Brooches and Pins

From Art Deco Vintage Silver and Antique Victorian Gold to Celtic, Scottish, Roman and Ancient Viking Replicas

Handcrafted museum replicated brooches in sterling silver and bronze starting at just $25; genuine ancient Viking thistle and bramble brooches, traditional Celtic and Scottish designs starting at around $200 – and that’s just a teeny little snippet of what we’ve just discovered and can’t wait to show you.

If your Roman legionnaire’s cape, Viking wool/fur cape or woolen Celtic wrap is missing a pin or brooch to keep it from falling from your shoulders during battle, then you’ve stumbled upon the ideal place to find where to get replacements.

Instead of bone or antler, or solid bronze, we suggest a silver and bronze or brass blend, and instead of the straight pin, we recommend the rounded thistle and bramble Viking designs, the Norwegian Hatteberg styles, or some fine Tortoise brooches, which can be used whether you’re Irish or Russian or even a Roman soldier with an adventurous sense of international style (perhaps a penchant toward conquest with a tendency toward world domination).

If you’re Swedish and have recently battled some Vikings or vice versa, you may appreciate getting back your Trefoil brooches for your shawls and cloaks, although we understand they may have been taken from where your sword fits onto your belt and changed just a little along the way. In any case, if you’re almost anyone engaged in any kind of warfare, or actively participating in local tribal disputes or have an inclination to join drunken brawls while wearing a cloak, shawl, cape or anything that might fall should it not be securely pinned, then we highly recommend a quick stop at Urweg Jewelry, where you can discuss your particular need for ethnic or regional brooches and pins with the talented designers, Askjel Madalhar and Birte Nellessen, who will assist in every way possible.

Choose Celtic brooch styles like the Bow, or Regal Roscrea designs, or traditional Fibulae for elaborate uniforms. There are also simple Ring Pins for your undergarments. It’s all there at Urweg.

Even if you’re looking for some Anglo-Saxon Fibula with beast engravings, raven motifs or generally terrifying mask patterns, a brooch in solid sterling silver, for about $435, should do the trick. (we haven’t spoken to Askjel or Birte, but we believe all silver and gold coins, of any epoch, will be gladly accepted as legal tender).

Urweg Jewelry is a little low on genuine Roman brooch designs, but they do have a good selection of Equal-Armed brooches and lots of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish designs to give your Roman uniform a little something extra (as a fashion statement while you plunder and pillage), and some of the Germanic brooches may be inspirational statements of power and strength with almost any military or soldering ensemble, especially the ring brooch with a little amber gemstone accent set in solid silver for about $115.

Most soldiers (and civilians) will find the Rus Kaftan clasp very useful for everyday or formal events since it can be used on either fabric or leather. Replicated from the design found on cloaks in Kruskaya Russia, they are now available (to Russians and none Russians) for $85/set, yes, at Urweg.

More Recent Vintage Brooch Styles

Genuine vintage brooches can be found at places like MAJ (Mad About Jewellery) in the UK, with some fantastic finds in authentic Czech Republic glass that come with a story of being secreted in a vault for about 50 years, then found, and are now available for sale, like new, and really affordable – between £10 and £30 for each piece. A favorite item is the Sven Salamander, crafted in sparkling diamante. The other fabulous piece is the Phoenix Fantasy, which is a multi-colored bird in flight, and is one of the largest rhinestone brooches in the MAJ collection and therefore is a little more expensive, about £45.

The creation called Sting is just one of the many fantastic animal and bug brooches, being the most elegant and dramatic with white diamond-like stones, while a vintage Mini Mouse design is perhaps the cutest one, albeit rather cheesy. Both are made from Czech crystal glass and costs about £25.

The vintage oddities are countless at MAJ, but perhaps one of the strangest is the still-life window flower pot that costs just £16. It could be wonderful accent, as a belt buckle, hat adornment or for attaching to a scarf or winter coat. It’s always fashionable to wear a window flower pot any time of year.

Victorian Brooch Classics

What tends to characterize an antique brooch as a Victorian one, aside from the time frame of its creation being precisely the period that Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901, is the fact that each piece shares a few common attributes such as rich golden tones, usually genuine 18K gold (readily available during that prosperous period), pearls – usually seed pearls (which by the way were not cultured by natural), often embellished with garnets or rubies, frequently cameo styles with miniature paintings, and almost always some kind of accenting with pearls or gemstones. Bar brooches were also in vogue.

The later style, namely the bar brooch, is one of the most affordable designs that can be chosen by a collector on a budget, since usually the items are relatively small and only lightly embellished, often with a single gem or pearl. Such is the case with one available at Antique Jewelry Mall, where the delicately crafted piece, circa 1890, is retailing for about $125 and is solid 10k gold with a small natural seed pearl as a feature.

In the age of retro/vintage and antique craze, it has become popular to mimic the Victorian rich style, and therefore red garnet and ruby creations are abundant. The designs are often based on animal, insect or other creatures as a basis while the style remains Victorian. These creations are often made more affordably, although may still be 18k gold and genuine garnet gems, like the butterfly broach collection that forms part of the Antique Jewelry Mall Victorian series, but is in fact new and costs only $195. It’s a Bohemian Garnet Butterfly, and is not a genuine antique, but fashioned after jewelry ideas of that time period.

A piece of jewelry that exhibits exceptional craftsmanship, marvelous detail, and is a genuine antique brooch, actually a cameo style, circa 1890, is a piece that includes an antique portrait set in a 14k gold filigree frame with seed pearls around the edge. This unusual cameo brooch costs over $500, but what an heirloom to collect or give to continue the legacy.

The Fascinating Art Deco Brooch

Just in case you’re wondering what actually constitutes the period of art deco, well it’s less precise than that of a reign of a queen or king because it refers to all things architectural and from the design and art world that began around 1910 and continued through to the 1940’s however, was less popular in the late 30’s and 40’s as it was in retrospect in the 60’s. The heyday of art deco would have to be considered a short span of time from 1910 to early 1930’s. The influences were geometric lines, architectural shapes that were modern, graphic arts that emerged with crisper lines, and colorful, often gaudy, motifs. When it comes to jewelry, especially retro and vintage style art deco brooches, there isn’t a hard and fast rule of what the style will be like. In some cases it is delicate filigree silver with gemstones, and in other cases simple lines and almost minimalist style pins. In other cases the jewelry is colorful and replete with rhinestones and shapes and combinations that are as wild and diverse as the creators themselves.

As an example, the 1920’s brooch available through Antique Jewelry Mall is a filigree white gold creation with delicate sapphire and diamond accents. This rare and genuine piece of art deco jewelry costs over $600, and is not very large, but simply elegant.

As a contrast, a piece also considered art deco, but tending more toward what is known as “retro modern”, is a design from the 40’s. It’s a large, circular 14k gold brooch with stems emanating from a small rosette adorned with diamonds. The entire piece is encircled by cultured pearls. This is defiantly a collectible item, and costs over $1,600.

For more information on unique ladies broches, antique cameos, Spanish broches de fieltro and French broches fantaisie, please continue reading related topics.