Sunday, September 14, 2008

UnSigned Sherman FACT or FICTION? Part III

Welcome to Part III as we investigate the ongoing debate of whether Sherman manufactured UnSigned jewelry. In today's post we will take a close look at rhinestone bracelets and necklaces to examine how the permanent stamped signatures were done. 

First though, I have to admit that my inventory of bracelets is limited to one particular style which I seem to buy over and over in different colors. I no longer have any with the fold-over clasp so this post will be devoted to the box-style only. Beaded bracelets on memory wire were covered in Part I.

I have taken three bracelets out of my collection for this post, all three are signed Sherman. Two different versions of the box-style clasp have been photographed, two vertical, one horizontally attached.  You will notice that two clasps are clearly embossed with the Sherman signature, the other is plain.  

In order to determine authenticity on a bracelet that has a plain box style clasp, we look for the signature somewhere else on the back of the bracelet which is how the third one is signed. We can now determine that not all bracelets had a soldered back plate with stamp and not all bracelets had embossed clasps. I have seen versions where a bracelet is double stamped exhibiting both and it makes me wonder if it's possible that a bracelet could have been produced at the opposite end of the spectrum by Sherman without a stamp at all. 

The necklaces I have photographed are also marked in different ways, one on the back of the center drop, the other on the end of the rhinestone link chain.  

Having inconsistent styles of signing jewelry surely makes room for error when producing pieces by joining separate components which is how Sherman jewelry was manufactured. Obviously, there were plain box style clasps used as well as stamped ones, unsigned rhinestone links for necklaces and other links with the name plate securely soldered into place.   
As a collector, I check eBay for pricing and to see what Sherman items are being offered for sale. It's a great source for completing sets and becoming more familiar with Sherman designs and styles.  About six months ago, I noticed a gorgeous rhinestone bracelet done in fuchsia with several tear-shaped drops listed with a necklace done in the identical style, same color, same swarovski drops, absolutely no question they were a set. To my amazement, I read the description only to find that the bracelet was signed while the necklace was NOT.  Now, there is no way on earth this necklace and bracelet were manufactured at different times or by different companies. Obviously the serious collectors agreed since this gorgeous demi went for over $7,000!!! 

Time and time again I have seen elaborate known Sherman necklaces show up on ebay, some signed, some not but absolutely no question that they are identical other than the missing stamp.  I have even seen the unsigned ones show up with Sherman hang tags still attached.  If these same necklaces were showing up with other stamps, than I think we would have to conclude that some other factory was producing these.  So far, I haven't seen anything even closely resembling these gorgeous styles so I guess for now, we will have to continue to wonder.




Wow Debbie! What a lot of thought you have put into the 3 parts of your blog you have devoted to the topic of signed and unsigned Shermans. Wonderful job. I truly wish Valerie Hammond or some other "authorities" on the subject would join in this discussion which I started in my blog a week or so back and which you have so expanded upon here. Great job. I look forward to reading more. Sooner or later I'm sure we'll get more people contributing to this controversial topic which, it seems, has no resolution unless we can bring back Gustave himself LOL!

Deb said...

Hi Viga, You're absolutely right, without Gustave to set the record straight once and for all, we can speculate until we are blue in the faces and still never know for sure.

I would love to hear from other collectors as well. Are we the only two out here with nothing better to think about??? LOL!!!!

Penelope said...

Thanks Deb for sharing. It's the dedicated collectors that we look to for this insite. Bravo!

Deb said...

Hi Nancy, thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read my posts and to recommend them to other collectors. No where is everyone from the other side of this debate?? LOL!!!