Léa Stein (born February 11, 1936) is a French artist and accessories maker, known for her compressed plastic buttons, brooches and bracelets.She is often hailed as "the most notable and innovative designer of plastic jewelry of the 20th century". Stein entered the fashion industry in 1957 working in textiles, and by 1965 had developed an interest in plastic.Before delving into the world of vintage clip-on earrings, it is important to know exactly what it is you are looking for in terms of style, closure, and period.These details will help make your shopping experience more efficient.She worked with her husband, chemist Fernand Steinberger, to develop a process of layering very thin sheets of cellulose acetate (or rhodoid) and laminating them to form a "multi-coloured sandwich of plastic".Stein's brooches feature animals, cars, household items, celebrities and people in a distinctive style, sometimes resembling Art Deco (which leads some people to mistakenly date her work to the 1920s).Either way, due to their size, earrings are often an affordable path to starting a vintage costume jewelry collection.
Vintage brooches had the clasps heat mounted into the plastic; in modern brooches, the clasps are riveted on.Georgian period jewelers often melted down what they considered out-of-date pieces in order to make newer pieces reflecting current trends.Since gold assaying wasn’t enforced until the 1900s, you won’t find authentic Georgian jewelry with stamps. These marks indicate the firm responsible for producing the jewelry. Georgian period jewelers often set gemstones in closed back settings.Following Alberts death in 1861, she continued to wear jewelry.Known as mourning jewelry, Queen Victoria wore it in tribute to her deceased husband.The artisans had to hand hammer gold ingots and other metals into thin sheets before even starting to fabricate pieces.