Sunday, August 28, 2011

Duettes, Clip-Mates and Dual Purpose Jewelry

We've all seen pins that can also be worn as a pendant. That's a wonderful way to create a dual purpose piece of jewelry, doubling the occasions that the item can be worn. Multi-purpose jewelry has been around, in one form or another, for many years. Cartier was a master of the form, creating necklaces that could be separated into a bracelet or two and a brooch as well.

One of the most famous of these is the crocodile necklace made for Maria Felix, the exotic Mexican actress. The necklace can also be made into two separate bracelets.
Another beauty by Cartier, is this bandeau made in Paris, 1912, for Princess Anastasia of Greece.  A multi-purpose piece of jewelry, the bandeau may also be worn as a bracelet and brooch.
More recently, we have this wonderful beaded necklace whose clasp comes off and can be worn as a brooch.
Goldtone & Pearl Necklace with Removable Brooch Clasp ($65)
Probably the most ubiquitous of the dual purpose jewelry forms, other than the pendant-brooch combination, is the double clip. The original patent for a double clip was granted to Cartier in 1927. Costume jewelers picked up the form, and improved on the designs with additional patents in the 1930s.

Virtually every primary costume jeweler made these double clips. Coro named their version the Duette, while Trifari dubbed theirs Clip-Mate. These remained popular through the 40s and into the 50s. 
1948 Advertisement for Coro Duettes
Three Double Clips: TLft is a Crystal Clip ($95); TRt is a Crystal Coro Duette ($145); Btm is a Coro Blue & Clear Crystal Clip (Sold!)
Coro Blue Parrots Duette ($245)
Coro Duette shown separated to reveal the frame structure.
French Double Clip (Sold)
French Double clip separated.

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