Two clips and a brooch

My vintage jewelry obsession includes all kinds of clips: shoe clips, dress clips, fur clips, clip earrings. From the 1920s through the 1950s, various dual purpose clips were patented. Dress clips and fur clips were sold in pairs with a separate frame with a pin on the back.  The clips could be temporarily attached to the frame to make one brooch, or worn separately as two or three. I have two brooches that separate into pairs of clips – one separates into dress clips, and the other into fur clips.

This first piece is a Coro Duette, and is likely from the 30s or 40s; the frame mechanism was patented in 1931. The brooch separates into two fur clips. The long, dangerous looking double-pronged clip was apparently to clip onto one’s fur; it could hold two sections of a thick fur stole than a regular dress clip. I purchased this at Magpie Vintage.

Coro Duette brooch - attached

Coro Duette - two fur clips

I’ve had this Weiss clip pin (shown below) for years . It’s a dress clip from sometime after 1942, when the Weiss jewelry company was founded. This piece doesn’t have a patent number but it is marked “Weiss.” You can see that the clip mechanism isn’t short enough to be a shoe clip, and doesn’t have the double-pronged clip that a fur clip typically does.

Weiss brooch - attached

Weiss brooch - two dress clips

For more information on vintage clips, see Illusion Jewels.


But where was the fancy jewelry?

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a beautiful gown at her wedding to Prince William. I thought the lace sleeves and overlay and fitted shape were very flattering and beautiful. The Royal’s website has more information about the handmade lace and more  details about the dress.

I was surprised to see how little jewelry Catherine wore. She wore a pair of small but pretty earrings from her parents, and her ring. I didn’t notice any other jewelry. Maybe it’s a British thing – too much  sparkle may be déclassé. Princess Diana didn’t wear much jewelry on her wedding day, either.

Antique citrine parure sold at Christie's

If I were a duchess, or even very wealthy, I’d buy the jewels first and then design the dress. I’ve always wanted a full parure, or matching set, of jewelry. In my case, a rhinestone parure would be perfectly lovely. Parures were popular among royalty and the wealthy in the 17th century. They were often created with the idea that the stones could be interchanged – rubies one evening, emeralds the next.

This citrine parure was sold at auction in London in 1999. Christie’s website notes that it consists of “a diadem, necklace, detachable brooch pendant with three detachable drops, a pair of bracelets with a detachable central section to form a choker, and a pair of pendant ear clips.” I had to look up “diadem” – it’s a crown of sorts. I think everything at once might be overkill, but the diadem, necklace, a bracelet, and earrings would look very pretty with a plain outfit.

In the world of vintage costume jewelry, a parure consists of at least three pieces of matching jewelry, for example a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings. More common is a demi-parure, which is two pieces, often earrings and a brooch. I’ve selected two of my favorite vintage demi-parures to show you.

Aurora Borealis Demi-parure

Vintage rhinestone demi-parure

Sparkle for the New Year

vintage dress clips

Vintage dress clips

I’ve been pondering a New Year’s goal that I’d have fun with and actually stick to. Getting dressed today I thought it’d be fun to wear one of my sparkly vintage jewels everyday. Otherwise they rarely see the light of day.

The dress clips in the photo were today’s choice.  I wore a black cashmere sweater with one on each side.

I’ve been reading  Miller’s Costume Jewelry and Deanna Farneti Cera’s Bijoux, and am inspired to catalog my vintage stuff and start wearing it more often. Otherwise, what’s the point of having pretty sparkly things?