Monday, August 13, 2012

THE JEWELER'S DAUGHTER


Born on the Fourth of July, in 1904, Doris Manz was the younger of Gustav Manz's two daughters with first wife Martha Bachem. In this detail from a circa 1920s studio photograph, Doris is wearing a ring stack that includes a bezel-set cabochon (possibly her birthstone) and a tasseled chain wound around her wrist. According to her family, before her marriage in 1932 Doris worked as a gem broker, selling stones to Cartier, Black Starr & Frost, and Harry Winston while simultaneously traveling the country as her father's sales agent. 





Around this time, Doris sat for Neysa McMein, the artist responsible for McCall's American Beauty series; the resulting portrait—representing "The Scandinavian American Girl"—appeared on the magazine's November 1924 cover. (Surely an issue worth splurging a Liberty head dime on!)  

        




Doris's business card, shown above, is pasted inside a copy of George F. Kunz's Rings for the Finger. The inscription on the flyleaf reads:

For 
Miss Doris Manz, 
  In appreciation of a 
friend of her father 
  the author
  George Frederick Kunz
  27 August 1920
  New York 

Next to his autograph, Kunz sketched a hieroglyph or rune engraved on a stone. We'd give anything to know if Tiffany's swashbuckling gemologist was just showing off his calligraphy or offering a secret handshake to a colleague's ambitious 16-year-old daughter, who was about to follow her grandparents (diamond ring manufacturers in Pforzheim and Newark) and father into the family trade.

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Copyright © Laura Mathews, 2014 

All Rights Reserved 
 GUSTAV MANZ LLC
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