It is believed that the Art company (also sometimes known as ModeArt, or MODEART), produced costume jewelry from the 1950s through the 1970s
Arthur Pepper founded Art/ModeArt in New York City and the company had a very broad range of designs and styles. However, many collectors find that Art vintage costume jewelry is comparable in quality and style to the better-known Florenza vintage costume jewelry, or Hollycraft jewelry.
Although it is difficult to typify Art jewelry, because there was such a broad range of styles, many popular Art pieces included pins and sets of pins and earrings with multi-colored combinations of stones in swirling gold sets that resemble a paisley pattern.
Art also used light-colored stones in bracelets and necklaces that often remind collectors of Hollycraft pieces. And, Art had many fine figural pins and also often used very bright enamel on pins and earrings.
Many collectors look for the Art costume jewelry pieces that imitated Art Deco, Victorian and even Renaissance designs. The figural pins are also very popular, along with the sets, and also Art Christmas jewelry pieces. The many enameled pieces produced by Art are often very attractive, but are not as valued by collectors. Still, they are nice, wearable pieces, oftentimes, even today and readily found and fun to spot.
When it was made, Art jewelry was not expensive, so was within reach of many people. It was also highly available, in department stores all over the country. Since Art jewelry was mass produced and marketed, it is fairly easy to find and collectors can be choosy about only buying pieces in excellent condition.
Art jewelry may be signed “ART” in all capital letters. On pieces made after 1955, “ART” is followed by the copyright symbol. Many pieces were signed “ModeArt” or “Mode-Art.”
Preston Reuther is a "Master Wire Sculptor" and Cameo Appraiser and has been collecting and selling Vintage Jewelry for over 30 years. He is a jewelry instructor and has produced over 100 jewelry making videos and owns two vintage jewelry stores WWW.CAMEOJEWELRY.COM and WWW.ANTIQUECAMEOS.COM You may reach him at either store.