"Zach Zemby and Eliot Handler in September 1941 formed a company which they named Elzac, cleverly combining their names Eliot and Zach. It was just a few months before the Pearl Harbor invasion.
Elzac designs evolved from fancy flowers to all types of animals including giraffes, cows, lambs, horses, monkeys, rabbits, and squirrels. Faces followed. And oh those faces! Ornately coiffed women and men are perhaps the most popular of Elzac designs. The women, known as “victims of fashion” because of their over the top outfits and exaggerated features, are surprisingly lightweight considering their size. They can measure 4 to 5in from top to bottom and 2 or more inches wide. Beatrice Weld, a fashion designer and friend of the Handlers, is credited with creating the immensely popular brooches in the likeness of women’s faces. Inspired by the colorful character Carmen Miranda, Weld fashioned faces adorned with plastic fruit, scarves, turbans, enormous hoop earrings, and elaborate neckpieces.
Elzac jewelry was not signed. Pieces were marked with paper or foil tags which were removed before wearing."