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Max and Norbert Neiger began their humble jewelry empire in the basement of their family home in Gablonz, Czechoslovakia in 1905, utilizing beautiful Czech glass beads and metal findings they picked up at their neighborhood metal crafting shop.
Little did they know, a chance discovery 17 years later by a man named Howard Carter located almost 1,800 miles away would catapult their business into the limelight before tragedy would befall them both.
Unlike many fledgling businesses of the time, the Neiger brothers garnered success almost immediately. Known for their interesting designs -- often incorporating uranium and Peking glass into their pieces -- and high quality finishes, their jewelry was highly coveted in both the European and American markets alike.
When Howard Carter discovered King Tut's tomb in 1922, Egyptmania swept the globe and Norbert and Max were quick to jump on the bandwagon adding an Egyptian inspired line choc full of scarabs, pharaohs and even a sphinx or two. This new line was and still is their most popular line to date!
Following the success of their Egyptian revival line, they added two more "exotic" lines with Chinese and Indian motifs, but none could rival their colorful Egyptian inspired creations.
The Neiger brothers continued to ride the wave of success well into the 1930s. However, as the Nazis began to descend upon Gablonz in 1939, the two Jewish brothers (who also had German nationality) decided to scale down their operations and relocate to Bohemia, which they thought was safe from Hitler's grasp. Unfortunately, it was not.
Norbert and Max eventually fled to Prague where they were arrested by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz where they both tragically perished.
Today, Neiger brothers jewelry still is highly coveted. However, since they used store-bought stampings and did not mark any of their pieces, it is often hard to tell whether the piece is original or not. They also had a lot of copy cats.
We believe this set to be attributed to the Neiger brothers based on its high quality as well as other similar pieces we have seen, but as I said, there really is no way to be 100% certain.
This stunning bracelet and earring combo features three beautiful pieces of Peking glass as well as high quality Czech glass rhinestones and two-tone enamel, all of which are often seen in Max Neiger's creations.
It was most like gold gilt at one point but has since lost most of it and gained a patina.
While this may not be from their Egyptian line, this set still is a wonderful example of the quality and craftsmanship of the Neiger brothers and would be a great piece to add to (or start) any collection.
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