Dating brooch clasps Secy chate room

Next hunt for signs of wear on high points and edges, determine whether a metal of a different color lies beneath the surface and generally study the construction (how stones are set, for example, and whether there's evidence of hand-craftsmanship vs stamping or casting).The real fun begins when you turn the piece over, because you can learn an enormous amount from findings (called fittings, if they're custom-made for the jewel); often you can discover more from the back than the front. Is there clear evidence of replacement (blobs of solder or a soldering pad, obvious regilding, etc.)?

For instance, genuine lavaliere necklaces that finish with baroque pearl drops originated circa 1890-1910; earrings with (original) screw-on backs can't be older than Edwardian; and dress clips, 9 chances out of 10, will date between the 1920s and 1940s, when they were most popular.

Begin at home, assuming your collection encompasses various periods and both fine and costume jewels.

To branch out, take your magnifying equipment and visit a local shop or two.

If you're sure it's original, you've achieved tight circa dating already.

*crashing applause* Its scale and design will easily indicate whether the jewel should be termed Victorian, Edwardian or the era-spanning Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts.

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It's crucial to determine whether clasps, hinges, wires and so forth are original. It's pretty hard to disguise a change of clasp or hinge on a brooch, and you can generally tell a pinstem has been shortened if it's slightly ragged, blunt or bent at the "pointy" end.

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