Timeless Jewelry
Jennifer Lynn's Timeless Jewelry
Jennifer Lynn's Jewelry
Home Contact UsPolicies Menu

McClelland Barclay
(For a larger view, click on image)


By Patricia Gostick
November 2006

The intent of this article is to study in detail the findings used by the Rice-Weiner Company in the production of McClelland Barclay jewelry between 1938 and 1943. I have written elsewhere about the different signatures and styles of McClelland's jewelry, so I will not be discussing those aspects here. If you are interested in reading about the signatures and styles of McClelland Barclay jewelry, please go to any of the following:
This article is based upon close inspection of my personal collection of more than 100 McClelland Barclay pieces, and of images of hundreds of online offerings over the past 8 years. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Kepner of Jewels by Liz and Judy Dunn of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry, who generously shared photos of their McClelland Barclay jewelry. In fact, more than an article, this is a photo essay, because pictures do say it so well! And any eloquence in the final product is due to the beauty of Mac's jewelry and to Jennifer of Jennifer Lynn's Timeless Jewelry, who used her skills to match words and pictures so harmoniously.

I have categorized the clasps and chains according to the number of times that I have seen a particular style used. At the end of the article, I also include some examples of clasps and chains that are not original to the piece on which they are found. As I see new items in the future, I may have to revise my conclusions. But that is the fascinating part about collecting: the learning that never stops!

If this article adds in some small way to your knowledge of, and ability to identify McClelland Barclay jewelry, then it has served its purpose.

Gold color with yellow string; on one side is written, "designed by McClelland Barclay", and on the reverse, "AMERICAN BEAUTY FASHION CREATION"

McClelland Barclay Hang Tag
McClelland Barclay Hang Tag

Gold and rhodium; gold plated jewelry is more common than rhodium plated

Rhodium Plating
Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
Gold Plating
Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

  • Colors: Six colors were used: red, blue, green, purple, yellow and clear (alone or in combination)

    Multi Colored Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
    Red Rhinestones Emerald Green Rhinestones Citrine Yellow Rhinestones
    Amethyst Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
    Green Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
    Crystal Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
    Sapphire Blue Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
  • Cuts: Art Deco style: baguettes (wide and narrow), emerald or square cut, tear or pear-shaped,; Art Moderne style: usually navettes, oval and round stones; chatons, for clear pave decoration in both styles

    Pear and Emerald Cut Rhinestones Marquis Cut Rhinestones Oval Cut Rhinestones Marquise Cut Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Jewels by Liz

    Cushion Cut Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

    Cushion and Tear Drop Cut Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
    Cushion Cut Rhinestones
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

  • Earrings: All earrings are screwback (A), with the rare exception of the late sterling vermeil clip back type (B).

    Amethyst Rhinestone Earrings by McClelland Barclay

    Screwback Earring Finding

    McClelland Barclay Sterling Floral Earrings

    Wingback Earring Finding

    Clip back Earring Finding

  • Brooches: Safety catch

    M. Barclay Sterling Pin Back Sterling Pin Catch Barclay Lady Pin Catch Back Amethyst Rhinestone Piece Pin Back
  • Clips: Dress clip type: plain with holes in the back (A), Fur pin/clip type: 2 prongs curved at the end (B)

    Barclay Shield Dress Clip

    Shield Dress Clip Type

    Barclay Oak Leaf Dress Clip

    McClelland Barclay Rhinestone Fur Clip

    Fur Clip Back

    Pin Clip Back



I have identified 5 main categories of fasteners used in McClelland Barclay necklaces and bracelets.
  • Foldover clasps: This is the most common type of clasp found on both necklaces and bracelets. The foldover clasp A) most often has a plain raised central section with striated sides, but it can also have B) a raised striated center and plain sides, or C) it can be unraised and plain. The width is generally .5 inches on bracelets and narrower on necklaces. In the bracelets, the foldover section is hinged and flexible and the catch is a fixed part of the final link (except in a late sterling vermeil bracelet, where it is attached to the final link by jump rings.) In the necklaces, both the foldover section and the catch are attached to plates, which are attached to the ends of the necklace.

