Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bogoff Jewelry

Being a resident of the Chicago area, I tend to find a lot of jewelry that has a signature of "BOGOFF." It's always beautiful jewelry with an incredible presence.

Not knowing much on the company, and being curious in nature, I figured I'd do some research on them and share it here.

This post is merely a compilation of information that I have found in books and online. There are some far more in depth articles out there. See the bottom of this post for links.

Bogoff jewelry that I have found usually has a style and construction that consists of silver or rhodium plated pieces, paste set rhinestones, and either clip or screw-back earrings.  The majority of the pieces that I find are made with clear rhinestones, though I have seen pieces with pale blue in person, and have found pieces with other colors online.

Though the rhinestones are paste set, which in many circles is a code word for "cheaply made," the pieces from Bogoff are consistently high quality pieces with gorgeous design. 

Bogoff Up Ear Earrings by Pink Astilbe Vintage at Etsy
According to the book Collecting Costume Jewelry 101 by Julia C. Carroll, the company was founded in Chicago by Henry and Yvette Bogoff. "In the latter part of the 1920s this company produced accessories, including rhinestone buttons. In 1946, Henry began to design and manufacture rhinestone jewelry." (page 112)

The Bogoff company name is often connected online and in books with "Spear Novelty Company" in Chicago. However, Carroll points out in her Collecting Costume Jewelry 202 book that "the 1955 Jewelrs' Buyers Guide lists the company as Jewels by Bogoff located in Chicago, Illinois, with no mention of Spear Novelty." (page 151)

Various sites around the internet and in several books have varying dates for the end of the company, with the majority of sites claiming that the company closed in the late 1950s, though one claims the company was producing jewelry all the way until the 1970s. 

Bogoff Necklace by Pink Astilbe at Etsy
Perhaps the best website with comprehensive information about Bogoff Jewelry is Illusion Jewels, who managed to get an interview with Henry and Yvette Bogoff's son. It is well worth the read for the information as well as the pictures.

Other great images of Bogoff Jewelry can be found at Morning Glory Antiques. There they have a fantastic collection of vintage jewelry advertisements for Bogoff jewelry.

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