Born in Vienna, she started her career in jewelry in 1951 by hand-painting cufflinks and buttons. She was quickly taken up by Pierre Balmain and Jacques Fath and moved on to jewelry in the mid 1950s. She worked for Balenciaga for 14 years, creating jewelry for his couture collections. Her jewelry was also sold through Lord & Taylor (Cis of Paris) and Bonwit Teller (Countess Zoltowska). She is known for her signature "crackled" glass cabochons and stones marbled and sprayed with gold. Very few of her pieces are signed, but the signature is "CIS" stamped under a crown. (See Ginger Moro's book European Designer Jewelry, pgs 71-77 for more information.)
Date(s): June 25, 2002. Album by Cathy Gordon. Photos by Cathy Gordon. 1 - 57 of 57 Total. 21821 Visits.
1 4'10" Countess Cissy Zoltowska.
2 [N/A] CIS parure in japanned metal with her signature purple and green cabs. Note the necklace hook and chain--you will see this style over and over in her pieces.
3 [Sold] CIS collar in lime green, apple green and lemon yellow crackled pear-shaped stones, faux amethysts and rivoli stones. From the 60s.
4 Back of collar showing typical CIS construction. Unfortunately the foil is going on a number of the stones which cannot be replaced.
5 [Sold] Collar of seven rows of lavender shading to violet, alternating cabochons and faceted stones.
6 [Sold] CIS glass pearl choker with red, green and clear cabochon centerpiece.
7 [Sold] CIS asymmetric crackle glass collar with splendid colors of hyacinth AB, citrine, topaz, clear and one glass hematite-shaded stone. Changes color depending on what you are wearing. The hook has been replaced at some point.
8 Back of asymmetric collar. Note the depth of the stone mounts.
9 [Sold] CIS necklace of pear-shaped apple green crackle glass set off by watermelon rivoli stones.
10 Back of necklace. Again, there is foil damage.
11 [Sold] CIS necklace and earrings of simulated turquoise cabs and aqua blue rhinestones.
12 Back of set. Note the metal, hook and chain with small stone on its end.
13 [Sold] One of the few pieces that is signed. Signature marbled stones painted with gold in her favorite colors of green, purple and fuchsia.
14 Back of necklace. Signature is in the center stone.
15 [Sold] Collar of green and mauve enameled metal leaves with emerald green dew drop cabs. Chain is the same as the prior necklace in album.
16 Back of leaf necklace.
17 [Sold] Weighty necklace of thick chain set off by citrine, pink and amethyst rhinestones and a large quartz-like glass cab painted with gold.
18 Back of necklace.
19 [Sold] Simple choker of green, fuschia and clear rhinestones set in silver-tone metal.
20 Back of choker. Note the "wavy" silver metal encasing the round rhinestones--another signature style of CIS pieces.
21 CIS pink and amethyst rhinestone heart necklace and earrings. All are signed CIS.
22 Back of heart necklace and earrings.
23 [Sold] Necklace and earrings of semi-precious stones and glass simulated pearls, probably acquired from her travels in Ceylon and Thailand.
24 Back of set.
25 [N/A] Fabulous example of CIS crackle glass.
26 [Sold] This interesting necklace of fine silver-tone chain with pearls and aqua/clear crackle stones can be worn in 2 directions. There is a hook that closes the necklace where the blue/clear "flowers are and you can wear the pearl in front or dangling down your back if you have a dress with a low neckline.
27 [Sold] Lacy collar of silver-tone flowers set with simulated pearls, clear and blue crackle glass stones.
28 Back of collar.
29 CIS created a number of variations of a dandelion. Shown here are a fur clip and a pin in simulated turquoise cabs and aqua crackle glass.
30 Backs of dandelion pin and clip.
31 More dandelion.
32 Close-up of back.
33 Gorgeous bunch of grapes in teal blue and pale yellow with 22 kt. plated gold leaves. Signed CIS and from the 50s.
34 Back of grape pin. Note the trombone clasp. The stamped signature is under the pin on the metal bar.
35 Huge, 3-D pin with emerald green ovals, green rivoli stones and AB rhinestones and with a clear, faceted glass center. Signed CIS on an applied plaque.
36 Back of pin. Note "wavy" metal surrounding the stones and construction which is similar to Schreiner. Signature plaque is at bottom.
37 Prototype of bracelet that was custom made for Helena Rubenstein in Paris in the late 50s. Bracelet is silver and studded with emerald, sapphire and ruby cabochons as well as moonstones and agates from Sri Lanka and Thailand. It is quite wide, measuring over 3" across and 1" high. Unfortunately, I can't get the stone color as true as I would like--the center stone is quite green.
38 Sea anemone clip.
39 Paisley-shaped earrings with dangling rhinestones on silver chain.
40 Backs of earrings.
41 Maybe -- fur clip of lavender and amethyst-colored rhinestones with large, faceted AB center stone.
42 Maybe -- This fur clip is variation on the dandelion with a heart-shaped center stone. All of the "flowers" are quite dimentional, mounted on tiny wires.
43 Maybe -- Clear rhinestone pendant/pin.
44 Back of pin showing "wavy" metal.
45 CIS-signed hair ornament of brass metal and rivoli stones.
46 Back of hair ornament. Signature plaque is on the stone to the right.
47 Maybe -- Fur clip of pink crackle stones, pink marquise-shaped rhinestones and a hematite colored glass center stone.
48 Back of fur clip.
49 Back of amethyst collar--note the construction, including the loops that connect each row.
50 Back of green crackle collar. Damaged foil has been removed. Darker areas on metal are where coating has worn off solder, but soldered areas are reasonably smooth and show quality work.
51 CIS necklace--multiple twisted chains and green rhinestones. Atypical CIS (hardly any stones), but signed on tail rhinestone.
52 CIS heart brooch. Signed.
53 CIS pale green crackle glass brooch with blue AB stones. Signed CIS with a crown.