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Follow up Great Grandma's Charm Bracelet
by: Jeanette

Yvonne,

Thank you so much for your help I really appreciate all the time you took out for me to look into my great grandma's bracelet.

To think that my grandma trusted such a young girl with such a piece, now that is love. Then again as my mom and I did, she might have just seen it for what it was, a beautiful bracelet that needed to be worn and loved.

But thank you so much. I am so happy that I looked a little harder and found the maker's mark. I saw one of my bracelet's charms that went for 175 and that was on sale from 225 so when I saw this charm from rubylane, I realized, oh my god, that looks just like mine, so I looked at the back of the charm it didn't say sterling made, it said sterling lamode, but all I paid attention to when I first looked at it, was the mde part of lamode.

I knew if I knew about the company then I would know about the age of the piece, but as you say, if we don't know what year my great grandmother got it for her birthday, the age is still a puzzle but at least we can narrow it down. Can't be any older then when the company started making these particular enameled charms. So again thank you very much.

Jeanette

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La Mode Charms
by: Yvonne

Hi Sheryl

finding La Mode on the charms does not take away from it's historical value, in fact it adds to it.

Charms were at the height of fashion around the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century. This may surprise some people who think that all older charm bracelets have been made after the Victorian era.

Here is proof:
In a newspaper report dated 1894, the annual output of charms made by J. M. Fisher (a large manufacturing jewelry company) was between 40 and 50 thousand dozens, employing around 50 workers and had one of the largest variety of charms in the US. 

At that time, (1894) they were actually decreasing their line of Watch Charms. Instead, they were concentrating on the production of cuff buttons in pearl, silver stickpin novelties and other innovative lines.

This was because of the falling sales of pocket watches and the obligatory chains. Wristwatches were the "in things" and continued to push out the pocket watch, the charms were then adapted to being a ladies item and used on necklaces and wrist bracelets.

About La Mode:
"La Mode Illustree" was to 19th-century fashion mavens what "Vogue" and "Elle" are today, with its gorgeous color and B&W line illustrations of the latest in fashions for men, women and children.

In the context of jewelry in history, it would seem quiet fitting that the company, Ripley & Gowen Inc (R. & G., Inc.) Attlebro Massachusetts made watch charms and stretch wristbands under the name of - La Mode.

Sheryl if the charms are the original to the bracelet and there is not reason to suppose otherwise, it is possible that Ripley & Gowen were the makers of the bracelet in the early 1900's not exactly sure what date but probably before 1940.
The bracelet should be insured.





regards
Yvonne


(If we only knew what birthday day year the gift was given)


http://bit.ly/5UwdXU



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Follow up Great Grandma's Charm Bracelet
by: jeanette

Dear Yvonne,

i looked closely at my charms to see if i could find a hallmark on any of them. I did - LaMode. Now I have 6 of these as you can see in the pic. they are the enameled ones. I looked these charms up found my yellow one redrobinantiques for 100 dollars.

I found another one ,my blue one on ebay 125 dollars. Well I figure with just the 6 charms alone that are lamode and the fact that the enamel is not even chipped, I have about 600 dollars alone right there that I need to insure.

I am trying to research the other charms, I guess my question is the whole bracelet lamode? Because none of the other charms are marked and would this put the bracelet at a later date such as the 40's since I looked the charm up it said lamode circa 40's? So I don't know could you please help...

I also asked my mom and she said that all she knows is that my great grandma had it before my mom was born my mom was born in 1955 does this take away from the historical value? Or is it still hold the same value as before i mean since I don't know if it is victorian or not, I am guessing not since it has the lamode. I don't know that is why I am asking you, because I don't know how far back lamode goes.


thank you
Jeanette

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Follow up Great Grandma's Charm Bracelet
by: Jeanette

Dear Yvonne,

I think you just gave me a heart attack. I can't believe what you have just told me. I knew the piece was special to me but oh my god to think of the history behind it more than I knew. I thank God that I knew what little I did about this piece.

This is amazing you were able to get all that info from one pic. I am afraid to even wear it now lol. Though I will wear it with pride. I will never sell I will probably give it to my son under the the understanding it stays in the family which means not his wife or girlfriend but his child. Oh yeah that he takes care of it and better care of it than I did since I thought I had lost it.

Thank You so very much, I am still beside myself with this. I cannot believe how much history this little bracelet has. I am very proud to be the owner more lucky than proud. Wow I have a rare find for me, I have never owned anything like this thank you. You made my year lol.

You gave me more of the puzzle pieces to this and yes I will be contacting the company in regards to this bracelet. Again thank you so very much.
Jeanette

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Victorian Charm Bracelets and Pricing
by: Yvonne

Jeanette - charm bracelets were popular in the victorian era, starting around the late 1890s. The 1890s was known on both sides of the pond, in the United Kingdom and the United States as the "gay nineties" . Everyone wanted to shake off the stifling traditions of the past, along with the heavy and awkward styles of the victorian clothes.

Heart charms, were extremely fashionable during this time. The style of script, on the names engraved on the puffy hearts, is in keeping with the period. The decoration on some of metal charms, it is called "repousse". The work was often done by hand punches and hammers but also by mechanical means, by the use of metal or stone dies.

By 1910 woman in the workforce had increased by 386, 835, since 1870. ( Bell, J., Collecting Victorian Jewelry, KP Books, 2004, WI ). Women were discovering a new form of liberation in the workforce, theatre, etc. around this time your great grandmother was working in the historic Muehlebach Hotel coffee shop in Kansas City and given the bracelet for her birthday.

According to my research the Muehblach Hotel was built in 1915, and every president from Woodrow Wilson through to Nixon stayed there at one time or another. It is a very famous hotel.

In the pricing section of the book above quoted on p. 230, is a circa 1890- 1910 sterling silver bracelet with a heart lock and a monogramed clasp, it has NO charms and the price printed in the book is $350. The book was printed in 2004, the price of silver has increased since that date, so has the antique store of value for this item, and like I mentioned, the bracelet in the book, on p. 230 and does not compare to this silver bracelet that is heavy with victorian charms. This bracelet has historical importance and Provenance which is the history of ownership of the property. It establishes the chain of ownership back to the time the piece was made (if possible).

There are no maker's mark, it's difficult to tell who made the bracelet. The silversmith company who made the silver holloware for the Muehlebach Hotel at the time your great grandmother was working there was the company - D. W Haber and they are still in business today. Perhaps they may have records and/or might be able to give you some idea or info, of other silversmiths working in the Kansas City area circa. 1916- 1920s.


Jeanette, count yourself a member of the antique jewelry investors now, the real ones...

Have a great Christmas
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre
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