One of my favourite types of jewellery is the brooch. There’s something about the versatility of a brooch that gives it a special edge. On the one hand, it’s a highly feminine accessory that often takes the form of bows, flowers, and other things usually associated with femininity, and on the other hand it can be an emblem or medal displaying one’s importance, power, and influence – like the sigil of a medieval household. In either case, the brooch can be worn by men and women alike and be an equally memorable and unique accessory.
Today, we’re going to take a moment to appreciate some of our 1950s brooch examples. Brooches from this era are more closely aligned to the classically feminine styles, since it was less common for men to wear brooches in this era and much of women’s fashion was highly feminised, often incorporating bows, lace, large skirts and soft colours. Regardless of how you feel about the fashion or the gender roles from this era, the jewellery remains a delight that is worth celebrating.
Bows and Bouquets
Since we mentioned the hyper-feminine themes that were popular in 1950s vintage brooches, it’s no shock that bows and bouquets of flowers are found often in brooches from this time period. At AC Silver, we’re lucky to have a divine selection of those such brooches.
This yellow gold and white gold bouquet, for example, features an array of diamonds, similar to the ever-popular spray design. The central yellow gold scrolling leaf design ties the diamonds and the white gold together, creating a cohesive aesthetic that makes this brooch as equally suited to formalwear as a casual summer outfit.
The elongated shape of this floral brooch balances femininity with maturity; an excellent choice for someone more advanced in age.
Platinum and a plethora of diamonds come together in this masterpiece brooch to create a stunning bow. The casual shape of this bow belies its sturdiness and exquisite craftsmanship.
The strength of platinum makes it the perfect choice for this brooch, as it has the necessary durability to hold the vast number of diamonds safely in place. Since we’ve brought up the diamonds, you may like to know that there are no fewer than 267 diamonds in this single brooch.
It sparkles just as much as you might expect.
Returning to the floral brooch designs, this bouquet features rose gold and yellow gold together, creating a very warm aesthetic that appears rosy and comforting.
Diamonds and pearls accent the brooch, furthering the warmth that radiates from this piece.
In contrast to the first floral brooch, this one is more fanciful, its spread being shorter and wider.
The playful elements of this piece of jewellery, such as the pleasant bow that ties the bouquet together, give it significantly more youth than our first example.
For reasons which are unclear, animals have often been linked with femininity in the Western world. Certain animals, like birds, deer, and rabbits are more commonly linked with femininity. There is something troubling about the fact that it is mostly prey animals that are associated with femininity and womanhood, while predatory animals like wolves and bears are more often connected with masculinity.
Despite these somewhat antiquated links, some truly beautiful pieces of jewellery have come out of the masculine and feminine associations.
This elegant dove brooch is an excellent example of a 1950s vintage brooch with the popular theme of animals. Birds have always been especially popular as decorative features, on both jewellery, clothing, and home décor also.
The spread of the dove’s wings is accented with diamonds, as well as the tail feathers towards the base of the brooch.
This brooch’s size and spread allows it to transcend the typical ‘soft, feminine’ aesthetic common in bird-themed 1950s brooches.
Rather than fragile, this bird appears almost intimidating, and would look perfectly at home on the lapel of a suit.
Something completely different can be found in this smoky quartz turtle brooch.
Detailed, three-dimensional brooches such as this one are rare finds, particularly ones still in such excellent condition.
This vintage French piece is a testament to its creator, displaying an anatomically correct deign that still holds artistic flair and a beautiful uniqueness.
Brooches of this kind are equally well-suited to the young and old, having a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it timeless and endlessly versatile.
Our last animal feature comes in the form of this yellow gold and platinum dog. This small pooch has a cheekiness to it that is very appealing. Its tongue sticks out – made of rose gold – and its whiskers stick off of its face in a way that any dog-lover will recognise as a playful disposition.
Around its neck, a platinum bow, accented with diamonds, can be found. The ruby in the puppy’s eye finishes off the whole piece, leaving an adorable jewellery piece that would be an excellent gift for any animal-lover.
These are just a few of our 1950s vintage brooches and I think you’ll agree that each displays the best of what the decade has to offer in terms of brooches. The popular themes explored are still in exquisite condition today, typifying the era in a way that still holds so much appeal. So, what do you think – which 1950s vintage brooch is your favourite?
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.