By Danielle Olivia Tefft, jewelry writer
When you have been a vintage jewelry buff for several years like I have, certain manufacturers' marks just pop out at you. This comes in handy while you are searching through jewelry lots at antique stores, flea markets and other venues. One such distinctive mark is that of the Carl-Art Company. It features the capital letters "CA" with an arrow drawn through them, arrow tip facing right.
According to Cheri Van Hoover, owner of Milky Way Jewels, The Carl-Art Company was created in 1936 by partners Carl Schraysshuen and Arthur Loercher. Carl emigrated from Germany to America in the late twenties or early thirties to work at the Speidel Company in Providence Rhode Island. Arthur was an American businessman and friend. Disillusioned with Spiedel, Carl and Arthur decided to go into the jewelry business for themselves. Carl soon churned out over 30 patents for jewelry in the 1940s. Cheri Van Hoover's charming article, detailing Carl's personal history, can be read on her website here if you are interested.
Once you've inspected half a dozen pieces or so of Carl-Art jewelry, certain identifying features stand out, besides the distinctive arrow mark. First, the company only produced higher end gold, silver or gold-filled pieces and they are marked as such. Second, scrolling floral vine patterns are prominent in many pieces from the 1940s. In addition, they used ample rectangular baguette-cut rhinestones in their pieces.
Carl-Art not only manufactured its own lines, but sold pieces to other jewelry manufacturers, as well. Carl's good friend, Walter Lampl used many of the company's designs in his company's jewelry, especially the familiar scrolling floral vine.
The company merged with Vargas in the early 1980s which was in turn absorbed by Uncas in the 1990s. Today, Carl-Art designs fall under the vast Uncas umbrella.
The good news for collectors of vintage Carl-Art jewelry is that it isn't yet widely appreciated in today's market. You can find gold-filled pieces for less than $20 and sterling silver pieces for $20-$100. Gold pieces are often sold around karat value with little additional mark-up for Carl-Art craftsmanship. If vintage Carl-Art jewelry appeals to you, buy it now while it is still not a hot commodity!
Do you have any vintage Carl-Art jewelry in your jewelry box? What does your favorite piece look like? Let me know in the comments section and please 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 significant other. Would you like to hire her to write for you? Visit her website danielleoliviatefftwrites.com for more information or email her directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!