Wednesday, June 4, 2008
HOW CAN YOU BE SURE IT'S JEWELRY by SHERMAN?
That's a tough one to answer. I used to be adamant on this subject: if it wasn't signed Sherman, I didn't buy it. And quite honestly, I still feel that way about Shermans and most designer vintage jewelry, especially since the vintage jewelry market is being penetrated by very authentic looking fakes.
It also doesn't help that in a reference and guide book titled "All That Glitters" by Valerie Hammond, she states emphatically that no Shermans were ever unsigned. She bases that statement on conversations she has held with the Sherman family who still reside in Quebec.
However, in conversations I've had with other Sherman collectors, there's quite a bit of disagreement on this subject since according to them, there were pieces with paper hang tags that came in the distinctive "Jewels of Elegance" box that Sherman used, shown in photo. Incidentally, if you come across a jewellery box like the one above, buy it! They themselves are collector's items. And if you can get Sherman jewellery in its original box, so much the better. We have only one like that: it's the stunning signed Sherman bracelet in its own box shown in this photo: But now back to the question of authenticity: as with all vintage designer jewelry, you need to learn to recognize the style and craftsmanship of a designer piece. Sherman was partial to slender navette stones. He liked alternating aurora borealis with clear swarovski crystals in similar shades. On bracelets, the clasp was usually hidden by stones so that the clasp became unseen when it was being worn.
As for his signature, he used either block lettering, often seen on the earlier earrings, or the very familiar script-style Sherman, with a big "S". Sometimes the signature was stamped right into a piece, but he also used an oval cartouche bearing that scripted signature. If you visit my SHERMAN JEWELRY SHOWCASE or OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE and type in "Sherman", you'll see lots of photos of the Sherman signature on the back of our authentic Sherman jewelry.
Bottom line, for me at least, I still prefer to buy a signed piece anytime over an unsigned piece ... and given the cost of Sherman, you should too!