Object Timeline

1945

  • Work on this object began.

1955

  • Work on this object ended.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2022

  • You found it!

Pair Of Earrings

This is a Pair of Earrings. It was designed by Frank Hess and made for Miriam Haskell. It is dated ca. 1950 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is electro-plated metal, rhinestones, semi-precious stones, glass beads. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Inspired by Chanel’s “vrais bijoux en toc” (real fake jewelry) of the 1920s, Miriam Haskell opened a costume jewelry shop in the McAlphin Hotel in New York City in 1924. Haskell made a name for herself as a jewelry designer by emphasizing quality craftsmanship and sophisticated design rather than the use of precious materials. Starting in 1926 when she hired Frank Hess as a designer, Haskell primarily handled the business matters. Hess designed the prototypes and Haskell determined which pieces went into production. With later outlets in Miami, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Harvey Nichols in London, Haskell's costume jewelry was worn and collected by some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Joan Crawford and Lucille Ball, who were both loyal clients.
The interwoven workmanship found in many pieces Haskell’s jewelry, in combination with the eclectic selection of imported materials—rhinestones, glass beads, faux pearls—make Haskell’s jewelry stand out as some of the most outstanding workmanship in American costume jewelry. This parure dating from ca. 1950 shows the company’s signature mix of materials. Thoughtfully playing with both scale and material, this necklace juxtaposes stamped metal with rhinestones, imitation stones and glass beads. Familiar with women’s fashion, Hess’ designs of the 1940s and 1950s were large in scale to complement women’s fashion, emphasizing the use of accessories.

This object was donated by Bartholomew Voorsanger. It is credited Gift of Bartholomew Voorsanger.

  • Brooch, 2010
  • polymethyl methacrylate, crushed pearls, rhinestones, smoky quartz, lacquer,....
  • Promised gift to the Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian....
  • 7067.149.2016

Its dimensions are

L x W x D (each): 4 × 2.5 × 2 cm (1 9/16 in. × 1 in. × 13/16 in.)

It has the following markings

Stamped MIRIAM HASKELL around earring back

Cite this object as

Pair Of Earrings; Designed by Frank Hess (American); electro-plated metal, rhinestones, semi-precious stones, glass beads; L x W x D (each): 4 × 2.5 × 2 cm (1 9/16 in. × 1 in. × 13/16 in.); Gift of Bartholomew Voorsanger; 2016-48-2-a,b

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108727281/ |title=Pair Of Earrings |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 June 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>