Joanne Victorie Wiertella has been collecting antique cast metal jewel boxes (also known as caskets and trinket boxes) for more than 25 years. When she visited antique shops, dealers didn't seem to know very much about them. So began Wiertella's quest for information. As she learned that there was virtually nothing current written about these beautiful antiques, she began to research trade periodicals and catalogs of the early 1900s. They say that "everyone has a book in them," and as her knowledge on the subject grew, she decided to write and publish her own: The Jewel Box Book: The Definitive Guide to American Art Metal Jewelry Boxes 1900—1925.
Since the publication of The Jewel Box Book, Wiertella continues to research the manufacturers of these antiques and add to her collection. Today, her collection comprises over 550 jewel boxes and numerous early catalogs picturing jewel boxes from the beginning of the 1900s. She writes articles for various antique and collectibles publications, gives presentations on the history of jewel boxes, and particularly enjoys corresponding with other collectors of these fanciful and varied art metal boxes.
Wiertella received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. Her passion for the arts expresses itself in weaving, painting, designing needlework projects, and designing costumes. Wiertella also works with her husband Larry in his natural resources and ecology endeavors. They live in Michigan, where they share their love of art, crafts, music, and collecting with their two grown children.
THE PROBLEM of choosing gifts approaches with Christmas ….The fever begins about the first of December and reaches its climax with the last week before Christmas, making necessary many tours of the shops; where this is impossible the following illustrations and suggestions will be found useful. Perhaps the easiest presents to select are those for women, including the very little maid and the grandmother …. Beautiful articles are exhibited in the new copper gold ware in the form of jewel cases, photograph frames, opera glasses, desk accoutrements and bric-a-brac.