Use the basics below to help you start learning how to identify and date a number of different types of antique and vintage brooch and pin styles.
These are usually rather large brooches and they fasten with a simple "C" closure (see below) without a safety mechanism.
Common examples are made of brass, enameled or painted base metal, or silver-plated base metal.
They range from simple rectangles or ovals to very ornate in design with flowing Art Nouveau motifs.
This type of simple "C" clasp or catch can be found on brooches dating primarily to the 1890s although some carryover designs in the early 1900s incorporate this finding as well.
It was used on everything ranging from small Victorian bar pins to large sash pins (see above).
The most common early version of the "C" clasp used prior to the 1890s looks more like a curled wire.
Pieces incorporating the earlier style also have a tube-shaped hinge for the pin stem, and sometimes the point of the pin stem will extend beyond the edge of the brooch.
There are a number of clues you can use to successfully date antique and vintage brooches and pins.
This usually begins with looking at things like clasps and hinges, since certain types are known to have been used during specific periods in time.