In B is for Brooch, we had a brief introduction to the history of the brooch and had a closer look at two 20th century brooches. I have two more pieces to have a look at today! The theme seems to be flowers….
Flower Burst Brooch
This brooch has caused me a great deal of confusion. It belonged to an elderly family member so I believed that it should be from the mid-20th century. However, the elements of this brooch draw from many different historical styles, types, and techniques! For example, the clasp on the back of the brooch. This is called a trombone clasp and is not something we commonly see today; not that brooches themselves are incredibly common at the moment. Time to change that maybe?! To open the clasp, one pulls out the trombone shaped end to release the pin. This type of clasp is seen on brooches from the 1890’s and onwards, and was also widely used in the 1940’s.
Something else that intrigued me about this brooch is its weight. Considering that I think it is a piece of costume jewellery, it is seriously heavy, Not something you want to hang on your filmy 20th century scarves for sure! Considering the lack of rust, peeling gilding or plate, or any evidence of wear on the frame of the brooch at all, my thoughts went to platinum. Platinum is a very heavy, silver coloured metal that doesn’t wear. Platinum was used extensively in the Edwardian period from 1900-1915 and is often paired with emeralds and diamonds.
Maybe it is made of this platinum, maybe it is Edwardian! But considering its known provenance and the lack of markings on the metal (which I would expect from an expensive piece of jewellery), I can’t say I’m convinced! Imitation perhaps? One way or another, this brooch is lovely!
Ceramic Flower Brooch
Next up, we have a delicate flower brooch made of ceramics; a material somewhat unusual but incredibly sweet. This one helpfully has markings on the back. Made in Staffordshire, England, this brooch was made by a company called Cara China Co. They began making these sorts of ceramic flower brooches in 1945 in the last year of World War Two. Compared to the flower burst brooch this one is incredibly light; a danger, given its delicate material!