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What's Inside Your Jewellery?

We love our antique jewellery, every piece has a story, a little piece of history attached to it. Typically pieces aren't as forthcoming at revealing their secrets as this dusty Victorian brooch so we were in for a real treat.

When new inventory arrives in our Mercy Madge shop our first task is to assess the condition. Sometimes a piece of antique jewellery is not at its best. Decades of dust and grime build-up can leave a piece in a lack lustre state. That's when we set to work cleaning, sometimes we have to take pieces apart and that can lead to some lovely surprises!  

 

                                

 
Here we have taken apart a Victorian swivel brooch. The brooch has a George and the Dragon shell cameo on one side and beautiful hair work curls on the other.

                               

Victorian Hair Work Brooch

Once we have taken it apart all is not what it seems! Look at what’s inside, during manufacture the jeweller has used anything that was to hand to pad out the interior. We find a piece of black thick card, 2 pieces cut out of an advertising card and an old tram ticket (used and notched) which is advertising a clothes shop. Interesting is the sun ray patterned foil oval which goes behind the glass mounted hair work which adds a beautiful iridescent background to highlight the beautiful curls. These items haven't seen the light of day for well over a hundred years!

     

It takes a while to polish the rolled gold frame, clean the cameo and gently dust the exquisite hair work and but once it is finished and carefully put back together again, it is restored to it's former glory. What an absolute beauty!

                              

     

Here is the link to the brooch in our shop https://mercymadge.com/products/victorian-rolled-gold-cameo-hair-curls-swivel-brooch?_pos=13&_sid=d261e8f88&_ss=r

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