Appliqué

Appliqué in jewelry is when decorative pieces of one material are attached onto the main piece.  This can also simply be referred to as ‘applied decoration’.  Normally, this technique is used with metal, but other materials such as hardstone may also be appliquéd.  This was a particularly popular technique throughout the Victorian era and also in Arts & Crafts Movement  jewelry.  Here are some examples below.

Brooch

England, c.1903
Brooch, gilded silver, gold, enamel and turquoises
Ashbee
V&A Museum

Brooch

England, c. 1916-1917
Brooch, silver, engraved with applied decoration
V&A Museum

Brooch

London, c. 1855-73
Brooch, gold enamel, pearls and hair.
V&A Museum

Brooch

England, c. 1880
Brooch, stamped and applied gold.
V&A Museum

In the late 1800s (after 1870 but before 1895) small amounts of platinum were often used as appliqué on gold.

File:Platinum appliqué.jpg

Platinum Appliqué
Lang Antiques

 

Gemstone Settings

Here are the main types of gemstone settings:

Prong or claw setting

Usually four to eight prongs (but can be many more and sometimes only two).  Prong tips can be rounded, oval, flat or v-shaped.

This is the most common type of setting.

Ring

Europe, c. 1800-1869
Ring, faceted hessonite garnet
V&A Museum

Bezel or Semi-Bezel Setting

 A metal rim or collar completely encases the sides of a stone with the rim extending slightly above the stone.

In the case of a semi-bezel, the metal does not go all the way around the sides of the stone.

One of the oldest types of settings.

  • Ring

    Mid 19th century
    Ring, peridot intaglio set in gold
    V&A Museum

Channel Setting

Continuous row of stones set in straight line into a metal channel, with no metal inbetween.

 

Diamond eternity ring, Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry.

Crown Setting

A crown setting is in reality a type of prong or claw setting which looks like a crown.

Ring

Europe, c. 1800-1913
Ring, demantoid garnet, set in gold
V&A Museum

Pave or Bead Setting

The gemstones are set very close together so that no metal shows from underneath.

Brooch

England, c. 1860
Brooch, pave set turquoises with brilliant cut diamond
V&A Museum

Inlay Setting

This is when the gemstone is embedded into a hollowed out place in the metal.

Ring

England, c. 1800-1830
Ring, gold set with rubies.
V&A Museum

Flush Setting (also called ‘Burnish Setting’ or ‘Gypsy Setting’)

This is the same as an inlay setting, but the stone and the metal are level.

Illusion or Invisible Setting

Several stones are laid side by side with no metal in between.

Grooves in each stone fit into a metal frame which is hidden from view below the surface.

 

Art Deco Diamond Bracelet

Image Courtesy of Lang Antiques

Tension Setting

This is a relatively new type of ring setting where the metal is used to hold the stone in place, suspended between the open shank.  Small groves are made into the metal to hold the stones in place.  First developed in the late 1960s.

Tension ring.JPG

Bar Setting

Stones are set between bars of metal. I have been unable to find an example of this used in antique jewelry.

À jour

Please see here. 

Sources / further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tension_ring

http://www.theauroragems.com/jewelry-information/type-of-gemstone-settings

http://guide.diamondpriceguru.com/diamond-and-ring-basics/ring-settings/choosing-a-diamond-ring-settings/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonesetting

Evaluating Some French Gold Chrysoprase Earrings

France, c. 1825
Earrings, enamelled gold with chrysoprases  V&A Museum

In today’s post I am going to discuss these beautiful earrings, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Firstly, we know they from between 1819 to 1838 as the V&A tells us they are marked.  That will also be how we know they are French.  But even if we didn’t know this, the style is very much from that era and typically Western European.  Many earrings designed like this from the time would have been called ‘day to night’ earrings and you would have been able to detach the bottom part of the earrings if you choose to create a less showy look; V&A doesn’t tell us if this is the case or not but I strongly suspect it is.

Another thing we can surmise is that the gold is a high karat, at least 18 karat, as this would have been usual for gold jewelry of that era and especially in France. The gold also appears to be rose gold, which would mean it would be alloyed with copper.  Rose gold is typical of the entire 1800s and early part of the 1900s.

The stones are chrysoprases, which are a type of chalcedony.  They are really very common in Victorian era jewelry.  The stones in these earrings appear to be cabochons (unfaceted) but it is possible that the larger stones have some subtle faceted around the edges, it is hard to tell with the way the light is shining on them.  

