About Georgian Lace Pins
Ive found an area of collecting which allows you to buy genuine antiques, over 200 years old at under a £100 each. There is a huge variety available in the decoration and gemstones and are they are wearable too. Georgian lace pins are much undervalued in my opinion. Let’s take a look at a few and find out more.
I’ve seen Georgian Lace Pins called a variety of name such as scarf pins, handkerchief pins, lace brooches and mourning pins. I suppose very little is known of what they were originally known as in the 1700s and early 1800s. Whatever their name they are small and lightweight and so would be suitable for pinning onto lace or a muslin handkerchief.
Lace pins I have come across largely date from the earlier 1800s. Jewellery from before this time is very rare and costly and once we get into the Victorian era ( starting 1837). The fashion gradually changed to larger pieces.Gold, rolled gold and pinchbeck are the most common metals. I can’t remember seeing a silver lace pin.
Almost always there is a central locket compartment which generally contains a plaited or woven lock of hair. Over the central compartment is a convex glass or rock crystal cover which may magnify the contents a little. If you wish to access this compartment you would probably need the help of your local jeweller. It’s not something I would like to try for myself as they are tightly sealed to protect the contents. Empty Georgian pins are quite sought after by those wishing to preserve a lock of hair nowadays.
On the back of a lace pin, you will find that the stones all have covered backs which was the way in the 1700’s and early 1800s.
Nowadays the stones are left open so that light can get in. In the 17 and earlier 1800s they were closed and gemstones had a layer of foil behind them to reflect the light. This was because gemstones could not be faceted as they are my modern machinery and the foil helped the flatter cuts to shine. Due to this closed back setting, please do not get lace pins wet as the moisture will ruin the appearance of the gemstones.
The pins and hinges are almost always the same. A broad hinge, small c catch and pin stem which is longer than the brooch. You can see these features in the last picture.
The gemstones you will see set into this antique jewellery include real seed pearls, flat cut garnets and amethyst, French and real jet, diamonds, coral and the then newly popular paste.
Have you a collection of Georgian lace pins or other Georgian Jewellery? Would you like to tell the world about it? If so do leave a comment on Facebook and I will be in touch. My current lace pins for sale can be found in the brooches selection.