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Baffled about I. Lewkowitz

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
Hello. I just joined because I occasionally help someone ID jewelry and watches and clean them up to be sold at a thrift shop, and I've come across a pin that I can't find anything about. It's old. I think very old.

It appears to be a scarf pin or tie pin in it's original box. I've carefully polished it as to not damage the fine lace like patterns on the top and it now looks like new. It's two tone, has a 14k stamp and a torch mark on the clasp.

I've searched everywhere and all I can find about Lewkowitz is a bunch of old jewelry ads and some press clippings. The only item for sale was a silver spoon from the 1800's at about $125.

So, do I have an average nice pin pr some sort of long lost treasure?
I'd like to avoid selling an important antique pin for $20...
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

lewkowitz_2_tone_top.jpg

lewkowitz_2_tone_side.jpg

2_tone_mark_4.jpg

lewkowitz_2_tone_top_3.jpg
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
I've been going back and forth between I and J because I've seen it both ways online. Probably typo's.
That's sort of what I mean about that book. He seems to be important enough to have books about his stuff and ads being sold but there are no jewelry items to be found. It makes no sense but I'm a novice in jewelry. The abbreviation "Mfg" on the box implies he made jewelry and didn't just sell it but the lack of examples says the opposite.
 

eekissman

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
4
Hi

Isidor Lewkowitz was an ancestor of mine, my grandfathers' grandfather. He lived from 1832-1921 and owned this jewelry shop in NY. That's all I really know; I'm not even sure when the shop closed. Every once in awhile I google "I. Lewkowitz" just to see what shows up. This time it was your question. My guess is that the shop catered to the Jewish community, as it started out on the lower east side somewhere, probably aiming at a newly comfortable market -- so not major high end pieces. I think they also did a lot with watches. Even my grandfather who was a stock broker and never worked in the store could fix a watch. There's a bunch of jewelry from the shop floating around among my relatives -- all of it nice, but not with big stones or anything like that. What did you decide to do with this piece?
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
I listed it on Ebay with no takers. I didn't want to sell it too low so I put in a starting bid of $250 and went down by $50 every week. I got down to $99 and still no takers. I won't go lower and will give my mother inlaw some money to keep it for myself if I can't sell it. I might relist as a Buy It Now/Best Offer and see what I get for offers. At $99 I think I'm pretty close to scrap prices but I don't want to sell it for scrap to have it melted. The detailed top is too nice to destroy.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,169
eekissman|1455474232|3991038 said:
Hi

Isidor Lewkowitz was an ancestor of mine, my grandfathers' grandfather. He lived from 1832-1921 and owned this jewelry shop in NY. That's all I really know; I'm not even sure when the shop closed. Every once in awhile I google "I. Lewkowitz" just to see what shows up. This time it was your question. My guess is that the shop catered to the Jewish community, as it started out on the lower east side somewhere, probably aiming at a newly comfortable market -- so not major high end pieces. I think they also did a lot with watches. Even my grandfather who was a stock broker and never worked in the store could fix a watch. There's a bunch of jewelry from the shop floating around among my relatives -- all of it nice, but not with big stones or anything like that. What did you decide to do with this piece?
Thanks for jumping in with this information! The business card is interesting too - it provides so much more information than more recent business cards (though less, of course, than today's real "business card" - the website, facebook page, etc.) It hadn't occurred to me before that one might have gone to a jeweler to get eyeglasses "back then".
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
This is what I was getting at in my original post. There are lots of paper documents and based on the above post he was important enough to have something in a museum, but there are very few pieces of jewelry to be found. It doesn't make much sense to me. My best guess is that he was a manufacturer, but not a manufacturer of jewelry. The above piece is in a Lewkowitz case but the pin has a torch mark which is likely the mark of some other jewelry designer. In this case it seems like he was a re-seller.
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
Now that I know who made the pin I have lots and lots of examples! Double thanks!