Another notable thing about these earrings is the way they are bordered with grainti.  This is typical of the era, particularly in France where the technique was first revived.

The metalwork itself is openwork and would have probably been made from separate pieces soldered together.

The enamel work is created with a simple technique, I believe by looking at it is Champlevé enamel work, which would be created by making hollowed out indentations in the metal and then filling with the enamel.

The blue flowers are reminiscent of forget-me-nots which was a common motif in that era and could have been meant to convey a message.

Also, very typically of the era, are the findings, which appear to be the front closing kind.  This kind of closure nearly always places earrings as being from before 1882.  However, it is always wise when evaluating a piece of jewelry to look at all the clues as a whole.

Earrings

V&A Museum

Sources / further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysoprase

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O115145/earrings-unknown/

Hair Combs

 

Hair combs were popular throughout every era but particularly in the Victorian era through the Art Nouveau era. In the Art Deco era, hair became shorter and hair clips and smaller hair ornaments were more often in style.  In this post, I am just going to give some examples of a few styles of hair-combs in pictures in order to get more familiar with them.  I will go into the specific styles of hair combs and how they were worn for each era more thoroughly in the future.

Comb

England, 1906
Hair comb, ivory, mounted in silver and set with mother-of-pearl, sapphires, green stained chalcedony and a fire opal matrix (Arts & Crafts)
V&A Museum

Comb

Rome, c. 1810
Comb, gold set with micromosaics, glass beads and enamels
V&A Museum

Comb

London, c. 1900
Comb, silver, set with garnets
V&A Museum

Comb

England, c. 1809-1810
Comb, silver cast and bright cut
V&A Museum

Comb

Italy, 1808
Comb, pietre dure, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, gold
V&A Museum

Comb

Berlin, Germany c. 1820
Cast Iron
V&A Museum

Comb

France, c. 1875
Comb tortoiseshell, hinged copper-gilt, applied decoration and filigree
V&A Museum

 

 

 

International Names for Art Nouveau

French Art Nouveau poster

The ‘New Art’ or ‘Art Nouveau’ Movement (1890-1914) was known by a variety of other names internationally.  Although each country had their own name for and interpretation of the Art Nouveau style, there were certain chief characteristics which united this design movement.  In this post, I am simply going to list the names for Art Nouveau in several major countries as I believe this knowledge is useful in the study of antique and period jewelry.

‘New Art’ or ‘Art Nouveau’ – Great Britain

‘Art Nouveau’ – France

‘Jugendstil’ – Germany and Norway and most Nordic Countries

‘Tiffany Style’ – USA

‘Stile Liberty’ – Italy

‘Sezessionstil’ – Austria

‘Secense’ – Czech lands

‘Arte Nova’ – Portugal

Sources / further reading:

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art/art-nouveau.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau

Art Deco Carved Gemstones

The Art Deco era of jewelry design (1920-1939) had a variety of motifs and took influence from many sources. Carved gemstones, using jade, onyx, coral and a variety of other precious and semi-precious gems, were another popular feature of jewelry during the era.  Carving gemstones is an ancient tradition and a highly skilled craft.  Carved gemstones are also known as ‘engraved gemstones’ and are either cameo, with the design projecting out, or intaglios, with the design projecting inwards.

Here are some examples of Art Deco carved gemstone jewelry below.

A PAIR OF ART DECO CORAL, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL EAR PENDANTS

A PAIR OF ART DECO CORAL, DIAMOND AND ENAMEL EAR PENDANTS
Christie’s Sale 5968

An Art Deco jadeite jade and diamond brooch/pendant

An Art Deco jadeite jade and diamond brooch/pendant
Christie’s Sale 6968

AN ART DECO CORAL, DIAMOND AND ONYX BROOCH

AN ART DECO CORAL, DIAMOND AND ONYX BROOCH
Christie’s Sale 5388

A pair of Art Deco jade and diamond earrings

A pair of Art Deco jade and diamond earrings
Christie’s Sale 4920

~AN ART DECO DIAMOND, CORAL, JADE AND RUBY BROOCH

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, CORAL, JADE AND RUBY BROOCH
Christie’s 2306

**AN ART DECO EMERALD, DIAMOND AND MOTHER-OF-PEARL BROOCH

AN ART DECO EMERALD, DIAMOND AND MOTHER-OF-PEARL BROOCH
Christie’s

AN ART DECO SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLIP BROOCH, BY CARTIER

AN ART DECO SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLIP BROOCH, BY CARTIER
Christie’s Sale 1272

