Costume Jewelry 1935-1950

by Carla Ginelli Brunialti
 and Robert Brunialti
review by Sandra Todaro

The book cover to "A Trigute to America: Costume Jewelry 1935-1950"

  E questo il libro? Si, e il libro. A Tribute to America is, indeed, the book; and the book is in English, not Italian as its cousin was. Carla Ginelli Brunialti and Roberto Brunialti have produced an impressive volume of costume jewelry reference spanning the years from 1935 to 1950.

It is a lovely volume, backed up by scholarship. Coming out of a desire to commemorate the September 2001 terrorist attack on America, the volume begins with solid text discussions of major manufacturers and themes, then gets down to business with hundreds of colour (how European!) plates, expertly photographed by Guiseppe Gislon.

A Tribute to America is lavishly illustrated. The Patriotic section is seasoned with poster art, illustrations, and advertising from the World War II period. The jewelry section - and it is hefty - is full of jewelry in color and the text for the pieces is identified by plate numbers and line drawings in some cases.

 Within these covers are pieces you will not see elsewhere and many are the sorts of things that make real collectors excited. The Elzac section is especially interesting if you have ever run across these ceramic works and wondered about them.

This is a book beautiful enough to be a coffee table volume and informative enough to be a necessary reference work. While the acquisition price might make you pause, what you get for your investment will convince you of your shopping skills.

The two volumes, the Italian and the English, constitute a set every costume jewelry library should include.


Review reprinted with permission from Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry and the author

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