Napier 1970s "Horse Shoe Nail" Plastron Necklace

Jewelry “Nails” It With Fashion Flair

Napier 1970s "Horse Shoe Nail" Plastron Necklace
Napier 1970s “Horse Shoe Nail” Plastron Necklace

If someone walked up to you and asked, “What’s your most appealing way to get ‘nailed’ with jewelry,” you would probably think that person was cuckoo or trying to hit you up with some S & M pickup line, but when when it comes to Napier jewelry, one of the all time favorite Napier necklace and earring set from the 1970s is the Napier  “Horseshoe Nail” necklace. In other words, the jewelry “nails” it with fashion flair.

The Napier 1970s “Horseshoe Nail” necklace is so unique and captures a lot of attention when worn. Its unusual design yields some unexpected dimensionality to the piece. Perhaps in the genre of what is popularly being called “Brutalist” style jewelry, this piece, designed with what resembles hand-wrought nails embodies the Brutalist movement attributed to the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Most of the pieces from this genre will appear as artisan-like sculptures, often designed with mixed metals.

What is your favorite 1970s piece of Napier Jewelry and why?

Necklace, 1972, white metal, cast, gold and silver plated surmounted by hard resin plaque. Sculpted design of overlapping “horseshoe nail” castings to form half-circle spray surmounted by organic an abstract plaque with a prong-set resin “stone.” Measures 5 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ w. Chain measures 19″ tl.  Collection named, “Horseshoe Nail.”

Designer: Eugene Bertolli
vintage jewelry
Melinda Lewis

This article tells the history of Napier’s “Horseshoe Nail” necklace and reveals the designer.


Author: Melinda Lewis

Jewelry historian, Melinda Lewis is co-founder of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l (CJCI) and author of The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry.

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