Subversive Femme

My vintage brooch collection

I have a secret to share – besides collecting vintage knitting and sewing patterns, I also collect brooches!

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

They’re mainly from the 1930s-1950s, but there’s a few modern ones in there as well.

1940s lucite novelty bakelite cherry brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

I have a couple of passions, one for 1940s carved lucite brooches – case in point: lobsters and crabs oh my!

1940s lucite novelty brooch crab lobster celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry


My latest prize is a carved lucite safety pin brooch, with diamante detail:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

Monogram brooches – Bs and Rs:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

Scottie dogs and sweetheart brooches:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid lobster plastic sweetheart jewellery jewelry

The 1940’s beaded dangle brooch below was a present from Jakk and my first real novelty brooch. I blame her for my collecting bug.

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid plastic sweetheart jewellery jewelry

Cowboy brooches,  Niello (Siam) silver and celluloid:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid cowboy sweetheart jewellery jewelry

I store all my brooches (80+) on some white picture frames from IKEA – cover the backing board in wadding and fabric, and they’re a cheap and easy storage solution.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but if I could only take one brooch with me I think it would be the lucite crab (another present from Jakk). It’s just so silly, and it makes me smile when I catch a glimpse of it in a reflection.

haskell 1940s lucite novelty brooch crab

Novelty brooches are pretty hard to come by in Australia (about 90% of these came from the USA) but you can find them if you look hard.

Do you collect anything a bit different? I’d love to see photos!

Edited to add – OK, I also collect Australian Lustrewear! Maybe I have a problem…

1940s 1950s lustreware fish vases kitsch australiana pates mingay

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No Comments

  • Reply
    christina snellgrove
    April 7, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Such a clever storage solution! All your brooches on display and easy to get to. Now I just need more brooches to fill all the empty space, not a sacrifice really!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2015 at 12:48 am

    You have such amazing pieces! I love that lucite safety pin, but I think the lobster is my favorite. It makes me think of Schiaparelli.
    Jessica, Zella Maybe

  • Reply
    April 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Okay that collection is to die for. TO. DIE. FOR!!!!

  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    April 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Oh my vintage brooch loving word, your collection has knocked my socks off, turned my knees to Jell-O, and made my heart skipped a few (hundred) beats!

    This is such a diverse, fantastic, super cute collection of vintage brooches. Bar none it's one of the nicest personal ones I've ever seen.

    Here's wishing you many more amazing vintage brooch finds to come in the future!

    ♥ Jessica

  • Reply
    April 8, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I, too, collect brooches, but your collection is just amazing! Absolutely amazing! I am weak in the knees just viewing it!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Gorgeous pieces. I have enough circle pins to make myself a suit of chain mail, but I can't resist buying them.

  • Reply
    Claire Gittins
    April 13, 2015 at 6:30 am

    You have an impressive collection! I adore brooches but very rarely wear them?

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    What a fantastic collection! I have a hard time reminding myself to actually wear the brooches I do have, but your collection is inspiring!

  • Reply
    Miss Beta
    May 8, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Wow! You have a dream collection there! Gorgeous pieces, truly lovely.

    Beta xx

  • Reply
    May 14, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Fantastic collection of brooches! I love the cherries – I just can't go past cherries in clothing and accessories!
    I like Lustrewear vases, but not all of them, I must admit.

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