This collection, designed by Eugene Bertolli, was inspired by President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. The presidential visit signified the first arrival of a U.S. president to visit the People’s Republic of China. This set consisted of two different pendant necklaces, two cuff designs, two earring designs, and a wide flexible mesh belt with the dragon motif as its buckle. The collection came in both gold and silver-toned metal and was called “The Dynasty Collection.” In addition to the jewelry line, Napier designed a rectangular wooden box (possibly walnut) with either a gold or silver-plated lid with the dragon motif on top. (Permission to reprint must be obtained from author.)
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