“I think all collectors will admit that half the fun is in the hunt, finding a treasure where we least expect it,” states Carole Tanenbaum, whose extraordinary collection of vintage costume jewelry is sought after by women around the globe. Born and raised in New York, but now living in Toronto (Canada), Carole developed a love for collecting in childhood, when she started amassing matchbook covers. She later discovered vintage jewelry: “What got me going with vintage costume jewelry was the originality of so many of the designs, the scale and the unusual stones that were used. I bought an initial 20 pieces from an antique show about 30 years ago, which started my thirst for these beautiful objets d’art.”
Her collection included pieces from legendary names like Dior, Chanel, Lanvin and Sherman, and it eventually became so large she decided to approach the Toronto department store Holt Renfrew about doing a trunk show on vintage costume jewelry.
This is how Carole’s collection went from a passion to a business. Working with a network of dealers from all over the world, she has gathered an inventory over 20,000 pieces, each of which is hand selected with an eye for design, creativity, strength and exceptional
workmanship. “For me, craftsmanship is very important. I always say that if you look at a piece and can wear it backward (because of the clean workmanship), you are guaranteed a fine piece of costume jewelry,” explains Carole.
As to what pieces she’s hunting for next, Carole reveals. “There are several designers who I am always on the look out for. I adore the fantasy of the 60s Italian designer Coppola e Toppo, the hand wrought 50s sterling enamel flower brooches of Sandor, of course