Saturday 21 May 2011

Scottish Jewellery - Ptarmigan or Grouse Foot Brooch

Okay so you either like them or thing they are grouse! That is Scottish jewellery Ptarmigan or grouse foot brooches!
Scottish ptarmigan grouse foot brooch

Since the Victorian era when Scottish jewellery became popular. The birds foot of the Ptarmigan has been used in the jewellery industry, to produce claw brooches.
Originally worn on kilts, shawls and cloaks - it was prized for good luck especially when on a game hunting trip. Still very collectible vintage jewellery today.
Grouse bird foot brooches can be found in both silver and costume. The silver ones are hall marked and were made by the Ward brothers. (Ideal for dating with the hallmark) The brothers were originally producing jewellery in Scotland but also opened another factory in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, as the popularity was such for their Scottish and other jewellery.
They also produced costume grouse pins under the Mizpah range.

Mizpah stamp on jewellery
The signature is above with two hearts and an arrow through. Not signed Mizpah on some pieces. Made by Quarrier Ward and the Ward Brothers - the designs now owned by Miracle.
Some brooches are unsigned and may be displayed on just a card.   
Grouse foot brooch with a purple rhinestone

Grouse foot brooch with a silver ring

Grouse foot brooch with a purple rhinestone and silver ring

The real feet are decorated with Cairngorm stones usually of glass but some are the real gemstone. They can also be found with amethyst coloured stones. Again some of the stones are real amethyst and usually on the silver versions.
Earlier brooches are made with very skinny feet and later versions being fatter. I think the later ones are not real feet but manufactured. Different finishes are also available with either smooth silver or silver tone to a pattern on the jewellery. Still made today by Miracle as still very popular Scottish souvenirs.

Silver ptarmigan grouse foot brooch
Above is a silver ptarmigan grouse foot brooch in metal.

Also was available in just gold tone if you do not want a real foot!
Gold grouse foot brooch with diamante

Sunday 8 May 2011

Hollywood jewellery - Are All signed?

Following on from my last blog about vintage jewellery. In particular Hollwood jewellery from the Bloxidge Brothers in Birmingham.
Not all of their jewellery was signed. Here is a pink rhinestone jewellery set from my own collection.

The brooch, necklace and clip on earrings are all unsigned. The box is of celluloid. Only the clip earrings and necklace fit the box - the brooch would have been brought separate.
The indents in the boxes pad are an exact fit. So believe this to be the original jewellery in this box. Something you have to look at very carefully. Its not unknown for people to re-use or change the boxes with their jewellery in and identification by this method has to be undertaken methodically.

Have a good Sunday, back soon.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Jewellery by Hollywood from The Bloxidge Brothers.

Vintage jewellery signed Hollywood was produced here in Birmingham (UK) by the Bloxidge Brothers between 1917 up to about 1972. A very big thank you to Patricia for that information.
With most costume jewellery, some pieces were signed and some were not. I would love to know if this company signed their jewellery right from the start or just in the late 1950s onwards  - when several copy right court cases were in progress.
Dating can be difficult when a popular design is made for several years. However the industry used to produce several different ranges through out each year. So certain styles can be attributed to certain decades. Also using the knowledge on the different time lines of findings, an educated guess can be formed. Only if written evidence is available can the jewellery be narrowed down to an actual year.

Looking at these Hollywood vintage brooches:)

Plain gold and silver tone costume jewellery was produced in the early 1970s. Not all, but the style and fastening look to be around this decade. The sculptured art look was very evident during this time.

"Frosted" coating to this brooch by Hollywood. Very Christmas in style. Again looking at the two tone design and back dates to around the 1960s.

Now this brooch is very interesting. This design is signed Hollywood. But we have the exact same design in a gold tone signed Capri (US company 1952 to 1977)? Not copied but made by the same company - but who was it?  1960s/1970s

Nice and chunky vintage brooch/pendant necklace. Totem pole design from my own collection. Signed Hollywood. Difficult to date this one.
Does this design remind you of another company famous for its Lucky heather brooches? Signed Hollywood in block capitals with what looks like a " after the name only. C style fastening circa 1940s/1950s.

Mock marcasite vintage brooch signed "HOLLYWOOD" in block fastening . Timeless design but would guess at the sixties for this one.  Earlier pieces would have been in marcasite, not molded.

Hollywood produced countless different designs and colour ranges and finishes. Shortly I will be creating an album of Hollywood jewels to view on our Picasa account - just scroll to the bottom of this page to see the photographs recently added. So far we have Sarah Coventry, Exquisite, Miracle and associated, Jewelcraft, Coro and Corocraft, Cameo jewellery and Sphinx albums for information.

About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.