CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Present Disclosure
This disclosure relates generally to jewelry holders and cases and displays, and more particularly to a jewelry case-display that is able to display a large number of pieces of jewelry in fixed and secured locations for individual piece inspection and discrimination as to size, shape, color and other features, in a dust free environment with easy physical access and potential lock for security.
2. Description of Related Art including information disclosed under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98
Patterson, U.S. Pat. No. 3,997,050, discloses a jewelry caddy, which can be used to display jewelry commercially or which can be placed on a dressing table or vanity and used to store jewelry in an easily accessible place, comprising a base structure having an upstanding elongate element rotatably attached thereto. The upstanding element has a plurality of projections extending therefrom which are adapted to hold articles of jewelry. In addition, a layer of material, which can be easily penetrated by a needle or pin covers at least a portion of the surface of the upstanding element, whereby jewelry or other items having pin type attachments can be pinned to the material for convenient display and storage.
Hanan, U.S. Pat. No. 4,141,453, discloses a knock-down earring display rack of specific dimensions and structure including a freely rotatable upper spider having a hub and a plurality of spokes extending radially outwards from the hub. The spider is mounted on a post which extends downwards to a base member. The hub of the spider is freely rotatably mounted proximately to the upper end of the post so that the spider can be manually turned on the post about its central axis and so that the spider is generally parallel to the base member. Each spoke of the spider is evenly tapered from a wide inner end to a narrow outer end. The upper edge of each spoke is generally perpendicular to the post and a plurality of notches of specific configuration are spaced along this upper edge. The upper gap in each notch is large enough to at least accommodate an earring post or clasp or wire of an earring.
Vollmer, U.S. Pat. No. 4,264,013, discloses a jewelry holder attached to the wall or door in a bedroom or dressing room, the holder providing a horizontal front panel having apertures in which detachable hooks are frictionally wedged to hold chains, necklaces and the like. Bracelet, ring and earring holders are provided along the top of the front panel.
Trautlein et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,390,099, discloses a pilfer resistant device for holding articles such as jewelry chains, necklaces and the like. The device includes a circular display member upon which the chains are positioned, by slipping them through one or more separations or spaces formed in the display member, so that the chain can be suspended over the member. Small sleeves, having the same arc as the display member, are slideably mounted on the display member for closing the gaps formed in the display member. By rotating the sleeve a small amount with respect to the display member, the sleeve can be effectively locked onto the display member.
Nava, U.S. Pat. No. 4,936,466, discloses a holder for jewelry items and watches that includes illumination and an upwardly mounted support member for storing and displaying these items. A base with a flat surface is provided to provide structural integrity to the structure while at the same time houses the batteries and/or wires that provide the electrical energy to the holder's illuminating device. A horizontal support member is disposed so that it includes a bend where the watches' straps are positioned thereby securing them in place. Also, a hook member is rigidly mounted to the underside of the horizontal member so that other jewelry items can be suspended from it. One or more frusto-conical members are rigidly mounted to the vertical support members thereby providing the member for receiving and holding in place rings and other cooperating jewelry items.
Camp, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,052,563 and 5,054,624, discloses a jewelry caddy which is characterized in a first preferred embodiment by a fixed or rotatable vase, a support rod or rods upward-standing from the base, an optional top strut frame attached to the top end of the support rod or rods and secured with a ring receptacle, a slat frame fitted over the support rod or rods and attached to the top strut frame and extending to a point above the base, and multiple, curved slats removably clipped to the slat frame and fitted with holes for mounting earrings thereon. The strut frame is characterized by spaced, horizontal, outwardly-extending, elongated struts having upward-turned tips for receiving such jewelry items as beads, rings and the like. In a first preferred aspect of the invention the slats are constructed of a resilient material having horizontal or slanted holes therein for receiving the earring posts. In a second preferred embodiment, a strip of foam rubber or like resilient material is attached to the inside concave surface of the curved slats to facilitate mounting a retainer on the post of the earrings when the post is projected through the holes. In other preferred embodiments, the jewelry caddy is provided with a bracket for mounting on a wall, a travel caddy design for closing like a book is also provided, as well as a jewelry box embodiment. In still other preferred embodiments, perforated slats are removably secured to slat mounts provided on brackets adapted for mounting on a wall and on horizontal post struts attached to vertical posts which are mounted on a tray fitted with a strut frame for supporting beads and the like and designed to receive such items as change, a watch, rings, a wallet, and the like.
Rhodes, D329341, discloses a design for an earring carousel.
