These days, when most people hear Eisenberg, they think of actor Jesse Eisenberg, adorably neurotic in movies like “The Social Network.” Or Heisenberg, the smart man’s German theoretical physicist and the layman’s “Breaking Bad” alter ego for Walter White. But if you collect vintage jewelry, you hear “Eisenberg” and visions of rhinestones start sparkling through your brain.
Eisenberg, sometimes marked Eisenberg Ice, was born of the 1930s, when a women’s clothing manufacturer realized so many people were swiping the costume jewelry off the company’s clothing displays, they might as well go into the costume jewelry business.
I acquired this brooch at the Wiki Wiki One Day Collectibles & Hawaiiana Show at the Blaisdell. I spotted it about 10 feet away as an Eisenberg but figured I couldn’t afford it. I almost didn’t ask, but was pleasantly surprised that a digit seemed to be missing off the price. Then I was worried: Is it a fake? But the mark seems legit. There’s no copyright symbol, so it’s pre 1955, and it has two numbers next to the mark, which early Eisenberg has. That was how the stone setter left his mark. I’d guess this piece is from about 1942 to 1945.
The moral of that story? Never be afraid to ask to see a piece or inquire about the price.
For more on collecting Eisenberg jewelry, Collector’s Weekly has some great information.