Friday, November 27, 2009

Hobe Asian Man Brooch

This is a fantastic Hobe brooch from 1944.  The figure is carved Tibetan ivory and the silver setting is encrusted with brilliant, colorful crystals.  The Hobe Cie jewelery company was founded in Paris in 1887.  Jacques Hobe's son, William Hobe, started working in the theatrical costume business in the 1920s in New York and drew the attention of Florence Ziegfield.  In the mid-1920s William Hobe began creating costumes and jewelry for the Ziegfield Follies on Broadway.  The business grew from there into the upscale retail department stores in the '30s.  In the 1960s William's sons Robert and Donald took over the business, which is run today by his grandson James.

 In its long history, Hobe always was focused on unique designs and high quality.  They maintained their upscale image, keeping prices and distribution on the  high-end.  This superb brooch was designed by William Hobe in 1944, according to the design patent that was issued in September 1944.  The accompanying ad refers to this piece as a Jeweled Tibetan Chessman, made from antique ivory.  It's a pretty spectacular piece from a firm that was dedicated to the exotic and unique in jewelry design.

Hobe jewelry exhibits a certain diversity and flair seldomly matched in the jewelry of today.  Almost all of the Hobe jewelry prior to 1970 were designed by members of the Hobe family.  Below is a little gallery of some of our favorite pieces.

This parure below is from an article on Hobe Jewelry on the website Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry.  There is quite a bit of information on Hobe Jewels in this article and the accompanying gallery and patent images.

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