Tuesday, December 18, 2012


History of The Napier Co.

A Tour of its History

IMPORTANT BOOK PRESALE: The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry

The Never Before Told Story of The Napier Co.
The long awaited book titled, The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry is finally here! A visual encyclopedia of Napier jewelry and Napier giftware.
You'll save $30 on the book if you order before 12/31/12!

Researched and written over the course of 11 years, by Melinda Lewis, including information from interviews with over 50 former employees of The Napier Co.

This 1000+ page full-color hardback book with over 4000 beautiful images and 250,000 words of text is the first book to cover the entire history, decade by decade, of The Napier Co. covering not only the jewelry, but fashion and the jewelry history at large.
The book contains over 500 pages dedicated to the years from 1950 to 2000 and includes over 60 pages, covering findings, marks, and patents.

This is a Must Have for the Collector or Dealer

Learn how to identify pieces in your collection and future pieces for your collection. Read about the names of many popular designs and never again make a purchase without having the benefit of 11 years of research to make well-informed decisions. As a dealer or seller of Napier, this is a must have. In order to stand out with your sales, you need to make educated statements about your merchandise.

This is a Limited Edition Publication. The book is currently being offered at the special introductory price of $99.00 + $10.00 for a rare souvenir bracelet and tie-tack set celebrating the company's 100 year anniversary. This special souvenir is not available elsewhere--only here on Ebay. A bargain, at virtually 10 cents a page, with the potential of a lifetime of making informed and savvy purchases and sales of Napier Jewelry. Books of this magnitude are known to skyrocket on the secondary market. Reserve and purchase your copy before it becomes impossible to buy! Where else can you find a value like this?

Because this book is a Limited Edition Boutique printing, it no doubt will become a highly sought after collectible itself.

Should you make the gift card purchase (please select the "gift card" button when buying), you’ll receive within 3-4 days of purchase a lovely “gift card” to send to someone else or keep as a souvenir. Please let us know if you want it autographed by leaving a note in with your PayPal payment. The book will be shipped at the end of spring and weighs over 9 lbs.

Special note: Although you’ll be receiving a special gift card in the mail, this is a presale with the possibility of the book not going to print. Should that occurred, you payment will be fully refunded by January 7th, 2013.

If you have any questions please feel free to email, Melinda@thenapierbook.com
Life By Design Institute and Life By Design Publishing

To Learn More About The Book

Of all the jewelry manufacturers in the United States, none has influenced a woman’s expression of style more than The Napier Co. Throughout its 121–year history, it continually broke new ground, raising both standards and expectations for quality in fashion jewelry. It is only fitting that the Scottish name “Napier” means “without equal,” as its dedication to innovation in manufacturing methods and the creative freedom of its designers, raised the bar for the American costume jewelry industry.

This book tells the heretofore untold and phenomenal story of The Napier Co.’s inception, development, flowering, and ultimate success. It chronicles the history of its management, manufacturing, marketing, and most importantly, the unparalleled beauty of its jewelry. With approximately 4000 pictures and over 250,000 words of text and descriptions, you will be taken step-by-step, decade by decade, through the development of the Napier style. As a collector, you will learn to recognize the findings, materials, and designs to appropriately circa-date the Napier jewelry in which you are investing. As a lover of jewelry, you will enjoy the drama and excitement of the trials, tribulations, and breakthroughs at each stage of the Napier journey. In the end, you will have a deep and lasting appreciation of the romantic story infused into the metal, gemstones, crystals, cabochons, and elegance of each piece of Napier jewelry that you own or are considering owning.

On this journey, we will examine Napier’s role in the jewelry and fashion industries of which it was a part, especially the relationship between overall fashion trends and jewelry design. We will follow the development of the fashion industry as a whole, from the last quarter of the 19th century into the 21st century, with a particular focus on the 20th century, when fashion or costume jewelry entered a woman’s wardrobe as part of the necessary accoutrements of fashionable dress. As we guide you through the decades, you will learn how various social factors shaped the history of costume jewelry, including:
• The influence of the Paris Salons, couture, and the various fashion “movements” whose popularity and competition drove the ever-changing styles.
• The effects of technological and manufacturing breakthroughs, such as mass production, new materials and the affordability of jewelry on popular tastes.
• The communication breakthroughs in mass media, which both spread conventional fashion standards faster and more broadly, but also allowed for the creation of more specialized markets and styles.
• The impact of competition between jewelry manufacturing communities, firms and related industries, as well as the effects of governmental regulation and resource availability on what could be made, marketed, and sold as the latest fashion.
• And much, much more.
If you're a collectors of the exquisite Napier designs, you will want this book. Learn many of the collection names that were associate with the Napier line, from the Napier charm bracelets, Napier sterling silver, famous "Mamie Eisenhower" bracelet, to the stunning Napier bracelets and cuffs, gorgeous Napier necklace designs and much much more.
More than three decades are also associated with The E. A. Bliss Co., Napier's predecessor. Learn how this company moved from North Attleboro, MA to Meriden, CT.
This book also covers the giftware line and the tobacciana items from the famous Emil Schulke penguin cocktail shaker to Mr. Napier's own cigarette holder. Hurry ... Limited Edition and a must have for the serious Napier Collector.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Napier Co.