Brooch

New York, c. 1920-1930
Brooch, platinum, lapis lazuli, diamonds and black onyx
V&A Museum

Carved ruby, emerald and diamond pin, Cartier, Paris, circa 1930
Sotheby’s Important Jewels

Sources / further reading:

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Art_Deco_Era_Jewelry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engraved_gem

http://www.artbabble.org/video/getty-museum/art-gem-carving

Exploring enamel techniques

In this post, I will show some examples of some (but by no means all) types of enamel work used in antique and period jewelry.  Please also see my previous post ‘Enameling Techniques of The Art Nouveau Period’.  What is really amazing to me is just how many different types of enamel techniques there are. I am sure there are many that I have missed here; I will try and add them to this post over time.

Cloisonné

In cloisonné the outlines of the design are the result of the tiny ‘cloisons’ or cells that contain the enamel.

These cells are shaped from thin gold strips.

Necklace

France, c. 1867
Cloisonné enamel and gold
V&A Museum

Cloak clasp

London, c. 1914
Gold with cloisonné enamel, cabachon sapphires, emeralds, pearls and seed pearls
V&A Museum

Foiled Enamel

In this technique, designs of translucent enamel are painted over foil to give an amazing effect.

Pendant - Cupid the Earth Upholder

Scotland, c. 1902
Foiled enamel, gold, glass pendant
V&A Museum

Plique à jour

This kind of enamel work is created with no metal backing, hence the translucent and stained glass like effect of the end result.

Hair ornament

Belgium, c. 1905-1907
Hair ornament, gold, plique-a-jour enamel, diamonds and rubies
V&A Museum

Bracelet

Paris, c. 1875
Bracelet, translucent and plique-à-jour enamel in gold openwork, set with pearls and rose-cut diamonds
V&A Museum

Bressan Enamels

These kinds of enamels came from Bourg-en-Bresse in France during the 19th century.  They were created with individual plaques of colorful enamel made with separate drops of colour and tiny shapes made from gold leaf.  These plaques were set in jewellery as if they were precious stones, often with a tiny stone in the center of the plaques.

Cross

France, c. 1870
Silver-gilt filigree with Bressan enamels and coloured pastes
V&A Museum

Ronde-Bosse Enamel

This type of enamel is when a small, three dimension figure is created by enameling a framework of gold or silver or wire.

Necklace

France, c. 1890
Figures of enamelled gold (ronde-bosse enamel), with a central baroque pearl, set with table-cut diamonds and a cabochon ruby, and hung with a pendent pearl
V&A Museum

Basse-Taille Enamel

Basse-taille is created by engraving the design into the metal, usually gold or silver.  The entire piece is then covered in translucent enamel so that the engraved low relief design shows through.

Bracelet

Paris, c. 1850
Bracelet, enamelled gold set with pearls
V&A Museum

Taille d’épargne

In this enamel technique, designs are engraved in the metal and then filled with enamel, usually blue or black.

Bracelet

England, c. 1862
Bracelet, gold, enamel, rose- and brilliant-cut diamonds, pavé-set turquoises, half-pearls
V&A Museum

Painting with enamel

This is when the enamel is applied to the metal in the same way an artist would apply paint.

Ring

Paris, c. 1870
Enameled gold ring with diamonds
V&A Museum

Ring

Austria, c. 1725-1775
Painted enamel copper ring
V&A Museum

En Resillé

In this type of enamel work, the design is incised on rock crystal or glass paste and the incisions lined first with gold and then with opaque or translucent enamel.

Locket

Europe, c. 1850-1900
Locket, enamelled gold (émail en résille sur verre)
and baroque pearl
V&A Museum

Camaieu 

This is a technique where a monochromatic image is created using layers of white and grey. Usually used in snuffboxes etc.

Box

Switzerland, late 18th century.
Gold decorated with brown camaieu enamel, surrounded by a border of seed pearls.
V&A Museum

En grisaille

This is a technique where a monochromatic image is created using a black background. Usually used in snuffboxes etc.

