Monday 24 October 2011

Flowers in Brooches

This week Jewels and Finery has launched a new category - flower brooches. This is just one of the categories we have in vintage brooches.
We intend to have just the single flower brooches here, not floral bunches and bouquets designed vintage brooches, but just ones like the small sample below. The category will eventually include the following vintage flower brooches.

Jewelcraft brooch
This beautiful mock pearl large vintage flower brooch by Jewelcraft. Jewelcraft was a name used by Coro and most of the Jewelcraft vintage jewellery found in the UK was made here in Sussex.

large rose brooch by Hollywood

Another UK produced single rose vintage brooch by Hollywood. A Birmingham based firm that produced large quantities of vintage jewellery from the early part of the 20th century until the late 70s.
This is another larger than average red rose brooch enamelled and has textured gold metal.

Unsigned lily brooch 1950s - can be found in a wide range of enamel colours.

Lily flowers are often produced as brooches. Single blooms have been added to our new vintage flower category. This is a gorgeous light purple enameled vintage brooch.
But if your tastes are a little darker, then go for this lily vintage brooch in black.

modern lily brooch unsigned.
Back soon with some more pics from our vintage jewellery and an update on Sarah Coventry's brochure.

Friday 21 October 2011

Christmas and holiday jewellery 2011

Its nearly the end of October, time has just flown so quick and it will soon be Christmas jewellery time again - whether we are ready for it or not.
During the festive season a few years ago now, I started to wear vintage Christmas rhinestone brooches or diamante brooches and it not only brightened up a plain outfit  but it made me smile and feel more Christmasy.

Now every year I wear a different piece of vintage Christmas jewellery every day. It may be a themed piece like a vintage Christmas tree brooch or a pair of sparkling vintage earrings. Lets face it, when in the year will you get away with wearing rhinestone and diamante vintage jewellery during the day to work or out just shopping. So I make the most of this time - it makes me feel good and happier, it is also a better talking point other than the bad winter weather!

Now I did not start of with buying lots of Christmas themed jewellery in one go as far too expensive. Each year I buy one or two pieces and add them to the ones stored at home. Of course I have lots of bright sparkle jewellery that I keep for special occasions and they get a daytime airing as well.
Over the years that we have sold vintage jewellery; it has become obvious which type of jewellery is most popular.
Top is vintage Christmas tree brooches. Well you have one at home and probably in the office, they are in shops and standing in the middle of the high street. So why not one on your shoulder or bag. Putting up the tree is part of our Christmas tradition.

Floral jewellery is the next popular with white Christmas roses, poinsettia and holly with its bright red berries, being the flower choice.

Vintage brooches of Father Christmas and stocking are the next favourite with bells, garlands and toy themed jewellery coming just after in the popularity stakes.

Sparkling vintage jewellery is not just for parties and evening do's. Put on a pair of shimmering earrings and a diamante bracelet every morning in December. Or add a rhinestone necklace to several layers of plain black bead necklaces for your office outfit. You will positively sparkle every time you walk past the a lighted Christmas tree.

Now I have to stop at this point and just point out that I have been talking about jewellery for women. But there is no reason why a man can not join in the fun. Its this time of the year you can attach a Christmas vintage brooch pin to your jacket or on your tie instead of a vintage tie pin. Hats just scream to have a little Father Christmas brooch pinned over that designer logo.................okay just put it next to it then!
Now men, if your thing is sparkling necklaces and bracelets - then go for it. Who cares in this day and age, be yourself.

Why vintage Christmas jewellery - well very few firms make special Christmas themed jewellery now days, as its too expensive. Older costume jewellery was often better made and is still available in a greater variety. 
My take on life is that you only live once so make the most of it, let your confidence shine through and start a new Christmas tradition this year. Have a Happy Christmas.   

Monday 17 October 2011

Suitable Halloween and scary spider jewellery

Its that time of the year again - Halloween - stores filled with bats, spiders, pumpkins and ghouls! So just for the fun of it and the fact that my brain is still full of cotton wool from a bad cold! We have chosen some vintage jewellery pieces suitable to wear for Halloween on the 31st October and can be worn during the rest of the years.

 Black widow spider brooch - pre owned jewellery

A glorious black metal pre owned brooch from Claires, that is just ideal to pin to clothing as near enough a large spider. Pin it to your hat or onto a bag for great effect.

We also have a diamante covered spider brooch if you wish to sparkle

Gothic jewellery has been created across many decades - go for the obvious Gothic necklace.

Gothic skulls necklace in pewter - pre owned jewellery

Or go for something a little more subtle:

 Victorian memorial vintage brooch by Sphinx

Sphinx made a whole range of Victorian revival black vintage brooches and other vintage jewellery. We have 2 different ones for sale at the moment.

For men there is this genuine biker badge which is a bit devilish

 Or for something that is a bit more subtle..

