Marianne Ostier and Ostier, Inc. - Rare and Collectible
Between the late 1930s to 1960s, Ostier, Inc. competed amongst the greatest jewellery houses in Manhattan and produced some of the finest examples of fashionable mid-century jewellery that have become classic references for today's designs. The firm was founded by a husband and wife team - design virtuoso, Marianne Ostier (1902-1976) and Oliver Ostier, a third-generation court jeweller from Austria.
The artist-turned-jeweller received her education at the Vienna Academy of Arts and Crafts. A painter and sculptor, she began to work in the field of jewellery after marrying her husband, Otto Oesterreicher. Following the Nazi annexation of Austria, Marianne and Oliver moved to the United States and started a firm under their new name, Ostier. Marianne displayed an extraordinary talent for jewellery design, and her creations, known for their organic textures and intricate random mountings, bore the influence of her artistic training.
For her work, Marianne Ostier has been presented with many prestigious diamond design awards. She was the first life-time member elected to the Diamonds-International Academy, as well as the winner of the Diamond U.S.A Award for three consecutive years, and also received the Diamond International Award for design excellence. She represented the United States at the Art in Precious Jewellery Exhibition at the Finch College Museum of Art in 1966, which featured the work of the foremost designers of ten countries and included Georges Braques and Salvador Dali. The famed skin pin, pincushion clip, abstract and free-form jewellery have all been attributed to her.
After the death of Oliver in 1969, Marianne Ostier felt the increased burden of running the business and chose to close the company. "With the passing of my husband, I have had to devote more and more of my efforts to administrative duties. These demands of my time can no longer be met without artistic compromise which to me is unacceptable." The entire inventory of the firm was auctioned by the Park-Bernet Galleries in 1969.