Fave Five - Vintage Brooches

Vintage brooches are most definitely one of my guilty pleasures - they get a bit of a bad rep these days as many people see them as old fashioned but there are so many amazing styles and so many ways to use them. Brooches have been worn for thousands of years as a glamorous ornamental pin in all many of shapes, designs and colours. Back in the earliest days, all manner of natural materials were used to create brooches and pins, from thorns to shells and resources like wood, stone and animal horn. The style of metal brooch with a pin that we know today, was first seen in the Bronze Age where the Celts and the Vikings used them as a way to pin together their cloaks and kilts. Fast forward to the Romans and Greeks and the craftsmanship became more refined and decorative, with more sophisticated mechanisms in what we now know as the safety pin style. As time moved on, brooches became more luxurious and more precious metals and stones were used such as rubies, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires as well as fresh water pearls. One of the most popular and collectable style of vintage brooch is the cameo brooch, which first appeared in the 19th century, originally hand carved depicting goddesses and mythological scenes. With regards to brooch claps, the C clasp is the most common from earlier brooches until the locking C or rollover clasp which was developed in the early 1900s. The world wars of the 20th century made the sweetheart brooches popular, a token of love given to the partners of the soldiers as they left with no certainty that they would return. The 1950s and 1960s saw more fun and creativity with novelty designs for brooches that were emulated later from high-end jewellers such as Tiffanys, Cartier and Trivari - often emulating animals which are still amongst the most sought after styles today.