These mid century modernist large earrings were designed and crafted by Winifred Mason Chenet, who signed her early work “Mason,” and after her marriage to Jean Chenet created jewelry with the marker’s mark, “chenet d’HAITI.”
On the back (of one) of these rarely found screw back earrings is the Chenet d’HAITI signature. Partnering with renowned Art Smith for four years in her Greenwich Village shop, Winifred Mason is today considered an important part of the Modernist Art Jewelry movement in NYC. Her jewelry was worn by famous actors and entertainers, including American jazz singer, Billie Holiday.
As a young African American woman, with a masters degree in education from New York University, Winifred Mason (married name Chenet) made her first piece of jewelry in l940. By l946, she was selling her distinct copper pieces to fashionable stores in New York City such as Bonwit Teller and Lord and Taylor.
She believed “that jewelry was individual – that it should conform to the body of the wearer – to give it greater lasting value.” It is said that she never copied designs, making each piece unique, even if there were only slight variations.
These mid century earrings are overall in very good vintage condition and in the condition found. The mixed metals are bright and shiny; the screw back apparatus holds well. The earrings show some wear to the copper front and gold tone backs, with light scratches to the back metal and a small about of discoloration (perhaps a stain) on one of the smaller round circles (see picture 6). However, as you can see from the other pictures, depending on the way the light catches, it’s not always visible.
The earrings are bold statement pieces in a layered medallion style. The large dangling medallion is 1.25” in diameter and top to bottom measures 2” with the drop. The center circle is pounded copper against a backdrop of a textured copper stylized disk, which is then surrounded by a larger gold tone one, creating a mixed metal, layered look. The small copper disk, where the screw backs are attached) measures 5/8” in diameter.
These beautiful earrings are distinctively Winifred Mason’s style, with a feeling of both elegance and quality The pictures offer greater perspective on the condition and uniqueness of these rarely found mid century Winifred Mason earrings. (Note: I have a red camera and on some pictures there is its shadow).
If you need something quickly or shipped internationally, contact me.
*** I SHIP TO MANY COUNTRIES *** TYPICALLY I CAN EXPEDITE SHIPPING
1-2 business days
Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.
Just contact me within: 21 days of delivery
Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
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Some pieces I clean, others I don’t. However, the majority of items are presented as found. There are a variety of collectors and collectible pieces, and an equal number of opinions about whether a particular vintage item should or shouldn’t be cleaned or repaired. I err on the side of being conservative here, wanting you to decide how to treat your item. There’s plenty of information available online that will help you determine the best way to clean, preserve, or treat any vintage item.
All vintage jewelry items arrive in a gift box. Gift wrapping also available.