Archive for silver brooches
I wantd to show you this special brooch – It is available from my website shop at http://www.antiquesavenue.co.uk/ where a kind shopper noticed it and let me know that it was designed and made by a lady called Ola Gorie in the Orkney Islands , Scotland. The brooch has the initials OMG which are her trademark and it also has full silver hallmarks.
I’ve visited Ola Gories website hoping to find out a bit more about the design which I suspect is taken from a similar Scandinavian design I have seen. It appears that she is not currently selling a piece of jewellery in this design.
This brooch appears to have two birds ( Doves or Love Birds?) sitting in a tree eating small fruit such as cherries. Do you know the tradidiotnal design this is based on? Please do get in touch I would love to know.
I am starting my exploration of the materials that brooches are made from with Silver. Why? Well I seem to have more vintage silver brooches than those made from every other material put together. Perhaps that is because I like silver or just perhaps because more brooches were made from silver than from any other material? Certainly it has been popular in both antique and vintage brooches and remains so up to date.
Silver is a grey / white material which is a popular metal for use in jewellery as it is easy to work and durable when worn. It is also cheaper and lighter weight than platinum which is the other whiteish precious metal.
One of the popular things about silver is that it is often stamped with hallmarks, markers marks, metal purity grades and more which make it easier to identify the origins and history of your antiques. This article does not cover hallmarking – more on that later.
There are several grades of silver which you can find your brooches made from :
- - 800 This was often used for European Jewellery and is now a legal standard in the UK
- - 925 Also known as Sterling or Sterling Silver. The standard grade for English silver and most sought after
- -958 Known as Britannia Silver not often used for brooches
- -999 Almost purse silver and probably too difficult to work for jewellery
Care for your Silver Brooch
Your silver brooch will last not just your life time but for many lifetimes. Antique Brooches are still plentiful if you look on the right places . Silver does however tarnish and become dull over the years. I clean mine with a gentle wash in an electronic jewellery cleaning machine with just water and a drop of washing up liquid ( I believe you should avoid Lemon scented washing up liquids for silver). This will remove dirt and a gentle dry and polish with a soft cloth restores a good patina without shining your brooch up as new.
If you are going to store a brooch away for a long time I suggest you get hold of some acid free tissue paper. Avoid plastic and the standard tissue paper as these contain chemicals which will oxidise the silver over time.
Variety in Silver Brooches:
I think there are a greater variety of silver brooches than in brooches made of any other material. To name just a few (exploring these later on this blog):
Mizpah brooches, Name Brooches, Fower brooches, Mourning Brooches, Charm Brooches, Fob Watch brooches, Scottish and celtic brooches, enamel brooches. The arts and crafts movement was fond of silver brooches and during the art deco ear silver was often used to mount butterfly wings into brooches.
The silver brooch at the top of this post is a Victorian Name Brooch – Annie