Large HOBE Sterling Heart & Tassel Brooch
This original Hobe creation is not only in fantastic condition, but a marvel of craftsmanship! If you are not familiar with the Hobe story, please continue reading after specifications for a fun and informative bio. All of Hobe's pieces were hand crafted, down to the last detail. His works are highly collected and each piece is unique. The brooch that is listed in my shop has detailing of roses, swirls and tassels with a burnished or burnt coloring to the silver that was intentional by the artist. Absolutely NO cracks, breaks or dents. The back pin is in perfect working order. It comes to us from Silver City, New Mexico and was originally owned by a lovely lady we call Aunt Virginia. We have a few of her items in store through her family. A true retro piece from the 1940's and perfect for that history buff, old Hollywood loving someone and even an amazing gift for that Goth or Steampunk lover!
* Solid Sterling Silver (stamped)
* Maker's Mark "Hobe"
* 4" inches in length from top of heart curve to end of tassel
* 2 1/4" inches wide from end of tassel to end of tassel
* 38.71 grams
* c. 1940's
Hobe was founded in 1887 by Jacques Hobe, a goldsmith, out of Paris. He had originally created his jewelry items for those of the middle and upper middle class. Most of his Sterling Silver pieces were created during the metal shortages of WWII (1942-1947.)
Jacques’ son, William Hobe, helped to catapult the company into fame when he came to the United States in the late 1920's and started his career working for Florence Ziegfeld, a New York City Broadway producer. Ziegfeld asked William Hobe to created pieces of jewelry for his shows. It is said that once Ziegfeld saw the creations Hobe made for them, he described them as costume jewelry. This could be the origin of the term, costume jewelry!
All of the Hobe designs were handcrafted by Hobe himself. His work was meticulous, something he became known for. He did have some help during 1930-1970, from a Lou Vicky. Due to his fortunate start with Ziegfeld, Hobe continued his career with other Broadway and Hollywood stars. Opening up a showroom in Los Angeles, Hobe was able to grow his celebrity clientele list. Many people in that world described him as the ‘choice of Hollywood.
During the 1940's and 1950's, we see Hollywood stars such as Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck and Ava Gardner wearing his jewels. Ava Gardner is even seen on the cover of Photoplay, an American film fan magazine, wearing a Hobe necklace and earring set. A great advertisement for Hobe, the cover states, “Introducing Jewels by Hobe.”
Hobe’s pieces were relatively expensive, which makes sense given him celebrity clientele. His pieces were either made for custom production or sold in exclusive boutiques and leading department stores.
It seems as though William Hobe didn’t create jewelry past the end of the 1950's. There is still a Hobe company out there producing jewelry, but it is not the same family.