Goldcrest Fashions, Inc.
Goldberg & Seltzer GoldbergAndSeltzerInc , manufacturing handbags, was established in April 1931 by Murray Seltzer and James Goldberg. Their factory, at 76 Madison Avenue, was one whole floor with an area of 3000 square feet. Mr. Seltzer was in charge of sales and Mr. Goldberg was designer and factory man; Arthur Seltzer, a younger brother, was assistant in production. In 1939 Mr. Goldberg left, and the name of the firm was changed to Seltzer & Seltzer; it was not changed officially to Goldcrest until 1944. When Mr. Goldberg resigned, Arthur Seltzer took his place, becoming a partner of Murray Seltzer and assuming the duties of production.
In 1942 a subsidiary, Artflex Handbags Artflex , was formed, originally making moulded plastic box bags. In late 1942 the factory was moved to Poughkeepsie. This label found on a Goldcrest bag indicates the factory continued there until at least 1956.
Art-Flex Fashions, Inc.
See the full story below in the article celebrating the company's 25th Anniversary. The issue is full of tributes from suppliers and examples of the company's designs. (Handbags & Accessories June 1956, page 45)
The Hand Bag Buyer portion of the February 1942 issue of Luggage & Leather Goods sported a full page advertisement for Goldcrest plastic clutch bags. With quality leather and metals of all kinds now directed toward military uses, frameless bags of washable materials were practical and within production limits on materials. Zippers were available, though new production was directed toward the war effort, as stocks had been obtained before the war began.
Spring styles for 1942 are introduced in the February 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 48. Emphasis is on "Morale! . . . one of the most important words in our vocabulary today. What has it to do with the handbag department ? Plenty, we say! It's the gay novelties that lift many a spirit out of the doldrums. Handbags this season will play their part in adding color and life to even the most tailored costume.
Bags For After-Dark
Due to more women entering war work, the evening bag story has been somewhat curtailed. Leading manufacturers do expect a spurt of business on cocktail types that can be worn with daylength dinner clothes. The feeling is that well dressed women will want to get out of uniforms and become soft and feminine after dark, but that there will not be much demand for the really formal evening bag this spring. To meet this demand better houses are showing beaded bags that will go with street length formal clothes, failles, taffeta and ribbon numbers with dainty shirring or tucking and gold and lucite trimmings. There is also some interest in inexpensive young evening bags for graduation gifts. Beaded styles, ruffled lace, and net and shirred fabrics are being shown for this purpose."
"Extremely long soft underarm done in cape. Shirred all over. Beautifully finished inside with zipper and pockets. Featured in many colors by Goldberg & Seltzer"
The introduction to the Handbag Buyer section of the April 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods," offered this full page ad by Goldberg & Seltzer's Goldcrest Fashion line. Linen covers, sometimes reversible, allowed several looks from one bag, using the limited resources for luxury goods to go further. (page 31)
This example appeared in same issue as a "slack bag," representing the new wartime styles in "Slack Bags and Plastics in Spotlight" on page 38 of the April 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods. 1942ClothingStylesChange
Oversized top zipper bag of plastic plaques with multi color tenite trim. Fitted with many pockets. Retail $5. Goldberg & Seltzer.
June 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, inside back cover
This Goldberg & Seltzer bag illustrated fabric woven of Plexon fibers in the Tripart Merchandise Co. display ad August 1942 issue of "Luggage & Leather Goods," page 49
July 1947 Handbags Illustrated, page 22
Inside cover "Handbag Buyer" June 1949
Full page ad inside front cover of the February 1950 issue of "Handbags and Fashion Accessories"
''""The Spectator" by Goldcrest...and the smartest little participator in fashion events whether they be daytime or evening! Excitingly styled, it is a molded plastic box with clasp and trim of polished brass...and an over-all vanity mirror lining the hinged top. Shell, butterscotch, and white. Also the combination of shell and white.
CHICAGO: A. J. Bows. North American Bldg.. 36 South State St. • LOS ANGELES: Charles Hotel, 607 South Hill Street"'' AJBowsCo
July 1954 Handbags & Accessories, page 23
January 1955 Handbags & Accessories, back cover
The March 1955 issue of Handbags & Accessories included this full page ad on its back cover.
This metal filigree bag is often found and is never labeled. This full page ad on page 9 of the October 1955 issue of Handbags & Accessories" finally allows attribution of these bags to Goldcrest. Because the lesser quality of these bags has not inspired collectors, prices have have not been high on these bags. Perhaps a known maker will enhance their future value!
Golden Filagree with Gleaming Lucite for your Star Holiday Seller
"Our stunning new box bag goes golden for every occasion, with hi-polish filigree all around, lustrous hand-fabricated lucite top, bottom and swinging handle. Smart-sized 7x3x4 inches. A beautiful bag, expensively finished — bound to be your smash $5.00 retailer! Timed for record sales in these 4 most-wanted colors: Pearl White, Pearl Gray, Shell and Jet Black."
The October 1955 "Handbags & Accessories" features an extensive collection of bags for The Holidays and these words of guidance for buyers looking for enticing possibilities.
Show novelties and classics for Christmas
MATERIALS: look for fur, the real thing and imitations thereof processed cowhide elegant calf, rich suede
"GRACEFULLY ARCHED flat handles follow oval contour of leather lined calf bag with covered frame and simple throw-over lock. Wide gussets and rounded base create roominess in this lean look bag. From Goldcrest"
"Handbags & Accessories" October 1955, page 16
Accessory market round-up
"Inlaid calf touches, rigid tubular and luggage type handles appear in several styles in the Goldcrest calf line. The line runs from about $4.98 through $10.95 retail. A $2.98 retail wire cage and a $4.98 metal filigree shell topped box are also good items."
