10/01/2024 Jewellery & Gems
A piece of jewellery from the Albert Weiss collection is easily identifiable to any jewellery collector and magpie alike! The company’s use of rhinestones and bright colours make the pieces, particularly brooches, attractive to anyone looking to stand out from the crowd with a unique addition to their look.
Before starting his business, Weiss already had experience working with major costume jewellery brands such as Coro and Marvella Jewellery. He saw an opening for unique and eye-catching pieces in the costume jewellery market and made the most of this opportunity, starting his company in 1942 in New York. The brand is synonymous with loud colours and bold statements, and most notably, Christmas trees.
Weiss was the first brand to use the festive motif covered in rhinestones, and it was so popular that it was quickly copied by their competitors and contemporaries. The orange rhinestones mimic the flicker of candles when they catch the light and the larger red stones act as baubles. Smoky rhinestones are a signature of Weiss jewellery and in the Christmas tree brooches, they are used to create the base. It was the collection of Christmas tree brooches that brought success to the brand and a variety of styles were created during the 1950s and 1960s.
While the success of the company was great, the brand itself was short lived. Albert Weiss retired as head of the company in 1969 and handed control over to his son, Michael. However, Michael found it more difficult than his father to keep the company running and in 1971 they closed their doors. As the company had such a short run, this means that Weiss jewellery is difficult to collect as there was not a huge amount made, and there is even less available on the second-hand market due to this.
In our December auction, we have one of Weiss’ iconic Christmas Tree brooches. Lot 6 is a vintage Weiss Christmas Tree Brooch with six baguette stone candles, coloured rhinestones representing baubles and a pear shaped tree topper. Stamped verso with the Weiss logo, the brooch measures approx 2.27” x 1.60”. It is the perfect addition to any outfit to get in the festive spirit, or as a gift for the jewellery collector in your life.
By Isobel Morgan BA, MA