The Jakob Bengel factory was founded in 1873 in Idar-Oberstein - and started by making watch chains. They began making jewellery around 1900 - mainly exporting to France. In 1928 Coca Chanel made costume jewellery acceptable and the firm expanded. The Bengel factory is best known for its stunning Art Deco jewellery in mainly white metals and galalith. The range was huge and the Art Deco designs superb. Unfortunately the war interrupted exports and by 1943 the only market left was Italy. In the 1950's the factory was mainly making chains. In 2001 the Stifling Bengel was founded and the factory became a museum (and they have a Facebook page!). It doesn't say in the books - but some years ago a lot of the jewellery and components left in the factory from the downturn was sold off. I bought some jewellery and components (unfortunately not the best!). Some of it was Art Deco and some earlier. I still have a quantity of the components that I use for repair. This is why it is so difficult to identify Jakob Bengel Art Deco jewellery when you get a piece. It could be completely original. It could be assembled from Bengel components. It could be a mixture. Some pieces I have seen have been rechromed. It could be painted/repainted - and it could be a fake! I do my best to accurately describe a piece from my experience of handling Jakob Bengel components and my reference books - but I can be mistaken! However the Art Deco designs/output of this factory in the 1930's was just amazing! "Art Deco Schmuck" Christianne Weber - Arnoldsche "Bengel Art Deco Schmuch" Wilhelm Lindemann & Others - Arnoldsche "Zeitgeist" W. Lindemann & Anne Babara Knerr -Arnoldsche

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