The Napier Co. History Revealed

11 Years of Research Unveil a Meriden Legacy ­­­­

Melinda L Lewis along with former Meriden resident, Henry Swen, have just released the presale of their 1000+ page book titled, The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry. The book is the first in its genre to document decade by decade the history of The Napier Co. and tell the untold story of this great American Fashion Jewelry Manufacturer. 
Lewis traveled around the country and interviewed over 50 former Napier employees from Meriden, Florida, New York, California, North Carolina, and Illinois to get an inside look of the company’s history, culture, and product. She was also assisted by the Meriden Journal, the Meriden library, and the Meriden Historical Society to garner data for her project from their archives. During her research, she collaborated almost daily for 8 years with former Napier salesman, Henry Swen, who Lewis later asked to be her co-author. 
Lewis, a former licensed pharmacy technician, lost her ability to work due to chronic pain and migraines in 2001. However, shortly thereafter, as a vintage jewelry enthusiast, she became interested in Napier jewelry when she had an opportunity to purchase a number of Napier pieces. When her research turned up almost no in-depth history about the company, she began her own research deciding to focus her efforts on a book project and not her physical condition or work limitations. As Lewis states, “it gave her a sense of purpose turning something challenging into something good.” 
The book was never intended to be over 1000 pages with 4000 images. However, according to Lewis, “I couldn’t tell the story properly in just 300 pages. It was done, when I felt it was done!” 
Lewis is self-publishing and needs to presell 450 copies to print the book; a goal she has set to achieve by Dec. 31, 2012. 
Lewis is a mother of two grown girls, and resides with her husband in California. She is also co-founder of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l (CJCI) an international jewelry club for jewelry historians, collectors, and dealers. You can join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thenapierbook or follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/thenapierbook or visit her site at http://www.TheNapierBook.com.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Napier Co. Jewelry Componets

Misinformation: "The Napier Co. avoided using more expensive materials like aurora borealis rhinestones to keep costs down." Accuracy: FALSE with clarification.

Correct Information: The Napier Co. used only the finest in rhinestones, cabochons, beads, stampings and findings to produce a superior quality product. In fact it  probably spent more on findings, crystals and beads than most companies. The company didn't just do "metals." It used the finest the market had to offer including Swarovski rhinestones.

The company did not use "aurora borealis" crystals or beads per se but used a superior product it called the "iridescent" crystal bead or rhinestone.  However,  it is untrue to say that The Napier Co. avoided the use of certain stones due to the expense of said stone.   The use or non-use of any stone was determined by nature of the design and if used, it was that of superior quality--such as the use of the  "iridescent" crystal or rhinestone vs the typical "aurora borealis" crystal or rhinestone.  It worked closely with the Swarovski Co. to develop special "iridescent" crystals  and beads that Napier used exclusively in its designs.

If Mr. Napier were to read this statement which has proliferated over the Internet he would have been appalled. The employees who are still living from the Golden Years of Napier find this an insult to the beauty and quality of the product.  Every piece that left the factory was made to the highest standards.  It was one of the few companies that actually produced spectacular "Museum" pieces to promote the line.  These pieces  were expensive and labor intensive to produce.

Special note about the terminology of "aurora borealis" vs "iridescent crystal."  The term aurora borealis has come to be a generic term for a particular coating that was applied to rhinestones and beads whether is was made by Swarovski (known for its outstanding stones) or other companies.

According to a leading authority on the history of The Napier Co., the company never used the term "aurora borealis" to describe its stones.  "Napier did not use the cheap and oily looking glass beads or crystal rhinestones called 'aurora borealis.'  Napier used 'iridescent crystals.' Napier was never associated with the term 'aurora borealis' because it looked like 'dime store' jewelry."

The Mamie Eisenhower Bracelet

The Mamie Eisenhower Bracelet
Misinformation: The Mamie Eisenhower bracelet is a charm bracelet made with green glass elephant charms. Accuracy: UNTRUE
FACT: The Mamie Eisenhower bracelet was not a charm bracelet but rather a four panel sterling silver bracelet with each section depicting an elephant in a jungle. Currently the bracelet once owned by former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower is housed at the Smithsonian.