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Ripley Auctions announces session 1 of the Carole Tanenbaum vintage costume jewelry collection sale
Signed Iradj Moini large insect brooch having yellow marble glass cabochons and diamante rhinestones (est. $600-$800).

INDIANAPOLIS, IND.- Session 1 of selected items from the single-owner collection of vintage costume jewelry collection of Carole Tanenbaum – an astounding assemblage of pieces lovingly gathered over the course of 40-plus years and featuring examples from the Victorian era thru to the present day – will be offered by Ripley Auctions on Monday, June 18th, at 3 pm Eastern time.

Tanenbaum’s collection includes some of the great designers of each period – names like Trifari, Coro, Haskell, Coppola e Toppo, Dior, Chanel and many more. Also sold will be pieces from her expansive vintage Scottish and Bakelite vintage jewelry collections. “I have so much that a lot of it is sitting in drawers, and that’s a shame,” she said. “I felt it was time to part with some of it.”

The auction will be held online and in Ripley Auctions’ gallery, located at 2764 East 55th Place in Indianapolis. For those unable to attend in person, online bidding will be available across the three platforms –, eBay Live and AuctionZip. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Doors will open at 1 pm on auction day, allowing bidders time to preview all lots.

To say that Carole Tanenbaum is an avid collector of vintage costume jewelry would be a huge understatement. It dates back to when she visited London, England and was so enchanted by a collection for sale there she ended up buying 20 pieces from it, she’s dedicated a good portion of her rich life adding to that collection and several others, which she keeps at her home in Toronto.

“I’ve never been interested in fine jewelry, which is often priced out of reach for most people anyway because of the precious gemstones,” Tanenbaum said. “I view vintage costume jewelry as objects of art, because that’s what they are. For me jewelry is all about the aesthetics. If something tempts me and interests me, I’ll buy it. My collection is creative and comprehensive.”

One of the items in the group of 20 she bought in London was a Chanel piece that she later sold to the Chanel archive. Chanel is a brand that will come up for bid often in the sale. Examples include a gorgeous Gripoix green and pink poured glass plique a jour necklace with layered leaf motif, set in gold tone and diamante details (est. $800-$1,200); and a gold tone metal logo charm bracelet with turtle, shoe, perfume and purse charms. It has a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,200.

Tanenbaum said the Coppola e Toppo items in her collection will be desired by collectors. “They are quite beautiful and rarely come up for sale, at auction or anywhere else,” she said. Offered will be a Coppola e Toppo signed green ombre glass multi-strand beaded festoon necklace with half-moon paisley beaded cluster button earring set in gold tone metal, estimated at $800-$1,200.

Early pieces by Hobe, from the 1930s and ‘40s, are important to the genre and are sure to attract keen bidder attention. Many in Tanenbaum’s collection she purchased directly from Mr. Hobe’s grandson. In the sale is a 1930s unsigned Hobe Austro-Hungarian style necklace and bracelet set with enamel and pearl details. It should bring $800-$1,200, as should a 1950s signed Schiaparelli unfoiled red stone linked bracelet with Aurora Borealis centers, sold with earrings and a brooch.

A Robert Sorrell four-strand turquoise and diamante rondelles with adjustable clasp carries an estimate of $600-$800; while a 1950s unsigned Countess CIS Cissy Zoltowska magenta pink and blue crystal rhinestone necklace with baroque pearl drop should change hands for $1,200-$1,500.

A signed Iradj Moini large insect brooch having yellow marble glass cabochons and diamante rhinestones should finish at $600-$800, as should a 1940s Boucher currant berry fruit brooch with metallic enamel and rhinestones; and a KJL signed necklace and earring set with yellow teardrop plastic beads surrounded by crystal and pearl dangles is estimated to make $700-$900.

A signed Margot de Taxco Mexican silver green snake necklace with green enamel scales has an estimate of $800-$1,200; a 1930s or ‘40s Martha Sleeper carved wood cat and reverse carved painted apple juice Bakelite fishbowl should hit $550-$700; and a signed Alan Anderson hinged cuff bracelet with large green cabochon and clear and emerald stones should reach $650-$850.

Also sold will be a 1960s signed Brania pastel multi-jewel demi parure set having bauble collar necklace and chandelier earrings with poured glass, baroque pearls and cut crystal stones (est. $500-$700); and a DeMario Egyptian Revival festooned necklace with molded glass Pharaoh head relief gilt filigree medallion with Czech art glass blue and green beads (est. $500-$700).

Ms. Tanenbaum stressed that the items she’s pulled from her collection for this sale are not second-tier or seconds. “Just the opposite,” she said. “There’s a definite ‘wow’ factor here, as bidders will see. I want to attract fashionistas and serious collectors to this sale, to lay the groundwork for successful future sessions. Believe me, parting with these pieces is difficult.”

Carole Tanenbaum is a huge fan of Schriner jewelry and even wrote a recently released book on the subject titled Schriner: Master of 20th Century Costume Jewelry (Glitterati, N.Y.). She’s also a big fan of ‘30s and ‘40s figurals, especially examples by Corot and Trifari. Her collection is so renowned in Canada it was branded for twenty years by the specialty retailer Holt Renfrew there.

In addition to vintage costume jewelry, Tanenbaum also collects art, photographs, quilts, hooked rugs, vintage toys (1880s-1940s) and antique Valentines. Her husband collects daguerreotypes.

Tanenbaum estimates her jewelry collection totals in excess of 4,500 pieces, so planning for a Session 2 shouldn’t be difficult. “And keep in mind,” she added, “many of these jewelry items were purchased 40 years ago, when they were available. They’re not any more, except in a sale like this. It’s only because of my age and desire to downsize that I’m selling these pieces at all.”

After the Session 1 Tanenbaum auction, Ripley Auctions has a full slate of auctions planned for the coming months, all in the Indianapolis gallery. Session 2 of the Tanenbaum collection has been slated for Monday, October 15th.

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