Mazer Brothers/Jomaz (Est. 1927 – 1977) When the large Mazer family (including seven sons) moved to America from Russia, it is unlikely they anticipated that the jewelry two of the brothers –Joseph and Louis- would produce would become highly sought after by collectors.
The Mazer Brothers opened their first business in 1917. It produced shoe buckles using the trade name, Franco-American Bead Company of Philadelphia. Experts remain uncertain about how many of the other Mazer brothers entered the jewelry trade, but, in 1927, Louis and Joseph opened a new company in New York called, Mazer Brothers.
Louis was general director and designer. The brothers marketed their product as “Jewels of Elegance.” Later, the company would change its name to Joseph Mazer and Company, Inc.
Among the designers who worked for Mazer Brothers in the 1930’s was the master designer, Marcel Boucher. He became one of America’s most highly regarded costume jewelry designers after he left Mazer brothers in 1937 to form his own company.
The Mazer Company experimented with multiple techniques to create metal alloys. The jewelry it manufactured was of high quality and often used Swarovski rhinestones and crystals. It sold in costume jewelry’s mid-range pricing.
Many of Mazer’s early pieces were designed to look like fine jewelry. The high quality and color of their rhinestones as well as the plating techniques could, at first glance, be mistaken for real gold and gemstones. Their jewelry was marked “Mazer,” “Mazer Bros.” or “Sea-Maze.”
In the mid-1940’s, Joseph left the company and opened his own firm, Joseph J. Mazer & Co., with his son, Lincoln. That company became known as Jomaz because of the mark used on the jewelry. Louis Mazer continued to work for the original firm, Mazer Brothers, until 1951 when the company produced its last jewelry collection.
Jomaz designs often combined metals to create a two-tone effect. Metalwork was often textured or irregular. Cabochons that rarely appear on most costume jewelry were frequently used on Jomaz pieces. Large square-cut pastes that infrequently appeared on most costume jewelry after the 1940s were a Jomaz feature that continued into the late 1970s.
Joseph preferred abstract to figural designs and is best known for 1940s “cocktail-style” pieces, often square-cut pastes that were set in gold-plated silver in a jewelry technique known as “vermeil.” Mazer, like Trifari and Boucher, sold many “vermeil “snake-chain” necklaces.
In the early 1950s Mazer jewelry was designed by AndréFleurida. Other designers using the Mazer trademark signature were Adolfo, in 1970; Thierry Mugler, in 1978; and Sandra Miller.
The earlier jewelry is marked “MAZER BROS” and “Mystere” in script for earrings and brooches from 1949 while later pieces are marked “MAZER” 1946 to 1981 or “JOMAZ” also 1946 to 1981 and “JOSEPH MAZER”. All the jewelry exhibit beautiful craftsmanship.
Mazer Brothers went out of business in 1977. Joseph Mazer retired in the mid-1960s and passed the firm’s directorship to his son, Lincoln Mazer, who died in 1976. Afterward, Lincoln’s widow ran the company and continued to produce new collections each year until 1981.
Regardless of the mark, almost anything with the Mazer/Mazer Bros/Jomaz mark is a beautifully designed, of high quality and very collectible.