Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vintage Christine's Vintage Jewelry

Once upon a time in the land of Hollywood there lived a man named McClelland Barclay.  He was a famous graphic artist in the 30's and 40's and designed some of the era's most elegant costume jewelry.  Here is an interesting in-depth article on this most fascinating man.

One day at the flea market I was given the chance to sort through a huge box of costume jewelry by a vendor I'd gotten to know.  So well, in fact, that they would chase me down at the market, offering me a chair and a bottle of ice water so I'd be comfy whilst exclaiming "ooo" and "ahhhh" at their pretties.  When I came across this fur clip, I knew I'd found something special.  I put on my reading glasses in order to see more clearly--there's a bit of wear on the finish but nothing major, and the jewels are SO beautiful!

McClelland Barclay jewelry has a very distinctive signature and should not be confused with jewelry by "Barclay", which is nice but definitely NOT McClelland Barclay.

This pin was found in a dirty display case at my favorite junk store run by Miss Kathy.  It was missing a pearl and I had it replaced with the large citrine stone.  It is breathtaking under a bright light!

A crystal clear rhinestone pin whose shape reminds me of symbols you see in New Mexico.

An Austrian-made Christmas tree pin signed "Husar".  The different stones make it truly spectacular--I especially love the blue & green speckled pair.

Last but not least, two sweet little pins that belonged to Mom.  I've had these for years and bring them out every Christmas as part of a display.   They're certainly vintage and a warm reminder of our mother, Marian. 

I should be trying to sell more of my rather enormous collection of vintage costume jewelry, but I can't--I have a few pieces in my Etsy store and am trying really really hard to put more up.  It's just that whenever I take it out, I can't bring myself to part with it.  Help!  I'm a C.J. Junkie!!


  1. I wouldn't sell them. Instead, get out your chunky pearl necklace and hang the "pendant of the day" over the strand. Wear a different one every day. If it's a dressy event, pull out your rhinestone necklace, hook the pin to the clasp and get out there and blind folks with their beauty! I suppose you could always pin it to your sweater but I say, why do the expected when it's so easy to go OVER THE TOP!

  2. Oh,love your blog. The jewelry is so beautiful, I too can't part with mine.

    Is Magpie Ethel neat or what?

    I live in South Georgia but my Grandparents who are in their late 80's are Cajuns in South Louisiana. I am going to visit them in a few days and hope to hit some thrift shops. I would love to find some ole' Christmas treasures.
    I'll be back to visit.
    Merry Christmas,

  3. Wow I love these!

    Hey sweetie, I am sorry I have not joined your blog before. I'm sure I tried, or it wasn't visible to me? Sometimes blogger seems to glitch, or maybe I am glitching lol who knows, but it's about darned time! I love it!

  4. One of my favorite things about 'stuff' is learning something new everyday! ...the history, the background, the designers. I too am a CJ Junkie to the max, and I wear mine on a daily basis, do research intently, but in all my years have never come across a 'McClelland Barclay' , 'Barclay'-Yes, but never 'McClelland Barclay'. THANKS for a new 'eye-opener' - and they are Stunning!!

  5. These are gorgeous! I didn't know anything about him. Thanks so much for visiting and your sweet comments on my post honey. As usual, you have a fantastic story to add so much to my post. I always appreciate you visiting. Have a great night dear! Kori xoxo

  6. the clear rhinestone one is my fav...i love visiting you blog.

  7. Love love love your shiny jewelry!
    And the story of you ooohing and aaahing after being chased down at the market! Reminds me of someone....ME!

  8. I have a santa pin that belonged to my mother (which I posted at my blog a while back), but I do wonder what happened to the tree pins.