Buy more brooches!

One of my New Year’s resolutions – and the only one I’m managing to stick to with any enthusiasm – was to buy more brooches. There’s something so very mid-20th-century about a nice brooch. They set off a smart suit, cocktail dress or even a plain overcoat so nicely.

I’m very lucky in some ways working in Bath. There is, of course, a good choice of charity shops, although I’m also fortunate in that the town where I live has a good selection of those too. In Bath there’s a super little costume jewellery stall called ‘Not Cartiers’ which I’ve been buying from for over a decade. It was based in Bartlett Street Antiques Market and moved to the Guildhall Market a while back. Some of their stock is new, some vintage, and you do have to have a good close look at everything, but to be honest their prices are very good (c
heaper than high street costume jewellery) and any mistakes won’t break the bank.

My January purchases were this softly-coloured Aynsley posy and a sparkling enamel and diamante bird, each costing £7.50. I’m not very good at dating things like this, but china brooches seem to have been at their peak popularity between 1945 and 1960. If I ever get into Green Mary dress it would be perfect on that, but I also think it will be sweet on a dainty pastel knit. I’d guess the bird is 1980s or later, but he’s a pretty creature and very nicely made: the colours don’t overrun anywhere, and the diamante are in three colours (clear and blue, plus a single red one for the eye) and very neatly set, with none missing. I have a vague memory of this sort of thing becoming massively popular after the Duchess of Windsor died in the late 1980s and her jewellery was auctioned off. At any rate, I’m a fiend for very simple black clothes, especially plain shift dresses, and the birdie will liven those up no end.

Both photos are copyright PP Gettins


  1. I love brooches. I always have one pinned to my overcoat and today I'm wearing a lovely 40s celluloid flower.

    I really want more but January is a bit of a lean month!

  2. Oohh. I do so love to oogle other peoples treasure!

  3. I love the bird, it's fab. I have treated myself to a new new brooch, I hope it will be here any day! x


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