1939 – 1973s
Henry Schreiner founded the Schreiner Jewelry Company in 1939. He had been a blacksmith in Bavaria, Germany and emigrated to the US in 1923. He started to work for the Better Buckle Company working with metals designing and fashioning belt buckles, buttons and dress fasteners. Henry learned a lot working there, and soon he started designing and creating his own jewelry as well as working for other brands: Adele Simpson, Norman Norell, and Christian Dior.
His jewelry had a very distinctive design. Many pieces were created specially for fashion shows and were quite big and spectacular. Schreiner often used flower designs: daises, sunflowers, white marguerites, cornflowers, geraniums. There were also pins of dragonflies, carrots, pineapples, turtles, acorns, and other unusual shapes. In his work, Shreiner used expensive custom made special shaped stones of rare colours made in Germany by skilled Czechoslovakian craftsmen. Those stones were unique and are no longer being manufactured.
Schreiner jewelry had a unique style because of the designs with reverse-mounted rhinestones and unusual color combinations of the stones.
Schreiner pieces of jewelry were never mass-produced, the company did only fine handwork. No media advertising was necessary to sell their costume jewelry: the pieces made were so highly fashionable and attention-getting they sold themselves.
Henry’s daughter Terry and her husband Ambros Albert joined the firm in 1953 and continued to run it after Henry Schreiner’s death in 1954.
Some of the earlier and custom-made pieces were not signed. The jewelry marked "Schreiner", "Schreiner of New York", and "Schreiner Jewelry" was made for retail sales. The company also designed ornaments for Elizabeth Arden. The family ceased operations of the company in 1973.
The Schreiner Jewelry is believed to be some of the finest made and most admired of the vintage jewelry found today. It is notable for its highest quality (custom-made rhymestones of unusual shapes and colours, always set in prongs), spectacular design (massive and eye-striking pieces, brooches often 3-dimensional), and unusual colour combinations. Schreiner Jewelry is rare and highly sought after by collectors.