Napier Heraldic Jewelry

Legends in Silver Heraldic Jewelry by Napier

Heraldic jewelry enjoyed popularity several times during the 20th century, including the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. So when it comes to indentify a particular decade that a piece could have been introduced into a jewelry line can often be difficult from a visual perspective. Fortunately, our ability to research collections has improved over the years making it more possible to put the pieces of history together.

This beautiful bracelet was part of a “Legends in Silver Heraldic Jewelry” collection presented by Napier in the spring of 1949. The collection consisted of two distinct bracelet styles, one necklace, and two pins. The multi-chain bracelet with a decorative gauntlet clasp and barrier spring ring closure was complemented by an unusual pill box charm bracelet of a European Knight’s Helmet.  The matching necklace to the gauntlet bracelet, measured 16” with a 4” drop suspended from the center gauntlet clasp.

The two pins of this collection consisted of a gauntlet pin that appears to have had a moveable knight’s mace; finding a pin with the mace still intact would be considered quite rare. The second pin was a heraldic shield, while the accompanying French clip earrings bore a heraldic design suspending a four-chain tassel.

Pieces from this collection ranged from ­­­$7.20 to $36.00, which included the 20% tax imposed on luxury items such as these.

The marking of the barrier spring ring with both the words “NAPIER and “STERLING” across the bar was not a common practice in the following years.  The sterling clasps are usually marked “STERLING” with an adjacent jump ring marked “NAPIER.”

 

Napier Heraldic Jewelry
Heraldic Gauntlet Sterling Silver Bracelet

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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