Original by Robert was founded in 1942 in New York by Robert Levy, David Jaffee and Irving Landsman.
Unique handmade beaded jewelry “Original by Robert” is often compared to the work of Miriam Haskell and Stanley Hagler due to the similar use of beads, filigree workmanship and intricate unique jewelry design.
In the 1960s, Robert Levy created a whimsical line of jewelry using colored enamels. The main themes of popular brooches of that time were floral, fruit and vegetable motifs in rich and bright colors.
More rarely, animals, insects and ladies’ wardrobe items in the form of umbrellas and hats became design elements of “Original by Robert” jewelry using colored enamels. Brooches issued by the company in the 1960s became the epitome of that era and were very popular with ladies.
“Original by Robert” jewelry has been used in several Hollywood films, including Elia Kazan’s 1952 film Viva Zapata! with Marlon Brando, Jean Peters and Anthony Quinn.
In 1975, David Jaffe’s daughter Ellen joined the company, and after Robert Levy retired in 1979, the company was renamed “Ellen Designs for Robert Originals”. And although the name of the creator and chief designer appeared in the name of the company, he no longer had a direct relationship with either the management of the company or the design of jewelry.
The name of the company changed again in 1984 to “Ellen Designs” at that time the company was managed by Ellen Jaffe and her husband John Wagman, and in the mid-1980s the company ceased to exist.