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Hobe vintage costume jewelry | minusOne jewelry | Peking Revival

Signed Hobé vintage costume jewelry

Mar 20, 2024 | costume jewelry

Since I started paying attention to vintage costume jewelry seriously, a few brands stand out as having the highest quality materials and construction, the most compelling and even avant garde designs, and (as makes sense), the highest market value.

Alongside CINER, Hobé is a vintage costume jewelry brand that gets a high grade.

https://minusonejewelry.com/product/signed-hobe-jewelry-bracelet-ring-set-vintage-peking-revival-green-and-blue-enamel/

Hobé’s vintage costume jewelry is extremely varied, more so than most other 20th century costume jewelry brands.

This diversity in design is likely because the company made jewelry over several decades, spanning multiple eras and styles.

A round-up of the various Hobé jewelry motifs and design tropes includes:

  1. Hobé sterling silver jewelry
  2. Hobé AB rhinestone jewelry
  3. Hobé rope and tassel jewelry
  4. Hobé’s Peking Revival jewelry
  5. Hobé beaded sets and wrap bracelets

The sheer number of Hobé’s hallmarks is an indication of their tenure in the costume jewelry marketplace.

Browse minusOne blog galleries and histories of other various vintage costume jewelry brands and styles.

Sterling silver vintage Hobé jewelry

Some of the earliest costume jewelry designs by Hobé were made in sterling silver.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1577328828/very-vintage-hobe-leaves-and-flowers
tickytackyhandmade

Monet is another high quality brand that flooded the costume jewelry marketplace with mid- to high-level quality non-precious metal designs, but also made some pieces in sterling silver.

However, Hobé seems to have made more in sterling, and more is available in the marketplace than sterling Monet.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/987645028/vintage-hobe-sterling-silver-brooch
Iamsewthrifty

Hobé’s sterling silver jewelry has a bit of Art Nouveau flair, likely because Hobé was founded in France in 1887.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/296264943975

Hobé’s sterling hallmark is most often accompanied by “DESIGN PAT’D” because that’s what they were doing – patenting designs.

As costume jewelry seller and researcher Pamela Wiggins Siegel explains:

These designs, a number of which were patented, were sometimes based on antique jewelry while others incorporated Asian motifs. The patents filed during the 1940s credit either William Hobé or his wife Sylvia Hobé. 

Pamela Wiggins Siegel, The Legendary Splendor of Hobé Jewelry

Later in the Hobé brand life cycle, certain designs could be found across brands, like with so many even high-end costumer jewelers (see for example nearly exact replica designs offered both by Hattie Carnegie and by Kramer).

But in this early period of costume jewelry, original authorship was valued more highly by designers, or at least it was able to be controlled more easily.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1033577635/signed-hobe-sterling-silver-bracelet
NeedlecraftsPlus

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1033577635/signed-hobe-sterling-silver-bracelet
NeedlecraftsPlus

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1033577635/signed-hobe-sterling-silver-bracelet
NeedlecraftsPlus

https://www.ebay.com/itm/115952989421
The_Green_Ring Vintage Jewelry

In the early years of costume jewelry design, the brands themselves were also the manufacturers of the pieces. Then, designers hired manufacturers – ultimately called “jobbers” – to produce the designs.

Later in the 20th century, as costume jewelry reached its first heydey, these jobbers worked for multiple brands.

Ultimately, as is the case today, manufacturers became the basis for designs, whether producing their own settings or gemstone simulations, or offering up for wider sale the signature designs created by partner brands.

Hobé jewelry & AB rhinestones

Perhaps as a function of the era, in the 1950s and 1960s Hobé incorporated rainbow iridescent rhinestones into their designs.

