The Singer Estate Collection was founded in 1982 by Stephen L. Singer and are a continuation of their family business started in 1901; Stuart, President of Stephen L. Singer, is fourth generation of their lineage. Situated in New York City, The Singer Estate Collection houses one of the world’s most expansive and breathtaking collections of Estate Jewelry. Our collection includes Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Retro and other precious heirlooms, as well as an array of contemporary and signed jewels. The Singer Estate Collection has become the undisputed leader in estate event planning. Our highly skilled team of Estate buyers travels throughout the country garnering jewelry from individuals, as well as estates and bank liquidations. As such we are able to offers our clients a unique opportunity to purchase estate jewelry at excellent values.
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Experience the beauty, elegance and glamour of past eras when you purchase a piece of estate jewelry from our event. Immerse yourself in our assortment of historical jewels and gems that echo back to the days of gentility and classic style. Make an appointment TODAY for a chance to win a custom gift basket!
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A diverse period in jewelry history! Yellow gold was the metal of choice. The 49'ER "Gold Rush" brought with it a gold fever. Silver laid over gold was occasionally used for the setting of diamonds. Black was "in" as Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, dies in 1861 and the whole country mourned for 60 years alongside their beloved Queen. Black enamel and jet jewelry were the fashion statements of the day. Pearls were the fashion representing tears for the departed. Memorial jewelry became the "style". Grape and wheat clusters, female figures sitting by a weeping willow tree and locks of hair of a loved one were incorporated into a piece of jewelry. More revivals, Etruscan, Egyptian, Moorish, Roman, Greek and Gothic, occurred in this period than any other period. Goldsmithing was at its highest level of achievement. Love token jewelry in the form of lockets and rings with heart motifs as romantic sentiments engraved on the piece was widely worn.
A very important period aesthetically and artistically. Art Nouveau evokes images of sensuousness, the Gaiety of Paris, Toulouse Lautrec and silent film star Sarah Bernhardt who had an impressive collection of Art Nouveau jewelry, particularly in enamel by the Art Nouveau master, Rene Lalique. Jewelry was often three-dimensional and sculptural and was softened by the use of precious stones and Plique-a-jour enameling which gave the appearance of stained glass windows. Nature was a major theme. Trees, flowers of all species, dragonflies, swans, peacocks and snakes were some of the many forms reinterpreted and exaggerated. The female figure was exalted and depicted with long, flowing hair, dreamy and exotic. Its design roots can be traced to a blending of Gothic arts, Celtic linear interlaces and spirals, asymmetrical Rococo curves and other exotic influences coming from Africa and Japan.
The Gay Nineties produced another distinct style, Belle Époque. Belle Époque was opulent, full-blown, almost garish. The big diamond jewels worn by Lillian Russell characterize the feeling. It was a far cry from both the Victorian mourning jewelry that preceded and the tailored, lace like looks of Edwardian that was to come.
King Edward VII and his elegant wife Queen Alexandra led English society to new taste levels so sophistication and elegance became the definitive style of this period. Edwardian jewels reflected gracious delicacy with ribbons, bows, swags and tassels, decorated décolletè dresses of lace, embroidery and fringe of pale hues. Toward the end of the 19th century, diamonds were found in quantity in South Africa. Quantities of platinum were also discovered in Kimberly, South Africa early in the 20th century and it became the favored metal for this period's diamond jewelry. Its malleability and strength made working intricate, pierced open-work into the metal much easier than did gold. Platinum also retained a high degree of reflectivity and luminosity giving this period's jewelry its own special beauty.
A period of seduction! The Age of "Speed" and "Speakeasy's". Social and political elements blended together to create an air of restlessness and recklessness. Women bobbed their hair, wore dresses up to their knees and did not wear corsets! In the Roaring "20's" dancing was much more free and women wore long gold necklaces, which swung with their every movement. Long multiple strands of pearls were also a must for the new flapper dress. The glamour of "Hollywood" was very much in vogue. It created a media blitz and became national news. To further distract people from the memories of war and the Great Depression, the frivolity and glamour of Hollywood and Broadway was captured in Deco jewelry. Clear, bold, symmetrical geometric lines, and contrasting stone colors defined the feeling of skyscrapers as well. Luxury was the key word in Deco jewelry. Many fine jewelry houses, Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Marcus & Co. became famous for their opulent designs. The sleek and sexy jewelry from this period satisfied the needs of a new class, the "Nouveau Riche", who desired to display their glamorous and fashionable lifestyle.
Retro, as the name implies, was a distinct throwback away from the rigid geometry of Art Deco. The sleek, symmetrical lines of Art Deco gave way to more fluid, sculptural asymmetrical forms. Also, where Deco used platinum and white gold, Retro used pink or rose gold. The almost dominant use of pink gold was caused by a wartime shortage of alloy to make conventional gold colors. Precious metal and gemstones also became increasingly scarce. The devastation from the war also created an even stronger need to escape from the present day turmoil. Although there was less money for luxury items, people still wanted to lose themselves in a world of glamour. Jewelry of this era responded to this need. Metal was fashioned into contrived swirls, drapes, folds and robust bow shapes. Rigid motion, almost machine-like in effect, was the predominant theme.
The Opulent 1950s
After World War II, the United States dominated the world and the jewelry world as well. Big was good and bigger was better! The jeweler who personified the look was Harry Winston. He, almost single handedly pushed the popularity of more and bigger diamonds to the world. Jewelry literally dripping with diamonds and other precious stones came into vogue. 1950's designs became more gem encrusted and opulent and was dubbed "cocktail jewelry". Jewelry also began to liven up the big screen again by bedecking the actresses of the time like Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Catchy slogans like "A Diamond is Forever" and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", captured the public's attention.
Late 20th Century
Fashion was truly international in the period dating from the 1960’s through 1980’s. The United States continued to dominate fashion but jewelry was made throughout the world. While America might not have been the innovator, if a look did not succeed here, it did not last. Yellow gold and mixed metals that could be worn both evening and day reigned supreme. Casual was important at every level of society. In the 1990’s, platinum and white gold made a comeback. Art Deco and Retro looks were being replicated with the popularity of movies like The Great Gatsby and Funny Girl. Period pieces of every description were in demand. Diamonds continued to be the major stone but tastes were broadening. Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald and Pearl were ever popular. And even more colored stones were in favor- from Tanzanite to Tsavorite, from inexpensive Blue Topaz to lush rare Imperial Topaz, to Aquamarine. Opal, Garnet, Citrine, Jade…the list was endless. Mixing and Matching and Big & Bold were “in”. So too were clusters, straight lines and curved … the customers’ tastes were varied and constantly changing. The sophisticated affluent customer was more demanding and willing to spend to meet their demands.
Win A Custom Giftbasket
Make a reservation for your chance to WIN a custom gift basket valued at approximately $100. You will receive one entry for the drawing when you arrive the day of our event. Bring a friend for an extra entry! No purchase necessary to win - simply make & keep your reservation, it's that easy!
*Basket pictured is a sample - actual giftbasket will include similar items.*