Vintage Miriam Haskell Costume Jewelry

Miriam Haskell established her Miriam Haskell Company in New York City in 1926. From the get-go, her handcrafted floral-themed costume jewelry was a hit with the stylish women of Manhattan, who adored her intricate necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pins. Haskell loved gilt findings and filigree, faux pearls, Austrian crystal beads, blown glass beads from the island of Murano, and, above all, rose montées

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Haskell was not a designer herself, but she was an excellent talent scout. Frank Hess was her first find. Where Macy’s saw only a hired hand to create its window displays, Haskell saw her young company’s first chief designer, a position Hess held from 1926 until 1960, when Robert F. Clark took over.

Perhaps because Haskell was not a designer, she almost never signed her pieces. Indeed, until 1950, when her brother Joseph took over the company due to Haskell’s health, about the only signed Haskells around were those sold at one New England shop that had agreed to carry the Haskell pieces on the condition that they were signed. Those pieces, which one Haskell family member estimates account for less than one percent of her pre-1950s output, came with a horseshoe-shaped plaque with Haskell’s name on it. Needless to say, they are very rare.

Some of the stars who loved Haskell jewelry included Lucille Ball, who wore Haskell pieces on her TV show. Joan Crawford was another loyal customer. She collected Haskells from the late 1930s through the 1960s. In 1978, a year after the actress’s death, her collection of vintage Haskell costume jewelry was auctioned off to great fanfare, partly because of Crawford’s reputation, of course, but also due to the quality of the pieces themselves.

Like a lot of collectibles, the value of a vintage piece of Miriam Haskell costume jewelry depends a great deal on its condition. Because her pieces are so intricate, it is difficult to replace a missing rhinestone or faux pearl. Look for metal that has not corroded and avoid pieces that have been chipped due to careless handling or wear.

Vintage necklaces are among her most sought work. Some have only a single strand of faux pearls. Others have multiple strands in matching or different sizes and hues — from traditional white to smoldering dark brown. Even the clasps are opportunities for embellishment, with pearls, rose montées, and filigree decorating their ends.

Bracelets are another favorite. Vintage Haskell bracelets often feature beaded flowers and leaves mounted on gilt or silvered hinged bangles. Other bangles are open at the back and many Haskell bracelets dispense with an armature altogether to remain loose and alluring...

Vintage Haskell earrings, either on their own or as matching pieces for a necklace, continue in the floral vein. The gilt, crystal, and pearl combos are considered the classics of this form. Finally, Haskell pins are perhaps the freest of all Haskell jewelry types. Besides the floral themes, Haskell pins incorporate a number of animal and shell designs.

Key terms for Vintage Haskell Costume Jewelry:

Rose montée: A precut crystal (the rose) mounted in a silver setting (the montée) that has either a tab with a hole in it or a channel in its back so that the mounted stone can be sewn to a garment or attached to a piece of jewelry. Comes in wide range of colors.

Finding: The functional part of a piece of jewelry such as the clasp on a necklace.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Researching Costume Jewelry

Researching Costume Jewelry

Jewelry lovers, venture through this amazing database of vintage jewelry articles, catalogs, and brochures, as well… [read review or visit site]

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

It looks like we're not in Kansas anymore with Elizabeth Rowlands' site on vintage costume jewelry from the 1940s a… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Miriam Haskell Maltese Cross Coral Color Glass Stone Filigree Pin BroochMiriam Haskell Stunning Red Glass Bead & Pearl Rhinestone Vintage BraceletMiriam Haskell Baroque Style Glass Pearl Vintage BraceletGlorious Vintage Necklace Of Pearls & Green Glass Beads - Unsigned Haskel ?Vintage Earrings-miriam Haskell, Sarah Cov, Germany, Marvella, Unsigned BeautiesAntique Miriam Haskell Robert Demario -2-strand-signed-pearls-rhinestone Set!!!!Spectacular Rare Miriam Haskell Egyptian Revival Necklace And Earring SetVintage Miriam Haskell Necklace And Earrings Beautiful Miriam Haskell Necklace Baroque Pearl Signed. Pearl NecklaceMiriam Haskell Fabulous Necklace!!! Faux Diamonds And Seed Pearls Excellent CondMiriam Haskell Baroque Pearl 2 Strand Pearl Necklace Huge Stunning Filigree Gold Necklace - Early Miriam Haskell Vintage Miriam Haskell Unsigned Lg. Baroque Pearl W/ Double Strand Necklace!Kramer Miriam Haskell Coro Robert Kjl Laguna - Vtg Estate Rhinestone Pins EtcMiriam Haskell Vintage *large* Baroque Glass Pearl Choker NecklaceRare Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell Jeweled Sea Shell Necklace EstateVintage Signed Miriam Haskell Dangle Ornate Brass Filigree Bookchain Necklace1940's Vintage Art Deco Etched Gold Brass Ball Festoon Necklace Haskell?Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell. Coin Bracelet & Earring Set. Vp3210Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell Multi Color & White Glass Knotted Bead NecklaceMiriam Haskell Vintage Open Back Bezel Set Glass Floral Rhinestone Necklace~~*~~26 1/2" Miriam Haskell Single Strand Baroque Faux Pearl Necklace No ReserveVintage Miriam Haskell Signed Necklace Mop Pearl StonesMiriam Haskell Imatation Baroque Pearl Necklace Vintage Vintage Designer Signed Miriam Haskell Coral Color Glass Bead NecklaceMiriam Haskell JewelryVintage Miriam Haskell Rhinestone Bangle Bracelet 2 1/4 Opening Safety Catch Vintage Art Deco Ladies Necklace Signed By Miriam Haskell Classic. Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell Locket NecklaceLovely Grouping Of All But One Signed Earrings, Lisner X2, Haskell, Bsk, Vogue !2/strand Sign Miriam Haskell White Beaded Necklace P/w Earrings Jewelry Miriam Haskell BroochVtg Signed Miriam Haskell Pin/brooch Gold Clear Rhinestones Faux Baroque PearlsFabulous Rare Vintage Miriam Haskell Faux Baroque Pearl Gold Metal Flower BroochVintage Broach Signed By Miriam Haskell Classic. Art Deco DesignVintage Miriam Haskell Baroque Pearl And Crystal NecklaceVintage Designer Signed Mariam Haskell Pearl Necklace Bride Wedding Baroque Vintage Miriam Haskell Signed Cluster Bead Dangle BroochGorgeous Rare Vintage Miriam Haskell? Crystal Glass Jewellery Drop Pin BroochMiriam Haskel Gold Tone Stone Vintage Clip On EarringsVtg Haskell Multi Strand Swirl Art Glass Rhinestone Necklace Earring Set UnsigndMiriam Haskell Vintage Pat#3427691 Necklace - 15"Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell White Carnival Glass Beads Pearl Beaded NecklaceVintage Miriam Haskell BroochVintage Miriam Haskell Peach Bead Scarf Pin BroochKate Landry And M Haskell And Sarah Coventry EarringsVintage Miriam Haskell Signed Gold & Jade Green Stone Clip EarringsVintage Miriam Haskell Red & Green Porcelain Necklace Clip On Earrings Set*rare* Stunning Vintage Estate Unsigned Miriam Haskell 17 1/4" Necklace! G6395wVintage Miriam Haskell 5 Strand White Glass Necklace Choker SignedVintage Miriam Haskell (style) Beaded Coil Wrap Bracelet