As jewelry historians, we love discovering new information about our favorite jewelry manufacturers of the past, and with most vintage jewelry, the findings offer us great insight regarding the age of the piece. Earring clip backs are no exception. Hobé earrings have been known for years for their distinctive plastic roller on the back of the clip mechanism.
In January 1956, the Hobé earring back featured a new plastic “roller” design. This new design element was to help to reduce the pain of wearing clip earrings—a characteristic that still haunts many of vintage jewelry earring wearers.
Now it’s important to note that this only means that earrings made with the roller were not manufactured any earlier than 1956, but it doesn’t imply that earrings without the roller were made exclusively before that time. As with most costume jewelry manufacturers, there were exceptions to the rule, similarly to design features we note from other companies, knowing these facts only offers information if the design element is present—not if it is missing.
“CLIPS WITHOUT PAIN—the most sensitive ear will feel no pressure, even from a very large earring with the new clip construction at Hobé Cie. Ltd. A tiny plastic disk attached to the clip soften with the warmth of the skin and flattens against the lobe. After the clip is removed the plastic returns to the wheel-like shape.” WWD 1956