Understanding vintage conditions

Understanding vintage conditions

This post describes how we determine the vintage conditions of any McClelland Barclay jewellery or home decor product for sale on this site.

Identifying if a piece was authentic takes time and knowledge of the works the artist was known to have created. This includes the signature or maker's marks known to have been used by McClelland Barclay and his manufacturers.

McClelland Barclay Vintage Costume Jewellery

McClelland Barclay vintage costume jewellery is rare and highly collectible because was only made for a short period of time: from 1938-1943.

McClelland Barclay jewellery is also prized because of the Art Deco and Art Moderne designs by the artist, the quality of materials and skilled workmanship of the maker, Rice-Weiner & Company. Rice-Weiner was a specialist manufacturer in the jewellery-making centre of Providence, Rhode Island.

Back view showing makers marks on McClelland Barclay Art Deco sterling silver framed dove brooch

Marks on the jewellery vary, depending on the product line and the materials used, for example in the Art Deco framed dove brooch shown above, you can see the marks: "McClelland Barclay STERLING SILVER".

For each product there is a description of vintage conditions. This assessment is was conducted by Patricia Gostick, as a longtime McClelland Barclay jewellery collector, reseller and the author of the artist's biography. It is based on the item's current condition and include notes about signs of wear, marks, scratches or changes in colouration. Also provided is an estimate of each product's production dates, known materials based on patents, trade advertising and other resources.

Vintage McClelland Barclay Metal Art Products

McClelland Barclay mark on the base of pair of gold-plated elephant bookends made in the 1930s

After becoming a successful commercial illustrator of both advertising and magazine editorial stories in the 1920s, the market was changing. The Great Depression, along with the further adoption of photography and colour printing influenced a change in the demand for his work. In the 1930s, McClelland Barclay began to pursue the design and marketing of home decor products as a way to continue his remarkable commercial success as an artist.

An opportunity to design a sculpture for a sailing trophy launched him into a new three-dimensional medium. To facilitate this, he created a new company: McClelland Barclay Art Products. Inc., and began designing and producing small metal figurines, desk accessories and decorative wall art. His company existed from the early 1930s, until 1938, when Barclay sold his designs to Dodge Inc., the maker of the Oscar (Academy Awards) statue. A few items on this site were made by this company, and are marked as such.

Each of the vintage McClelland  Barclay home decor products offered on this site were collected and authenticated by me. A vintage condition description for each item takes into account any signs of wear, function or aging. I also indicate where the makers marks are found, such as on the pair of gold plated metal elephant bookends shown above.

Questions About Vintage Conditions?

For more information please see the vintage conditions page. If you have any questions about a specific product you might be interested in, please get in touch.

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