In the most basic terms, a duette brooch is a brooch with two fastenings. These brooches actually separate into two pieces, each of which can be worn as individual brooches, collar clips, or even hair barrettes. The name ‘Duette’ comes from the American jewellery company Coro, who crafted their own double clip brooch in 1935 titled the ‘Duette’. Their take on the double clip brooch was pretty revolutionary, and to this day, double clip brooches are often referred to as duettes in the same way we often refer to vacuum cleaners as hoovers after the immensely popular vacuum company.
In the first half of the twentieth century, duette – or double clip – brooches were incredibly popular. Worn as a single brooch, two matching brooches, collar clips, hat clips, shoes clips, and hair clips, there was a plethora of uses for these brooches. Their versatility gave them a universal appeal, and they were a popular product until around the 1950s, when the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles that had ruled the first half of the century were seen as ‘old fashioned’, and young people were looking to go in a different direction with their style.
Most duettes are symmetrical, allowing for a much neater appearance when worn as one piece, as well as creating a pleasing matching aesthetic when worn separately. Some duettes, however, are more three-dimensional, coming together to make one design, and existing as two separate designs when worn apart. Today, antique brooches are making a comeback, with many being worn as beautiful accents at the top button of shirts and button-down dresses. Stand out from the crowd by bringing duettes into your wardrobe, utilising a vintage classic as an innovative new accessory.
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.