Made For A Lapel!
Sometimes a lapel just needs a small spark of colour or a little shimmer to enliven it. Enter the bar brooch or bar pin. Antique Jewelry University, an online site kindly established by Lang Antiques, describes bar brooches…
”A bar brooch is any elongated horizontal brooch…” ”Popular during the Edwardian period, these brooches were often a line of calibré cut colored stones or diamonds and pearls in a millegrained setting.”
A plaque brooch is similarly horizontal – but there’s more space for design differences or developing a motif, as it is wider than a bar pin.
Art Deco Bar Brooches
We have two each of Art Deco bar brooches and plaque brooches to look at today. The bar brooches are structured in the same way as Edwardian bar pins but with the classic geometric design of the Art Deco period.
First, a c.1925 Art Deco diamond and gem-set platinum bar brooch by Cartier in a ribbon design, with emerald and sapphire geometric mosaic. The central diamond collet detail provides a focal point and the diamond lines beneath provide colour contrast. This little treasure was sold by Christies at auction in 2005 for USD $11,933.
The bar brooch below is a c.1920 Art Deco platinum, onyx and diamond pin, also by Cartier in a ribbon design, and like the emrald and sapphire pin above, the neatly ‘tied’ ribbon allows a a little dynamic movement within a very constrained area. It is still for sale at a price of $39,000 from La Vieille Russie .
Art Deco Plaque Brooches
As you’ll see below, plaque brooches provide a lot more space for the designer, and scope for creating a more expansive design. These might be more comfortable off the lapel than on it! Indeed the open work diamond and emerald plaque brooch is more suited to formal occasions where ladies’ lapels might be hard to find.
We see below an Art Deco emerald and diamond plaque brooch c.1920 designed as a single-cut diamond open work plaque, bezel-set at the centre with three rectangular-cut emeralds. The central emeralds are flanked on either side by an old European-cut diamond, extending a line of single-cut diamond and collet-set emerald quattrefoils. The terminals are decorated with calibré-cut emeralds, and the whole is mounted in platinum. It was sold at auction by Christies in 2009, realising a price of USD $12,500, well above the estimate.
Finally, an Art deco emerald and diamond plaque brooch, c.1920, of checkerboard design. It is millegrain-set with square and triangular-cut emeralds and French-cut diamonds. A border of smaller single-cut diamonds encloses the chequerboard, centred with a larger old brilliant-cut diamond. This brooch was sold at auction by Bonhams in 2006, realising a price of £5,760 .