10 Amazing Designer Brooches

30/04/2023 1744 0 0

Ten beautifully crafted  antique and vintage brooches from designers such as  Tiffany, Boivin, Georg Jensen and others..

PEACOCK BROOCH   - Charles Robert Ashbee (1907)


The silver Charles Robert Ashbee brooch above dates from 1907. It has peacock feathers with alternating abalone and green and blue enamel, a freshwater pearl pendant and a garnet eye.

The peacock was a favourite emblem of Ashbee's and became a  distinctive motifs in his designs.

Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942) was a defining figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement and a man of great talents and energy .

In 1888 he established the Guild of Handicraft at Whitechapel in the East End of London.

His goal was to revive traditional methods of craftsmanship and providing satisfying employment in what was a deprived area of London. 

Ashbee originally trained as an architect but he also became  known for his highly original metal work,  furniture, silver and jewellery designs.

ORCHID  BROOCH   - Georges Fouquet

This beautiful art nouveau orchid brooch by Georges Fouquet (1862-1957) is one of two versions of the brooch the first of which was seen in 1891.

It is  made in gold and features mother of pearl, pearls, and plique-a-jour enamel. Several drawings of the brooch are held in the Fouquet Archive at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris.

George Fouquet was one of France's most innovative and renowned jewellers. He was well know for his beautiful art nouveau jewellery creations and the orchid brooch is one of his finest pieces of work.

His work can be seen in The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Petit Palais.

BIRD ON A ROCK BROOCH  - Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany (1960's)

The stunning Jean Schlumberger bird on a rock brooch above features a bird pavé-set with round brilliant-cut diamonds and accented with a circular cut ruby eye.

It sits on top of a sparkling 61.20 carat cushion-cut citrine. The total estimated weight of the diamonds is  approximately 2.75 carats.

Jean Schlumberger’s Bird on a Rock brooch is an iconic design that was first created by  Schlumberger in the 1960's after he was inspired by an encounter with a  yellow cockatoo .

Since then the The Bird on a Rock has been recreated by Tiffany in an array of cuts and colours , using some of the world’s most amazing coloured gemstones, including most notably the Tiffany Diamond.  

AQUAMARINE AND DIAMOND BROOCH (1908-1917)  - Alfred Thielemann, Faberge

This beautiful Faberge brooch features a rectangular cut aquamarine set within a rose cut diamond silver topped gold frame. It was created by Faberge workmaster Alfred Thielemann, St Petersburgh,  around 1908 to 1917.

There are Roman numerals XXV on the mount suggesting that it was likely commissioned to celebrate a 25th wedding anniversary.

Faberge were known as the creator of luxury jewel encrusted eggs for the Russian Royal Family, however Peter Carl Faberge was also an internationally renowned jeweller.

His particular specialty were designs that combined detailed hand enamelling with rose cut diamonds and machine made guilloche metal backgrounds.

By the early 20th century Faberge were the jeweller of choice for the Russian aristocracy . They created high end  jewellery by commission.

They also produced a variety of precious objects including eggs, opera glasses, parasol handles, and bejewelled flowers.


This beautiful nature inspired 1930's leaf brooch  was designed by Juliette Moutard for Rene Boivin .

It comprises many oval blue sapphires bezel set  in gold settings hanging from a structure of gold veins. The sapphires have slight variations in tone ranging from pale violet and indigo to cornflower blue.

The positioning of each sapphire was done to reflect the typical variations seen in nature .

Rene Boivin was an expert gardener and passionate about nature. Naturalist interpretations of flowers including orchids, lilies, daisies and roses were frequently seen in Rene Boivin jewellery.


The beautiful brooch above was created  by Harry Winston in 1972  and features a central large 31.73 carat emerald cut aquamarine. 

On top of the gold rays spreading out from the centre are 36 marquise shaped diamonds and 28 round cut diamond.

Harry Winston was an American jeweller who founded his company in 1932. He was known for being one of the industries preeminent brokers of amazing diamonds and was called "The king of Diamonds".

He owned The Hope Diamond for 10 years before donating it to the Smithsonian Institute in 1957.

EYE OF TIME BROOCH (1949) - Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali was well know for his surrealist painting and sculptures, however he also made his mark in the fine jewellery world.

He began working on jewellery in 1940 when he collaborated with Charles Vaillant on five pieces of surrealist jewellery which would go on to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art from 1941-1942.

His jewellery designs reached new heights in 1949 when he began working with Carlos Alemany an Argentinian based jeweller.  Alemany would help create many of Dali's one of a kind designs in his New York workshop.

Dali would select stones based on their colour and symbolism , however, he was also heavily involved in all steps of the production and craftsmanship process.

The partnership with Alemany resulted in some of Dali's most celebrated jewellery work including the "Eye of Time" brooch seen above. It comprises two shade of vivid blue enamel in a platinum setting accented with diamonds , a diamond filled tear drop, and a ruby cabochon.

The brooch was originally designed in 1949 for Dali's wife and it incorporates two of Dali's most iconic symbols, the clock and the eye.

SILVER MODERNIST BROOCH # 395 - Ole Kortzau for Georg Jensen

This rare large silver modernist sculptural Ole Kortzau brooch was designed for Georg Jensen.

The rear of the brooch has British silver import marks for London 1989.

Georg Jensen is a renowned silversmith and jewellery designer. The fine craftsmanship and elegance of his work is recognised around the word.

Over his career he employed various  designers within his company . One of these acclaimed designers was Ole Kortzau .

His designs have a clean sculptural modernist feel and this brooch is a fine example of his work.


The above brooch by British jewellery designer Andrew Grima is made with  four pieces of watermelon tourmaline set in decorative gold modernist settings with diamond accents. 

Andrew Grima was a highly influential jeweller and his modernist, abstract and sculptural designs established him at the forefront of modern jewellery design in the post war period.

His goal was to produce unique pieces which  displayed the highest level of craftsmanship . His one of a kind pieces often featured a single stone which seemed to grow out of a gold setting.

He chose stones for their aesthetic appeal rather than their intrinsic value, using uncut semi precious and precious stones in his work.

The gold parts of his designs were highlighted with irregularly placed small diamonds.

Today Grima is known as one of the top modernist jewellery designers of the twentieth century. His work can be viewed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

PERSIAN PALM BROOCH - Karen Strand for Anton Michelsen 

This iconic Danish modernist silver brooch was designed  by Karen Strand and made by Anton Michelsen's firm around 1953 to 1955. It is called the "Persian Palm" brooch and is  beautifully simple in its smooth sculptural shape.

Karen Strand studied at the The Goldsmiths College in Copenhagen. She then began working with jewellery firm A Dragsted where she went on to become head designer and director .

She opened her own workshop in Copenhagen in 1962.

Anton Michelsen started his own company in 1841. He went onto to become the Royal Jeweller and exhibited at the Paris Exhibition Universelle in 1855.

After his death in 1877 the company was run by his son and grandsons.

The firm employed many notable designers including Arne Bang, Arnold Krog, Thorvald Bindesboll and others.


Article by  Modern Vintage Style


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