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Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse. Joan Castle Joseff looks with horror at Shirley Jones, who is trying to touch the tree of jewelry by Joseff

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse
Where do you think decorations now are, in which Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Greta Garbo starred? Perhaps they are in major museums around the world? Or they belong to great-granddaughters of the stars? Or they are sold at auctions? Can you imagine that behind that door (picture below) the treasure is hidden? Gray warehouse with a small inscription “Joseff” – warehouse-workshop of Joseff of Hollywood, the largest manufacturer of jewelry in the Golden Era of Hollywood.

Warehouse-workshop Joseff of Hollywood

Warehouse-workshop Joseff of Hollywood

Leaf brooch worn by Jean Harlow in the 1936 film Libeled Lady

Leaf brooch worn by Jean Harlow in the 1936 film Libeled Lady

– Bird Bracelet from 1944 movie Desert Hawk.
– Snake Belt from the movie “Cleopatra”
– Earring with pearls of Marilyn Monroe “Some like it hot”
– necklace for Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler Cigarette Case
– necklace-lasso for Judy Garland from “Ziegfeld Follies”

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse

These decorations are preserved only thanks to Joseff. Instead of selling jewelry to studios, he leased them all these decades. Joseff and his wife and partner, Joan Castle Joseff worked mainly with the costumers. But sometimes they worked directly with the stars, as it was with this belt:

Elizabeth Taylor's belt for Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor’s belt for Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor stated that her waist measurements were taken improperly. Joan took off Liz Taylor’s waist size personally. When the belt was ready, it was found out that it was small by about 7 cm! Liz gained weight, but of course, she blamed Joan that she would take measurements wrong. Of course, Joan did not argue with her.

Greta Garbo necklace made ​​of silver with artificial emeralds and diamonds. Garbo loved it, but she refused to wear it. The necklace adjoined very tight and sharp leaves stuck into the body. But the necklace was in the film. In one scene, it is on the floor, but in the foreground!

Because there were films that required thousands of decorations, Joseff bought jewelry from other firms, mostly in Trifari. In the movie “Anna and the King of Siam” the king had several wives and 67 children, and they all had to have a lot of jewelry.

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse.
How it all began

Crown and scepter were probably the last thing on thought of 20 year-old Eugene Joseff when he worked in the advertising business in Chicago. At the same time he studied art casting.
In 1928, he moved to Hollywood, where, thanks to his charm quickly got into the movie business.

Walter Plunkett, the costume designer and friend of Joseff often invited him to the premiere. Joseff, rather than stand still in awe, loudly and unabashedly criticized the jewelry that was used by costume designer. Plunkett broke down and asked, “Can you do better?” It was a challenge and Joseff took it.

He immersed himself in the history books and old magazines “Ladies Field” and “Harper’s Bazar” He traveled widely, visiting museums, studied jewelry of Renaissance and antiquity in the details. In the garage of his home on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Joseff began experimenting with the manufacture of jewelry.

Joseff and his brother Jimmy Glaser are viewing their products. A huge headdress made ​​of acrylic, Virginia Bruce wore in the movie The Great Ziegfeld

Joseff and his brother Jimmy Glaser are viewing their products. A huge headdress made ​​of acrylic, Virginia Bruce wore in the movie The Great Ziegfeld

Along with his brother Jimmy Glaser, he founded the Sunset Jewelry Manufacturing. Several years later, Jimmy, who was married to Leah Rhodes, a costume designer, left the company. Eugene continued to create jewelry. He was self-taught and was not afraid of mistakes. He collected leaves, acorns and insects, and then re-created them in the casting.

Joseph looked through trade publications such as the “Hollywood Reporter” and “Variety”, to find out which movies were at work. Then he called the studio and said, “I think I can provide decorations for the film. Give me the script”.

Jewelry did not mean much in the movie before Joseff. Mostly actresses used their own decorations. First Joseff worked with a limited budget, making jewelry on order, and then he came up to rent jewelry to studios.

In the 30’s and 40’s Joseff supplied more than 90 percent of the jewelry in the movie. He was a marketing genius and a perfectionist. Manufacturers jewelry said to him, “it is impossible to make jewelry as good as you want”, so he continued to develop his own production.

Cigar Case for Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind

Cigar Case for Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind

Cigar Case for Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind will not be rented by studios again. Just like buckle of his belt and jewelry of Scarlett O’Hara. Joseph was a very cost-effective and organized, many ornaments made ​​of “improvised” of broken jewelry.

Another reason for his success, his method of making ornaments look antique or Renaissance. This gave ornaments authentic look and did not allow jewelry sparkle in the spotlight during shooting. Many try to repeat this method, but no one succeeded in it and it did not work.

Thanks to his innovative approach to creating jewelry for the movie, Joseff has become a sort of a Hollywood star. It went so far that he was allowed to legally change his name from Eugene Joseff to just Joseff.

Joseph worked side by side with the famous Hollywood costume designers, such as Walter Plunkett, Rene Hubert, Milo Anderson, Orry-Kelly and Charles LeMaire

In the mid-30’s, many actresses have been asking Joseff provide them copies of jewelry in which they were shot. In Hollywood believed that jewels can buy anyone who has money. No need to be a Hollywood star to wear jewelry. Ordinary women see their favorite stars in the magazines “Coronet,” “Movie Stars Parade,” or “Movie Secrets” and imitated them. Joseff had the idea: “Why not make every woman feel like a movie star?”, “Why shouldn’t we make every woman in the world feel like a movie star?”

LOVE AND TRAGEDY

Business grew and Joseph took an assistant. In the late 30s he went to Sawyer’s Business College. He recommended a vigorous, very business woman Joan Castle, or “JC”

Newlyweds Joan Castle Joseff and Eugene Joseff on Lake Mead, Nevada, during the honeymoon, in 1942. Joan in the necklace 10 bells from the line of jewelry for sale.

Newlyweds Joan Castle Joseff and Eugene Joseff on Lake Mead, Nevada, during the honeymoon, in 1942. Joan in the necklace 10 bells from the line of jewelry for sale.

They fell in love immediately. During work, they complemented each other, it had been a wonderful relationship. They were lively personalities and very confident. They are surrounded by an aura of success. In 1947, they had a son, Jeff. But Joseph’s life was as a Hollywood film. In 1948 Joseff with his wife and friends were flying on his own plane from Newhall, California. The plane crashed and all but Joan died. Joan continued her ​​husband’s work and with her son and daughter-in-law remained in business until her death at age 97 in 2010.

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse.
The decline of EMPIRE

In 1950s, America has become a prosperous, wealthy country. Women are buying jewelry made of precious metals, jewelry is rapidly losing its popularity. In 1956, Prince Rainier III of Monaco decorated his bride, the Hollywood star Grace Kelly with a tiara and a necklace of real diamonds from Cartier, from that moment on the red carpet celebrities wear only precious jewelry. Joan saw the decline of interest in jewelry, work with the studios was essentially finished, by the end-60s studio assembled its own collection of jewelry. But television has begun to develop and Joan quickly realizes promising new direction. She begins to work with the new TV show “I Love Lucy” and “Queen for a Day”

In the 80’s Joan found a new niche in soap operas in prime time, such as “Dallas” and “Dynasty”, which deliberately demonstrated wealth.

Currently, the granddaughter of Joseph, Michele has photographed the entire collection to put it on the site and increase rental business. Well, collectors continue to hunt for jewelry from Joseff of Hollywood.

Joseff of Hollywood forgotten treasure warehouse


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