by Carole Tanenbaum, Eve Townsend
Schreiner is a luxurious book offering a first concise history of one of North America's foremost designers of high-end costume jewelry, a genre of jewelry popularized by Coco Chanel and today one of the most collectible. Created in New York City by founder Henry Schreiner in 1932, the eponymous company flourished during the early 1940s. During the 1950s under the leadership of Henry's daughter, the company's unusual color combinations, hand-made settings, and use of custom-made stones set them apart from their contemporaries, leaving behind a legacy for jewelry experts and admirers to study, covet, and collect to this day. For thousands of collectors of Schreiner worldwide, Schreiner provides valuable insight into their collections from the family itself. With hundreds of breathtaking photographs, the breadth of the Schreiner oeuvre is explicated, from the somber years of the Great Depression through the rise of the American ready-to-wear industry. Through the optimistic yet conforming 1950s, the youthful antiestablishment of the 1960s, and the feminist movement of the 1970s, the designs and materials of these pieces reflect the moods and mores of the decades in which they were made. And for the very serious Schreiner collector, the book explores common characteristics employed in the construction of Schreiner designs aiding collectors in the task of identifying unsigned Schreiner jewelry. This volume examines not only the cultural context and significance of Schreiner jewelry but also offers object-based analyses and archival documentation of various Schreiner pieces.