LEFT: L 2.2“, W 0.60 oz. Ceramic on silvertone. Unsigned. Extremely abundant - the "Spaghetti Wings" pendant. RIGHT: L 2.2”, W 0.62 oz. Glass on silvertone. Common. The most common version (left) has an oval (not round) belly cab and is never seen jointed. To its right are the front and back of a “Round Belly” version of Spaghetti Wings, also common. The next three photographs will show structural variations in the Round Belly pendant.
L 2.5“, W 0.85 oz. Glass on silvertone. Three segments. Available. The above Round Belly pendant is divided into three segments joined by a flexible chain (see its back, right). This variation is not as common as the unjointed version, but is not rare.
L 3.0“, W 0.74 oz. Glass on silvertone. Available. The three segments of this round Belly pendant are joined by two O rings. This comical variation is not hard to find on eBay, though you may have to look for a month or so (2005). There is also a version of this that does not use the intermediate rings (see next photo).
L 2.8", W 0.75 oz. As previous, except the eyes on the head and tail sections face sidewards allowing direct linking to the midsection.
L 2.6“, W 0.67 oz. Glass on silvertone. Rare? The three segments of this Round Belly variation are joined by two O rings on the head and one on the tail. Note also the flat backing on the midsection. I have only seen one example with this construction. However I have not been looking for it for more than a couple years, and it is not so easy to spot in eBay photos, so it may not be as rare as I presently estimate. Do you have one like this?
LEFT: L 2.1”, W 1.91 oz. Greatly enlarged image in brass of an ancient Greek coin. Common in this metal. RIGHT: L 2.1“, W 1.69 oz. Same as previous, this in bronzetone. The pendant on the right has a less corrupted image. This version was not seen until a few years ago, but since then I have seen a few more. BOTH: The coin modeled is an ancient Athenian tetradrachma, c. 550 BC. The other side bears an image or Athena, facing left, in a crested helmet.
LEFT: L 2.1“, W 1.15. Silvertone. Signed Goldette. Uncommon. Common unsigned. RIGHT: L 2.1”, W 0.45 oz. Plastic. Paper label on back reads “Made in Hong Kong.” Rare. The pendant on the right was purchased in a Lompoc, CA thrift store in 1998. It is not an impressive piece, hence perhaps sellers on eBay are reluctant to offer it, or perhaps most were discarded years ago.
LEFT: L 2.3“, W 1.15 oz. Silvertone. Unsigned. Very common. RIGHT: L 2.3”, W 1.15 oz. Signed on back: J C Ferrara, Sterling. Rare. We call this abundant design “Orbit-Ears” since the contours of the eye orbits are used to form the ears as well. Orbit-Ears is usually seen with a cabachon (often a natural stone) mounted on its midsection. I have seen hundreds of Orbit-Ears pendants, but only the one above-right has been signed. This pair of images provides practice at recognizing sterling. To me, the perch of the piece on the right looks like silver. Note also the black corrosion, as on the bale.
LEFT: L 3.4“, W 2.07. Plastic on silvertone. Unsigned. Abundant. RIGHT: L 3.4”, W 2.12 oz. Plastic on silvertone. Signed RAFAELIAN. Rare. These are examples of the Ridged Orbits version of a “Slotted Wings” pendant. This design is also seen every month or so on eBay with the signature “Cinerama, Cranston, RI”. But only one example of the “Rafaelian” signature has been offered on eBay for a couple years, and hence may be rare. Otherwise both the pendants above are nearly identical. The signature “Rafaelian” also replaces “Cinerama” on owl head pendant wearing a mortarboard.
LEFT: L 2.4“, W 1.02 oz. Enameled (?) inset in goldtone. Signed Gold Crown Inc. Fairly common. RIGHT: L 2.4”, W 1.12 oz. Enamel on goldtone. Signed Gold Crown Inc. Rare. The colors on the pendant on the left do not vary, and are applied to a black backed inset. The pendant on the right is the only example I have seen of this type in a single color. Its entire back is goldtone metal. It was purchased on eBay in 2004.
LEFT: L 2.5“, W 0.69 oz. Enamel on silvertone. Signed Art. Available. RIGHT: L 2.5”, W 0.71 oz. Enamel on goldtone. Signed Art. Rare. The pendant on the LEFT is not common but one shows up on eBay every month or so. The one on the RIGHT was not seen until around 2004 and is uncommon. However more are showing up since, hence old stock may have been released.
