Lea Stein

Lea Stein

Lea Stein, a French trained artist and one of the great modern French jewellery designers, started her own company producing her own costume jewellery in France in the mid-1950s.

Her jewellery entails multi-layered celluloid pieces, called rhodoid, and consists of cellulose acetate sheets with textures and colors.  This process was invented by Lea's husband, Fernand Steinberger. Often lace or metal layers were incorporated into the celluloid producing a unique textured look to the jewellery pieces.

Her fantastic whimsical designs and uniqueness of her craft has never been duplicated by any other designer of jewellery. Lea’s most valuable jewellery designs occurred in the 1930s - 1960s with different styles of foxes, dogs, bunnies, birds, and ducks as well as disco-styled women, mod-styled children, flowers, cars. hats, purses and lots of little things such as stars, hearts and rainbows. Lea Stein’s important jewellery years were from 1969 to 1980 when she employed 50 workers and was mass producing jewellery.

In 1980, she discontinued production due to high production costs and Asian competition and sold a big part of her remaining stock to an American dealer. In the late 1980s, Lea Stein again started in business creating and designing plastic jewellery. Ever since 1988, she has created new pieces for the collection including Gomina the sleeping cat and Ric the terrier.

Lea Stein is still in business today and her jewellery is made in France.