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Friday, 25 February 2011

The Opal series: MARCUS & CO, opals from Art Nouveau to Art Deco


Marcus & Co. of New York was established in 1892 by German immigrant Herman Marcus. Herman first worked for Tiffany and then Theodore B. Starr, establishing Starr & Marcus. In the 1920's William Marcus opened Marcus & Co. branches in London, Paris and Palm Beach. Raymond C. Yard worked as door boy for Marcus & Co. before achieving recognition on his own.
In 1908 Marcus & Co. advertised "Black Opals are Luck Stones" in the New York Times and that they had acquired "the entire last year's output" of Black Opals from Lightning Ridge. The cache of stones was no doubt supplied by Tully Wollaston and Marcus one of, if not, the enterprising jeweller Wollaston most admirably refers to. Marcus & Co. was one of the most highly regarded American jewellery Houses of its day, receiving praise from the French jeweler & historian Henri Vever for beautiful design and masterful execution. Australian Opals including Black Opals, Light Opals and Boulder Opals all appeared in Marcus jewellery frequently. They were expertly cut, engraved and assembled by the company's own lapidaries.