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History of Hobe: Vintage Figural Fun

By Paige McKirahan

 

When discussing vintage figural designers, it is only appropriate that we discuss Jacques Hobe, master goldsmith and the creator of Hobe et Cie. The Parisian company, which was founded in 1887, is known as a brand who had a hand in the creation of the phrase “costume jewelry”. His son William, who was also a master jeweler, began the American branch of the company out of New York and it shot the brand to the fame it holds today. His goal was to create extravagant, expertly designed costume jewelry for the upper and middle classes. The younger Hobe’s first commission in American was for Florence Ziegfeld in the 1920s for their Broadway productions. With that success, many doors to other film studios and commission opportunities flew open with ease.

 

 

In its prime, Hobe designs were sought out by everyone from movie stars, costume designers, and red carpet walkers. They could be seen in showrooms across the nation with two being in LA in addition to the flagship New York location. The jewelry produced by Hobe was like nothing anyone had ever seen before; William’s craftsmanship and brilliant use of figures and crystals captivated the public. It’s expensive aesthetic made it a staple in leading department stores and boutiques until the brands conclusion, and all pieces were designed by members of the Hobe family and guest designer Lou Vici who worked for the company from the ‘30s to the ‘70s. Looking for some vintage figural fun? Check out our Hobe selection in our collections!

Sources:

Everything About Vintage Costume Jewelry. (2014, May 1). Retrieved from http://vintagejewelry.wikidot.com/hobe

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