Vintage cufflinks of bloodstone

Wearing jewellery for the occasion is great fun - you do not have to be obvious but a bit subtle for the day if you so wish
Me I will be wearing a selection of vintage brooches and some newer ones. All that have a Halloween theme. If someone this year asks me "are you a witch" I'll just turn them into a pumpkin............. 

Friday 14 October 2011

Zoom feature on Jewels and Finery's jewellery photographs

Yesterday saw the launch of the new zoom feature on our Jewels and Finery's website. So now the vintage jewellery photographs can be seen close up and in closer detail. Taking vintage jewellery photographs is an art in itself. Best taken outside in natural light for me. I have never been a fan of the bland jewellery pictures on a white background - they seem so flat and false. But that is my opinion, not for the many jewellery website around, but then I have always looked at life very differently.. 

Particularly like the close up detail to this second hand brooch of a silver modernist design.

This vintage jewellery set of Christmas bells in our vintage Christmas jewellery category can be viewed so close the reflection of the outdoor studio can be seen.

Look at the detail with the new zoom feature on this panther vintage bracelet.

The zoom can not be seen on these blog photographs - view them on our website - vintage jewellery from Jewels and Finery.

Now have a good weekend.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

1930's filigree and rhinestone jewellery

1930s jewellery comes under the Art Deco and pre-war banner. Jewellery from that decade was a mix of graphic, luxury and very exotic. The thirties is most associated with bright colourful 1930's jewellery, usually imported into the UK from Bohemia. Art Deco and modernist machine jewellery was in evidence but also other styles flourished in the pre war boom years.

Bohemian blue dress clip 1930s
Blue rhinestone dress clip circa 1930s Bohemian

Vintage brooches of that period were often of enamel with marcasite or rhinestone encrusted of multi colours. The signature style of Czech vintage jewellery was filigree, in a few short years it was imported into this country in the thousands such was the demand. It was evident on brooches, bracelets, necklaces, dress clips and earrings. Earring mechanisms changed from pierced to the clip and screw backs; because to pierce ears required a cork and sharp needle - modern piercing equipment had yet to be invented. Dress clips became very fashionable worn on dresses and tops singular or in pairs.

small dome 1930s brooch pin
Small 1930s brooch with colourful rhinestone and filigree

War in the UK saw a gradual change in material used, to sterling silver and "natural" occurring products such as shells, wood and seeds. With rationing until the 1950s, jewellery was available only in small quantities or "home made" Once again during the 30s and 40s, the UK saw the jewellery industry change to help the war effort.

1930s vintage black clip earrings
Black and carved gold feature on this pair of 1930s earrings

The war brought an end to the flourishing Bohemian jewellery industry. The Jewish workers and owners either fled the country or ended up in concentration camps never to return.
1930s filigree and purple rhinestone earrings
A filigree effect around this tear drop shaped rhinestone on this amethyst purple pair of earrings

1930s vintage flower brooch

1930s vintage flower brooch.

Today brightly coloured rhinestone and filigree jewellery can still be found at a reasonable price. The workmanship was by far superior to today's machine made pieces. Rhinestones were prong set by hand and the filigree is in several layers. Beware when buying "vintage" filigree jewellery from Czechoslovakia as the jewellery is not real vintage but new reproductions of an inferior quality. This is very evident now on shopping channels such as eBay.        

Friday 7 October 2011

Clown brooches for that comic circus look

There are so many kinds of brooches to choose from, that today I thought I would have a quick look at clown vintage brooches.
Circus life has diminished tremendously during the last 50 years. In my childhood I went to the circus and enjoyed not only the clowns but the lions and elephant performances. Today circuses are still around but many have complied with the times and moved to theatrical and mostly human performances.

Clowns are either loved or hated. Hated maybe because you can not see their true expression and intent behind the face paint? Loved because they are funny and wear brightly coloured clothing.

Here are a few pieces of vintage jewellery of different clowns that we have on the website at the moment.
Very retro and fun to wear on a hat, bag, clothing or as a hair decoration. Fun to collect and display in a frame or on a pillow.

So have a good weekend and don't clown around too much!!

Wednesday 5 October 2011

BJL necklace lily design

Several jewellery blogs ago - I asked for any information on BJL signed designer jewellery. and information on the unsigned vintage brooches that are of the marcasite and enamel lily design. These brooches can be found in many different colours from pink, blue to green enameled ones.

The lily vintage brooches are very similar to the signed brooches by BJL, so I wondered if they were made by the same company and asked if anyone had a vintage brooch that was signed?

Thank you very much to Clare in New Zealand who recently brought this beautiful vintage necklace signed BJL

It certainly looks very similar to the lily vintage brooches. Now we know that BJL made lily designed jewellery - so there must be a signed brooch somewhere as absolute proof?

And if anyone knows who the company was that made BJL jewellery - please let me know so that I can share the 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.