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  • Writer's pictureEmma

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.

This week I have picked out my Fave Five vintage brooches from those currently available on our website. You can find these and many more amazing pieces in our Vintage Jewellery department but if you see anything here that you love then just simply tap or click on the image to go straight to the product page where you can see more photos and full details!

1 - Vintage Unframed Cameo Brooch (£24)

Stunning cameo brooch in resin back with a two tone peach amber finish. Attractive portrait of a young woman wearing a tiara and ornate earrings. Very intricately detailed. Four gold tone clips attach cameo to brooch fixing. Well attached. Rollover clasp at back. In very good vintage condition. Find it here:

2 - Vintage AJC Goldtone Antiques Brooch (£22)

This is such a cool, quirky and kitsch vintage brooch from New York jewellery makers AJC. The 3D design features a clock, a lamp, a kettle, a fan and a Victorian shoe with the word ANTIQUES in single hanging letters. All made from a polished goldtone metal. Rollover catch and AJC marking on back. Measures approx 2"x 1.8" and in very good vintage condition. Find it here:

3 - 1950s Vintage Pastel Pink & Blue Crystal Brooch (£22)

This beautiful vintage brooch is in an unusual fanned shape and set with very pretty pastel pink and blue sparkling gems/crystals. Furnished in a bright gold tone metal. Finished off with tiny hanging pearl beads from the bottom. Rollover catch. Measures just under 3” long. In very good vintage condition. No missing stones. From our range of 1950s vintage, vintage jewellery and vintage brooches. Find it here:

4 - 1970s Vintage Purple Cabochon Brooch (£18)

Beautiful large brooch with purple veined cabochon housed in an intricate gold-tone mount. Rollover catch. Measures approx 2.5" x 2". In very good vintage condition. Find it here:

5 - 1960s Vintage Pearl & Crystal Brooch (£18)

Unusual and interesting vintage brooch with cascading rows of pretty faux pearl and crystal beads. Simple gold tone metal oval at back with rollover catch fastening. Looks great on a big coat or chunky jumper. Approx 3” long when worn. A few signs of wear on very close inspection but generally in very good vintage condition. Find it here:

Don't forget to check out our Vintage Jewellery department regularly as we add new items to the website each and every week across all categories. You can also call into the shop if you would like to have a look before you buy. Just give us a call or drop us a line anytime! I hope this week's Fave Five has given you some inspiration - let me know your favourite piece this time around.

Until next time

Emma x

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