Vintage 1950s American Modernist Brooches
Malachite, Sterling Silver
Finding the Right brooches for You
Antique and vintage brooches, which are decorative jewels traditionally pinned to garments and used to fasten pieces of clothing together where needed, have seen increasing popularity in recent years.
Given their long history, brooches have expectedly taken on a variety of different shapes and forms over time, with jewelers turning to assorted methods of ornamentation for these accessories, including enameling and the integration of pearls and gemstones.
Cameo brooches that originated during the Victorian age are characterized by a shell carved in raised relief that feature portraits of a woman’s profile, while 19th-century micromosaic brooches, comprising innumerable individually placed glass fragments, sometimes feature miniature depictions of a pastoral scene in daily Roman life.
At one time, brooches were symbols of wealth, made primarily from the finest metals and showcasing exquisite precious gemstones. Today, these jewels are inclusive and universal, and you don’t have to travel very far to find an admirer of brooches. They can be richly geometric in form, such as the ornate diamond pins dating from the Art Deco era, or designer-specific, such as the celebrated naturalistic works created by Tiffany & Co., the milk glass and gold confections crafted by Trifari or handmade vintage Chanel brooches of silk or laminated sheer fabric.
Brooches are versatile and adaptable. These decorative accessories can be worn in your hair, on hats, scarves and on the lower point of V-neck clothing. Pin a dazzling brooch to the lapel of your blazer-and-tee combo or add a cluster of smaller pins to your overcoat. And while brooches have their place in “mourning jewelry,” in that a mourning brooch is representative of your connection to a lost loved one, they’re widely seen as romantic and symbolic of love, so much so that a hardcore brooch enthusiast might advocate for brooches to be worn over the heart.
Today, find a wide variety of antique and vintage brooches on 1stDibs, including gold brooches, sapphire brooches and more.