With the word "Sherman" in the title, of course I took a look as I'm sure so did many others. The seller used words like "breathtaking", "fabulous", "unique" to describe the set, and certainly, it's very lovely. But it had only one bid and sold for $65. Why?
My guess is that those who know, buy, collect and sell Sherman doubted it was a Sherman, despite that headline. Even more, they doubted what the seller said about this piece:
I HAVE HEARD A RUMOUR THAT THE "ARTISTIC" COMPANY WAS ANOTHER COMPANY THAT GUSTAV SHERMAN STARTED
THE QUALITY OF THIS SET IS JUST AS GOOD AS SHERMAN
Well maybe the quality is as good as Sherman, but I, for one, have never heard that rumour. Have any of my readers? I've gone through all the vintage jewelry books on my shelf, including Valerie Hammond's "All that Glitters" and the latest "Sherman Jewellery: the Masterpiece Collection" by Sandra Caldwell and Evelyn Yallen and can find no reference to a company called "Artistic" or even an allusion to Sherman having started another company under that name. Can anyone shed any light on this? I wonder who started such a rumor?
My point is this: from the viewpoint of someone who's new to Sherman, how easy is it for them to fall victim to this kind of advertising? If it's not a Sherman, and I don't think it is, what of the buyer who's congratulating herself on snagging a gorgeous "Sherman" for such a low price? She then happily wears it believing it's a valuable Sherman and then one day decides to sell it herself and tells everyone interested it's a Sherman, unless someone clues her in first.
This kind of thing happens all the time, especially on eBay. The most abused is the Juliana line by DeLizza & Elster. Because no Julianas were signed, sellers are taking many lovely unsigned pieces, advertising and selling them as "Juliana". Again, it all comes back to the buyer needing to educate him or herself about vintage designer jewelry: learning what to look for, what makes one piece a Sherman, another a Juliana, another a Haskell, and another an "Artistic".
Most likely, there is a company called "Artistic" somewhere out there but where and when did they produce and where can one find more pieces by them? If any of you know, please leave a comment on this blog. In the meantime, if you're buying Sherman, even if it's artistic and likened to Sherman, don't assume it is a Sherman. Buy it because you like it. Buy it as a example of lovely vintage jewelry. But while it may be artistic, is it a Sherman?
You know where you can be sure you're getting authentic Sherman Jewellery? From SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. It's artistic all right but more importantly, it really is SHERMAN!