"Handbags & Accessories" October 1955, page 36
Accessory market round-up
"Art Flex offers polished cowhide bags, good copies of Italian imports. One outstanding number is a tote type. Its center compartment is of vinyl and has a zipper close. This compartment, held in by means of gold side knobs, may be removed to create an open tote. About $10.95 retail. There are other good styles to retail about $7.98. An interesting box is lucite top and bottom and has a center of vinyl strips woven through gold bars. In pearlescent vinyl, shell, gray and white." (Handbags & Accessories December 1955, page 34)
Bags for Spring 1956 were presented on January 3, 1956 by agreement as a member of the National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry. 1956NationalAuthorityMembers
Goldcrest celebrates its 25th year
"IT takes courage to start a business in a depression, and that's what Murray Seltzer and James Goldberg had when they began Goldberg & Seltzer, manufacturing handbags, in April 1931. Using the phrase, "Makers of Goldcrest Fashions", they decided to Specialize in fabric bags retailing at $2.95 to $5. Their factory, at 76 Madison Avenue, was one whole floor with an area of 3000 square feet. Mr. Seltzer was in charge of sales and Mr. Goldberg was designer and factory man; Arthur Seltzer, a younger brother, was assistant in production.
In late 1942 the factory was moved to Poughkeepsie where enlarged quarters were available. A year later larger space was taken and some time after that, when leather bags were added to the line, the firm took over the entire building.
In 1939 Mr. Goldberg left, and the name of the firm was changed to Seltzer & Seltzer; it was not changed officially to Goldcrest until 1944. When ' Mr. Goldberg resigned, Arthur Seltzer took his place, becoming a partner of Murray Seltzer and assuming the duties of production.
In 1942 a subsidiary, Artflex Handbags, was formed, originally making moulded plastic box bags. As time went on, however, Goldcrest confined itself to the less expensive line,with removable cover bags starting at $3 and leathers at $5 retail, as well as novelties, combinations of lucite and metal, and fabrics; Artflex made better leather bags and some fabrics from $8 to $10 retail. Arthur Seltzer was named president of Artflex.
TREASURER, Sandy Seltzer, at the left, and brother, Robert, secretary of Goldcrest and vice-president of Artflex
Officers of the firm are as follows: Murray Seltzer, president; Arthur Seltzer, vice-president of Goldcrest and president of Artflex; Sandy Seltzer, Murray's son, treasurer; Robert Seltzer, another son, secretary of Gold-crest and vice-president of Artflex.
VICE-PRESIDENT of Goldcrest and president of Artflex, Arthur Seltzer, left, with Murray Seltzer, Goldcrest president
Murray Seltzer has been in the handbag business for 40 years, getting his start with Goldberg Brothers. Arthur, who started with the same company 35 years ago, has also been in the handbag industry all his life. Sandy became affiliated with the firm in 1942. From 1943 to 1946 he was in service, returning to the firm after discharge. Robert joined the firm at the end of 1944 and became an officer in 1947. Another brother, Melvin Seltzer, joined the organization in 1940. He left in 1942 to go into the Marine Corps, and was killed in service in 1944.
In 1947 the firm bought the building in Poughkeepsie which it had previously leased for Artflex. Both operations were moved into one plant with 35,000 square feet of space. The operation was expanded during the last 18 months, and another 15,000 square feet were added.
Showroom and offices are located in New York at 30 E. 33rd St. The company maintains an office in Chicago, in the charge of Harold Benwear; one in Boston, in charge of Henry Landers and Sam Glass. Henry Hetzel heads the Los Angeles office; H. D. (Jimmy) McCreedy is Southwest representative and Marvin Augenstine, Middle Atlantic representative. Jack Jacob-son and Nat Behar cover Metropolitan New York. Arthur Seltzer is assisted in production by Sal Abbate. Robert Seltzer is in charge of the office and advertising; Sandy Seltzer is sales manager and Midwest representative; Murray Seltzer, president and administrator, is a former president of the National Authority for the Ladies' Handbag Industry.
The firm has pioneered in the use of automatic office machinery as well as automatic production techniques. The office in New York is slated for early remodeling, with further mechanization and streamlined operation the aim. At present such equipment as automatic bookkeeping machines, electrical tabulators, automatic sorting, tabulating and key punch machines lighten the work and make it easy to follow an order through from reception to shipment." (Handbags & Accessories June 1956, page 45)
Rectangular and oval examples of Goldcrest's Metal filigree and lucite bags grace "Handbags & Accessories" August 1956, page 2. Note the simple "S" curve latch on the rectangle style and the hinged metal flap latch on the oval style . These hardware designs are diagnostic for Goldcrast bags.
It's nice to have plenty of Gold and Silver
GOLDCREST assures you, of plenty of gold and silver . . . and long green, too ... all year long . . . with two stunning box bags in a highly polished beautiful Filagree design combined with lustrous matching lucite top and bottom and crystal — clear lucite swinging handle.
Colors: Gold Filagree — Shell, Black, Grey, White, Clear, Pink and Blue.
Silver Filagree — Black, Grey, White,
Clear, Pink and Blue.
This golden brown leather Goldcrest bag is adorned with a 1 1/2" square clear Lucite cube on the latch. The bag measures 10 x 5 x 6" with a 14" handle. The interior back pocket is marked "Goldcrest Made in USA" in gold lettering. It recently sold at auction for $10.49.
960933: Artflex brown suede bag with carved lucite cube latch dangle! front has horizontal stitched detailing and gathered front panel. Fully lined in black nylon with three open side pockets, mirror and matching coin purse included. Some wear on the bottom corners, otherwise excellent condition. Measures 8 1/4 x 2 3/4 x 7 1/2". SOLD for $55 in 2000