American costume jewellery

The David Lisner Company is best known for the Lucite jewellery it made in the 1950s and 60s. Founded in New York City in 1904, the company initially acted as a distributor for other manufacturers, selling a limited range of its own designs. These suppliers included Elsa Schiaparelli, whose jewellery it imported and distributed during the 1930s.

It became better known in the 1920s thanks to its “Lanvin’s Violet” range. In the mid-1930s it became the U.S. agent for Elsa Schiaparelli’s European jewellery, later being given a licence to produce her designs for the American market.

The company’s heyday arrived in the 1950s when it created jewellery with chrome or silver-plated designs set with coloured Lucite ‘gems’. The Lucite could be cut in geometric or organic shapes and was generally in exotic fantasy colours – pretty pastels or bold lava stones. The design of the more expensive pieces might be highlighted with coloured or aurora borealis rhinestones. At that time it also produced the upmarket Richelieu line.
In 1978, the company became the Lisner-Richelieu Corporation. It closed in 1979.

Pieces were marked “Lisner” in block capitals from the mid-1930s and in script from 1938. A new block capital mark, with an elongated “L”, was introduced in the 1960s.