Brooches (two) – A Pair of Victorian Lace Brooches
A matched pair antique gold-coloured lace¹ brooches each designed as a pin decorated with a horizontal radiating floral pattern using graduated small half pearls. Secured with a pin and hook. Circa 1890-1900.
First measuring: 31.25mm x 8.65mm.
Second measuring: 30.31mm x 8.40mm.
Unhallmarked: tested and valued as 9ct gold.
First scratched engraved to reverse: ‘CM/R’, and ‘3084’.
Assessment of the Pearls (26).
Graduated: 1.70mm to 2.80mm.
Colours (mixed): light cream to greyish white.
Gross weight: 3.84g (1.82g and 2.02g).
¹. The (trade catalogues of London based jewellers of 1900) show page after page of small brooches which were functional as well as decorative. A woman’s dress or blouse front was often trimmed with deep falls of lace and little brooches of this kind were intended to keep it in order (Peter Hinks, ‘Victorian Jewellery’, 1991). Such was the nature of these garments that several brooches were sometimes called for, and when described for sale the jeweller would list the price as being ‘per dozen’, though they could be purchased signally. This Victorian method of wearing these small brooches stems from ‘lace pins’; brooches intended to secure the folds of a fichu (flimsy lace scarf), which originated in 18th century England. Lace pins usually operate with a clasp that employs a circular twist at the bend to act as a spring and hold it in place.
². Enormous numbers of these brooches were produced in a large variation of styles. Where some look similar, the pair described above are identical with respect to their design and manufacture. It is rarely, if ever, that one finds two exactly alike, and consequentially such a condition means that these better than average.