Born in 1936 and still working today, she began making her distinctive brooches and pins in the late 1960s with her husband, Fernand Steinberger.
A chemist, he had invented a process using laminated layers of cellulose acetate to create a multi-layered sandwich which was dried and cut into shapes
Stein’s brooches feature animals, cars, household objects, celebrities such as Elvis Presley, film characters, with some created in an Art Deco-style.
Vintage costume jewellery dealer Gillian Horsup, who deals at Grays Antiques Centre in central London and online, is a great admirer of Stein’s work, as are many of her customers.
The pearlised pinky fox (pictured below right), produced since the 1970s, is one of the most famous of Stein’s designs and a favourite. Horsup said: “Original Léa Stein brooches are always very popular as the designs are good and the textures, fabrics and colours are so varied. By contrast the copies are rather horrible in comparison.
“All but some of the earliest Stein pieces are marked Léa Stein Paris on the reverse.”