Star Struck

img_2161I’m a simple girl at heart. My wants are few, my demands are limited.  Excuse me a second while I stop my hubby choking on his tea as I write!

You know only too well how much I love a charity shop rummage and the excitement of finding a sparkly paste treat. But there’s a piece of special glitter (that goes way beyond my usual charity shop budget!) which stole my heart many moons ago. The Holy Grail of vintage brooches, in my humble opinion! Regular readers have heard about this gem in a few previous posts, and yes, there it is in the picture.

I first saw this adorable brooch some months ago. It has a large central diamond surrounded by several smaller stones, all set on a filigree background. It’s so sweet and pretty, and reminds me of a delicate leaf or a perfectly spun web. So, how did I come to ‘meet’ the Holy Grail in person? Well, I got talking to some fabulous ladies in the shop it currently calls home!

McNeillys (, a jewellers in the centre of Belfast, is nestled in Lombard Street, a quiet little walkway that carries you into the heart of Cathedral Quarter from the hustle and bustle of High Street. Every time I pass by, I stop to see if the brooch is still there and go merrily on my way, all the happier for seeing this lovely vintage treasure. Some might call this an obsession, I prefer to think of it as appreciation 🙂 Hubby and I have a running joke about it now-I could never walk down the street and not check on its welfare.

So at the weekend, I was passing through Lombard St and thought it might be nice to take a picture of the brooch for this blog so that readers could see the object of my affection and share in it’s sparkly loveliness! I didn’t want to look strange though, standing outside the shop with camera perched, so on I popped inside and asked permission.

Well, how glad am I that I did-the ladies of McNeilly’s were adorable! No sooner had I asked about the picture than the little jewellery box was delicately plucked from the window and sitting in front of me, prepped and primed for a pic! What a treat, and after all my meanderings past the window, the brooch was not a let down. It left me star struck with its glitter and sparkle.

As if the Holy Grail of brooches wasn’t enough for one day, we started talking about a new addition to the vintage window of the shop. A stunning diamond and sapphire bracelet which the ladies showed me too. Wow is all I can say, not just about the setting or the style which are amazing, but the size. I wish a photo could have done it justice. Neither I nor the ladies of McNeilly’s had any idea of a modern woman who could possibly have a wrist so tiny to wear it. And the bracelet was so pretty it would be an utter shame to replace it. Perhaps it’s the Cinderella slipper of the shop at the moment-one day it will fit a perfect wrist beautifully.

So there you go. An adventure and a half for a vintage-loving, brooch-obsessed magpie! How kind of the ladies in the shop to indulge my whim and let me ‘meet’ my dream brooch and how lovely to talk to people who clearly adore vintage sparkle too.
I hope one day that the brooch (and bracelet too) find new a new home. They deserve to be worn and cherished because dare I say it again, the best thing about vintage is giving it a new purpose in a new time and in a new place.

Rosie xx

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