Antique Brooches are pieces of original jewellery produced more than 100 years ago.
History & Description
Antique brooches are very popular collectors’ items and can be purchased from a multitude of websites that specifically sell antique jewellery and fashion accessories.
Brooches initially served a purely practical function, as a means of fastening clothing about a person. However, over time they increasingly became more decorative and brooches started to incorporate valuable metals and gemstones in their designs.
Guide for collectors
Brooches are extremely popular items of antique jewellery as their stylish look can blend with both modern and classic designs. As a result, antique brooches can be worn with a variety of outfits. They can be attached to bags and hats as well as adorning jackets and blouses. Additionally, antique brooches come in a range of styles and are made from a number of materials. The most valuable examples are decorated with precious metals or gemstones and these are highly sought by collectors and fashionistas.
As well as the more aesthetically collectable antique brooches, there are also a few specialised markets within the brooch collecting community. For example, two extremely popular collectors’ items are “baby” brooches or brooches that were worn to signify belonging to a certain society.
Additionally, in the nineteenth century, it was fashionable to decorate brooches with a woven or plaited lock of hair from the head of a departed loved one. Victorian and Georgian brooches that still contain original hair contents can be purchased on eBay and Antiquesavenue.co.uk.
Antique brooches are readily available at a number of online antique dealers or jewellery specialists, including Hattonsantiques.co.uk, Langantiques.com, Antiquesavenue.co.uk and Steptoesantiques.co.uk. Antique brooches can also be purchased on eBay. However, collectors should proceed with caution when purchasing supposedly antique items from eBay as their authenticity cannot always be clarified.
International auctioneers, such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams frequently sell antique brooches. Prices can range considerably depending on the items’ age and maker’s mark, but individual items generally tend to sell between £300 and £4,000. More expensive and noteworthy specimens, however, can sell for hundreds and thousands of pounds.
Notable auction sales
In October 2003, three diamond, emerald and 14 carat white gold foliate clip brooches, made in the early-twentieth century, sold for $7,170 through Christie’s, New York. The lot fell within its presales estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.
On January 26th 2012, an antique 0.50 carat diamond gold pearl enamel flower pendant pin brooch was sold on eBay for $1,250.
In December 2010 at Sotheby’s in New York, a gold, emerald, ruby, diamond and enamel brooch, made by Cartier in 1924, realised a price of $98,500.
In January 2003, a Victorian diamond crescent brooch, circa 1890, realised a price of £1,175 though Bonhams, Knightsbridge.
In January 2003, a diamond bar brooch with a graduating line of brilliant-cut diamonds, circa 1910, was sold through Bonhams, Knightsbridge for £2,585.
In July 1991, a selection of five brooches was sold through Christie’s, London for £495. The group included a blue enamel heart-shaped bar brooch with a pearl centre and border, a pale green guilloche enamelled lozenge-shaped bar brooch with diamond solitaire centre and a sapphire and pearl circle bar brooch.