When choosing to buy an Art Deco brooch, you need to decide if you want to buy a Vintage Art Deco jewellery, made in the 1920’s or 30’s, or a modern copy, as this will be reflected in the price, and how much checking you need to do.
Choosing vintage art deco brooches
It is not always easy to differentiate an original piece from a modern copy. Some of the more lavish designs incorporated baguette cut diamonds with platinum would be fairly heavy.
Some vintage brooches were designed with a unique double-clip design, where the brooch can be worn as one piece, or split into two, with one half being worn one on each lapel of a jacket.
Some vintage brooches had over five carats of diamonds in them, and a price tag of around £20,000 at today’s prices, but they are absolutely stunning, as you would expect.
White gold was just beginning to be used in the 1920’s as a substitute for platinum, and you should look for any registration marks, or hallmarks on a piece claiming to be genuine Art Deco.
There may well be a maker's label stamped into the gold or silver that could help you to identify an original art deco brooch.
Bakelite jewellery was very popular in the 1920’s, and quite unmistakable from modern plastics. It was one of the first plastics developed, and although it was quite brittle, it lent itself to the moulding process, and designers created vibrant and stylish Bakelight jewellery sets with an array of stones, or enameled metal.
Choosing a modern art deco brooch
Lea Stein is a well-known designer of Art Deco style jewellery, and she started her career in the 1960’s, making Art Deco style brooches from thin layers of Cellulose, with different fabric between the layers to give a texture.
The layers were baked and shaped to form very attractive Deco style brooches. Because they were made from plastics, they were lightweight, and did not pull on the wearers garment.
Cat brooches were a favourite design of Lea Stein, and the manufacturing process produced some very striking effects. Lea Stein brooches had a distinctive v-shaped metal clasp with her name inscribed.
Some Art Deco brooches used the contrast of black and white enamel, and even in modern copies, this is still classic Art Deco. Some Art Deco brooches used black and clear bohemian crystals to simulate the sparkle of diamonds.
However, they tended to be made from less expensive and lighter base metals that have been silver or gold-plated.
A final word
The crystals in modern jewellery may be fixed with adhesives rather than any kind of setting.