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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member kojimapearl's Avatar
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    Default Pacific pearls history and archive photos

    I am home again in sunny California again, and as promised here are just a few of the HUNDREDS of old Pacific Pearl photos that I unearthed in Hong Kong this last trip.

    Here is Fuji Voll as a baby in New York City 1949, with his mother Frieda Voll who is modeling a hair cap and several strand necklace made of cultured Burmese pearls. At this point Rudolf Voll had bought the entire harvest of these pearls and was trying with NO luck at all to sell them to jewelers in New York. He was soon to give up in New York and return to Tokyo where he sold these pearls to Japanese brokers, who in turn resold them to the very same jewelers in New York for a 10 times mark up! I wonder where they are now? I hope the people who own them know what they have~!

    Next a couple of photos taken by Fuji's father Rudolf at the Tokyo pearl auction some time in the early 50's.

    Sometime around 1953 Pacific Pearls Tokyo tried their hand at pearl farming. It was short-lived, but here are some of the photos. Rudolf standing in front of the farm.. and that's Fuji walking on the pile of Akoya shells, and as well fishing from the pier. Lastly Frieda with a handful of fresh pearls.

    More photos to be shared. I love these old photographs.. really makes me think to be better at documenting.. Thanks to Rudolf Voll we still have these to enjoy!
    Cheers, Sarah
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    Sarah Canizzaro
    Kojima Company
    www.kojimapearl.com

  2. #2
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    What fabulous photos Sarah! Thanks so much for sharing these! And look at that necklace! Holy Moly!

  3. #3
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Can I echo Kat? FABULOUS, Sarah; how wonderfully insightful and nostalgic and Burmese pearls (that's a first for me) ... Thanks so much for this and to the Voll family as well. Keep whatever you are doing going. Love love love Kojima and Pacific.

  4. #4
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Very Very Cool!
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  5. #5
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Treasures, indeed, Sarah! Thanks very much to both you and Fuji for sharing them!! And looking forward to more when you have time~
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert waimeamomi's Avatar
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    These are incredible. I'm so glad I got to meet Fuji last month, and omg - he looks just like that baby picture!!!
    Sheryl

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/mkmPearls
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    ?All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography? Frederico Fellini
    Momi means pearl in Hawaiian!

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    That's quite the shell midden that Fuji is walking on! Great photos, would enjoy seeing more.

  9. #9
    Art historian and devout NCN Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Nora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    what happened to the Burmese pearl industry?
    The military government took over the business and ruined the quality.

    Sarah, thank you for sharing. Would love to see more.
    Nora

  10. #10
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Brilliant! So glad we have this record of one of pearlings' finest families!!!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ash's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing these Sarah!

    Cheers

    Ash
    Cheers,
    Ash

  12. #12
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member kojimapearl's Avatar
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    I am glad you all enjoyed these like I have. There are so many more its difficult to choose.... Slowly slowly.
    Wendy, I am not sure (nor is Fuji) why the Burmese pearl cultivation went under, but if I had to guess... It would be exactly what Nora said.
    Cheers and happy pearling! Please don't forget to write on the back of all your old photos!
    Sarah Canizzaro
    Kojima Company
    www.kojimapearl.com

  13. #13
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Thankyou for the Burma info Sarah and Nora. So there is potential there..worth remembering.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member kojimapearl's Avatar
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    Default never been a better time than the present

    Hello ... it's been way too long since I chimed in on Pearl-Guide.. but on my most recent trip to Japan and Hong Kong I found this strand tucked into the back of a safe. It made us laugh ... and left me with the reminder that pearls are, in general... more accessible to people around the world than ever before. This is a 7-7.5mm strand of metallic Chinese fresh water pearls was THANKFULLY labeled by Fuji's father Rudolf Voll (as were most things that ever happened near him . The label reads "cost HK$900 in 2001"... (HK$900 =US$115)
    So that was obviously what seemed to him to be a very high price... or I doubt it would have warranted a label and being tucked away in the safe. I am not sure why it lived there for so long... but I was really happy to find it, and see proof that in the last twelve years the price of comparable material has fallen to approximately one fifth! To all my fellow dealers: the next time someone tells you the prices are high... smile and nod!.... and to all pearl lovers... enjoy the bounty of these sweet waters with reckless abandon for there has never been a better time than the present!
    With warm regards, Sarah
    P.S. that's still some amazing luster for 12 years of "shelf" life, eh?
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    Sarah Canizzaro
    Kojima Company
    www.kojimapearl.com

  15. #15
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Amazing! Just to know that far back someone sorted the metallics to make a strand at all! Glad you are having fun in the safe, Sarah! Keep finding all these wonderful goodies, we love them!
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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