Americans and Canadians are quite alike in most ways, but we recognize a difference in style. Despite sharing a common language, as a group, Canadians are more polite, and Americans are louder. But does that stereotype hold up in ways other than language? Say, in design? Yes, yes it does. Valerie Hammond is a costume jewelry dealer and an expert in antique jewelry. She has written extensively on the pieces designed by Montreal costume jeweler Gustave Sherman.
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During the heyday of G. Sherman & Company, which was the late 1940s through most of the 1970s, “The tastes of the Canadian market were different than the U.S.,” Hammond says. “I don’t mean to say that Canadian women didn’t have style because they did, but it was more of an understated elegance, a little more ‘I’m going to wear this to church on Sunday’ than ‘I’m going to wear this to a nightclub.’ Not flashy, more genteel.”
Hammond takes us on a tour of the world of antique jewelry, and contrasts famous designers from Canada and the United States. She also updates us on what the pandemic has done to the antique jewelry business at Collectors Weekly.