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Jakob Bengel Jewelry

About Jakob Bengel Jewelry

This wonderful selection of Jakob Bengel jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, and brooches. This German maker, whose Machine Age designs are so coveted today, first opened a watch chain and metal wares factory in Idar-Oberstein in 1873. Greatly influenced by the Bauhaus School, the company changed to the production of costume jewelry in the 1920s. Designers fashioned stainless steel, chrome, nickel, glass, and Galalith into geometric shapes. By the 1930s, their distinctive Art Deco pieces were shipped all over the world. Production ceased at the start of World War II. The company remained unknown until the late 1990s largely because their pieces were unsigned.


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  • Jakob Bengel necklace in chrome brickwork pattern
    Front of chrome brickwork necklace

    Chrome Brickwork Collar by Jakob Bengel

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    This Jakob Bengel necklace in the well-known Mauerwerk (brickwork) pattern is the epitome of German Machine Age design. This chromium-plated brass piece, which closes with a spring-ring clasp, feels very slinky. You can wear this collar on either side. Scroll down to see several Machine Age bracelets to wear with this necklace, including one by Bengel.
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    Chrome necklace & bracelet set w/glass links
    Machine Age chrome & glass necklace

    Chrome Necklace & Bracelet with Glass Links

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    This chrome necklace and matching bracelet with molded glass links is so unusual that its origin has been debated by the expert in European costume jewelry – Ginger Moro. Her book European Designer Jewelry describes the pieces as Belgian (where the Art Deco style was “a synthesis of French and German styles”). When I purchased the set, she told me that she had bought it in Brussels about 40 years ago from a dealer who also had sold her some Bengel jewelry. At that time, before the first Bengel book was published, no one knew about the firm. Since then, Moro and the dealer have decided that this set had to be by Bengel for three reasons: “nobody else was doing any chrome jewelry that sophisticated”; the dealer had bought it from the same source as other Bengel pieces; and they discovered that Bengel was working with glass links. I don’t think the maker matters. This Machine Age look is modern and striking! The color of the glass segments, which are pale pink in reality, is very difficult to capture in photographs. As Ginger said, the glass "melts into your skin". The necklace closes with a hook; the bracelet has a spring-ring clasp. This necklace was made for a slim neck, so please note the length (14 3/4") and check your neck size before purchasing this set.