The Napier brand dominated the costume jewelry genre during the 20th century. Now the popular brand gets its full due in The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry by Melinda Lewis and Henry Swen. Lewis spent 11 years researching the company and is self-publishing a hardbound, full color 1000+ page book with over 4000 images.
The book details the story of The Napier Company’s beginnings to its ultimate success with photos of costume jewelry designs throughout the decades. The brand mirrored the trends of the times, producing Egyptian and Art-Deco-themed pieces during the 1920s and ’30s and creating a popular bracelet for First Lady Mamie Eisenhower in the 1950s. The other author of the book, Henry Swen, was a Napier salesman who spent 35 years selling the jewelry and had first-hand knowledge of the brand throughout the years.
The Napier Company was one of the first modern corporations in the United States. The company went through many twists and turns over the years and changed hands several times but now, as part of the Jones Apparel Group, the jewelry is still manufactured and sold. The older pieces are highly prized among collectors and often fetch top prices.
It is a limited edition publication. The list price is $129.00, but they are offering $30.00 off for those who pre-order the book. Everyone who preorders will receive a bonus DVD including a lecture Melinda gave on The Napier Co., as well as videos of Melinda talking about and showing some of her favorite Napier pieces.