Good Morning and a happy weekend to you all! On that note, I hope this Saturday and Day Six of theme week afforded you the luxury of sleeping in. If not, my sympathies.
Well, if you didn’t read the title or happen to have the idiomatic capabilities of Biff Tannen, Attack of the Brooches theme week Day Six has a theme all it’s own. Leaves. Why the surprise? We already had a flower theme day…all of the brooches belong to the Queen of England. That’s more of a fact than a theme… Let’s start with the boring one first. Well, it’s the one that bores me.
The Canada Day Diamond Leaf Brooch
Alright, it’s not that boring, it is covered in shiny diamonds. The brooch was given to the Queen Consort Elizabeth (aka ‘the Queen Mum‘) in 1939 in honor of (what else) a visit to Canada. (See the commemorative stamp below left.) Upon her death in 2002, she passed it on to her daughter, the current Queen and brooch owner extraordinaire, who also wears it on diplomatic passages to Canada. In fact, she loans it out to other members of the royal family when they visit our neighbors to the North on goodwill missions as well. (Duchess of Cambridge, center & Duchess of Cornwall, right.)
Sapphire Leaf Brooch ca 1920 with no official name
I kinda wish I hadn’t used a heading for the Canada Day Leaf because now I had to use one for the second brooch in the “leaf series” and it looks ridiculous as the actual piece has no name. In fact, it’s one of the more obscure pieces in her Majesty’s collection, certainly not popping up in any web searches. I’m surprised it was in that old issue of People.
Our esoteric leaf was a 1928 gift from Prince Albert, the Duke of York (the future King George VI) to the Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth aka the Queen Mum aka the nice lady who received the maple leaf covered in diamonds from Canada pictured above). Princess Elizabeth received it as a birthday gift from her parents during World War II. (I’m trying to recall off the top of my head how many of this week’s brooches were handed down from the Queen Mum to Elizabeth II.)
This stick-pin is so different from any other brooch we’ve looked at this week…or may hope to anticipate. A series of oblong diamonds shape this sweet, little upturned leaf and its stem. The unique, paisley-shaped sapphires, are accented with round emeralds, a single amethyst and a single ruby. Between the colored gemstones more round diamonds slip up the center like a springtime vine. The design is formal and whimsical at once; classic yet playful with color. I can imagine a young girl receiving this during the London air raids and holding the promise of spring in her palm.
I like this one more, it has that Art Deco feel to it. (I’m not well-versed in Art Deco-style jewellery but this is what I imagine it to look like. If I’m completely wrong, feel free to let me know. I’m not infallible, I just like to think I am.)