Posted 4 years ago
Signed Sherman Flower Pin Circa 1950's With Earrings
I received this set on November 9, 2018. The color reads as a darker blue ab'd stones flower pin, with above average clarity on the ab stones. The center of the flower has a sculpted center where Sherman used a lot of small stones to make the flower more realistic. He used these complicated groupings much more than other costume jewellers and used them also particularly on other pinwheel designs. This is one of the labour intesive canstruction techniques that made Sherman's work exemplary. Usually I am not that fond of ab stone glazing, but the strong blue makes this set quite beautiful. The earrings are somewhat of a leaf design. This signature in an oval was Sherman's first signature, hence the period of construction was late 40's, earlier 50's likely.
Here is some info the authors of the book on Sherman gleaned after they had published their book :
THE PRODUCTION OF SHERMAN JEWELRY
The company employed a bare bones production line where settings were manufactured, stones were set, pieces were sent for plating and polishing, and finally, assigned to boxes awaiting shipping to customers. Mr. Carmine keenly remembered where he sat and how busy the workroom was under Gus Sherman’s steady and benevolent presence. The job was not always 9 to 5. Often shipments were mailed on Saturdays, and before Christmas the work was near constant to meet the demand.
Among the many types of jewels Sherman manufactured, the men confirmed that the company indeed made tiaras for the Miss Canada pageant (there is one tiara shown in our book). Mr. Carmine pulled out a spectacular pearl and crystal crown he had made for his daughter’s First Communion, and it was complete with a soldered on Sherman tag. They also showed us jeweled belts. These remain scarce today and rarely come up for sale on the secondary market.
We were also surprised to learn the answer to why there are so many color combinations for some designs. Salesmen would take samples to jewelers and often they would order a piece but ask for a specific grouping of stones to be used. If the stones were available, the orders were generally filled so there may literally be one-off designs in specific colors if they were requested by only one jeweler. Added to Sherman’s eagerness to use new Swarovski stones, this explains the variety of color combinations we’ve come across in the same design.
THE UNSIGNED DEBATE
We showed Mr. Carmine unsigned pieces that had come as part of original sets where one or more pieces was signed – but not everything in the parure (complete set). He offered no explanation but did say sometimes paper tags were used when a piece was too small or perhaps too ornate for a soldered on Sherman tag. We talk more about the signed versus unsigned debate in our book. In a nutshell, we believe (and provide photographs we think back up our assertions) that not all pieces in a parure were signed, though Gus Sherman was indeed proud of his branding and used marked boxes, cards and hang-tags prolifically.