Jewel of the day: Staret torch brooch

Staret was a costume jewellery business about whom little is known today. They were in business briefly in the early 1940s and are known for pot metal pieces, often overscale and enamelled and rhinestone set. This 1942 torch brooch is their most well-known design – but mine is a fake, which I knowingly bought as such. The real deal costs a lot (last time I checked, in the vicintiy of $1,000-$1,500) and I really just liked the design and was happy to have it, even if it isn’t the one made by Staret.

This piece is in a lot of collector’s books and web sites; the wonderful jewellery site Morning Glory Antiques has a great array of Staret pieces and the real thing, whose photo I show below.  Note the subtle differences in the shape of the flame, the rhinestones on the base of the torch, the nails and the shape and angle of the hand itself.  It’s easy to be fooled – even noted costume jewellery historians Carla and Roberto Brunialti used the fake torch in their noted book “A Tribute to America”.

Fake Staret torch brooch; IntoTemptation collection
Authentic Staret torch brooch; photo Morning Glory Antiques

8 thoughts on “Jewel of the day: Staret torch brooch

  1. Thanks for the wonderful clear photograph of the reproduction compared to the authentic piece and your description of the differences which when compared to the original are obvious (also note the real one has a double band of rhinestones on the cuff). Your repro is lovely and I too own a few because I could not have the real, but hopefully your post will save someone the heartache of thinking they are buying an authentic piece and paying the price of one too. There are many Staret fakes out there.

  2. Where can I go to find out whether my Staret torch brooch is authentic? The flame on mine looks more like the one in the authentic picture and it also has a double band of rhinestones on the cuff, and the shape and angle of the hand also looks authentic but the rhinestone on the bottom is silver and not red. I live in Los Angeles and would really like to find out if it is authentic Staret.

    1. Is it possible the rhinestone on the botton is a replacement? Try Domont (though I just checked their website and tomorrow is their last day before going exclusively online); their site is http://www.domontjewelry.com/. They’re on Sunset near S. Vicente.

      1. I’d be surprised if it’s worth more than maybe $150, possibly a little more or less. Your best bet is to check for it online and see if anyone still sells it.

  3. Thanks to everyone for the info on the repros. I really appreciate it. I guess $18.00 wasn’t too bad of an investment. I really do love the pin.

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