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Ruth Peltason

Anonymous is A Jeweler, Too. In praise of excellence and quality in unsigned jewelry

Most of us are swayed by jewelry that comes stamped with a maker’s name. Bulgari, Cartier, Lenfant, Schlumberger, Van Cleef & Arpels are all names that signify quality, longevity, and codify a continued trust between the house and the owner. But what if there is no maker, no telltale hallmark? What if the striking piece of jewelry you’ve just seen is “Made by Anonymous”?
In our discussion, Anonymous Is A Jeweler, Too, we take the position that scores of the jeweler’s canon arrive beautifully executed though without a name. So how we do evaluate quality? What are the questions we should pose when looking at, say, a magnificent Art Deco diamond bracelet, or a Retro gas pipe collar, a highly enameled sautoir, all with that invisible signature, Made by Anonymous? How much does our initial reaction and experience matter? The absence of a signature makes us think harder about the piece itself—what the designer intended, the craftsmanship, the materials. What knowledge can we bring to better evaluating and appreciated these works. And how do we price unsigned jewelry.
We’ll present about 20 pieces of jewelry selected from the 20th century and open up discussion to you—the participants—about judging and evaluating them. You may be surprised to learn that even the best-known collectors, such as Jayne Wrightsman or Elizabeth Taylor, had fantastic pieces of jewelry without a maker. We’ll look at examples from their collections, too.
“Made by Anonymous” is one of the history’s longstanding makers of superb jewelry. Here’s an opportunity to speak among other jewelry-minded peers to consider and celebrate these glorious creations.

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