Thursday, May 5, 2011

My obsessions with... Filigree jewellery

Yet another one of my passions: vintage silver filigree. I think this one started a long long time ago when I was a little girl. My mum presented me with a small filigree brooch and I was smitten. The intricate little lace like details, the curves and waves, one could get lost in those patterns.

Regretfully I no longer have that little brooch. I lost it, probably playing somewhere. My parents always allowed me to wear my most precious, expensive things knowing full well I might lose or break them. I still believe this is a good philosophy: owning things and using them even at the risk of losing them. Otherwise we become slaves to the things we own, fearing their demise. Locking them up in cupboards to collect dust.

But I digress. Below is a bracelet that originally belonged to my mother. It's a piece of original Turkish filigree my grandfather gave her. I believe he bought two identical ones, the other one was for my aunt.

You can see some patina on this one. A friend of mine who deals in antiquities expressly forbade me to clean it off. I tend to agree with him, let the patina show this piece has a history, a collection of fond memories much like the wrinkles on a face of a person. It would be sacrilege to wipe it clean!

This brooch is another family heirloom. It belonged to my mother's cousin who died tragically in a plane crash in Corsica in 1981, just 3 months after my birth. This brooch is in need of some repair, but I have yet to gather the strength to take it to a jeweller. I hate the idea of tampering with it, I know it's irrational, but when the time is right I'll get it fixed.

The last three pieces are all vintage too, but are not heirloom.

You can clearly see from the photos that the two brooches were originally gold plated. I really like the muted effect of the gold plating being half wiped off.


  1. Those are beautiful! Great work!

  2. The flower brooch is my favourite among many beautiful pieces. Hope you have the brooch repaired so it can go out again and be admired.

  3. All so beautiful and so much intricate work Curious about how you wear brooches? I love them on other people sometimes, but I never wear one.
    I have a nice one now, that someone gave me as a gift, but have been thinking of having it made into a necklace?

  4. Mandy: Thank you. I can't even begin to imagine how much effort, hard work and patience goes into one of these pieces.
    Duchesse: Thanks so much for popping over to have a look. I appreciate your kind words :-)
    Kathy: Though I hate to play favourites with jewellery, brooches have a very special place in my heart. I'm quite large breasted so I rarely wear them on tops or shirts because it ends up looking awkward. I usually put them on lapels and coat collars, you can see some photos on my 'About' page. I also think they look great on a knitted vest, it adds a bit of a punch to the preppy white shirt layered under a vest look.

  5. I like brooches now, at this age, all of a sudden. As I already somewhere mentioned, I feel they give a lifting effect.
    An inherited, special piece ( one that I like ), would be my favorite.
    Therefore, I like the first brooch best from your collection.
    I have passed my inherited, and the ones I have received earlier,on to my daughters already years ago, for them to enjoy.
    These days, I only have two, both new ones, made from older models.

  6. I do like your Turkish filigree bracelet the detail and work that has gone into it so beautiful.
    Brooches were every where when I was growing up,the person who has never stopped wearing them is our Queen!! Not keen on them myself,have a Cameo from my G/mama which I have never worn but am thinking of having it made into a necklace,maybe with a 3 tier pearl necklace but still thinking!!!
    Do you wear the bracelet often? Ida

  7. Mette: New brooches waiting to collect new memories :-)

    ida: Queen Elisabeth is my fashion hero! I love her style and the choice of bold colour. Of all the bracelets I own, this one along with 3 or 4 outhers gets the most wear, particularly in the summer months.

  8. Thanks. I think adding it to a lapel of a denim jean jacket would be a good idea for me. Or a casual blazer. Great idea!

  9. kathy: I think a denim jacket is just perfect for adding brooches, even badges and corsages. Depending on the type of accesory it can really transform the whole outfit from casual to dressy.