Pair case

London, 1780
Enameled gold box
V&A Museum 

Niello

Niello is usually classified as a kind of enameling technique although it is not a true enamel.  Instead of the powdered glass enamel, a mixture of sulphur, lead, copper and silver is used.  The design is engraved in the metal and then the mixture is applied.  The piece is then fired.  When it is polished, all of the mixture is removed apart from that which is left inside the engraving.  The result is always black; niello looks different from black enameling because it doesn’t have the same glassy effect and is more metallic seeming.

niello

Evaluating an Enameled Holly Brooch

Brooch

France, c. 1865
Enameled gold and coral brooch
V&A Museum

Today, I’d just like to discuss this one piece of jewelry.  A mid-Victorian era piece, the style is Naturalistic which was a popular style throughout the Victorian era (and many would say the forerunner to The Art Nouveau Movement).  We know that it is from before the date of 1890, because of the type of C-Catch fastening on the back, and also because it has a ‘tube’ style hinge, rather than ‘ball’. The fact that the pin extends outside the edge of the piece, places it more towards the mid-century, rather than the end of the century.

Brooch

The coral beads are cabochon (unfaceted) and would be completely natural and undyed. The color of the coral is salmon.  There are fine gold pins attaching the coral beads to the piece.  The holly leaves themselves are enameled over a fine engraving, in a kind of enamel technique known as Basse-Taille.

Although the Victorian and Albert Museum don’t tell us the karat of the gold or anything about the hallmarks, they do tell us it is French.  This means that it probably 18 karat or more, although if it was meant for export it might be less.

It appears that it is constructed with one central, quite thick wire, with other small wires soldered on to it. These would have been shaped into the form you see.  After this, sheet gold would have been taken and cut into the shapes of the leaves and then would have been formed into the dimensional shapes with repoussé and chasing. They probably would have been enameled before soldering onto the wire form.

The style of brooch itself is a bodice brooch and would have been worn in the center of the dress.

19th century people, particularly in France, assigned meaning to every kind of plant or flower.  The meaning assigned to holly was ‘Defense, Domestic Happiness and Am I forgotten’.  At some point in our history, holly did come to be associated with Christmas, so it could also be that this brooch was considered a ‘Christmas brooch’.

A truly lovely piece!

Platinum

A Belle Epoque diamond brooch

A Belle Epoque diamond brooch
Modelled as a brilliant-cut diamond pierced openwork coronet of stylised swag design with diamond trefoil and seed pearl alternate terminals, mounted in platinum and gold, circa 1900.
Christie’s Sale 8474

Platinum is a white metallic element that is strong, malleable and ductile; it doesn’t tarnish or corrode. It gets its name from the Spanish Platina del Pinto which means ‘little silver from the Pinto’ (the name of the river in South America where platinum was first found). Platinum is often found in an alloyed state and was first isolated in 1804. In this post, I am just going to discuss a little about the history of platinum use in antique and period jewelry;  I will go into hallmarks and purity in a later post.

A platinum alloy was first developed in 1800 and there were various developments concerning the metal throughout the first part of the 19th century but it wasn’t until around 1870 that the first pieces of jewelry began to be produced using it.  These first pieces of jewelry involved platinum applique only; thin pieces of platinum foil were fused to other metals, usually gold. By 1878, the first platinum tipped prongs were beginning to be used for setting diamonds. As the century came to an end, larger pieces of platinum were used along side gold.

File:Platinum appliqué.jpg

Early Platinum applique. Photo courtesy of Lang’s Antiques.

Brooch

Paris, c. 1890
Platinum, gold, enamel, rose-cut diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires
V&A Museum

Bracelet

New York, c 1890
Gold, platinum bracelet.
Tiffany & Co.
V&A Museum

It wasn’t until the year 1895, however, that platinum really began to be used frequently in jewelry.  This was enabled by the invention of liquid oxygen which allowed for enough heat to melt it.  Jewelers started to really love working with platinum and its strength allowed for fine filigree work and delicate gem setting. Between the years of 1895 until the outbreak of the 1st World war in 1914, platinum jewelry was extremely popular.  Platinum jewelry, often set with diamonds, from that era is thought of nowadays as being very typically ‘Edwardian’ or ‘Belle Epoque’.  Delicate, lacy motifs were popular, and subtle scroll work and curved lines were indicative of the styles of that time. (The Edwardian era is sometimes also referred to as ‘The Garland Era’ in reference to jewelry as the bow or garland motif was so ubiquitous during that time).

