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[Tidbits] Science Fiction and Jewelry

Science Fiction and Jewelry.

Azimov anyone? Of course, he had nothing to do with this…other
than having been the creator of various fine science fiction
stories …a passion of my youth. The fact of the matter is, however,
that science fiction became the motif of–if not many–then at least
one piece of jewelry.

It’s the mid forties to the early fifties. I become sweat-drenched
in the realization that I remember those days well. Ye gads. Who
woulda thunk it? Extravaganza was once again rearing her fickle head
and making herself known among the artist-jewelers of that time. The
era of drab and prosaic, of mundane and lackluster and lifelessness
was about to be tossed out the window. The jewelers of the day heard
the call for innovation…and they complied.

There was a fellow named Sam Kramer. Started working in Greenwich
Village, New York, around 1939. And from that time forward, he
produced a series of off-beat, rather eclectic designs in silver.
Many of the artists of that time were influenced in part by the
newly discovered molecular frameworks that were being illustrated at
the 1939 New York World Fair and at the 1951 Festival of Britain.
Judging by Sam Kramer’s work-- of which I will soon show you a
piece–I would have to believe he was no exception to that

Many of the artists of the day were Europeans who had had to flee the
war and come to America. The boundaries between fine art and
decorative art were being decimated. Kramer was no exception.

As time passed his work became more and more abstract. He began to
accentuate texture and rough-edged contours in his work. His work
was–in fact–in direct opposition to the traditional modes used in
the jewelry industry. He was an innovator.

And so we came from fine jewelry…to jewelry whose inceptions were
culled from science and science fiction…to jewelry inceptions that
were culled from comic books…albeit science fiction comic books.
Such was the case of our pal Sam Kramer. In 1947 he created a piece
which was inspired by science fiction comics.

I don’t know where this item resides today. It may lie in someone’s
private showcase. It may reside on view behind a glass protected
barrier in a museum somewhere. Either way…I hope it lies under a
heading labeled “Chutzpah”…Yiddish for brazen gall.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits…and then click on the link that says: Comics…where you
will see a graphic of a bejeweled pin in silver and
gold…inspired by science fiction comics.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week. Benjamin Mark

TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel: 1-800-20-TYLER
E-Mail to:

Wonderful! Sam Kramer’s design owes much to the book cover art of
the 40’s and 50’s done by Richard Powers, one of the godfathers of
science fiction art. Powers’ work inspired many of the modern science
fiction artists, my husband among them.

Janet Kofoed