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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]


~ Réja ~

Originated by Soloman Finkelstein, this company was renamed from the founder's name to Déja Costume Jewelry in 1939.  The use of this name and mark were short-lived however, since a lawsuit filed by Du Jay resulted in an injunction from using the name as being too similar to Du Jay.  Early in 1941, the name and jewelry mark was changed to Réja.  For collectors this creates a rare situation where pieces can be dated to a very short time span.

Deja enamel
rose brooch
Deja cream enamel brooch Deja pink floral
fur clip
Deja floral spray brooch

One of the most charming Reja figural designs was the Jack-in-the-box  from 1946.  This adorable fellow was produced with both the "rose opal" and emerald cabochons, and one can't help but smile to see his joyous face.  Additional pieces using these rosy colored cabochons include the rocking horse, sea shells, an abstract swirl and a circle brooch.  'Rose Opal'  was one of the trademarks registered by the company.

  Reja Jack in the Box earrings Jack in the Box ad 1946 Retro Moderne Rose Opal Cabochon Brooch  "Rose Opal" ad 1946 Reja Swirl or shell brooch

In the mid-1940s, like other costume jewelry companies, Réja produced pieces with a large stone as the focus and fewer small rhinestones.  Most of these were figurals, some fanciful and graceful, like the 'Lyre Bird' and 'Peacock', while others such as 'Geese' and 'Men from Mars' were whimsical.  Most often, these pieces incorporated a huge pear shaped or oval stone.

Reja Sterling Scroll Pin Reja Green Cab Shell Brooch & Earrings  Reja Sterling Faux Moonstone Fur Clip Reja Sterling Aqua Butterfly Brooch, ca 1944

In 1947, Réja produced the 'Gardenesque' floral pieces which depicted marvelously detailed flower arrangements in vases or urns.  The pieces combined enameling and rhinestones, often with both silvertone and goldtone metal finishes.  The designs are complex and beautifully executed.

Reja Sterling Amethyst Butterfly Brooch
[smaller version]
Reja Sterling Ruby Arrow Brooch 1947 Gardenesque Ad Reja Emerald Green Arrow Brooch Reja Emerald Art Deco Set

Later pieces show the influence of nature and a continuing commitment to wonderfully detailed figurals along with less representational 'real look' pieces.  The company closed in 1952.

Reja Court Jester's Scepter Brooch Reja Sterling Knight's Winged Helmet Brooch Reja Aqua Pinecone Brooch Reja Knight Brooch
with faux pearl torso
Reja Pinecone Brooch

Click here to see Reja and Deja pieces for sale at Emerald City.




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