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Vintage Brooches' History and Evaluations

Brooches have been worn as a decorative clasp with an attached pin for affixing it to the clothing, hat, hair, or other item for countless generations. It come in a variety of colors, forms, and styles, such as the popular gold brooches shaped as animals, letters, and characters and set with jewels like sapphires and rubies.

This simple, ornamental brooch will never go out of style and may be used as a statement piece on sweaters, caps, and wraps. Brooches are frequently used as key historical identifiers since they varied dramatically among each new time.


1. Brooches with Celtic designs (or Viking brooches)

The very first Celtic brooches, used as cloak fasteners by Celts and Vikings, were observed in Ireland and Britain during the Early Medieval era and had a long pin linked to a ring. The pin rotates around the open ring, enabling it to pass through without creating a permanent hole in the clothes. Brooches were carried on a daily basis by both men and women in Viking times, and they came in a variety of styles and levels of elaboration.


2. Aigrette brooches

This aigrette, which was feather-shaped and set with flat-cut garnets or diamonds in silver or silver-topped gold, was at the height of popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries, and again in the 19th and 20th centuries. Aigrette brooches, which were worn in the hair and typically linked to a diadem, were often exceedingly intricate, with miniature birds fluttering about the plume.


3. Mourning brooches

Mourning jewelery has been established since the 16th century, and mourning brooches evolved into diverse patterns and features throughout its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries. These was frequently a bequest in wills in early Georgian times, to be awarded to valued relatives and friends. Mourning paintings were popular in the late 18th century. These under-glass navette and oval-shaped brooches, like the one below, portrayed sepia images of grief, were set on ivory, and frequently included hair and seed pearls (representative of tears). On the reverse, they were written with the recipient's name, date of birth, and funeral, and occasionally contained a chamber for hair.


4. En tremblant brooches

En tremblant is a French expression that means "to tremble," and it refers to a style of brooch, most commonly a floral spray, in which the center of the flower is joined to a mechanism that causes it to move while worn. These brooches were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, before the invention of electricity, and were set with rose-cut or old-mine cut diamonds, or even both. When the diamonds moved in candlelight, the shaking impression was most noticeable.


5. Cameo brooches

While cameos, which are hard stone and shell cut in relief, date back to ancient times, they were also popular as Grand Tour gifts. Many people identify cameo brooches with Queen Victoria, who adored jewels and would frequently bestow a picture of Prince Albert or herself on members of the court and servants. However, the most enticing cameo brooches throughout history show a story — stories, mythical settings, or gods and goddesses. The greatest specimens, in which you can see and feel the layers of carved stone, were fashioned of hard stone.


6. Sweetheart brooches

These have been frequently referred to as "sweetheart brooches," although there was another form of sweetheart brooch handed to loved ones by troops as they marched out to WWI. The late Victorian aesthetic decade's love brooches were made of silvery sheeting and created as gifts of devotion, with designs and phrases that were first seen in sentimental jewelry out from Georgian and Romantic periods of the Victorian Era.