A BELLE EPOQUE DIAMOND BROOCH

A BELLE EPOQUE DIAMOND BROOCH
Christie’s Sale 2589

A Belle Epoque platinum, diamond and topaz brooch

A Belle Epoque platinum, diamond and topaz brooch
Christie’s Sale 8127

A BELLE ÉPOQUE DIAMOND AND NATURAL PEARL PENDANT NECKLACE

A BELLE ÉPOQUE DIAMOND AND NATURAL PEARL PENDANT NECKLACE
Christie’s Sale 2604

Precious metals became very scarce during the First World War and jewelery manufacture stopped almost altogether.  It wasn’t really until 1920 that platinum reemerged along side the Art Deco Movement and was used in the bolder, more geometric forms that typified that era.  Once again, the fashion for white jewelry was prevalent, but this time with Art Deco motifs, architecturally inspired lines and styling.  Splashes of color in the form of sapphires, topaz, citrine, emerald and other precious stones were used along side diamonds, rock crystal and paste.  In the mid-1920s, white gold began to make an appearance in jewelry and was soon overtaking platinum as it was less expensive. By the end of 1920, the dominance of all white jewelery reached a peak. Platinum remained the preferred precious metal until 1942 when its use was prohibited by the US government.

An Art Deco platinum, star sapphire and diamond bracelet

An Art Deco platinum, star sapphire and diamond bracelet
Christie’s Sale 8127

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, PEARL AND ONYX BROOCH

AN ART DECO DIAMOND, PEARL AND ONYX BROOCH
Christie’s Sale 5968

A PAIR OF ART DECO DIAMOND AND SYNTHETIC SAPPHIRE CLIP BROOCHES, BY RAYMOND YARD

A PAIR OF ART DECO DIAMOND AND SYNTHETIC SAPPHIRE CLIP BROOCHES, BY RAYMOND YARD
Christie’s Sale 2604

AN ART DECO DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE BROOCH

AN ART DECO DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE BROOCH
Christie’s Sale 2589

There are just a few rare pieces from the Retro Era (1935-1945) and most of those were used along side gold. Although platinum was once again legal to use in jewelry after the Second World War, it seemed to have fallen permanently out of favor, never to quite regain the popularity it once had.   My suspicion is that with the prevalence of white gold, people didn’t feel the extra cost of platinum jewelery was worth it.  Also, it seems people will always return to yellow and rose gold as basic precious metals for jewelery because they are easy to visually differentiate from silver.  Today platinum is still used in jewelry, but it is the exception, rather than the rule.

A RETRO SAPPHIRE, RUBY AND DIAMOND CLIP BROOCH/BRACELET

A RETRO SAPPHIRE, RUBY AND DIAMOND CLIP BROOCH/BRACELET
Sale 1393

Sources / further reading:

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Platinum

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/White_Gold

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum

http://elements.vanderkrogt.net/element.php?sym=Pt

http://www.platinum.matthey.com/uploaded_files/publications/pdf2002/jewellery.pdf

Brooch fastenings

One way of evaluating the age of a brooch is by looking at the fastening (although you must of course take everything into consideration).  There are some hard and fast rules that can be applied but there are also exceptions. You must take into account that a brooch might have been remounted with a more contemporary mount (or, in rarer cases, remounted on an older mount). Also, it’s important to look at both the pin, the clasp and the hinge. 

(For clarity’s sake, a brooch consists of: the pin i.e., the sharp metal piece that pierces the clothing, the hinge, i.e. the part that allows the pin to pivot, the catch, i.e. the part that holds the pin in place. The main, decorative part is called the body and all else are called findings.)

Presuming it has not been remounted or modified, the follow rules of thumb apply for dating brooches:

C-CLASP

The basic c-clasp brooch (or ‘pin’) fastening was used through out the 19th century and into the 20th century (ending around 1910).

C-Clasps were nearly always hand-made. 

V&A Museum       C Catch - Likely to be a Pre-1910 piece

V&A Museum       C Catch – Likely to be a Pre-1910 piece

C-Clasp extending beyond edge of brooch

Probably pre-1850

Remember: as the 19th century progressed, the pin generally got shorter and finer. 

V&A Museum Pin extending beyond the edge of the brooch with a c-clasp Likely to be from the 1800's and probably pre-1850.

V&A Museum

Pin extending beyond the edge of the brooch with a c-clasp

Likely to be from the 1800’s and probably pre-1850.

‘T-BAR’ OR ‘TUBE’ HINGES

From around 1850 to 1910 (Also used in other eras to a lesser extent)

These hinges were made by hand and consisted of three cylinders or tubes, one attached to the pin itself, the other two to the sides of the pin.

The ‘T-Bar’ hinge narrowed and became finer in the early part of the 20th century.

It is important to note that although the hinge of the C-Clasp narrowed with time, the actual clasp itself could be broader in more recent times. 

Georgian era C-Clasp Brooch with broad 'T-Bar'  hinge. 

Georgian era C-Clasp Brooch with broad ‘T-Bar’  hinge.

