Wednesday, March 26, 2014

La Tausca Pearls & Their Jeweled Presentation Boxes

La Tausca Pearls was a trade name for high quality faux pearls used by three different companies: Maurice J. Karpeles, L. Heller & Son Inc and Martin Low & Taussig, Providence RI. This trade name was in use from around 1915 as it was first seen in a Albert Walker jewelry catalog. Then in 1956 it merged with Deltah Pearls and became Heller-Deltah. The La Tausca division was later bought by Arlan Jewelry Co.The main La Tausca store dealt in fine jewelry and was located on Fifth Avenue, New York City.




Click HERE to find La Tausca Pearls








These faux pearls were advertised as indestructible and often had 14kt gold filigree clasps that were marked La Tausca. In many instances these clasps also had a little genuine diamond chip. A gilt metal medallion was attached to all of the jewelry and can sometimes be found intact.


The high quality faux pearls were sold in filigree and jeweled gilt bronze, silver or copper finished brass presentation boxes (jewel caskets) in the 1915-1930s. I have also had the rare opportunity to see a few boxes with both a shell cameo, glass intaglio, faux pearls and/or jewels on the lids. Sometimes you can find the boxes without the jeweled ornamentation.

The colors of the glass jewels are emerald green, citrine yellow, sapphire blue, topaz orange, peridot green, garnet red, amber and/or amethyst purple. Some other jewels were made up of opaque glass and simulated coral, onyx, jade or turquoise. Sometimes you might find the boxes marked "Patented April 8th 1924."

The boxes were lined in ivory colored silk and had La Tausca Pearls printed in gold lettering on the inside of the lid. This is usually worn away.

I have seen various different shapes of these boxes from a square shape to a longer rectangular shape, also in an octagonal shape too.

The pearls were generally given as presents to a bride to be to wear on her wedding day. I have seen several advertisements for the pearls showing brides wearing them with all of their wedding finery. The pearls were also advertised as a wonderful and unusual gifts for 30th wedding anniversaries.


La Tausca won the highest award in 1915 at the Panama-Pacific Exposition and the Grand Prize for the Sesquicentennial Exposition of 1926. These awards were most likely for outstanding design or invention for their La Tausca Pearls or other costume jewelry.The La Tausca store in New York also sold high quality Mexican sterling silver, many pieces with turquoise and also rosaries.Several La Tausca advertisements are available on ebay and the internet for purchase.


I found an advertisement from the Decatur Review newspaper from 1922, describing the various La Tausca Pearl necklaces available.

"WILLIAM GUSHARD COMPANY Because of Popular Demand This Sale Will Be Continued for Two Days Lovely La Tausca Pearls ONE-HALF PRICE BECAUSE of the great demand far these beautiful La Tausca Pearls the maker's representative who is conducting the sale has decided to stay just two days and Tuesday, and has wired for more pearls, so those who come tomorrow and next day will have complete assortments to choose from. That the is popular is not surprising, for La Tausca Pearls are exact replicas of priceless gems, with the lustre and texture of of real Oriental pearls, and each necklace is presented in a satin lined case. 
Now they are just half price. -
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  • Endless Chain necklaces, inches long."




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