Jewelry History Series

The Jewelry History Series is a 2-day educational conference taking place at The Original Miami Beach Antique Show. The series includes lectures and panel discussions with world-renowned experts in their fields, covering a variety of topics. The Jewelry History Series is open to anyone with a passion for the history of jewelry, and the presentations appeal to a wide range of expertise and knowledge. Sign up and get your tickets today!

1 Day pass $200

2 Day pass $350

January 3 – 4, 2020 Schedule 

Friday January 3:

An Eye for Jewelry: How to Understand Jewelry Like a Historian (and How to Talk About it!)

As the Director of Communications at Siegelson, New York, a world-renowned gallery offering rare collectible jewels, Ms. Davis handled, wrote about, and researched many iconic pieces of jewelry. She will talk about a selection of those jewels.

Lecture given by: Sarah Davis. A jewelry historian, author, and editor. She was been Director of Communications at Siegelson, New York, since 2012. She is also the editor for the American Society of Jewelry Historians newsletter. She was the author of Anna Hu, Opus 2: Symphony in Jewels and editor and a co-author of Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection. Sarah is currently working with Ursula Ilse-Neuman and Savannah College of Art and Design on a book about a collection of contemporary rings to be exhibited in 2020.


Inspiration from the Past – Revisited

History plays a large role in the creation of jewelry. Comparisons of styles, motifs and techniques from ancient to jewelry artists’ interpretation through the decades will be given through a pictorial review. Classical jewelry is timeless – inside every piece of contemporary jewelry can be found the DNA of an ancestor.

Lecture given by: Gail Brett Levine. An independent personal property appraiser and the Executive Director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. She received her graduate gemologist degree in 1980 and currently serves on the Executive Council of the GIA Alumni Association as well as an officer of the Manhattan Chapter of the GIA Alumni since 1982. Ms. Levine is President of Timeless, Inc. specializing in insurance, estate, claims and donation appraisals of antique, estate and contemporary jewelry, precious metals and loose diamonds and colored stones and gem consulting. She also runs Auction Market Resource, an internet service. In 2008, Ms. Levine revised, updated and expanded Gem & Jewelry Appraising:  Techniques of Professional Practice written by Anna Miller, GG.


The Napier.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry

Melinda Lewis, will discuss The Napier Co.—one of the oldest costume jewelry manufacturers in the United States.  The lecture will cover the early-American jewelry industry, and Napier’s legacy in the fashion jewelry business—examining the social, economic and fashion influences of the 20th century—exposing the behind-the-scenes
activity that made this company one of the most successful American jewelry companies of the 20th century. The attendee will walk away with a greater sense that Napier wasn’t for themundane. It was a vibrant and leading influencer in the fashion jewelry market.

Lecture given by: Melinda Lewis. As a jewelry historian, Melinda has been involved with the online vintage costume jewelry community for the last 20 years, with a focus on The Napier Co. over the past 18 years. She is co-founder of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l (CJCI), an organization for collectors and dealers dedicated to the study of vintage costume jewelry and served as co-editor for CJCI’s quarterly magazine in 2010 and wrote a monthly column for Your True Colours magazine on the topic of vintage jewelry. She is author of the book, “The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry:. Melinda has also worked with internationally renowned fashion stylists and publishers to provide jewelry for books and print-based advertising in magazines. Her jewelry collection has been featured in print advertising, the cover of Italian Vogue as well as editorial spreads within the publication as well as other magazines.


What’s Hot, What’s Not

The head of the jewelry department at Skinner’s Inc. will discuss what happened in the auction market for the year 2019. We’ll learn which pieces bring the best prices, what pieces bring less interest and may find a few surprises in the mix. This is one of our lectures we bring back every year due to its popularity.

Lecture given by: Kaitlin Shinnick. A senior specialist in Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Department. Her areas of special interest are in American Arts & Crafts and artist-designed jewelry.  Kaitlin first joined Skinner in 2002 as a member of the Fine Jewelry Department under the close tutelage of Gloria Lieberman. She left in 2005 to pursue a master’s degree in Decorative Arts and Design at the Bard Graduate Center. Her thesis was on the jewelry of Josephine Hartwell Shaw. After graduation, Kaitlin joined the staff of the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she was a Windgate research fellow. At the MFA, Kaitlin worked extensively with the Daphne Farago collection of artist-designed jewelry. In 2015, Kaitlin rejoined the Fine Jewelry Department.


