Miriam Haskell The Story
Posted on 11 March 2014
Miriam Haskell was an American designer of costume jewelry. With creative partner Frank Hess, she designed affordable pieces from 1920 through the 1960s. Her vintage items are eagerly collected and her namesake company continues.
Miriam Haskell vintage pieces can command high prices from collectors. However, her jewellery was seldom signed before 1950, it was her brother Joseph Haskell who introduced the first regularly signed Miriam Haskell jewellery. For a very short time during the 1940s, a shop in New England did request all pieces they received be signed by Miriam, this signature being a horseshoe-shaped plaque with Miriam Haskell embossed on it.
Miriam Haskell jewelry was worn for publicity shots, films, and personal use by movies stars Joan Crawford and Lucille Ball, as well as by Gloria Vanderbilt and the Duchess of Windsor. Crawford owned a set of almost every Haskell ever produced, from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Almost unheard of in today’s marketplace, Miriam Haskell’s creations are still made entirely by hand. The value of a Miriam Haskell piece was and still is, a reflection of this workmanship and meticulous detail. Each bead, each crystal, each pearl is picked up by hand, hand-wired to an intricate brass filigree backing, and ultimately backed to a second filigree, concealing any trace of its construction. One piece may take as long as three days to create.
Anything Chic. All things Glam. An authentic desire to create the impossible. Miriam Haskell was elegant. She knew how to entertain. Her friends were “the” New York and Hollywood glitterati. Many were in theater and film, and they appreciated her clever, eccentric manner. Fame was not foreign to her, nor was it something to which she aspired.