Friday, June 3, 2011


I really like "broaches", or as some people pronounce them, "brooches".  Just the name conjures up images of times past.   Vintage broaches are especially dear to me.  Maybe it's because my great-grandmother and grandmother always wore broaches, and they always smelled like perfume and were always "dressed to the hilt"!   My Mom also wears broaches.  Back in the day, when my brother and I were young, whenever she would put on her broach, red lipstick, and heels, I knew she was headed out for a PTA meeting, church committee meeting,  a get-together with friends, bridge club, or a night out with my Dad.  

Broaches and I go way back.  When I was in elementary school, I had animal pins, Brownie pins, Girl Scout pins, and Choir pins.  Then,  I moved on to NHS pins,  cheer leading pins,  high school pins, peace symbol pins, and my boyfriend's pin.  Then, I had pins for my profession, and college.  I think I realized at this point, that I really liked most pins or broaches, but began to appreciate vintage broaches.  

Now, I am drawn to those glass display cases at most antique shops where the vintage jewelry is just waiting to be "snatched up".  Sometimes it is pretty difficult to sort between what is "good" and what is "junk."  But, my philosophy is that if you really like it, it is definitely in the "good" category.  I hope you enjoy part of my broach collection:

This silver broach belonged to my mother, and I suspect that she inherited this from her mother, grandmother....  This has always been my absolute favorite broach and was very surprised and delighted one year when my Mom gave it to me.  It is sterling silver, with very detailed metal work.  The different colors, are actually different metals.  It was hard to photograph because of the reflection of the silver.  Amazingly, I had never looked at the sterling stamp until preparing for this blog.  And, as I have found, there was much to be learned.  This broach has a series of (4) marks that were and are required of British jeweler's. 
The first mark denotes the place of manufacture, this one has an  "Anchor", which means that the piece was made in Birmingham, England. The second mark is the date mark; a letter (old English "p") which denotes the year it was made.  After matching this letter with the British date chart, it was easy to find that it was made in the early 1800's.  The third mark is the "Assayer's Mark" or sterling hallmark that denotes the quality of the silver.   On this piece, the mark is the "Lion Passant", which is the "Britannia Standard of Purity."  Finally, the Maker's Mark is an upper case, stylized "M."  This is the mark of Matthew Linwood, Birmingham, England, silversmith.   Matthew Linwood , Sr. was  a silversmith born and raised in Leicester, England.  He married Hannah Turner, whose father was a "Bucklemaker" in Birmingham, England.  Matthew and Hannah, living in Leicester, had a son, Matthew Linwood, Jr., who was also became a silversmith.  He joined his grandfather's business (established in 1759) in Birmingham in 1779.  Matthew Linwood, Jr., died in 1827 and the business ended with his death.  This broach was probably made by Matthew Linwood, Jr.  The amazing part of this story is that my family is from Leicester, England.  My grandmother was born there, and she and her father, mother, and sister moved to the United States when she was 12 years old.  Maybe my family knew the Linwoods?  Small world!  Amazing!

I received this sterling silver broach from my husband, for Christmas.  What a sweetie.

This broach belonged to my mother-in-law.  In the process of assisting she and my FIL in their move to a retirement home, there was a jewelry case with a number of pieces of jewelry.  We left it available for the family to pick and chose.  Again, after looking at the back today, I found a 14K gold mark.  Whether it was "real" gold or not, I really think it is beautiful!

I like oak trees; they're strong, stable, old, provide shade and acorns, and inspiring!  We had a really large oak tree next to our house growing up.  Oak leaves remind me to appreciate what God has given to me.  This metal leave broach was made in northwest Michigan.  It was another gift from my sweetie.

This beautiful sterling silver broach, was an antique store find.  It was black when I found it, and was priced at a very low price.  With some major cleaning...I now have a beautiful silver broach.

Yes, I really do like Oak leaves.  This sterling silver pin has matching earrings, another gift from my hubby!

This vintage pinwheel pin was a gift from my mother.  I think she said it belonged to my grandmother and is of the WWII era. The pinwheel actually spins.  It is a bit worn, but sooo unique!

Another beautiful broach from my MIL's jewelry box.  (Please keep in mind that her "good" jewelry was in a safe.  So, we had no idea that there were some beautiful pieces in an older jewelry box.)  This cameo has a sterling silver edging that was also black when I found it.  Again, it cleaned up beautifully!  I love cameos because of my Mom and Grandmother.

This hand painted broach is actually a small, flat stone.  I love the 3-D ladybug.  I found it at a craft fair, made by "Odette".

These are two "ebay" finds, when I was looking for inexpensive broaches for a craft project.   The one on the left is vintage, and the one on the right is new.  Both turned out to be surprisingly nice!

