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Designer History

Renoir of California
(Jerry Fels)

 

Renoir of California, established in Los Angeles in 1946 by Jerry Fels, specialized in copper jewelry of geometric or abstract forms. Matisse, LTD. ,also established in Los Angeles by Jerry Fels and family in 1952, featured copper jewelry with colorful enameled designs. Both companies ceased production in 1964. [Reference Source: http://www.broadwaterrosejewels.com/Jewelry%20Marks%20and%20Identification.htm]

Renoir: Renoir was best known for their uniquely shaped solid copper jewelry. Growing out of the American Arts & Crafts movement, copper was a popular choice for early 20th century metalworkers active in the Arts & Crafts design. Renoir was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1946 by Jerry Fels, and from the outset he took the company in the direction of contemporary abstract designs evocative of modern art just coming on the scene. Recreating the look of hand-hammered copper as their material of choice, Renoir has always made a nice change from the more typical costume jewelry using rhinestones as the key material. The Fels family also founded another important name in 20th century costume jewelry, Matisse, Ltd. Matisse also created fine copper jewelry but added enamel decoration to the surface and taking the jewelry in new directions. Both Renoir and Matisse ceased ongoing operations in 1964. [Reference Source: Fabulous Costume Jewelry: History of Fantasy and Fashion in Jewels @ the Collectics Collector Bookstore]

Curtis Jere' is a compound non-de-plume for a design group formed and directed by Jerry Fels for their company Artisan House . The company was formed by Jerry Fels and Curtis Freiler and has since been sold and resold. Prior to Artisan House, the partners built a costume jewelry business selling work under the names Renoir and Matisse which employed around 300 people at one point. Jerry Fels specialized in design and sales, Mr Freiler ran production. Both men are still quite alive. A number of different artists contributed designs that were produced under the C. Jere' name. Hope this helps clear things up.....Peter Fels [Reference Source: http://www.designaddict.com/design_addict/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread_show_one/thread_id/6456/]

RENOIR/MATISSE: 1946 - 1964
The Renoir line of jewelry was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1946 by Jerry Fels. The company was famous for its jewelry made from copper metal but also used sterling silver metal. Copper was a popular choice metal for metalworkers active in the Arts & Crafts designs in the 1930s - 1950s period. The company made jewelry of contemporary abstract designs that leaned towards modern art. The jewelry produced had the hand-hammered look using rhinestones as the key material. Mark: "SCEPTRON" with Sceptron Jewelry Creations in partnership used on costume jewelry since June 1944, "Renoir of California, Inc.", "Renoir" in script on brooches, lapel and scatter pins, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets since Feb. 1946, "Sauteur" since June 1958, "Sterling Sauteur Renoir with a copyright symbol".

Another company, Matisse, Ltd. was also founded in Los Angeles by Jerry Fels and his family in 1952. It manufactured copper jewelry with enamel decoration to the surface of the copper metal. Mark: "Matisse" in script, and "Ltd. Matisse", "Renoir/Matisse with a copyright symbol". Both firms ceased operations around 1964. Both company’s copper metal costume jewelry is highly collectible. [Reference Source: http://jacksonjewels.com/Reference/Jewelry_Companies_P-R.htm] Renoir & Matisse
Renoir vintage costume jewelry is well known for its “modernist” designs in solid copper. Founded in Los Angeles, California in 1946 by Jerry Fels who used modern, abstract motifs in fashioning his copper jewelry. He also established the Matisse company, which added enamel to the designs. Wonderful mid-century color combinations can be found in the Matisse line. Many pieces are signed both Renoir and Matisse. Renoir and Matisse discontinued operations in 1964 and the jewelry the companies produced is considered very collectible today! [Reference Source: http://www.bctreasuretrove.com/category_37/Renoir-Matisse.htm]

Matisse, subsidiary of Renoir of California that was founded in 1946 by Jerry Fels, specialized from 1952 onwards in the enamelled version of his red copper designs, that were already sold earlier under the name Renoir. Both Matisse and Renoir jewelry was made until 1964, when Fels retired and left for Florida. At first Matisse was a separate firm, but after some time it became part of the Renoir company. This can also be found in the signatures used. The geometrically shaped jewelry is the highest in price. His style is very characteristic. Once you have seen his jewelry you will recognize it anywhere. [Reference Source: http://www.enchantiques.nl/matisse-renoir-m-16.html?language=en&osCsid=da77acb829b317e4d92d25d4061ff9c9]

Renoir was manufactured in California by Jerry Fels and his partners, and this prolific company made Renoir (copper without enamel), Matisse (copper with enamel) and much less often found Sauterne, a sterling silver line. Other less well known companies also specialized in copper. The choice of a Beatnik generation, these pieces were the flip side for people for whom glitzy rhinestone didn't appeal. [Reference Source: http://www.pastandpresentjewelry.com/copper.html]

Renoir: Renoir was best known for their uniquely shaped solid copper jewelry. Growing out of the American Arts & Crafts movement, copper was a popular choice for early 20th century metalworkers active in the Arts & Crafts design. Jerry Fels founded Renoir in Los Angeles, California in 1946, and from the outset he took the company in the direction of contemporary abstract designs evocative of modern art just coming on the scene.

Recreating the look of hand-hammered copper as their material of choice, Renoir has always made a nice change from the more typical costume jewelry using rhinestones as the key material. The Fels family also founded another important name in 20th century costume jewelry; Matisse, Ltd. Matisse also created fine copper jewelry but added enamel decoration to the surface and taking the jewelry in new directions. Both Renoir and Matisse ceased ongoing operations in 1964. [Reference Source: http://glasscottage.net/costume_jewelry_designers_article.html]

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