By Brecken Branstrator
This new collection of archival manuscripts given to the Newark Museum completes the country’s most comprehensive jewelry design archive available to the public, the museum said.
Newark, N.J.--The Newark Museum has added to its extensive jewelry collection with a set of archival manuscripts from Krementz & Co., the well-known manufacturer that made jewelry in the city for more than 140 years.

The set includes approximately 140 cost books, 43 scrapbooks, 10 trade catalogs and 14 rare books plus several linear feet of paper records including histories, advertisements, pamphlets, renderings, patents and photographs, according to a museum spokesperson.

There also is one small box of salesmen’s samples, comprised mostly of collar buttons, for which Krementz was well known.

With the acquisition, the Newark Museum said it now has the most comprehensive jewelry design archive accessible to the public in the United States.

Founded by George Krementz, Krementz & Co. was the largest and longest surviving of Newark’s jewelry manufacturers, operating from 1866 to 2009.

It created a range of jewelry styles--brooches, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks and more--in 14-karat gold, selling to a number of upscale retailers across the country, including Tiffany & Co.

The manuscript collection now is housed in in the museum’s Library and Archives, where it is available for viewing by appointment to researchers, educators, visitors and anyone else who wishes to see it.

The museum has received two other major donations in recent years to build its jewelry holdings.

In 2013, Richard Krementz, the great-grandson of the company’s founder, gifted the museum’s Library and Archives with approximately 150 items comprising the complete design archives of Krementz & Co. from 1864 to 1969. Most of these objects are cost books or a variation on them, including designs and photographs.

Another donation of archival materials came to the Library and Archives two years later from Emily Rebmann, who was a graduate student in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware at the time and now is the engagement officer at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

She was the first graduate student to writer her master’s thesis about men’s jewelry using Krementz’s archives.

This second donation consisted of 40 scrapbooks of advertisements dating from the 1890s to the 1970s. It also includes patents, trade catalogues, brochures and pamphlets, photographs and other financial and legal information.

A number of rare books on jewelry that served as design sources for the company were transferred to the Library’s Rare Book Collection.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.