Mardi Gras Jewelry Suite, ca. 1920
A decorator had them, and he was in partnership with a friend of mine. And when they both died, I ended up with them. And we're assuming that they may have been for a Mardi Gras ball or maybe for a theater performance or something, but nobody knows for sure. He designed costumes for the Mardi Gras balls here in Baton Rouge, for the ladies' balls. They owned, like, a business that sold Mardi Gras stuff.
What we have here would be a crown for a gentleman and a crown for a lady. And we have five pieces to the set. We could call it a suite. And I think it was made in about the 1920s, and the reason why is because when you look at this beautiful headpiece, it's got Egyptian overtones. And what did they discover in Egypt in the early '20s? King Tut's tomb. So this would be worn by a woman. The beautiful winged sides would come down across her ears and the peacock would be on her forehead. This crown for the gentleman has a serpent on the front. It's a cobra, and then there's a bunch of tiny little cobras all around here.
On the head.
And then matching the set, we have two arm bracelets. They have scarabs on them and they're painted red. And then this piece is an upper arm bracelet, so the whole outfit would be amazing. And the people would be wearing sort of like a toga outfit. The material is brass, and all of these little stones are glass and they're hand set. It's not marked in any way. I do think it's probably American made, and a lot of this costumey stuff could have either been made in Hollywood or in New York at the time, but we really have no way of proving that. On a retail level, I think standing alone, this crown would be worth around $1,500.
That's a lot of money.
This crown, the gentleman's crown, would be in the $1,000 range. The two smaller bracelets would be around $250 to $300 each, and the armband over there would be about $300, so we're looking for the whole group right around $3,000.
That's a lot of money for those, yes.
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