When looking through vintage jewellery, indulging in some non handbag perusing (yes it does happen). I came across a charming brooch that appealing to my love of Rabbits and Art Deco. It turns out that this lovely brooch was by renowned jeweller Raymond Yard, who was noted for his Bunny brooches. My appetite had been whetted and I wanted to know even more about about who was Yard. Based on my research, Raymond Yard was an esteemed and coveted jeweller, who began his career at the tender age of 13 1898. First as a door boy at Marcus & Co, a high end jeweller at the time. Learning the industry from the very bottom, Yard rose to eventually gaining his own clients (One John D Rockerfellers Jr.). Now with his gift for creating beautiful jewellery and vital contacts Yard began his own jewellery company. Yards jewellery were not only used the most exquisite gem stones but he elevated Art Deco Jewellery into another level of glamour. His clientele including the cream of New York society; the Rockerfellers, Flaglers, Woolworths, Vamderbilts and Fleischmann. In addition to Hollywood royalty such as Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks.
Now back the Bunny brooches. His very first appeared in December 1928 and what this followed where arguably his most famous style of jewellery. Where his inspiration cam from to not just use regular Rabbits but humanised one is unclear. Maybe his was influenced by the crop of children’s book at the time (Beatrix Potter, Brear Rabbit, Velveteen Rabbit plus Alice in Wonderland had began prepresting Rabbits in a more human style). Or maybe he had had Rabbits of his own and challenged his memories with a hint of whimsical wonder. Yard would have his Bunnies dress mostly as butler serving his customers with bottles Champagne or some other beverage. The little cocktail glasses are dainty with delicate detail as well as Bunnies costume which always changed. An important point, maybe a reason for their success was that at the time of their launch Prohibition was still in effect. Appealing to his clients desire for not only a drink but a luxuriously presented Rabbit serving them a coveted cocktail. Though Yard did later include other woodland creatures, his Bunny Butlers are his most renowned, showing that luxury can have a sense of whimsical but never tacky. If this was to be replicated by most jewellers now, it could easily become tacky and gauche. Yard saves Bunny from disgrace, charming generations with his beautiful Bunny Brooches.