Napier Company (jewellery)
The Napier Company got its start in North Attleboro, Massachusetts 1875, under the name Whitney and Rice, manufacturing silver men's watch chains. In 1882, the company became known as Carpenter and Bliss, and shortly thereafter it had become the E. A. Bliss Company. The company relocated to Meriden, Connecticut in 1890, after the company sustained rapid growth in the previous decade. During World War I (and again in World War II), they ceased production of jewellery, and instead focussed on producing war-related items, such as medallions and medals.
Following World War I James H. Napier became the president of the company, and it became the Napier Bliss Company, finally taking the name by which it is now known, the Napier Company, in 1922. James Napier attended the 1925 World's Fair Exposition Internationale des Artes Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, and brought back with him many designs and influences from Parisian and European fashion. James Napier led the company from 1920 to 1960. In the 1950s, the Napier Company presented First Lady Mamie Eisenhower with a bracelet bearing an elephant design, which was reputedly one of her favorite pieces of jewellery, and which she wore often, and the Napier Company gifted the contestants of the 1955 Miss America Pageant with fashion jewellery.
In 1980, the company was bought by Victoria & Company. The plant in Meriden, Connecticut was closed by Victoria & Company on 15 October 1999. However, under the umbrella of Jones Apparel Group, Napier jewellery is still being manufactured and distributed.
Josephine, Teresa, Frances, and Mary of the Nati family were known as the staple of the workforce during the Napier plant's final days.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Napier produced necklaces and designs featuring Egyptian motifs, such as cobras. In the 1950s, they produced fan jewellery. Napier Jewellery is notable for its simple, modern, geometric and floral designs. Some of the metalwork bears resemblance to Mexican and Scandinavian designs.
From 1922 until its sale in 1980, all of the jewellery produced by the Napier company used the name "Napier" enclosed within a rectangle as its trademark.
Following the sale of the company, jewellery produced by the Napier Company bore the name "Napier" in script, as opposed to the previously mentioned trademark.
- A brief history of the company, and some examples of their work
- press release on the sale of Napier Company to Victoria & Company
- examples of jewellery and history of the Napier Company
- Another history of the Napier company
- An antique website, bearing a history of the Napier Company as well as a discussion of Napier designs