LEFT: L 5.0“, W 2.69 oz. Silvertone. Unsigned. Available. RIGHT: L 4.8”, W 1.85 oz. Silvertone. Signed JC Ferrara. Rare. Unsigned pendants of this type, like the one on the left, are not common, but several have been offered on eBay in recent years. By contrast, no signed version has been offered on eBay, at least not since about 2002. The signed version here was purchased at a Nipomo, CA swap meet in 1999. Possibly it is a knock off of the unsigned version since the hemispherical metal eyes could be molding glass eyes such as on the left. Even with the piece in hand the signature is difficult to read.
LEFT: L 3.8“, W 1.37 oz. Signed Pewter. Available. RIGHT: L 4.2”, W 1.27 oz. Signed Sterling. Rare. These are examples of the “Phalanx” design, which is abundant unsigned. However I have never seen another example of the variation on the right, which is in sterling. It was purchased in Oxnard, California around 1994.
BOTH: L 3.6“, signed Gold Crown Inc. LEFT: W 1.31 oz. Pewtertone. Somewhat common. RIGHT: W 1.52 oz. Goldtone. Uncommon variation. A few of these goldone versions, plus another with the same goldtone wing but with a pewtertone body have been offered on eBay (2007-08) as new old stock dating from before 1973.
BOTH of these enameled pendants are signed E - an Eisenberg mark for this type. Both have the same cream colored background enamel. However the one on the LEFT has gold lines, whereas on the RIGHT are black lines. The "cream-cream-gold" version is not the rarest of this collectible series, but it is much scarcer than the cream-cream-black version which may be the most common. There are at least 9 distinct color types in the series - see the Eisenberg web album. Within each types the colors are very consistent. All of them fetch a good price on eBay, usually over $40.
These are BOTH signed Torino. There are a total of seven Torino owl pendants, three mold types (all about the same length) and each mold is common in pewtertone and goldtone. However the mold above also appears in the shiny silvertone version RIGHT. You could collect all six pewtertone and goldtone Torino pendants fairly easy on eBay, but it may take a few years to find the color variety on the right above. I have only seen one, but was not looking until a few years ago.
All these pendants are unsigned, as are all of this type that I have seen. All four are about 3.9 inches long. The three on the LEFT are made of metal and some composite material, and weigh over 3 ounces each. The brown one on the right, which has design variations, is ceramic and weighs only about 1.8 ounces. In all the years I have been collecting I have only seen one of this ceramic type, whereas the first and third variations are fairly common - I have probably seen at least 20 of each over the years. However the one second from the left is a rare combination of goldtone with a black center. The colors are also more intense. I have only seen one of these, but I have not been looking very carefully for this variation. I bought this one in 2010, so it could be a recent production.
Both these three segment pendants are signed Tancer II, are 3.7 inches long, and weigh about 1.5 ounces. The goldtone pendant on the LEFT has been common all the 20 years I have collected owl pendants. However the silvertone version on the right was not seen until around 2005, on eBay. Since then I have seen a few more, though it is still less common than the goldtone version. Possibly a hoard of unsold vintage pieces was discovered, or it has been issued recently. It seems unlikely that it would escape me for so many years if many were around back then.
The silvertone pendant on the far LEFT (L 2.5") is very common. One dealer said this type was popular at the Woodstock concert. The goldtone version to its right is difficult to find. It is also slightly shorter (L 2.3"). The silvertone pendant on the far RIGHT is also very common, but only in silvertone. A few years ago I spotted one in goldtone on eBay and bought it for a few dollars. Unfortunately I received a torn package - empty. Look as I may, I have never since seen another goldtone version of this common pendant. If you have one, I can make you a good swap for it (or $20).
The connected pewtertone owls on the LEFT are fairly common. They are always unsigned, and are about 2.3 inches tall and weigh 1.3 ounces. The pendant on the RIGHT is the exact same shape as the right one of the pair, but it is signed Heirloom Pewter with the image of an colonial American. It is also more finely finished, and weighs only 0.52 ounces, less than its counterpart in the pair. This is the only one of these that I have seen. The backs of both are shown in the next photo.
The backs of the pendants discussed in the previous photograph. The signature on the RIGHT is "Heirloom Pewter." Note the supports below the pupils on the signed piece.