One of my favourite things to do is research the history of a brooch.
A few week’s ago a lovely customer named Frances showed me two brooches she inherited from her family. There is no information apart from they were owned by people living in Scotland and they are very old. I took a few photos and said I would see what I could find out.
My photos are not great because I used my phone magnifier, screenshot the image and the brooches are very small. But you can still see quite a bit of detail.
The first brooch is a mourning pin from the Georgian period. It is a hand painted sepia under rock crystal glass. It depicts a woman sitting in a white floaty gown releasing a bird, possibly a dove?
Symbolically the dove or swallow represents lost love. Looking up towards the sky demonstrates her hope. Additionally, the lack of tomb or funeral symbols such as a weeping willow tree, may communicate that the person is long departed rather than recently passed.
Pearls can symbolise tears or sadness especially when placed alongside mourning themes. They are also associated with purity, chastity and delicacy. This poor lady seems to embrace all of these qualities with her love flying away.
If you fancy seeing similar and even more remarkable little pins from the Georgian period– click here to see them on Pinterest.
I do not have any of these type of brooches at the moment but I am definitely going to keep my eye out the next time I visit an antique fair or shop.
All errors and omissions are author’s own.
Copyright Audra Daws-Knowles 2023