There is little known about the Reinad Company but it is believed to have started in New York in the 1920s and have been in operation until the 1950s. These two brooches date from the 1940s and I love the small bit of red enamelling detail that has been given to the lips of the faces. It just lifts them above average.
During WWII when the major fashion houses of Europe were closed, Reinad was sued by Chanel for using their name on a range of pot metal enamel jewellery. Reinad called their subsidiary company the Chanel Novelty Co. Interestingly; it wasn’t until the 1970s that Chanel began to seriously mark their own costume jewellery.
Masks have their origins in prehistoric history. Some cultures today still believe they transmit magically the character of the image of the mask to the wearer. In Ancient Greece masks were used in dramas appropriate to their parts and today in the Japanese Noh play the convention of masked actors still survives. At the Carnival of Venice, reinstated in 1979 but originated in the 12th century, with the new ‘la maschera più bella’ (the most beautiful mask) event is judged by a panel of international fashion & costume designers each year.