Shih, U.S. Pat. No. 5,168,985, discloses a jewel box that includes a housing which has a base provided on a bottom and which has an opening formed in an upper portion. A telescopic tube has a lower end fixed on the base of the housing. A hanger and a cover are fixed on an upper end of the telescopic tube. The cover is provided for enclosing the opening. A number of hooks are distributed around the hanger. A loop member is fixed on top of the telescopic tube so that the hanger and the cover can be pulled upward and so that jewels hung on the hooks of the hanger can be easily reached.
Griffin, U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,600, discloses a covered container for earrings and small jewelry that provides an annular dish-like base rotatably supporting a compound upstanding medial column. The medial column is formed by one or more elements having a tray-like upper portion with an upturned peripheral rim, both the rim and peripheral tray portion defining slots to support various types of earrings. Each medial column below the uppermost element defines an upstanding fastening structure to pivotally mount another column element there above. A dome-like cover is releasably supported on the periphery of the base to enclose the medial portion of the base and the medial column structure.
Moss, U.S. Pat. No. 5,692,601, discloses a storage container for elongated pieces of jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets, having a base member, a cover attached to the upper surface of the base member, and a plurality of jewelry support rods also attached to the upper surface of the base member and positioned within the cover. The distal end of each upwardly depending jewelry support rod has a hooked configuration and the cover is removable from the base for display of the jewelry upon the support rods. The cover is also rotatable upon the base member with an opening therein to provide easy access to all jewelry stored therein without removal of the cover. It is also contemplated for the base member and the cover to be configured and decorated as a object d'art or a lamp to conceal and safeguard the jewelry while the cover is positioned upon the base member. Applications may include, but are not limited to, both the displaying of elongated pieces of jewelry and its safeguarding from damage and loss.
Pomper, U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,710, discloses a vertical post assembly mounted on a substantially horizontal base and having at the upper end a plurality of spokes upon which the merchandise is hung and a separate continuous ring. The spokes and/or the ring are selectively movable relative to each other between a first position wherein the ring abuts with the end of the spokes preventing removal of the merchandise, and a second position spaced from one or more of the spokes to free the ends thereof, permitting removal of the merchandise.
Pomper, U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,105, discloses a jewelry display stand including a vertical post assembly mounted on a base. A plurality of arms, serving as hanger elements for jewelry or other merchandise, radiate from the post. The arms co-operate with anti-removal elements on the post that prevent merchandise from being removed from the spokes. In one embodiment a ring engaging the tips of the arms provides the anti-removal elements. In another embodiment the anti-removal elements are a set of spokes above the arms. Either the arms or the spokes are movable up and down and are spring-biased upwards, to a position in which the arms are separated from the anti-removal elements and merchandise can be removed from or placed on the arms. A cap on the post engages the movable elements, holding them down, and keeping the arms engaged with the ring or spokes. A slot in the cap allows one arm or spoke to rise to the non-engaging position, and the cap is rotatable about a vertical axis so that the slot can be aligned with any selected arm or spoke. Thus, merchandise can be removed from only the selected arm, reducing the risk of pilferage.
The related art described above discloses a wide range of jewelry holders, boxes and cases. However, the prior art fails to disclose a jewelry case which is also a jewelry display. A case is necessary to secure jewelry, that is, preferably in a lockable and secure enclosure that is able to keep unwanted persons from stealing, playing with, or “borrowing” valuable jewelry items. Such a case also keeps the jewelry from being contaminated by perfume sprays, dust, and other factors that adversely effect them. On the other hand, a display is necessary to show-off jewelry to its best advantage so that the correct piece is able to be selected; with selection criteria being size, shape, type color, material and other factors. These two desirable aspects: case and display, tend to present contrary issues with security and display being the most obvious. The presently described solution using a tree-like jewelry display with a case having a transparent cover, door access, which may be lockable, rotating branches for earring display and other features of the present invention is a best solution. The present disclosure distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.
The presently described jewelry display and case provides specific mounts for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings in a tree like arrangement with branches for holding earrings, a trunk for necklaces, a base for rings and a mount secured to the trunk for bracelets and alternately for earrings as well. The branches provide holes for pierced earrings and an upward tilt to secure clip-on earrings. The entire arrangement is able to rotate. A transparent cover extends over the tree arrangement and has a door for access.
A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.
Another objective is to provide a jewelry case that is also a jewelry display.
A further objective is provide such a jewelry case and display that is able to show-off a large number of pieces of jewelry without removing a cover that might conceal the jewelry from view, while preventing the jewelry pieces from becoming dusty.
A still further objective is to provide such a jewelry case and display wherein earrings may be displayed in a side-by-side format for improved visual discrimination between earring pieces.
A still further objective is to provide such a jewelry case and display wherein earring holders may be placed in a selective rotational position to better show the earrings at a preferred angle to the viewer.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
Illustrated in the accompanying drawing is a best mode embodiment of the present invention. In such drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the presently described apparatus.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications to what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.
