Neil Lane Jewelry at The Cooper Hewitt — The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s

The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s just opened at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City, and it will run until August 20th. What comes to your mind when you think of this time in history? For me, I think about the new freedom for women, from the right to vote to rising hemlines. I picture speakeasies where people were dancing the Charleston and drinking cocktails, despite prohibition. If you’d like to explore this era, you’ll surely enjoy this new multi-media exhibit which features a wide array, from fashion to architecture, to music and film, and more.

Neil Lane, jeweler to the stars, is showing many pieces from his personal collection from the 20’s and 30’s. While you may know  Neil as a jewelry designer, he is in fact a major collector as well. While growing up in Brooklyn, he began earning money from selling glass and other decorative objects. By the time he finished college, he had enough money to book a ticket to Paris. This is where he really had the opportunity to train his eye and learned to be a well-curated collector.


Neil Lane, jewelry designer and collector.
Neil Lane, jewelry designer and collector.

I’d like to share some of the pieces showing at this exhibit. You may recognize this first necklace, as it was worn by Jennifer Lawerence at the 2014 Oscar’s. (cool how she draped it down her back) This sautoir is composed of diamonds, platinum and carved rock crystal. It’s signed Chalet et cie, Paris, France. It’s from the royal family Montino Bourbon Del Monte Di San Faustian.

neil lane diamond, platinum and carved rock crystal sautoir, signed chaumet et cie paris france, 1920's
86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
I love this stack of platinum, diamond, ruby and sapphire bracelets from Boucheron. So chic!

neil lane platinum, diamond, ruby and sapphire bracelet by boucheron
boucheron platinum and gemtone bracelets from neil lane
The whimsy in these Cartier platinum and diamond airplane brooches makes me smile.

neil lane platinum diamond airplane brooches signed cartier, 1930's
Never in my life have I seen a bracelet quite like this; a whole orchestra is shown in platinum, diamonds, sapphires and carved onyx. I can certainly understand why Neil added this to his collection!

neil lane jazz age platinum diamond sapphire and carved onyx orchesra bracelet, 1903's
This French platinum, yellow and white diamond, and cabochon emerald brooch is quintessentially of the time. It’s maker’s hallmark is Rubel Frères.

neil lane platinum, yellow and white diamond and cabochon emerald brooch, rubel freres, 1930
Personally, I’d love to wear this French platinum and diamond sphere necklace, signed Mauboussin, circa 1929. It was worn by Madonna at the 2003 MTV VMA’s.

neil lane platinum diamond sphere necklace signed mauboussin france, 1929
Finally, how about this platinum and diamond bracelet, once owned by Mae West?!

neil lane platinum diamond bracelet
This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Living on the west coast, I’m sad to be missing this exhibit. But if you find yourself in NYC, add this to your itinerary and enjoy! Please let me know what you think of the show.