Fine quality costume jewels

The Eisenberg Originals clothing company was founded in 1914, in Chicago, Illinois, by Austrian emigé Jonas Eisenberg.

The company began making brooches to complement its fashionable outfits in the 1920s. There is a myth that the pieces were so desirable customers stole them from the clothes. Whatever the truth, the brooches were so popular the company began to make jewellery, and other accessories, in the 1930s.

In the 1930s and 40s, it created some of the best costume jewellery in the United States. As a result of this success, Eisenberg stopped producing clothes in 1958.

From 1940 to 1972, the company’s head designer was Ruth M. Kamke, who was responsible for the majority of the Eisenberg Originals and Eisenberg Ice ranges.

Early designs tend to be large, bold, asymmetrical designs, featuring white metal settings and large, clear, Swarovski crystals. During World War II, when base metals were needed for the war effort, lighter, more detailed designs using silver were made. Designs from the 1950s onwards tend to be daintier and more colourful; they include the popular Eisenberg Ice Christmas tree pins.

The most frequently seen marks are Eisenberg Originals, mainly used 1930-45, and Eisenberg Ice, generally used after c1945.

Production of new designs ended in 1977 but in 2009 the company stated to reproduce earlier pieces under the Eisenberg Ice mark.