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Different type of Brooch Clasps
There are several different types of clasps that were used on brooches in the early days right up to modern pieces. Some typical styles are Extended C clasps and C clasps, Trombone Clasps, and Locking C clasps. Pins types were the Jabot pin, dress clip, duette, collar pins, and pin clips.
Victorian tortoishell brooch with extended C clasp and old silver C clasp brooch
Trombone clasps are so named after the musical instrument that needs a push and pull to operate. This type of clasp uses this push pull method of closing. The clasp was first seen in use in the early 1890s on European jewellery. Many brooches made in France displayed this type of clasp. They were commonly used in jewellery made in the 1940s, becoming less popular after this period. A number of brooches in the 1960s, 70's, and 80's including certain Chanel brooches still displayed this type of clasp.
L to R :Trombone clasp- closed and open views
Locking Safety Catch .
The rollover safety catch seen today is essentially the same design that became commonly used in the 1920's and 30's. The safety catches were machine made and the pin is locked in the catch by a rotating jaw.It usually has a round hinge. Most modern jewellery has this type of locking C clasp although it is still possible to find modern brooches using C or Trombone clasps.
L to R: Twentieth century brooches with machine made locking silver safety catches.
In the period from around 1850 until 1910 generally all hinges on pins and brooches were tube hinges. Tube hinges comprised three tubes of hollow metal, with two of the tubes soldered directly to the brooch, and one tube attached to the pin.
L to R: Antique gemstone brooch with silver tube hinges, pin and C clasp , and mid 20th century brooch with round hinge
Round hinges began to be machine made and mass produced int he 1920's becoming a standard brooch hinge by the beginning of the 1930's. Most of the hinges came part of a pre made unit comprising the hinge, pin and catch which could be attached to the brooch in one step, a great labour saving device.