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Brooches have been worn for centuries and have been having a resurgence over recent years. Our illustrated guide covers the different types of antique and vintage brooch styles.
Celtic brooches were a
style of brooch developed in Early Medieval Scotland and Ireland. The penannular brooch, a very common type of ancient Celtic jewellery, was representative of the Celtic
brooch style. Typically the brooches were made using iron, bronze or copper
alloy and comprised of a ring with a pin placed centrally across the diameter.
The Celtic jewellery makers were known for their inventiveness and the complexity of their craftmanship and
design. The Tara brooch is a famous example of a Celtic brooch.
L to R: Mid 19th century silver gilt penannular brooch, Alexander Ritchie 1927 Celtic brooch, Malcolm Gray, Ortak Celtic style brooch
Victorian era brooches ( during the reign of the British
Queen Victoria 1837-1901), comprised different types of brooches. In the early
years of Queen Victoria's reign locket brooches, flowers, cameos, hearts and
animals were popular brooch styles. After the death of Queen Victoria's husband
Prince Albert in 1861, mourning brooches were in fashion. The mourning brooches
were somber with heavier featuring
materials such as black onyx , jet and black enamel.
ART NOUVEAU BROOCHES
The art nouveau jewellery era covered the period from 1895
to 1905 and was a reaction to the heavy sombre style of the Victorian era
. The style flourished throughout Europe
and the United States until the advent of the First World war. Brooches of the
time were characterised by free flowing
sinuous line, and featuring natural forms such as flowers, fauna, insects and the female form. Enamel,
including plique a jour enamel (which
let the light shine through the piece) was a common feature.
The Edwardian Period of jewellery (1901-1910) followed the death of Queen Victoria. Platinum began to be used in jewellery allowing the creation of delicate filigree jewellery intended to look like lace or silk. Diamonds, coloured gemstones, and pearls featured in the brooch designs and they were typically set in white gold or platinum. Small brooches were popular and came in different forms such as bows, swags, garlands and ribbons .All of these brooches displayed the delicate new style.
ART DECO BROOCHES
The Art Deco era covered the period from 1920 to 1939. Art deco brooches often had abstract designs with linear geometric lines , taking influence from Cubism and art from India and Egypt. Common materials used were carnelian, lapis, black onyx, quartz and coral, as well as typical gemstones such as sapphires, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
L to R : Diamond and sapphire art deco brooch, silver art deco style modernist brooch, emerald and diamond art deco brooch
L to R:1850's silver luckenbooth brooch, Victorian gemstone luckenbooth brooch,
L to R: Victorian gold bar brooch, Edwardian silver and diamond bar brooch, and Bernard Hertz art nouveau amber bar brooch
L to R: Late Victorian diamond, pearl and enamel brooch, Norwegian guilloche enamel brooch and Tony Michael Holland enamel and silver brooch 1991
EN TREMBLANT BROOCHES
Different Types of Brooch Styles - An Illustrated Guide