Kasoff’s creations had an Old World look influenced by Victorian Revival and Renaissance styles and included ornate gold-plated metal bracelets, brooches, earrings, rings, and necklaces.
From A Stolen Coat To Florenza JewelryDaniel Kasoff had one of the most interesting and unexpected entries into the costume jewelry world.
As it happens, while having dinner at a restaurant, someone stole Daniel's coat and another customer, the founder of Speier Costume Jewelry Company, gave him the money to buy a new coat.
Later, Daniel Kasoff repaid Speier, who was so impressed that he offered him a job at his company. Dan worked for Mr. Speier for 10 years, learning the business and honing his talent for design, which will later help him create the beautiful Florenza jewelry.
In 1937, Daniel opened his own costume jewelry company, the Dan Kasoff Corporation. His son, Larry, joined him in the business in 1950, and the name changed to Florenza for Daniel's wife was named Florence.
Florenza (Dan Kasoff, Inc.) specialized in gold-plated metal bracelets, earrings, brooches, rings, and necklaces in Victorian revival and renaissance styles.
Also, Daniel Kasoff’s company designed its own pieces as well as manufactured fashion jewelry for others.
Florenza jewelry was sold to wholesalers that sold it to retailers, including upscale department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Jewelry lines such as Hattie Carnegie, Coro, Louis Kramer, and Weiss contracted with Florenza to make jewelry for them. Dan Kasoff, Inc. also produced lavish perfume bottles for high-end cosmetics companies, Estee Lauder and Revlon.
When Kasoff died, Larry took charge of the Florenza jewelry company, but a serious car accident in 1981 made him unable to continue. He closed the firm’s doors the same year. At that time Dan Kasoff, Inc. was about to introduce a new line of jewelry that was nothing less than magnificent. Unfortunately, that jewelry never made it to the market.
Still, Larry has remained active in the vintage costume jewelry world, though, and has been particularly interested in archiving the designs and otherwise preserving the history of Florenza.
The Fabulous Florenza Jewelry
Florenza jewelry was constructed using high-quality workmanship, materials, and designs.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the company's jewelry has been and is so appreciated is that Daniel personally supervised the designs and their manufacture.
Actually, Daniel Kasoff and his son, Larry, designed most of the Florenza jewelry pieces.
Florenza was known for its cameos, which were hand-carved into shell, glass, and resin, often in a design that was branded as Wedgwood Mocha.
While flower shapes such as tulips and fuchsias graced many Florenza demi-parures, Daniel Kasoff and his designers were also inspired by stars, some referencing the natural world, others that were taken from history.
The use of pastel and frosted rhinestones made Florenza jewelry even more exquisite.
In particular, Daniel Kasoff’s company produced a great number of variations of the Maltese cross, whose cabochons, navettes, and other rhinestones shimmered from settings of antiqued silvertone and electroplated 24-karat gold.
Another thing that Florenza is known for is its use of filigree and necklaces that are fairly dripped with decorative gold chains.
Florenza operated under the name Dan Kasoff, Inc. as a manufacturing industry, and did not start marking its own production jewelry FLORENZA until around 1949-1950.
Florenza-made and Florenza-marked jewelry and boutique items, such as vanity dresser products, decorative accessories, (key chains, lipstick caddies, picture frames, jeweled vanity boxes, nodding animal pin cushions, and saccharin holders) were sold in fine department stores throughout the U.S. – including Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Sax Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller.
Making Florenza Jewelry - Materials Used
Daniel Kasoff used only the finest stones from Austria, Germany, and the Far East, and many were made especially for Dan Kasoff, Inc.
- Specialty glass rhinestones
- Aurora Borealis
- Faux pearls
- Antiqued silver-tone metal
- Faux opals, turquoise, jade
- Colorado topaz
- Antiqued gold-plated metal
- Tiffany-style settings
Florenza Jewelry Marks
“FLORENZA”, in block letters within a square or rectangle or in a script and circled. After 1955, a copyright symbol was added.
“ROSENFELD BY FLORENZA”. Rosenfeld was a handbag company that bought jewelry from Florenza. They were the only customer who put both their name and Florenza’s on the jewelry.
“LORRAINE MARSEL” in an oval with a copyright symbol.
The jewelry was not marked until Daniel found out that “Original Sculptural Expressions” could be applied to the Washington copyright office.
Some Florenza jewelry pieces are not marked because the wholesaler wanted to put his own mark on them or because they were part of a set. For instance, only the bracelet or necklace was stamped.
Collectible Vintage Florenza Jewelry
As expected, nearly every piece of Florenza jewelry is rare and, therefore, collectible.
For example, we can talk about the Heliotrope Rhinestone Brooch set.
Florenza included many Maltese crosses in its jewelry, but this one, in particular, is a work of art.
It was produced with high-end art glass and named after the flower, heliotrope, for the pink, purple and blue colors.
The brooch and earrings are made of silver-tone metal, cabochons, navettes, and Aurora Borealis rhinestones.
Another piece full of charm and mystery is the Ewer Perfume Vinaigrette Necklace.
A vinaigrette was a small decorative box that ladies used during Victorian times to carry perfume while traveling. Eventually, the box was replaced with a pendant.
In addition to its practical value, wearing a vinaigrette signaled that the lady was of a high social rank.
This Florenza vinaigrette was fashioned from gold-tone metal and decorated with red rhinestones, faux turquoise, and finished off with a faux pearl on top.
Also, let’s not forget the interesting cheetah brooch with a moveable tail, which is one example of Florenza jewelry house’s innovative creations.
Another point worth noting is the fact that Daniel patented 24K gold or gold alloy finishes, “Florenza Gold,” “French Gold” and “French Rose.”
Florenza Jewelry For Your Loved OnesFrom the beginning years, Florenza jewelry had a distinctive design and look, one that belonged to Daniel Kasoff’s company exclusively.
Thus the name stuck among collectors: Fabulous Florenza.
Collectors of today may be interested in particular in Florenza costume jewelry made of faux sapphire (glass stones), but much of the Florenza line was produced with excellent art glass stones and in unique color combinations.
Many of these pieces with high-end art glass are highly sought.
Whether you are a jewelry collector, a jewelry lover or simply want to give a gift to a loved one or want to bring a smile to your partner's face, you certainly won't go wrong with Florenza jewelry. Explore now our DSF Antique Jewelry store and find the perfect piece for you!