Tuesday 29 September 2020

Charles Horner jewellery of Halifax UK

Charles Horner jewellery | CH jewellery History.

Once of Halifax UK, this company produced a wide range of items from jewellery to buttons, ornaments, hat pins and thimbles. Famous mostly for the Art Deco silver jewellery it produced. However they also made a wide range of costume jewellery, ornaments, buttons, hat pins, thimbles and other metal and plastic items.

Charles Horner himself lived from 1837 to 1896. He started his jewellery business in 1860. Producing first silver jewellery. Later he became more well know for his Art Nouveau silver and gold hat pins, Art Nouveau pendant necklace as well as his twisted wire silver and paste knot brooches. In 1884, he patented the Dorcas thimbles. These thimbles were made to be more hard wearing than the softer and more pliable previous thimbles available. Thimbles were made up until 1947. His two sons and partner continued after his death. Eventually expanding the business into a very large company. 

One range was the Staybright shiny metal jewellery, with dimpled surfaces that glitter and were a poor man's “marcasite” reproduction style. The Staybrite jewellery is now very collectible today. 
Charles Horner Staybrite brooch - Art Deco design

There was also a wide range of cameo pieces produced in casein – a type of plastic. This range was called "Dorcasine" Very recognisable and also now very sought after.
Dorcasine cameo by Charles Horner

Dorcasine curly haired lady cameo by Charles Horner

Dorcasine Gainsborough lady cameo by Charles Horner

Books are available on the jewellery and ornament range for further information. However most Charles Horner costume is unsigned and can be difficult to identify. Mainly because over their long history. But many of the silver pieces are - with the stamp CH. 

Sadly the decline in sales brought about the companies demise in 1984, when it went into liquidation. 
We have just some of the Charles Horner jewellery and accessories found on my travels.
spider brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Sailing ship brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Seahorse brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Olden day ship brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

red sailing ship brooch Staybrite by Charles Horner

Pelican brooch Staybrite by Charles Horner

Peacock brooch Staybrite by Charles Horner

Deer brooch Staybrite by Charles Horner

Brooches in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Bow brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Back brooches in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Swallow brooch in Staybrite by Charles Horner

Art deco style charles horner brooch

Art deco style charles horner brooch back

back of swallow brooch charles horner

back of curled leaf brooch charles horner

curled leaf brooch charles horner

casein cameo brooch charles horner

casein cameo brooch charles horner back view

casein cameo brooch charles horner no frame

casein cameo brooch charles horner back view

woman in hat cameo brooch charles horner

woman in hat cameo brooch charles horner back
Updated September 2023

Saturday 26 September 2020

What is the difference between rhinestone and diamante

What is the difference between rhinestone and diamante?

What is the difference between diamante, rhinestone and crystal? It seems today each term is used for the same type of simulated diamond style stones in jewellery. So lets look at each in turn.
Diamante – well those in the UK seem to use this term for sparkling stones in jewellery. Years ago it used to be only used for the sparkling sequin stones that were sewn onto garments to add sparkle. But somewhere between the 1950s and 1970s it became a household name for the stones used in jewellery. Today it is still used widely in the UK with various forms of spelling for example diamonte, dimonte and diamantes. Here on Jewels and Finery we use it for the less sparkling and quality jewellery we have, including acrylic diamante.
1980s diamante clip earrings
Unicorn diamante brooch modern
Rhinestone – this is the term used in the US for all sparkling stones in the past and even today. Large or small, pave, foiled backed or unbacked. The name originated from the Rhine in Germany, where rock crystal gemstones were found. In the eighteenth century, a manufacturer called Strass found a way to turn glass into shiny like stones called the totally original “Strass”.  Earlier in the seventeenth century glass with a high amount of lead, called paste was used first by the gentry. Afraid of getting robbed many people started to replace diamonds and other gems with paste. This lead to the fashion of paste and eventually the popular non precious stones or artificial gemstone use in jewellery. Paste reached its peak use in the late 18 century, because of Strass and his glass rhinestone invention.
D'Orlan heart brooch with pave rhinestone
Gold mesh and clear rhinestone necklace
Crystal – Swarovski and the jewellery makers of Bohemia and Austria are responsible for this term. Crystal is just high quality and super shining glass rhinestones or beads. It is also called Austrian crystal or Bohemian crystal. In 1955, when Swarovski produced a coating to clear rhinestone glass that gave it that “oil on water” effect that soon became very much prized in the world of jewellery. Today the term crystal is used loosely for Swarovski crystal rhinestone of a huge amount of colours and coating finishes, with clear glass beads or above the shaped crystal used in this rose brooch – Swarovski made is the best available.
Jewel Crest brooch with Swarovski crystal rhinestone

Blue glass pendant necklace by Exquisite
Swarovski glass pendant necklace by Exquisite has that wow sparkle that comes from Swarovski crystals.

Friday 25 September 2020

Exquisite leaf jewellery

Exquisite loved leaf jewellery. 

In their long history, they produced so many different versions of their jewellery leaves in large and small leaf brooches and earrings. This jewellery blog has some original information leaflets. We are also photographing and showing all the leaf jewellery for your pleasure and ongoing research.
curled leaf brooch by Exquisite
The Exquisite company produced leaves in Vine, Beech, Horse Chestnut, Elm, Ivy, Cherry, Hazel, Pine, Mour ‘N Ash, Oak, Mulberry and also Sycamore. They used a variety of finishes from hand painted enamel, gold, silver in a plain tone or textured and many different designs.

The above is a cherry tree leaf brooch by Exquisite in an all textured gold tone. This design can be found in a variety of finished and colours making it ideal to collect. It is also in a large and small size and matching earring clips can be found still.
Holly enamelled clip earrings by Exquisite

Holly enamel clip earrings by Exquisite
Above are the vintage cherry leaf earrings – clip style to match the enamel cherry leaf brooches.
Sycamore jewellery or also know as a leaf from the helicopter tree. Throw the seeds in the air and watch them twirl down to the ground. This Sycamore leaf brooch is hand enamelled. So you will find different color tones and looks. Again in a large and small size with matching earrings to be found.
Silver cherry leaf brooch by Exquisite

Conker leaf brooch by Exquisite

Golden ivy leaf brooch by Exquisite

Enamel leaf necklace by Exquisite

Golden sycamore leaf brooch by Exquisite

Mountain ash enamel brooch by Exquisite

Gold leaf vintage necklace by Exquisite

Enamel sycamore brooch by Exquisite
Another version of the Sycamore from Exquisite in an all textured gold tone and a smaller size.
The large leaf is we think from an Elm tree sprig below with the colourful distinct seeds – but we have been wrong before.
Enamel Mulberry brooch by Exquisite
This is a Mulberry leaf although the fruit is like a blackberry - it is part of the Birthday range.
Cream enamel leaf brooch by Exquisite
 It is an unusual brooch in a cream enamel with raised gold textured edging.
The horse chestnut brooch or conker as more known. Beautifully enamelled by hand is the one in the above photographs. Again found in all sort of finishes.
Or jewellery blogs are ongoing and we add more as we have sourced and photographed it.
Other blogs on Exquisite jewellery:
Rose and flower jewellery by Exquisite.

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.