BALL-STYLE OR ROUND HINGE

In the early 20th century, around 1920, the ‘T-bar’ or ‘tube’ style hinge was replaced with a rounded, ‘ball-style’ hinge.

These hinges were machine-made and became standard around 1930. 

The pin itself became one single piece, as opposed to a pin soldered to a tube or cylinder, as with the ‘T-Bar’ or ‘Tube’ Hinge.

Edwardian era brooch with 'ball style' rounded hinge. 

Edwardian era brooch with ‘ball style’ rounded hinge.

EARLY SAFETY CATCH (HAS A MOVABLE PIECE)

All of the below were invented post-1849

They were hand-made until the late 1920’s

Early Safety Catches were created to prevent loss of the brooch from the clothing.

These were usually one of the following styles (although there were lots of creative variations):

LEVER CATCH

Post-1901

On a lever catch, you find a small piece at the top of the clasp to lever the catch open.

Often used on small brooches

Morning Glory Antiques. This brooch is post-1901 and pre late 1920s.

Morning Glory Antiques. This brooch is post-1901 and pre late 1920s.

SAFETY PIN CLASP WITH CHAIN

Post-1849

Brooches were secured with the additional use of a safety pin and chain. Associated with the mid and late Victorian era. 

Brooches were secured with the additional use of a safety pin and chain. Associated with the mid and late Victorian era.

SAFETY PIN CLASP.

Post 1849

A safety pin was embedded into or attached onto the body. 

Art Deco era brooch with body attached to a large safety pin style fastener. 

Art Deco era brooch with body attached to a large safety pin style fastener. 

TROMBONE CATCH (OR ‘PUSH-PULL CATCH’)

1850-1940

This is when a pin slips into a barrel. Specifically European pieces.

TUBE OR BARREL CATCH

These were similar to the trombone style catch but without the push-pull mechanism.

LOCKING C-CLASP (EARLY ROLL-OVER SAFTEY CATCH)

Patented in 1901 / Widely used from 1910 onwards / Handmade until late 1920s

These used a spinning locking mechanism.

Early locking C clasps opened downwards, and more modern ones open upwards.

Early locking clasps usually had a small rounded mechanism.

Later versions ones had a locking piece that was separate and slipped over the holding piece of the clasp.

MODERN SAFETY CATCH

Machine made roll-over, locking or safety catch as we know today. 

Became widespread in the late 1920s to early 1930s.

Usually combined with a round hinge and often pre-assembled as a single unit, bought separately and added to the piece by the jeweller.

DRESS CLIPS OR DOUBLE CLIP BROOCH

1927 (spring system patented by Cartier)

1931 (mechanism patented by Coro)

These gained popularity in the 1920s and were worn until the 1950s. Quintessentially ‘Art Deco’.

Double clip brooches could be worn separately as dress clips or together as a larger brooch. They were sometimes placed on bags and scarfs and fur coats as well as on clothing.

Langs Antiques. 

Langs Antiques. 

DOUBLE HINGED CLIP

(OR ‘FUR CLIP)

1928 (patented by Cartier)

Designed to hold on to thick pieces of fabric, these involved a double pronged clip with a heavy-duty spring mechanism. Although these were known as ‘fur clips’ they generally weren’t worn on fur as they would have ruined the pelt.

Back of an 'Eisenberg Original' brooch with a double hinged clip or 'fur clip'. 

Back of an ‘Eisenberg Original’ brooch with a double hinged clip or ‘fur clip’.

NOTE: WHEN TESTING FOR KARAT, DO NOT TEST THE FASTENER OR RELY ON THE KARAT MARKINGS OF THE FASTENER ALONE. 

Sources / further reading:

http://www.antiquesavenue.com/fasten-ating-how-to-date-antique-vintage-brooch-from-its-catch/2009/03/

http://www.portalwisconsin.org/archives/jewelry_feature.cfm

http://www.ehow.com/how_8762817_date-brooch.html

http://elizabethhanes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/EHanes_inventions_date_jewelry.pdf

https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Dating-brooch-fasteners

https://jewellerymuse.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/tips-on-how-to-date-a-vintage-brooch/

https://www.rubylane.com/blog/categories/jewelry/dating-vintage-jewelry-by-clasp-fastenings/

http://collectingvintagejewelry.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/collecting-vintage-jewelry-part-7-pin.html

http://www.nationaljeweler.com/fashion/antique-estate-jewelry/4231-the-history-behind-dress-clips

 

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