Vintage 1940s Renoir Copper Necklace Ebony Lace Shadowbox Jerry Fels California


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

This is a copper necklace made by Renoir of California, in a form known as “Ebony Lace”.  Renoir was a costume jewelry manufacturer founded by Jerry Fels in 1946.  Fels wanted to create jewelry that was artistic in design, and to differentiate his production from rhinestone jewelry, which was so prevalent at the time.  Fels chose copper as this was metal of choice for the American Arts & Crafts movement. Fels wanted to present jewelry that was reflective of the abstract art movement of the post-war years, so many of the jewelry designs are geometric and/or abstract in conception.  Jewelry by Renoir was highly appreciated during the 1950s as was Matisse jewelry, another company founded by Fels, that produced copper jewelry that was enameled.  Both companies ceased production in 1964.

This necklace is made of square shaped “shadowbox” pieces, each perforated around the top edge and blackened/fumed on the recessed interior.  They are joined by metal links.  Each piece measures 3/4” square and the necklace measures 15 1/2” long laid out straight - there are 17 square pieces in the necklace.  It is in very good condition with only minor wear/tarnish to the back in the area that would contact the back neck.  The link next to the clasp is stamped “Renoir Pat Pend”.  This mark was used circa late 1940s/1950, so this is an earlier piece - nice addition for the collector or just a very attractive necklace!