Posts Tagged ‘antique brooches’

Victorian glass brooch.

Today’s brooch feels festive and I often wear it for a New Year’s Eve party or some other special celebration. My mother gave it to me and I think it’s Victorian, perhaps crystal or glass. It reminds me of a icicles or a waterfall and since it’s quite large and slightly heavy, I pin it to a coat. An even better place to wear it is on a handbag.

This Corde handbag (circa 1930s), embellished with a Victorian brooch, is just the thing for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Start the new year off tomorrow with Day Eight of The Twelve Days of Brooches.

Wishing all ODFL readers a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.

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Merry Christmas!

Welcome to The Twelve Days of Christmas, 2022. What is the theme this year?


Brooches are among my favorite pieces of jewelry and I have quite a few. Versatile, they can add interest on the shoulder of a sweater, or brighten up the lapel if a winter coat. They offer a bit of whimsy on a hat and they spruce up a handbag.

Now through January 5, 2023 I will share some of my collection with ODFL readers. Up first is an antique garnet brooch.

My mother and I found this Victorian garnet brooch in an antique store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were there one summer on vacation and were surprised by this shop tucked away among the markets and galleries selling Native American pieces of art and jewelry. As I recall the owner of the shop was drawn to Santa Fe, as many people are, and relocated from some other state.

My mother was an antique jewelry dealer and I used to help her at the antique shows she did around the Bay Area. I learned a lot form her and at the time I was slowly building up my collection of antique jewelry. This brooch had to be mine. Garnets attract me for their deep burgundy color and I like to wear them this time of year. They are the birthstone for January and symbolize love and friendship. The stones in this brooch are faceted and sparkle in the right light – perfect for holiday parties and dinners.

I love this brooch as much for the memory of finding it with my mother on that hot summer day in Santa Fe as for the beauty of the piece itself.

Come back tomorrow for Day Two of the Twelve Days of Brooches.

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There is undeniably an old-fashioned air around brooches, but there are ways of wearing them to look more up-to-date. Wearing with knitwear rather than formal day dress can jazz up a plain jumper, or go big and bold a la Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli at the US inauguration, for a modern take on this most regal of accessories.

Alicia Healey – Former employee of Queen Elizabeth, regular contributor to The Spectator and author of Wardrobe Wisdom From a Royal Lady’s Maid (National Trust).

This quote is from The Art of the Brooch published in The Spectator magazine, July 25, 2022.

A collection of vintage crown brooches from Collectible Costume Jewelry (Collector Books). Wear one of these on a headband or pin it to a fabric handbag.

It does seem that brooches have slipped into obscurity. But not with some of us. I’m a big fan and I like to place my brooches in unexpected places. For example I wear a bee brooch on the cuff of my denim jacket. I have a big black and white butterfly brooch that sits atop a black beret. Any brooch placed on the shoulder of a sweater adds more interest that if worn elsewhere. Also, a collection of small brooches worn together on a lapel will catch the eye. Brooches offer a lot of style and can perk up any outfit. I think the key for a more modern look is to not to take them too seriously and just have fun. Think outside the brooch box.

Collection of whimsical insect brooches pictured in Collectible Costume Jewelry (Collector Books).

Brooches make excellent holiday gifts and interesting vintage brooches can be found at thrift stores for a reasonable price. There’s still time to hit your local thrift store and find a unique gift for some lucky person in your life, or you!

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