ec2a.gif (6891 bytes)
vcj_2.gif (5975 bytes)

oz2.gif (20794 bytes)

Dorothy's Designer Notes

dorothy.gif (5126 bytes)

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]


~ Hollycraft ~

This company began in 1938 as Hollywood Jewelry, but the mark was soon changed to Hollycraft because of possible confusion with Joseff of Hollywood.  Known for its quality pieces, Hollycraft is very popular with vintage costume jewelry collectors.  Hollycraft designs were sold to jobbers who were then responsible for the production and distribution of the actual pieces. 

To the delight of present day collectors, Hollycraft pieces from the 1950s were often, but not always, marked with the date of the design.  In fact, there are some costume jewelry enthusiasts who collect Hollycraft jewelry only from a specific year!  These pieces feature iridescent aurora borealis stones.

Some of the most popular designs from the 1950s are those using pastel stones of amethyst, aqua, citrine, pink, olivine, etc. in rich and complex patterns.  These pieces are nearly always done in goldtone metal findings.  This brooch and earring set, dated 1950, is a good example of this luscious style and features central alexandrite stones that change color from light blue to lavender depending on the light source. 

 SH008.JPG (22970 bytes)

Because coordinating sets of jewelry were so popular in the 1950s and early 1960s, Hollycraft created wonderful complete sets, or parures, which included necklace, earrings, bracelet, brooch and sometimes a ring.  Matched sets are more difficult to come by as pieces get lost or become damaged over the years, therefore they often have an increased value to collectors.

1950 1955 1950

A particularly mysterious piece from this time period is the so called Christmas Tree Pin.  This pastel brooch from 1950 is shown in several Christmas jewelry reference books.  Yet, the alignment of the pin mechanism seems to suggest that it was actually  meant to be worn inverted, in a shield shape.  (The back of this piece was used for the background of this feature page.)



sh009b.jpg (28512 bytes)


Not all the Hollycraft pieces of the 1950s were done in pastel colored stones and goldtone metal.  The dazzling star brooch is a very rare piece and dates from 1951.  [Note: information and date confirmation kindly provided by Joyce Chorbajian.]  This unusual free-flowing brooch is rhodium plated and is done entirely in dazzling clear crystal stones.  It's marked Hollycraft Copr. 1953, as are the crystal rhinestone earrings.

The company made great use of colored stones throughout the years of production.  Interesting crackled cabochons were used in some pieces creating a mysterious look to the design.  The swirling motif of these 1956 earrings with these "cat's eye" cabs really draw the eye to the stones.  The amethyst rhinestone egg brooch is an unusual design from 1954.  This necklace from 1952 has refreshing ocean colors of blue and green in the gunmetal gray setting.


These pieces from 1956 feature darker purple-black ('starlight') aurora borealis stones along with crystal AB stones.  They seem to have a mysterious or magical air.  With this amount of variety, there's something from Hollycraft for nearly everyone!

The company was sold by founder/designer Joseph Chorbajian in the early 1970s, and manufacture of Hollycraft jewelry ceased sometime in the late 1970s.  But with the excellent craftsmanship and designs, the legacy lives on.


Click here to see more Hollycraft in the Signed/Designer section of Emerald City.




Please email me:    


Just click your heels together to go Home!


Or,   follow the yellow brick road ...


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

      Copyright 1998-2024  Elizabeth M. Rowlands    All rights reserved.