Monday, 4 August 2014

Rafael Canada Alfandary Jewelry - A brief History + Hallmarks and Signatures

Rafael Canada (Rafael Alfandary) was a Toronto Canada based jewelry designer in the 1970's.  The major bulk of his work spanned from about 1969/70-1978, creating somewhere around 500,000 pieces in this short time.  He closed the doors on his shop in about 1978 due to a business deal gone sour, a major jewelry company pulled an order already in production which Rafael was not able to recover from.
Please check out my Etsy store LuckyPatina for many examples of his work.

Three Distinct Hallmarks that can help to identify the age of a piece. 

The earliest of his Hallmarks was from about 1970-72, was simply him scratching his name into the back of a piece.  The Hand Signed versions are some of the most rare and desirable.  Often the designs of these pieces tend to be simple, often incorporating his most unusual glass stones.  (such as the "water color paint" glass stones and raised ones)  There are some later Hand Signed examples of his work, perhaps they were custom pieces made by Rafael himself instead of his Team.  

1970-72 Hand Signed Hallmark 

From about 1972-74 Rafael used the hallmark "Hand Crafted by Rafael Canada".   During this period Rafael had become more confident in his work and abilities.  Many pieces from this time are often more experimental, from  unusual stones to unique shapes.  During this period he designed many of his popular and top selling designs.  This hallmark later became obsolete because it was too "wordy" and did not fit well on some of his pieces. 

1972-74 long script  -  Hand Crafted by Rafael Canada

1974-78 Rafael used the "Rafael Canada" script hallmark.  This hallmark was much shorter than the previous one, also the use of script font made his brand look fancier and higher-end.  During this period Rafael had a fairly large catalog  of work, branching into Sterling Silver, Gold, Brass, Gold Plate, and Silver Plate.  He had also started branching into Housewares such as Planters, Ceiling Pendants, Mirrors, Sculptures, Clocks, etc. 

1974-78 Script Rafael Canada Hallmark

Friday, 7 February 2014

Rustic Home - Canadiana Style

I often consider my home to be rustic, eclectic and full of Canadiana.  Here are a few pictures from around my home.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Covet Garden Magazine

A few months ago, my Partner and I were approached to be in Covet Garden Magazine.  It was a great experience having the Covet Garden team in our home for a day.  I also like the idea of having a visual record of our life at that moment in time, after all us Canadian are nostalgic beasts.    (see if you can spot Bruce the Sloth somewhere in our home)
Check out our issue #42 at

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Gadsden's Toronto Vintage Clothing Show Spring 2014 Gadsden’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show Spring 2014 is almost here, a little less then 2 months away.  LuckyPatina Vintage was recently featured on their "Meet the top 30 Dealers" page with other great Vintage Dealers such as Scandimania and Samantha Howard Vintage.  One thing I can assure you about this show is the variety and outstanding caliber of the vintage jewelry that will be there.
March 30th cannot come quick enough!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Empty Ring Box and my Grandmother

Over the past years, my Grandmother has given me many treasures from furniture to jewelry.  Recently she gave me a little ring box that sparked my interest.  There was no ring in the box but a little story that came with it was far more touching.
Sometime in the 1940's my Grandmother was walking home from her job and noticed a ring in the window of Ciro Jewelry store.  Ciro was a higher end costume jewelry store in London.  She enquired about the ring and it was far too expensive for her.  Over the next year she saved until she had enough to purchase the ring.  She knew it was splurging to buy it, but after years of rationing and being frugal because of the war effort.....she needed to have some beauty and a little frivolous purchase to remind her she was in her 20's.
The little ring box represents my Grandmother to me, her strength and determination.  It also gives me an insight on her journey through life, her work ethic and love of all beautiful things.  Her house was broken into many years ago and the ring was taken, but the story and this little ring box still remain. 
My Grandmother Betty turned 92 in November and enjoys playing on her Mac laptop, listening to the CBC and doing puzzles.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Lucky 2014 - Discovering the Frame Wall

For the past two years I have bought a Lucky 2013-14 Hoop Embroidery from a shop on Etsy called HoopsyDaisies.  This shop is based out of Athens, Greece and has wonderful paper garlands and embroidery hoop art.
My Lucky 2013 Hoop brought a lot of change in our home for my Partner and myself; change of jobs, rediscovery of our passions, new friends, and a lot of personal growth.  If the Lucky 2014 is anything similar to its predecessor, this should be another great year. 
Currently my Lucky 2013-14 hoops are in a shadow box hung on my world famous frame wall (well famous with our friends). 
Lucky 2013, Lucky 2014 Embroidery Hoops from HoopsyDasies

A section of my frame wall.
Lucky 2014 Hoop - Photo by HoopsyDasies

Friday, 10 January 2014

Rafael Canada and The Women's Liberation Movement

Rafael adored women, their strength and courage.  Some of his most unusual designs are based around the Women's Liberation Movement.  Throughout the late 1960-1970s during the Women's Liberation Movement, he would occasionally design pieces to celebrate feminism.
Women's Liberation Necklace in Brass
An Early Example of his work - Venus of Willendorf

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Collecting Rafael Canada - Rafael Alfandary Rings

If you are interested in collecting Rafael Canada jewelry, one of the easiest to wear and most diverse areas is his rings.  Almost all of his rings are adjustable in size and they also come in a multitude of stunning rich colors.  Brass is the most common material used followed by copper, silver tone metal and sterling silver. 
Each one is truly a work of wearable art.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Quebec Modernist Enamel Jewelry
de Passille - Sylvestre Brooch - Picture by Scandimania
In the 1960-70's Quebec seemed to produce more then just Brutalist jewelry designers, it also produced a large handful of talented Modernist Enamel Artists.  I believe when these enamel items were originally produced, they were more of a souvenir you would pick up on a trip to Montreal.  They have become highly collectable over the past few years being that they are easy to wear and lend themselves to our modern aesthetics.
Key designers include; de Passille - Sylvestre, Robert Gervais, Jules Perrier, Claude Perrier, Monique Olivier, and Andre Gagneau.
Gervais Necklace - Picture by Oselart
Claude Perrier Necklace
Erotica de Passille - Sylvestre Belt Buckle - Picture by Scandimania
Monique Olivier Necklace

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Brutalist Design in Canada

Canada in the 1960-70's was really at the forefront of Modernist Jewelry and Design.  For some reason Canada as a whole embraced the Brutalist aesthetic.  Everything from buildings to chastity belts were created in Brutalist design.
Robert Larin Necklace
To most people today who are not familiar with this design aesthetic, Brutalism comes across a crude, sloppy and sometimes aggressive.  The more you study it, the more you realize how it is actually a very controlled and organic form of design.  Most pieces have a sense of fluidity and are works of art. 
Some of my favorite Canadian Brutalist jewelry designers are Robert Larin, Guy Vidal, Rafael Alfandary, Jean Claude Darveau and Bernard Chaudron.
Guy Vidal Brooches
Jean Claude Darveau Necklace and Earrings
Robert Larin Gold Plated Necklace
Rafael Alfandary "Muhammad Ali" Necklace in Copper and Brass

Friday, 3 January 2014

Rafael Canada Nautical Inspiration

Over the past year of collecting Rafael Canada jewelry, I have noticed a love of all things nautical in his designs.  I have owned several pieces ranging from Anchors to Ship Wheels.  All very unique and all still very wearable!
Ships Ahoy!
Rafael Canada Copper Anchor Necklace with glass stone
Rafael Canada Ship Wheel necklace with green glass stone
Rafael Canada Brass Boat