    McClelland Barclay Fold-Over Clasp Bracelet

    Striated Sides Fold-Over Clasp

    Striated Sides Fold-Over Clasp Back

    Plain Sides Fold-Over Clasp

    Plain Sides Fold_over Clasp Back

    Plain Fold-Over Clasp

  • Hook & Eye: All sterling silver bracelets have a foldover "hook" that catches a bar or "eye" at the other end; the hook and eye are fixed, or part of the link construction.

    McClelland Barclay Sterling Dove Bracelet Sterling Fold-Over Hook Clasp Sterling Fold-Over Hook Clasp Attachment
  • V-spring and box clasp: All of the cuff and bangle bracelets, as well as the pave maple leaf bracelet, have a push-in mechanism that consists of a V- shaped spring that is pushed into a slotted box. The cuff bracelets have a raised piece to open and close the bracelet, and the others have a small knob to do this. Please note that safety chains are only found on a few bangle bracelet designs: those which are not as wide as the cuff bracelets

    Winged Bracelet by McClelland Barclay Winged Bracelet Clasp Maple Leaf Bracelet Clasp M. Barclay Cuff Bracelet Clasp
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

  • Spring ring: I have seen a simple spring ring clasp used occasionally on some later sterling vermeil necklaces. This example has had the gold wash removed.

    Sterling Vermeil Spring Ring

    McClelland Barclay Sterling Vermeil Necklace

  • Fancy closures: Rhinestones on the clasp (maple leaf pendant and bracelet), floral plates (maple leaf pendant, an Art Deco necklace)

    Maple Leaf Bracelet Closure Rhinestone Decorated Closure Floral Closure
    McClelland Barclay Floral Closure
    Courtesy of Jewels by Liz

    Rhinestone Floral Closure
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

I have identified 5 main categories of chains used in McClelland Barclay necklaces.
  • Ring and flat band: Rings alternate with flat, chunky bands or links. This type of chain is found on many Art Deco necklaces and pendants.

    Rhinestone McClelland Barclay Pendant Ring and Flat Link Chain Silver Tone Ring and Flat Link Chain
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry

    Gold Tone Ring and Flat Link Chain
    Courtesy of Jewels by Liz

  • "Ladder" link: Found on some Art Deco necklaces.

    Ladder Link Chain

  • Open Rectangle Links: Open rectangles joined by vertical bands: found, with slight variations, on some Art Deco necklaces, multi chain Art Nouveau necklaces and on the "Wings" necklace.

    Rectangle Link Chain on McClelland Barclay Jewelry

    Rectangle Link Chain

    Flat Rectangle Link Chain
    Jewels by Liz

    McClelland Barclay Necklace with Rectangle Link Chain
    Courtesy of Judy's Exquisite Designer Jewelry
  • Snake chain: Found on some pendants and the maple leaf necklace.

    Maple Leaf Necklace Chain

    Back of Maple Leaf Necklace with Snake Chain

    Snake Chain Close Up
    Jewels by Liz

  • Joined round links: Joined round links in lightweight metal: found on the later sterling vermeil necklaces.

    Sterling Round Link Chain

  • Slender round chain and spring ring on an Art Deco pendant:

    Amethyst McClelland Barclay Pendant

    Not Original Barclay Chain

  • Spring ring on Art Deco necklace:

    Sapphire Blue Rhinestone Barclay Necklace

    Incorrect Clasp on Barclay Necklace

  • Squeeze-in clasp on a sterling vermeil necklace:

    incorrect squeeze-in clasp

  • Additional Photos Courtesy of Patricia Gostick:

    Emerald Green McClelland Barclay Rhinestone Bracelet, Brooch and Necklace

    Spiral Rhinestone Bracelet by McClelland Barclay

©2004-2010 Jennifer Lynn's Timeless Jewelry - All rights reserved



----Designer Jewelry Menu----