Explore Vintage & Antique Brooches
Today we think of brooches as a purely decorative item but brooches in their earliest form had a far more important role. In a time before buttons, ancient and early brooches were used to hold clothing together.
The earliest forms of antique brooches appeared during the Neolithic period and Bronze Age with straight pins used to secure clothing. The design evolved as time progressed to the Roman fibula (Latin for brooch). These brooches have a curved top allowing the sprung pin to hook into itself and form a secure closure.
During the Viking period, brooches were used not only as a functional device but also to show the status and wealth of an individual. The practical uses of brooches ceased during the Middle Ages when early brooches transitioned into ornaments used purely for adornment and decoration, ushering in a new phase for this jewellery item.
Vintage brooches can be found in an array of designs featuring precious metals, gemstones of every kind, fine enamelling, engraving and carving. Due to their versatile nature, vintage and antique brooches can and have been worn on hats, scarves, overcoats, ball gowns, sashes, belts and even as pendants.
Our reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II is rarely seen without one of her elegant brooches. Since her coronation in 1952 she has delighted us with creations from the finest jewellery houses such as Garrard and Cartier to name a few. Vintage brooches became especially popular in the 1950’s for this reason!