Upon further reading, the reason I couldn't figure out what the white detailed top of the pin was made of is because I had never considered platinum. I knew it wasn't silver because there was no sign of tarnish. I thought maybe white gold or white gold plate but it's too white. White gold has a slight yellow appearance which is why it's usually plated with rhodium. Bippart did a lot of work in platinum so it's most likely platinum or platinum plate.

Page 114:

https://books.google.com/books?id=l1goAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=bippart+%26+co&source=bl&ots=-HJHMAipOm&sig=QaZ8HrO4kPJ9H0-ig8lJWPdK8rY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN_ebL9_rKAhWCVD4KHYDiCuIQ6AEIOTAG#v=onepage&q=bippart%20%26%20co&f=false

The more I find out the more I'm considering buying it for myself just for the sake of owning a nice period piece in like new condition. Great story. I am going to bring it to someone who deals in antique jewelry to see what they think about it.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,169
DFS, I'm impressed with your research skills! I googled "Bippart" but found zero, zip, zilch - absolutely nothing. You found an illustrated history! Well done! :clap:
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
VRBeauty|1455595783|3991490 said:
DFS, I'm impressed with your research skills! I googled "Bippart" but found zero, zip, zilch - absolutely nothing. You found an illustrated history! Well done! :clap:
:snooty: :lol: Interestingly, if you goggle Bippart you get nothing but if you google Bippart & Co. you get lots. The historical document is about half way down. Thanks for your help.
 

DFS

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2015
Messages
8
Am I allowed to post a link to an external ad where I am selling this? Sorry I looked around and couldn't find this information.
Thanks.
 

boerumbiddy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
528
Yes, you can post a link on the Preloved section of the Pricescope Cafe forum. Follow up to let us know when it is sold.
 

eekissman

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
4
I'm still interested in the box, if you are williing to separate the box from the pin. thanks!
 

abracajewelya1

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
1
Hi

Isidor Lewkowitz was an ancestor of mine, my grandfathers' grandfather. He lived from 1832-1921 and owned this jewelry shop in NY. That's all I really know; I'm not even sure when the shop closed. Every once in awhile I google "I. Lewkowitz" just to see what shows up. This time it was your question. My guess is that the shop catered to the Jewish community, as it started out on the lower east side somewhere, probably aiming at a newly comfortable market -- so not major high end pieces. I think they also did a lot with watches. Even my grandfather who was a stock broker and never worked in the store could fix a watch. There's a bunch of jewelry from the shop floating around among my relatives -- all of it nice, but not with big stones or anything like that. What did you decide to do with this piece?
I realize this post is a few years old, but this week, I ran across a very old small advertising type hand mirror that quite possibly might be of interest to you as it might be something from your ancestor's shop unless there was another Lewkowitz jeweler in the same area. I am not selling it--but I would give it to you. The only thing that seems odd is this Lewkowitz Jewelers has an H instead of an I as the first initial. DSCN0614.JPG Also on the edge, it reads; UNION LABEL LOCAL NO.1. A.L. of A.N.Y. No. 6 and then; MADE BY BENJ. HARRIS CO. ON THE BOWERY 229 NYC.
I have posted a picture and hope somehow you find this post as I do not know how this forum works yet as far as contact info, but I would definitely send this to you free of charge. I love genealogy and value family history. If this little mirror is connected to your great-great grandfather's shop, you are more than welcome to it. I believe this item is quite old even with the mention of the 4 digit phone number as phones have been around for quite some time.
Also of interest is the artwork that separates each of the stone graphics--a torch like symbol. There is a post above mentioning finding a torch symbol stamped on jewelry that was in a LewKowitz box, but thinking it might have denoted another jewelry maker and not be a original made by Lewkowitz. I have not compared the designs for similarity but it would seem if they are indeed the same designs, this might be a hint that your ancestor was not just a re-seller , but also a manufacturer/designer of jewelry
 
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