Yes, another treasure from my MIL's jewelry box.  And yes, this was also black when I found it.  It is marked Neerom

This is a beautiful sterling silver pin left to me by my husband's grandmother, after she died.  I was very surprised and pleased because I did not know her very well; she lived across the country.  (Just an FIY, she was a professional pianist).  I was wearing this pin one day, and it slipped off in a client's driveway, of which I wasn't aware.  When I realized that it was missing, I drove back to my client's home only to find that she had accidentally run over it with her car.  I was pretty upset.  It used to be concave, and now it is rather flat.  Having it repaired is on my "to do" list.

I also collect amber jewelry, but I will share those with you another day.  This amber and sterling silver broach was a gift from my sweetie!

More of my inexpensive "ebay" finds.  These are all new, but certainly have that vintage look!

More new, but vintage looking broaches.

This is a "House Pin" by Lucinda.  It was a gift from my Mom.  House pins are purchased in a pack as a fundraiser and sold individually to support Habitat for Humanity, advocacy groups, homeless shelters, and a number of other non-profit organizations.  This pin was part a fundraiser organized by my Mom's church.  It is made of plastic/acrylic; there are a huge variety of "House Pins" designs available.

I made this broach from a piece of a gourd. 

Another " find" from my MIL's jewelry box.  This pin was made by modernist R. Tennesmed in Sweden.  It is made of pewter.  My MIL had a number of pieces made by this jeweler.

More inexpensive "ebay" finds.  The bottom left, top center, and top left are vintage.  The rest are new.  I had so much fun collecting these, but have not gotten my "craft project" started yet.
This was a gift from my FIL, a "thank you" gift.

If you read my "Wildflower" post, you know that I like Trillium.  This broach is made of leather; the craft work is amazing!

It is hard to see, but the "stone" is green amber to match a favorite pair of green amber earrings that were given to me by my son.

This is a celluloid flower broach.  I am not sure where I got it, as I have had it a loooong time.

This unique broach is made out of tinted saw dust.  Yes, saw dust!  Since my father was a carpenter, saw dust was a big part of our lives.  Just ask my Mom, we tracked it everywhere!
My dad would come home from work and I would ask him, "What did you do today at work?" and his answer was, " I made a lot of saw dust!"  haha  Anyway, I bought this broach at an art fair, and just love it!

 This is one of the first broaches given to me by my husband, and I just love it.  It is made of sterling silver and hematite.  It was made by the Danecraft Company of Providence, Rhode Island.  Victor Primavera, Sr., a silversmith from Pescora, Italy, came to America in 1910 and founded the Danecraft, Co.  The company continues to create beautiful jewelry today.

 This was a gift from my Mom, she calls is a "Victory" pin from WWII.
This is another beautiful broach from my MIL's jewelry box.  And, again, it was black when I received it.  It cleaned up beautifully, and the grapes really shine.  It is marked "Sterling BMJ Denmark" on the back.  This circa1950s sterling silver pin is by Danish silversmith Borge Malling Jensen who worked in Copenhagen from 1956 to 1973. The bunch of figural grapes dangle from a bow.

These sterling silver pins represent my family.  They are charm broaches that I purchased from "Always Charming" in St. Johns, Michigan.  I wore the "booster" broach on the top right to my son's lacrosse games.  The "Warrior" head represents the team mascot, the "W" presents his high school, the lacrosse stick is obvious and "45" was his number.  I wore the "booster" broach on the middle left to my son's high school football games.  The left charm is a helmet, "66" was his number, the football is obvious, and of course, the "W" represents his high school.  The broach on the lower right represents my family.  From left to right:  Computer- hubby,  measuring spoons, me- the cook, musical note- my daughter the musician, and calculator- my son, the scientist, mathematician.
These stained glass broaches are gifts from my brother and SIL.  I love them!

These beautiful sterling silver broaches are gifts from my daughter.  She purchased them at Colonial Williamsburg.  My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Colonial Williamsburg, long ago.  But a couple of years ago, we traveled with our children there for Thanksgiving weekend, adding more wonderful memories of one of our country's historical landmarks.

As you can see, there are many unique and interesting broaches, both old and new.  In fact, during my research for this blog, I have discovered a few more broaches that have piqued my interest.  I added them to my "watch list" on "ebay", I can see my husband rolling his eyes! 

Next time you are out and about antiquing, take a gander in those glass display cases.  You might find a real treasure.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Beautiful! I love how you've presented another of your wonderful collections. The information you've added from your research is so interesting, it adds a whole new level of appreciation. I can't wait to see what may be adding. . .