Founded in New York City at the height of World War II, Kramer Jewelry Creations produced intricate and artistic pieces out of gilt metal, rhinestones, glass, and enamel. Louis Kramer, who started the company in 1943, was later joined by his brothers, Morris and Harry, as he tapped into the burgeoning costume-jewelry market. All aspects of the business took place in New York City, so the pieces were marked “Kramer,” “Kramer N.Y.,” or “Kramer of New York.”

With the help of his siblings, Louis Kramer managed the production of his jewelry line, and was hands-on when it came to the design and integrity of the final product. In fact, Kramer designed many of his company's most exuberant pieces and parures. Kramer seemed to favor flowers, particularly organic-looking floral designs made with colored enamel or gilt petals and leaves. Some of these flower brooches had rhinestones set in “trembling” centers. Kramer also made pieces dripping with rhinestones in vibrant colors like blue, red, and topaz, as well as geometric patterns and animal figures.

When Christian Dior introduced his exaggerated, feminine “New Look” in 1947, the fashion designer did not shy away from romantic, showy, costume-jewelry counterparts using ostentatious amounts of fake gems, including Swarovski crystals. In the 1950s and '60s, Kramer was tapped to produce this costume jewelry for Christian Dior—those pieces are marked "Christian Dior by Kramer," “Dior by Kramer,” or “Kramer for Dior.”

Kramer's ornate Dior pieces, with their cascading Swarovski aurora borealis, petal-shaped pastes, and baroque faux pearls, built upon the company's obsession with craftsmanship and organic, romantic design, achieving a high level of elegance and sophistication in the process. But the collaboration with Dior, however fruitful, was not enough to keep Kramer from closing its doors in the 1970s. Today, complete parures, particularly those produced for Dior, are considered the most collectible Kramers.


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