Described now in detail is a jewelry display apparatus comprising a base 10 which may be circular as shown in FIG. 1, or may have another shape as one of skill would easily conceive, a transparent side wall 20 which is engaged with the base 10 and which extends upwardly from the base 10 Preferably the side wall 20 is formed as a truncated cone, as shown in FIG. 1, but may be a right cylinder or other shape as would be conceived by one of skill. The side wall 20 provides an entry door 22 mounted on hinges 24 or otherwise engaged, so as to be able to swing open or otherwise move aside for access to the interior space enclosed by the side wall 20. The entry door 22 also provides a door handle 26 and a magnetic clasp 28 or other closure which secures the door 22 when in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 1. The closure may include a locking device as is well known. A top plate 30 is positioned for capping the side wall 20. A rotatable platform 40 which may be of any shape is mounted within, or above the base 10, and a trunk 50 extends vertically between the rotatable platform 40 and the top plate 30. The trunk 50 is preferably circular in cross-section, although other cross-sectional shapes may be used such as square or polygonal. Preferably, a plurality of branches 60 extend radially outward from the trunk 50, each preferably oriented at a slight upward angle and each providing plural through holes 62 therein. The holes 62 are preferably arranged in a single row along the branches 60. The holes 62 may be horizontally oriented, or vertically oriented, or may be oriented at an angle between horizontal and vertical depending on how the jewelry is to be exhibited. The branches 60 may be fastened to the trunk so that they can be rotated about their own axis for changing the orientation of the through holes 62 from time to time or as desired. A circular ring 70 encircles the trunk 50 and is spaced apart from it, that is, it has a larger diameter then that of the trunk 50. The ring 70 comprises a plurality of spaced apart ring segments 72, wherein, each of the ring segments 72 is secured to the trunk 50 by at least one brace 74 as shown in FIG. 1. One or more of the ring 70 may be mounted on trunk 50 instead of the branches 60 and in that case, the ring 70 may be fitted to provide holes 62 for mounting earrings therethrough. A plurality of hooks 80 are secured to the trunk 50 proximal the top plate 30 as shown, and are positioned between the branches 60. A plurality of ring slots 42 are arranged in the platform 40.
Necklaces (not shown) may be hung from the hooks 80 and therefore will lie essentially against the trunk 50 extending downwardly between the branches 60. Earrings (not shown) may be secured in the through holes 62 in the branches 60 or clipped around the branches 60 for mounting them and likewise with the ring(s) 70. The upward tilt of the branches 60 prevents earrings that are clipped around the branches 60 and which are therefore free to slide along the branches 60, from falling off the free ends of the branches 60. Bracelets (not shown) may be hung around one of the ring segments 72 which have end stops 74 which prevent the bracelets from sliding off the ends of the segments 72. Finger and toe rings (not shown) may be secured within the slots 42 in the platform 40.
Preferably, the platform 40 and the trunk 50 are covered by a fabric 90 of a dark color, preferably black and preferably made of a felt material so that the jewelry that is mounted against this fabric is clearly visible and shows up well. Likewise, the branches 60 are of a dark color, preferably black plastic or black anodized aluminum for the same reasons. It is obvious that fabrics and branches 60 having other colors may be used.
The trunk 50 provides a plurality of recesses 52 in it preferably as circular holes placed at an angle in trunk 50. The branches 60 each preferably provides a round mounting end 64 that is sized for a tight frictional fit within one of the recesses 52. The branches may be arranged in any pattern desired, with more or less of the branches 60, and clearly with the ability to add more branches 60 when desired. Additionally, the branches 60 may be rotated, as shown by arrow “A” in FIG. 1, within the recesses 52 to whatever orientation desired; for instance for viewing earrings mounted on them from above, from below, or from straight on. Therefore, at least initially, the number of recesses 52 in the trunk 50 is greater than the number of branches 60 enabling alternative arrangements of the branches 60 on the trunk 50 for decorative accent. Clearly, the branches 60 may be permanently engaged with the trunk 50 or may be attached in an alternate manner for easy assembly and disassembly.
Preferably, the side wall 20 is made of clear acrylic plastic, but alternatively may be made of other transparent materials as would be known by those of skill in the engineering plastic arts.
The trunk 50 terminates with an upper trunk portion 50A fixed to the top plate 30, while a lower trunk portion 50B extends between the upper trunk portion 50A and the platform 40. The upper and lower trunk portions 50A, 50B are mutually rotationally engaged around an axle 55 which enables the platform 40 and the lower trunk portion 50B to rotate within the base 10 using any known rotational means such as a ball bearing mount (not shown) or otherwise.
The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.
The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.
Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.
The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.