A Cottage Fit For A King
World-renowned jeweler, Raymond C. Yard came from humble beginnings. In fact, his career began as a door boy for Marcus & Co., one of the premier New York jewelry houses around the turn of the last century. He rose through the ranks as a salesman and was eventually discovered and patronized by none other than John. D. Rockefeller, Jr., who helped him open his first shop at 522 Fifth Avenue.
Over the years, Yard developed a unique Art Deco style that incorporated different cuts of stones with enamel accents. Two motifs have become most associated with Yard - rabbits, dressed in formal wear, in various poses (usually serving drinks), and small whimsical houses, of which this brooch, which I acquired from a client in Boston and presented to my wife, is one. In fact, this style of Yard "cottage" was frequently seen, with its delightfully colored tree arching up and over the roof of the simple, sparkling dwelling.
Eventually, the well-heeled (especially of New York) began to commission Yard to create gemstone representations of their own houses, and the brooches became more elaborate. But, the early house brooches mirrored Yard's own humble beginnings, for they were simple, carefully imagined, and consummately crafted. Cottages they were, but fit for kings. In fact, somewhere along the way, it would not surprise me to know that this delightful bauble itself might have caught the eye of a turn-of-the-century king of industry. But for now, it is truly a treasure for the wife of a fortunate jeweler.delivered it to her, I wished her a long, strong, and very blessed life.