By Danielle Olivia Tefft, jewelry writer
The stunning signed copper plaque bracelet shown is one of my favorite Kay Denning pieces. It is composed of large black and white enamel strips on the front and just white enamel on the back. She signed it with just her last name. It measures 7 ½ inches long from the closed clasp to the opposite end. Each plaque is a generous 1 3/8 inches wide and 1 and 1/8 inches tall.
Kay Denning was an artisan jeweler who created fantastic enameled copper jewelry in the 1960s and 1970s. Her designs have an unmistakably Modernist influence, as they are rendered in bold, geometric patterns. It is hard to find much information on the Internet about Kay. However, it is known that her jewelry retailed at Bovano in Cheshire, Connecticut during the same time period. It is quite possible that she learned her craft at Bovano, an independent studio art company that has specialized in metal and glass sculptures since 1952.
Her funky copper jewelry with bold enamel designs have a cult following among collectors. The bracelet shown here is black and white, but most of her designs were done in vivid color combinations like red and blue, orange and yellow, and green and purple. These unique, colorful and chunky creations make an instant statement. They are always conversation pieces! Kay typically signed each bracelet "Denning." She did not often sign the matching earrings or brooches. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 for her vintage pieces. (If you would like to see more great examples of her jewelry, you've got to check out these photos by an avid collector!)
Are you a Kay Denning jewelry collector? What does your favorite piece look like? Let me know in the comments section and subscribe to this blog if you enjoy vintage and antique jewelry as much as I do!
Danielle Olivia Tefft is a professional writer with a lifelong passion for gems, jewelry and fashion. She is a GIA accredited jewelry professional and the owner of online antique and vintage jewelry shop, Treasure Box Antiques. Current projects include ghostwriting jewelry and fashion blogs for clients worldwide. When she is not writing, she spends time in the garden, spoiling her cats and traveling with her fiancé. Would you like to hire her? Visit her website danielleoliviatefftwrites.com for clips, terms and more information.
About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!