Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Fascinating Fridays (Jewellery Terminology; the Brooch)

Today is a continuance from a couple of posts from very long ago. We featured the technical terminology used to describe various items of jewellery covering the categories of jewellery for the neck and jewellery for the head. Today we will dicuss the category most commonly referred to as the "brooch". There isn't a vast array to discuss but some interest may arrise from one very rare term used. 

Let us begin today's lecture with the most well known term, the Brooch.

In the photo above we see the Duchess of Roswind wearing what may be considered as three separate pins on her dress. However only one is strictly speaking a brooch. A brooch is a decorative piece of jewellery designed for its beauty and in adherence to fashions of the day or the client's unique style requirements. It may have sentimental symbolism included but does not carry any official significance as such. The Duchess of Roswind wears the ruby brooch from her own personal jewellery collection.

Here we see the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna wearing a ruby brooch on her right shoulder. It is purely decorative and compliments her earrings perfectly.

Sometimes a brooch may be worn on the shoulder or the center of the bodice or on a lapel but it may also be worn on a hat. One does however get pins that are designed exclusively for the use on hats and they tend to have a far longer pin. these are referred to as hatpins. In the photo above, Empress Crystobel wears the Imperial Crown Brooch on her hat.

Next we will discuss the term Stomacher.

The term "stomacher"is a rare term used for a rarely seen type of pin/brooch. These are normally of abnormally large size or may consist of more than one element. Two hundred years they were an integral part of Royal Fashion but over the years the style waned and is now rarely seen. Another aspect of the stomacher can be derived from its name, they were specifically designed to be worn  across the front of the bodice continuing down to the waist. In the photo above showing the wedding of Empress Crystobel, we see a large ruby stomacher element pinned to the bride's dress. It was altered into a necklace soon after its use at the wedding.

Sometimes a large brooch, not strictly designed as a stomacher, may be worn as one like the emerald brooch worn as such by Princess Odeliah in the photo above.

A normal brooch may also be worn as a stomacher like this one featured in the first photo on this post now worn in this photo in just that way.

Finally let us discus the Badge

Badges is a broad category of pins that also includes anything from medals to name tags. However, in the world of Royalty there is a particular badge of significant meaning, that used as a designation of Knighthood. In the photo above we see the Badge of the Order of the Diamond Star blazing upon the red sash of the same Order of Chivalry.

Badges in this realm are more than just a tag, they are imbued with history and honour and are backed by centuries of tradition. These badges are also made from precious metal and stones. In this photo we can see the three sided badge of the Hispanian Order of the Triad.

That concludes our quick lesson on jewellery terminology. Hope it broadened your vocabulary.

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