Jewelry for America

The earliest jewelry worn in America was of a sentimental nature, related to love and marriage or to death and mourning.  In the early nineteenth century, a domestic industry began to take root. Newark, New Jersey, became home to some 200 manufacturers, and the iconic firms of Gorham and Tiffany & Co. were established. On New York’s Fifth Avenue, upscale jewelry houses strove to compete with European brands, while Britain’s Arts & Crafts movement inspired American jewelers to create small-batch studio production. Ms. Wees, curator of a current American jewelry exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, will conclude with a brief look at mid-20th-century artists whose modernist designs paved the way for contemporary innovations.

Lecture given by: Beth Carver Wees. Beth Carver Wees oversees the collections of American silver, jewelry, and other metalwork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to joining the Museum’s staff in 2000, she was curator of decorative arts at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is the author of two major collection catalogues—English, Irish & Scottish Silver at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (1997) and Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013). She holds degrees in art history from Smith College and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. The exhibition she curated, Jewelry for America, is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through April 5, 2020.



Show Floor Visit


Saturday January 4: 

The Jewelry and Art of Frida Kahlo

In recent years Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s art work as well as her clothing and jewelry have become the subject of several museum exhibitions. This lecture will discuss her art and her jewelry and explain how they are intricately related.

Lecture given by: Elyse Zorn Karlin. Co-Director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts (ASJRA) and publisher of Adornment Magazine. She is the former president of the American Society of Jewelry Historians and an author and freelance curator. Her most recent curatorial efforts are “Maker & Muse: Women and 20th Century Art Jewelry” which was at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago, and is now traveling to a number of venues. She is curating an upcoming exhibition “Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age” which opens at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA in November 2020.


Say it With Flowers: Victorian Jewelry’s Secret Language

Flowers, plants, and leaves have been a source of inspiration for jewelry makers for more than two millennia. Their beauty and delicacy have long been captured in precious metals, enamels, and colored gemstones. During the Victorian era, however, the latest developments in the fields of science, botany, literature, and art converged with the effects of globalization, industrialization, colonization,

Romanticism, and the Suffragette movement to bring new meanings to floral decoration. From sentimentality to sexuality, 19th-century floral jewelry became encoded with its own special language.

Lecture given by: Jan Krulick-Belin. A museum and art consultant and an art and jewelry historian with over 40 years of experience at institutions including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Denver Art Museum, Beaumont (Texas) Art Museum, and Smithsonian Institution. Retired as director of education at the Phoenix Art Museum, she still works with museums, arts organizations, and private collectors, in addition to serving as guest curator at the Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum in Phoenix. She is also author of the award-winning book, Love, Bill: Finding My Father through Letters from World War II. She lectures widely on a variety of art and jewelry topics, as well as gives talks about her book and on writing memoirs.


Fashionably Fun: Collecting Costume Jewelry

This presentation will cover some of the numerous ways to put together an enviable collection of intriguing vintage costume jewelry. Find out how costume jewelry – whether inspired by fine jewelry, rooted in pop culture, or donned to make a fashion statement – can offer an array of wearable conversation starters you can also display in your home. Learn about curating your own collection, including looking for signs of quality, popular brand names, and the most common condition issues costume jewelry collectors encounter.

Lecture given by: Pamela Wiggins Siegel. Pam has been buying, selling, and collecting vintage costume jewelry for more than 30 years. She is the author of Warman’s Costume Jewelry (Krause Publications, 2014) and has written numerous articles on the topic for both websites print-based publications. Pamela co-founded Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l (CJCI), an organization providing web-based research resources for collectors. CJCI also hosts weekend-long conventions for enthusiasts of collectible costume jewelry. She currently sells vintage jewelry through her shop and eBay


A Star for A Star: The Story Behind Claudette Colbert’s Starfish brooch

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston recently acquired one of the year’s most talked about jewels-the starfish brooch formerly owned by the Academy Award winning actress Claudette Colbert. Designed in 1935 by Juliet Moutard for the Parisian jeweler Rene Boivin (which at the time was run by his wife Jeanne Boivin), thebrooch is widely considered the house’s most important design. Transporting you from Paris to Hollywood, this lavishly illustrated presentation will detail thestory behind the sea star’s creation and the three women who are part of its legacy.

Lecture given by: Emily Stoehrer, Ph.D. The Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she oversees a collection that spans 6,000 years and includes more than 22,000 objects. She received her Ph.D from Salve Regina University and a master’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Most recently, she curated Boston Made, Arts & Crafts Jewelry & Metalwork and Past is Present: Revival Jewelry. She is the co-author of Arts & Crafts Jewelry in Boston, Frank Gardner Hale and His Circle, and was a contributor to the book Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry. Stoehrer is a member of the board of directors for the Society of North American Goldsmiths and is on the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts’ Advisory Board.


Lunch then an off-site event at the Flager Museum.  Off-site event sponsored by:





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