strong classical and renaissance influence, undoubtedly inspired by the rich art and architecture of Gugliemo Cini's native country, Italy.  Some pieces were reproductions of antique fine jewelry but most were original designs.  A variety of techniques were used,  including solid cast pieces, repoussť and filigree, and a few pieces were gold plated. Production ceased in the 1970s and Gugliemo Cini died in 1979, but family members produced a few pieces from his original designs in the 1990s.

St George & the Dragon Brooch Cherries Brooch & Earrings Ornate Key Brooch Theatrical Masks

Regal motifs are popular in Cini jewelry, as are cherubs and mythical creatures.

Cherubs & Urn Brooch Crowned Eagle Brooch Mythical Beasts Brooch Greenman & Beasts

Realism is the key to many of the Cini designs, even the simpler, less fanciful ones like these fruit and floral pieces.

Apples Brooch Grapes Brooch Raspberries & Blossoms Brooch (huge) Poppy Brooch

Pieces with rhinestones were produced in in the 1950s and 1960s in fewer numbers.  They still reflect the antique styling and use large open-backed, unfoiled stones as would be seen in fine jewelry.

Amethyst Rhinestone Brooch Aqua Leaflet Wreath Brooch Baroque Aqua Brooch & Earrings Picture Frame Brooch

One of the most popular series from Cini were the Zodiac pieces depicting the astrological signs in wondrous detail.  The designs themselves aptly represent the nature or quality of the various signs - bolder, simpler designs for the strong signs like Aries and intricate, ornate stylizing for gentler signs like Aquarius.  The Zodiac designs were used for a variety of pieces including brooches, earrings, cuff links and charms.  Very few pieces, like the Capricorn below, were produced with gold plating.

Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer
Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio
Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces

Click here and here to see Cini pieces for sale at Emerald City




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This website was designed and created by Elizabeth M. Rowlands, proprietor of Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

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