I was speaking with the lovely @Sparkletrove on Twitter (please give her a follow) yesterday, a fellow vintage brooch fan. She happened to ask me how many vintage brooches I own and I couldn’t answer. I’m honestly not sure. Not that this is particularly surprising to any of my twitter friends as my vintage brooch collecting is pretty well documented, within this blog let alone elsewhere.
Our conversation did get me thinking about my collection though, and how it has evolved over the years. I started collecting brooches around the time I got married, six years ago. The circular paste brooch in the pictures above was the inspiration for my wedding dress. It was the first (vintage) brooch I ever owned. I loved the style and the incredible sparkle and lots of similar additions followed, again like those in the pictures above. I was only interested in white paste stones in silvertone casings that danced in the light. A very limited outlook I confess!
And then something changed! As I grew more interested in extending my brooch finds into an actual ‘collection’, I also became more aware of the huge range of vintage brooch makers that existed and the stunning styles they were renowned for. No longer was the brooch itself the object of my affection, so too was the maker! I learned about Hollywood and Exquisite, Sphinx and Sarah Coventry, Lisner and Trifari…The list is never-ending. So my vintage brooch odyssey continued, and that’s how my paste collection evolved into the type of collection that includes the pretty modernist piece photographed above that I found on a recent charity shop excursion (Age NI, £0.50).
And therein I suppose lies the evolution of any collection. You start with something you love, perhaps because it sparkles, it’s pretty, it’s rare or fascinating. Then you find yourself drawn to similar versions of it, but before long you want to know about and own every aspect of it! That’s what’s lovely about being a collector of vintage pieces – in many ways, you become a researcher and an historian in too.
I have so much to learn about vintage costume jewellery and every single time I find a new piece, my interest extends and my knowledge increases. It’s not rocket science I know. It makes me happy though!