Joseff of Hollywood's Treasures from the Vault
Throughout the 1930s-1950s, Joseff of Hollywood was the jewelry maker of choice for the movie industry’s glitterati. His costume jewelry pieces were worn in some of the most popular movies of their time, such as “Gone With the Wind” (1939) and “High Society” (1956), and long before Hollywood stars would be lent the genuine high-value pieces for the red carpet, they would turn to Joseff for some added sparkle.
A former advertising executive turned Hollywood showman, Eugene Joseff began working with costume designer s Walter Plunkett and Edith Head, creating accurate replica and historic looking pieces with a plating technique specifically designed to soften the glare of the studio lighting and give every piece a veneer of authenticity.
His innovative approach to making jewelry (a technique that is still a family secret to this day) and the business model of loaning pieces to Hollywood studios (an industry first) made Joseff a successful businessman.
An historic cache of Joseff jewelry that was stored in a Hollywood warehouse for decades and rediscovered a few years ago, is now coming up at auction, giving bidders an opportunity to own some pieces of movie history.
On Nov 17-19, Julien’s auction will offer more than 500 pieces and among some of the highlights on offer will be the iconic “diamond and amethyst” necklace worn by Vivien Leigh (estimate: $60,000‑80,000) and the cigar case used by Clarke Gable in “Gone with the Wind” (estimate: $40,000‑60,000), the “pearl” earrings (estimate: $50,000‑75,000) worn by Marilyn Monroe in studio publicity photographs to promote"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," a “diamond” choker necklace worn by Judy Garland in the “Ziegfeld Follies” (1946) (estimate: $15,000‑20,000) and Mae West in “The Heat’s On” (1943); gold-plated, chandelier earrings with simulated pearls worn by Grace Kelly in promotion shots for “High Society” (1956) (estimate: $10,000‑15,000), the “topaz” jeweled bib necklace called “the most spectacular necklace in the world” worn by Ona Munson in “The Shanghai Gesture” (estimate: $6,000‑8,000) , and the snake cuff bracelet worn by Elizabeth Taylor as “Cleopatra” (estimate: $5,000‑7,000)