Representing the third generation of court jewelers in Austria, Oliver and Marianne Ostier came to America following the rise of Nazism in 1938. Shortly after, in 1941, Oliver founded the eponymous firm, Ostier, Inc., with his wife, who was already widely considered to be a talented painter and sculptress, as well as an accomplished jewelry designer. Ostier, Inc. became one of New York’s leading jewelers, dealing in original designs of precious-stone jewelry with superb craftsmanship. Marianne Ostier served as the principal designer and creative director behind the firm, with her background in sculpture fueling her inventive artistic vision. She is responsible for the development of the “skin pin” and free-form jewelry, using biomorphic shapes and organic textures, winning numerous awards throughout her career for design excellence—even representing the United States at the Art in Precious Jewelry at the Finch College Museum of Art in 1966, which featured the work of the foremost designers of ten countries, including Salvador Dali and Georges Braques. A favorite of wealthy European nobility and Manhattan socialites, as well as Marlene Dietrich, Marianne shuttered the business upon Oliver’s death in 1969, auctioning off all remaining inventory.
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