Even though the use of AB rhinestones was pretty standard for the time, this signed AB rhinestone Hobé bracelet and earring set feels extremely unusual for the brand.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184874123894
offered by Fab Vintage Jewelry and More on ebay

Hobé dabbled in Art Deco motifs, but this geometry feels rare. I imagine it’s an earlier piece, made closer to the 1940s.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184874123894
offered by Fab Vintage Jewelry and More on ebay

Aurora Borealis (“AB”) rhinestones were used extensively by WEISS, a well-known high-end rhinestone jewelry brand.

minusOne jewelrey | WEISS AB rhinestone bracelet
minusOne jewelrey | WEISS AB rhinestone bracelet
minusOne jewelrey | WEISS clear rhinestone brooch
minusOne jewelry | WEISS clear rhinestone brooch
minusOne jewelrey | WEISS AB rhinestone bracelet
minusOne jewelry | WEISS AB rhinestone bracelet

Hobé participated in the rhinestone jewelry market, and so would have been compelled to use AB rhinestones to compete.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1363074048/vintage-hobe-rhinestone-bracelet-aurora
DaffodilsVintage on Etsy

This peridot green and AB rhinestone jellyfish brooch is stunning, and by far my favorite rhinestone brooch ever.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/325595096185

from thevintagefinder on ebay

The brooch is unsigned, but there’s good reason to call it Hobé even without the mark.

This Hobé jellyfish brooch is actually a perfect marriage of AB rhinestone with another of Hobé’s motifs: rope and tassel.

Signed Hobé rope & tassel vintage costume jewelry

Chain used by Hobé in many of its designs was inspired by a Victorian aesthetic.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1618646515/hobe-bracelet-and-earrings-set
OurClutteredNest on Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1658173610/vintage-hobe-necklace-hobe-jewelry
JosiesJewelryCorner on Etsy

Hobé’s mesh chain designs also relying on plated gold color and texture.

As with rope chain and tassels, mesh chain was used across several different Hobé design styles.

The grate of the mesh served both as a visual and as a technical setting for gemstone simulations.


Hobé’s Peking Revival costume jewelry

Shop vintage costume jewelry at minusOne, including if it’s still available, this Peking Revival bracelet and ring set.

Here, simulated jade cabochons are placed alongside enameling that hearkens to Chinese-inspired cloisonné.

minusOne jewelry | Hobe Perking revival

Peking revival costume jewelry was popular mid-century; however, China was providing inspiration to costume jewelers as early as the Art Deco era.

Ancient Arabesque, African and Asian art and culture influenced Western jewelry designers.

Read about “exotic” influences in Art Deco jewelry design, the era that launched “costume jewelry”.


minusOne jewelry | Hobe Perking revival
minusOne jewelry | Hobe Perking revival

This unsigned watermelon rhinestone bracelet, using the similar round links depressed to accept cabochons, is an example of how one manufacturer – likely a tool and die company in Providence, Rhode Island – may have created a setting that was sold across brands.

https://www.rubylane.com/item/579220-UMWatermelonBrace/Vintage-Bracelet-Watermelon-Rhinestones-Pink-Green?search=1
Chic Antiques by Pamela on Ruby Lane

Brands then finished using their unique imaginations…or didn’t.

Vintage Hobé bead sets and beaded wrap bracelets

A final example of a recurring Hobé jewelry design is the beaded wrap bracelet, usually accompanied by matching earrings.


Wrap bracelets are a novelty because a partner isn’t required to attach an elusive bracelet clasp. This may be why bangles and hinged cuffs are also so popular.

I used to think wrap bracelets were a sign that a piece of jewelry was contemporary to new, but wrap bracelets, and even elastic bracelets are relatively common in the 1950s.

Hobé vintage costume jewelry marks

Thanks to the World of Eccentricity and Charm for this collection of Hobé hallmarks.

https://worldeccentricitycharm.com/blogs/news/hobe-jewelry

This Hobé mark with a copyright sign seems easiest to find.


Hobé marks may also show a date: 1957 and 1965, and collectors will reference the piece that way.

The AB rhinestone and pearl bracelet above is a “Hobé 1957”.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1363074048/vintage-hobe-rhinestone-bracelet-aurora
DaffodilsVintage on Etsy

“Fantasy” designs produced in the 2000s were made to emulate Hobé’s Hollywood style. So, if a marked piece feels too new – buyer beware!

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minusOne jewelry logo of a pink Art Deco scallop | Trumansburg NY

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