Artists and craftsman have for many centuries signed their masterpieces with initials, symbols or other recognisable signatures or markings. This tradition has not been overlooked when it comes to master jewellers who have signed their work so that their skills and innovative designs would forever be identified as their creations. These marks, also known as ‘trademarks,’ can play an important role in telling the story of a particular item of jewellery.
Perhaps the earliest type of signature on jewellery is the maker’s mark which was primarily used so that the maker or company responsible for marking the gold could be identified. Over the centuries the maker’s mark became more mainstream and functioned as a trademark.
A maker’s mark was originally a stamp which included either a pictogram or the initials of the company concealed on the inside or outside of the jewellery. Signatures are usually a little more noticeable with either the full name of the jeweller or a widely recognisable abbreviated version of the jewellery firm; sometimes in combination with the serial number from the workshop.
Having an item which has been signed by a specific maker can increase the rarity and prestige of the jewellery. This is particularly true of items which bear the signatures of Fabergé, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boivin, Yard, Black, Star and Frost, J.E. Caldwell, Mauboussin, Boucheron, Seaman Schepps and Wiese to name a few.
Connoisseurs, collectors and jewellery lovers will all behold a jewellery masterpiece and search for a glimpse of the coveted signature. At Berganza, we have wide and varied collection of pieces of jewellery by the most famous of jewellery houses.
Cartier sapphire, amethyst and diamond pin, French, circa 1920.
Cartier sapphire, amethyst and diamond pin. Set with one central tapered French cut sapphire in an open back rubover setting with an approximate weight of 0.30 carats, further set with one marquise shape old cut amethyst in an open back rubover setting with an approximate weight of 0.30 carats, bordered by nine round eight cut diamonds in open back grain settings with a combined approximate weight of 0.20 carats, all to an angular pin design featuring polished edges, a linear pierced gallery and open backholing. Tested platinum, marked 'CARTIER', with maker’s mark for Andrey, French, circa 1920.